Retirement living standards in france

Dept 17.

I see! Best you move then :slight_smile:

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There is nothing wrong with where we live, it’s typical of rural France which doesn’t suit everyone and that’s really all I’ve been trying to get over to people. We’ve seen retired several couples move back to the UK recently simply because there’s very little to do in the countryside and in the last few years of their lives they want to be able to walk to shops etc and actually have a choice of where to eat out.

Interesting….we’re spending three weeks here just as a holiday but also to see if this might be an area for us later on. So far we’ve really liked some of the places (Royan, the seaside, the birds & marshes, St saverinien) amd are having a great time. But are finding the wider landscape unbearably dull, the roads dreadful and it’s all too flat! Apart from the bobo villages we’ve not seem anywhere we’d want to stay more than a few days…. I’m sure there’s more to this Department but so far I’d say you might have a point!

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I think you might mean St Savinien, we lived there for 8 years so know it very well. Coming from Norfolk we’re used to the flat landscape so that doesn’t bother us and it’s been a great place to bring up the kids. We have though noticed a massive rapid decline in the activity in several local towns since we’ve lived here which is pretty sad, I don’t know what the answer is and the local Mairies are working really hard to attract businesses and therefore jobs but the young don’t want to live in the country any more and without them it has no future.

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Ha ha, after the Aveyron and Cantal, we thought just the same, spent time there, nearly moved for work and loved having a coffee and walk by the sea (which I was missing) but the endless flat landscape did our heads in (OH is Aveyronnaise and for me it was way too flat for cycling).

Tim17, agree that you need to be in La Rochelle, Sainte or somewhere a descent size for any sort of life :wink:

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My comment re the 17 was simply based on having both friends and family who have bought there and are quite disenchanted with whats on offer. So I don’t think it is rural France per se so much as parts of rural France.

Sadly all too often the British buy in cheaper areas as they get carried away with how much bang they can get for their buck! And cheaper areas are cheap for a reason…

For example, our daughter lives in an expensive village in Normandy. I wouldn’t say that Normandy as a whole is or isn’t expensive but this village is. Neither would I say that the entirety of Normandy is a hive of cultural activity but again, this place is. There are numerous second home owners and as it isn’t just a summer holiday destination, this sustains four (good) restaurants. So yes, she can walk out the door and have a choice of where to go but this comes at a price.

Equally we live ten minutes outside Dax. Dax is far from beautiful but it is a normal working town so has everything we need in terms of cafes/ bars / shops/ restaurants and facilities. Yes, one of us needs to drive if we go out to eat at night but the trade off for this (which I am more than happy with) is that I have unlimited dog walking from my garden gate.

So horser for courses!


Horses even!

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Bonjour! (1st lesson. ALWAYS say Bonjour). Well. I hope you dont have pets. 40 euros FOR AN APPOINTMENT! Just paid 400 euros for shave and manicure of Kat. Just paid 7 euros for 7 tablets for anti-histamine (they dont work). £1 in Wilko for 30 (they work). Until you get a Carte Vitale get your cheque book out for the GP to get his wallet out (most unseemly) 25 euros. DON’T visit a GP just to register. We did. 25 euros each. That’ll do nicely thank you. 400 euros to mend denture. Peanuts in the UK. Just saying…

Weirdly in a location where anywhere nearby is devoid of public transport, my neighbour (82 years old) has just told me that at 2 stops either side of us there used to be a bus every day. It ran through from 2 towns North of us and continued South of us through other towns down to Cahors both directions each day

There’s been no sign of bus stops anywhere near us for the 28 years we’ve had the property. If anything there are more people here now than there were when it was running. If it still ran I’d be on that bus out and back at least 2 days a week.

So I’m wondering why bus services which would stop so many being isolated especially older people have disappeared when it seems we now have more people not less

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Me too and always more than paid for.

Our nearest bus service is 15 kms away, but then you could go anywhere in the Dordogne for 1 euro, or was it 10? Don’t know, never used it but my son did years ago when returning home via train. Car to Brantome, bus to Angouleme, high speed to Paris and beyond.

Couldn’t agree more Cat. You have described our local town to a T! We are 10 minutes drive from it. It’s true we need to drive further to find really special restaurants - just come back from a Michelin star place 45 minutes away - but great for the day to day stuff and yet we are right in the country.

Last night we went to a meeting the Mayor invited everyone to in order to inform us all what the Mairie and the local Intercom service were doing and planning to do. The bits I understood were highly informative and one of the items mentioned was the intended purchase of minibus(es) to serve the teeny outlying hamlets so that everyone can get into the main town if they need to do things like talk about their taxes or get to the Mairie or whatever. Not a leisure facility BUT it was clear that the Mairie was trying to facilitate access to things generally and I was quite impressed. The main town in the canton has pretty well everything including a brilliant cinema and (as mentioned elsewhere) “spectacles” provided in the winter to stop the “Normandy grey” getting to everyone.

It seemed that they were trying to reverse the trend of rural isolation, which is no bad thing in this day and age…

PS Most of the meeting was taken up with the discussion of household waste disposal and you wouldn’t believe how fired up people were about such a subject :smiley:


Our new Mayor is so much more proactive than the previous one, but it is difficult when there are only 250 people in a scattered commune.
Two of our neighbours are Conseils and our friend is also a Conseil.
We are going out to dinner with our other friend, the Mayor, and her husband as both our men share the same birthday.
We also had a huge get together for our own 70th birthday.
The rubbish is a hot potato, particularly as we are always being told by SIRTOM not to put wrong things in the bins.
What can you do when your bins are on a Route Touristique and people just want to get rid of their stuff and put it into the nearest bin?
Of course, they are nowhere near the level of plastic recycling as was Stroud, even though we have been here for twelve years.

Why? If you choose to have that sort of cat don’t you do it yourself? The toiletteurs are cheaper.
If you get the vet to do it you aren’t paying for the shaving and manicuring you’re paying for the fact that you’re getting someone who has done 8 years after the Bac in a prépa BCPST and then one of the 4 vet schools and has massive overheads to do something that isn’t basically their job.


Do you not understand how the French health system works?

And as a matter of interest, how much do you think an appointment at the vets should be? Never mind their extensive training as per @vero ´s comment, I presume your vet had things like a building, lighting, heating, staff, telephone lines…

Personally I’ve always found vets to be cheaper here than in the UK but perhaps you are comparing them with those of another country ?


I changed my MT quite recently because my old one retired, and I was charged nothing when I visited the new one to register with him. If you consulted him about something while you were there, there would of course be a consultation fee.
I am sorry but I just have to ask why it is most unseemly for a doctor to get his wallet out, it seems such a strange comment. Do you think doctors should be on a higher plane than the rest of us, and not have anything to do with sordid things like money? or was it unseemly because his wallet was absolutely stuffed with wads of cash that he had fleeced off unsuspecting Brits?

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Our is €1.50 for any journey in the Department, which includes a fast service to TGV station 80km from us. Can’t drive it for that! I used to go back to UK on public transport and just needed someone to get me to bus stop 3 km away. Brilliant, as long as you are not in a hurry….

These days the buses are less frequent, and a couple of routes have been stopped. But we do have a wiggly bus on market days that serves around 10 outlying villages. Reserve the night before, and you will get a time the bus will be close to your door. Unfortunately if you are village No1 on the list you can be on the bus a long while for a relatively short journey - but an opportunity to chat.


Seems like I might have been about right about the €1 fare, it was nearly 20 years ago. But I forgot ask my son if the Dordogne subsidised fare continued over the border to Angouleme station.
The route is Perigueux to Angouleme and of course, as you say, meanders all over the place. 'Cept here :slightly_frowning_face: