Retirement living standards in france

I know 0 about visas or CdS because as a French person I’m not concerned - I commented as I did because if you want to get to know people and be accepted somewhere it helps if your situation is understandable to locals, and if you are 55 or 56 and want to make friends then work is most likely where you will find them, directly or indirectly. If you had small children it would be the school gate.
Again speaking as a nasty prejudiced judgmental French person if I suddenly get foreign neighbours in their mid 50s who don’t work etc I am unlikely to have much in common with them and will probably have little contact with them and I may well assume they are dodgy.


I completely agree. I did say above that my wife and I made practically all of our friends here through work or through our childrens’ activities when they were younger. Unfortunately since Brexit and losing FoM we Brits no longer have the freedom to work in the EU, we need to get authorisation.

We moved to the countryside in our 50’s (before that our French base was in Paris), and it may not have been apparent to our new neighbours that we worked as we took it in turns to vanish to our jobs… but I don’t think we’re dodgy!

It took a while and we had to kiss the equivalent of a lot of frogs but we have now got a comfortable social circle here.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I suspect one of our neighbours felt much the same…
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
On the day that we first arrived (in our 50’s), he said, loudly and very forcibly… that he didn’t like the English…

Another neighbour quickly ushered us into his kitchen to “meet the wife” and offered aperos all round… he/she seemed to find our hesitant French charming/amusing and we became friends from that day to this.

It’s the same the whole world over… good and bad… and those in between.


Decent animal standards are hardly ensured by DEFRA . Minimal in fact. RSPCA a little better. It’s all relative I suppose looking at some other countries but for ‘decent’ think free range, organic free range.
A fine life those chickens had at a kilo of chicken thighs for £1.60. Well at least you get free antibiotics thrown in.


Yes its far from perfect but actual animal welfare has at least some standards lacking in other countries to which Boris and Co are trying to do trade deals.

Lazy over dosing with antibiotics, the wrong food to encourage quicker growth and growth hormones is the reason so many are going to a vegetarian style albeit with its pesticides.

You do need to check on your tax position. There is a facebook page with lots of advice but i’m probably not allowed to name it. For instance you will pay capital gains tax on investments and interest in the UK, without the allowance you have in the UK, and no exemption for ISAs. That said I am leaving my investments in the UK because the French alternatives would earn less than the UK ones after tax. But I’m over retirement age so pay taxes at a lower rate than you will. As for the price of food all meat and fish round here is expensive except pork (Brittany). That said I bought mackerel fillets last week at 6 euros a kilo and scallops in their shells were on offer at 3.50 euros a kg in the supermarket. With veg, eat seasonally, buy from local producers at markets. e.g. apples now, not strawberries. And you may have a little land to grow your own.

Thankfully, it is quite easy to research those areas of France, where folk are more enthusiastic about rearing and eating good food with no nasties… :+1: :+1:

that might well be one’s best reason for choosing one area of France over another…
certainly a good excuse to explore as many eateries as possible… :hugs:


You don’t pay capital gains tax on interest from investments in the UK?
And you would pay capital gains tax on actual gains in the UK as well as France, but for shares you get reductions if you have held them for more than a few years…

The French tax system is different from the UK and you can’t really compare like for like, but one thing we have found is that if you do things the French way then your tax liability is not really wildly different from in the UK. We pay no more in tax and social charges than we would have done.

Well, you pay income tax on that - not capital gains.

Where you do have a capital gain there is a threshold - £12,300 (that is much less than it used to be - stealth taxes in action) below which you do not pay CG so I would think it is certainly possible to have a capital gain which is not taxed in the UK but needs to be taxed in France.

Not sure about that. Working, and then retiring, here I have never had an income that attracted tax. But one year, not so long ago, HMRC suddenly demanded (and got) £100 from my pension provider. Of course I challenged it and was promised a refund but, before that arrived they took another £100. This despite me being tax resident in France since 1999.

My point is my UK earnings are sufficient alone to attract income tax, whereas in France my combined UK and French earnings, do not.

It’s been going up steadily for a while now - unless you mean in real terms???

Thanks, my memory is obviously playing tricks.

I’ve been living in a summer tourist area in the deepest Aveyron for several years and although I recognise the observation that ‘there is naff all to do outside of the summer months’ I think that’s also an unfortunate reflection on the poster. What do you want - world class theatre or opera, international academic conferences, art house cinema, local Ligue 1 foot, a snooker hall? A very intelligent, now sadly deceased, ultra-right wing libertarian friend of mine once pronounced (in his own inimitable style) that a ‘free man who can think for himself, should never be bored.’

OH and self are certainly not libertarians, but we’re never bored. One has to make an effort to be interested and interesting. Our friends fall into two categories, immediate neighbours, who are good, helpful people, not very cosmopolitan, but extremely knowlegdeable on useful local matters whether current or historical. Our second group of friends are drawn from a much wider radius, are of various nationalities (including French and Parisian), most have lived in several countries and are much more highly educated than our immediate neighbours.

Each group has its qualities and we think both make an important contribution to our quality of life in rural France.


Simple answer, something. I’m not bothered about any of the above but it would be nice to go out occasionally after work and find somewhere open to have a bite to eat or a drink, not too much to hope for I would have thought.

We live in the back end of beyond, and there is a cinema 4km away that has an incredible programming under the ciné art et essai banner. Sunday evening there will usually be a world cinema offering - and we get to see things at the same time as they are released in Paris. Normally about 10 people in the cinema! However you do have to go for a drink before rather than after as the only bar in teeny-town closes at 21.30h. For other things we don’t have the choice that seems to be available in Brittany, but there is enough for a once a month outing most of the year if we keep our eyes open.

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Sorry I worded that badly. I meant you will pay tax in France on all gains on investments held in the UK. In the UK you get that allowance of around £ 12000 to set against the gains. I think that discount if you have held shares for some time has been phased out. Can look up the regulations, but really like to think about taxes as little as possible between returns…

You may well be right that things changed when brought in the PFU, not checked recently either.

This sounds similar to our closest cinema - volunteer run - one of the many community-owned-and-run initiatives around here. I absolutely love it! Close by there are 2 or 3 bars open late, both of which have live music regularly, one an open jam session every Sunday night (I’ve previously posted videos of this in other threads - you would think you were in Ireland because its very celtic - which is the norm here for many live music events).

A little further - about a 20-minute drive - there are 2 more community cinemas - all these regularly show version originale films, so you can often choose English or French. The nearest big commercial multi-screen offering is over half-an-hour away - we rarely go, because the little local ones are just so much nicer.

Where do you live?