Retirement living standards in france

Also the 25€ is refunded by the state (if you are in the system) and a Mutuelle (if you have one) so it’s not exactly like you are springing 25€ out of your own pocket.


Well you do pay into health-service elsewhere! (Or have paid during working years…)

It is now €2 on the trans Perigord buses. However if you buy a 10 pass much cheaper. My son gets the 12-28 years tickets. €8 for 10 and he can ride for 2 hours, so if he needed to get to say Nontron, he can catch the bus north to Perigueux and then change all for 80c!!! Seniors are similar.

We were gutted that we found out about the stop just 7kms from us about a month before he finished college as the amount of times we had to run him in (a good 40 minutes each way with peak hour traffic) when he’d missed the bus etc!!! He now uses it every week as he goes in to see his GF.

Retirement living standards in France… hmm… been pondering on this.

Here we are in rural France… finally retired although not on full pensions… thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
Eating well, drinking well… our health blips dealt with swiftly and with style…
As quiet or as busy as we want to be… and sometimes almost too busy when activities/interests overlap…

So, what are the “standards” … impossible to say, but whatever they are, we’ve no complaints.


This is also what my wife and I had in mind when we chose Roumazieres-Loubert (16270).

We had a real struggle trying to find a 4/5 bed house with over half an acre of garden in the middle of a town. At the end of our searches we could only find 2. The one we have now, and one in Civray. Very glad that almost everything is a 5/10 minute walk.

We were just thinking how lucky we were to be living in France.

I can’t imagine that I would be having a regular six month scan on my lungs in UK just now.

One thing that would benefit from an injection of cash is the Urgence in Macon Centre Hospitalier. It is appalling and all the other parts of the hospital are now newer and brighter, including some rather unnecessary, but nevertheless rainbow colours on the new Out Patients Department.

Partly due to French government intervention, not something likely to happen in the UK with the current government’s laissez-faire approach to market regulation. There is an annual meeting between agricultural producers, agri-food partners (i.e. the industrial businesses that transform food), and distributors (i.e. supermarkets) to attempt to ensure fair pricing for the agricultural producers. If the government feels that the large industrialists and distributors are moving things out of kilter, it will potentially intervene to regulate the market:

Is it me, or do others think there is a bit of failure-to-adjust-to-French-culture on display in this thread? If things don’t work just like they do in the UK, they’re ‘unseemly’!

The idea that people would move back to the UK because there’s little to do where they live here, and want to ‘actually have a choice of where to eat out’, is surely absurd? Who moves to another country for such reasons (as opposed to simply moving to somewhere in their own country where there is lots to do - and lots of restaurants). My guess is that they have other reasons for going back to the UK - such as their own failure to adjust to life in France - but like to tell themselves it’s all France’s fault.

As a matter of fact, France has more restaurants than any other European country - and nearly twice as many as the UK! And don’t even get me started on their relative quality!


Oh heavens Geof! You have no idea what a little paradise your part of France is!
Our part of France - no way do our local restaurants compare with the variety / inventiveness and sheer creativity of restaurant eating in the UK these days. Round here - duck, duck and more duck, then if you really don’t like duck you might be lucky and get salmon.
Yes, of course, we’ve found some lovely restaurants - we were at a Michelin Star one in Agen yesterday. But ordinary run of the mill restaurants with their “menu” - give me UK cuisine any time!

:rofl::joy: Are you in the Gers? Holiday with my non-meating OH was a bit complex at times. I found it difficult too, and I like duck!!

Lot et Garonne (just as bad). We too liked duck and for the first few weeks thought it was lovely. 14 years on - not had duck in a restaurant in years! Also, I hate the fact that these huge slabs of duck breast are a by-product of the foie gras industry.

From experience, we mostly choose to eat where the “workers” eat (affectionately labelled “little white van folk”).

We found so many wonderful resto’s through following their example over the years… and even if we didn’t know just what we were eating… it was an adventure which rarely failed to thrill.

quite often the premises might seem dingy, but always clean and with an excellent menu de jour…

Geof’s comments are a follow-on from what I’ve said about several couples we know who’ve recently moved back. These aren’t recent arrivals but people who have been here for 20 years or more who have simply decided that in their ‘twilight’ years they would prefer to be within walking distance (or a short bus ride) from shops, bars and restaurants and services such as doctors and dentists rather than drive which they would have to do if they stayed here, is that so wrong?

Not everyone who moves here falls madly in the love with the country, it’s people and it’s culture, does that really mean you’ve ‘failed to adjust’ though if you stay 20 plus years?

As for restaurants, we’ve always found eating at lunchtime superb value but the places that are open usually only cater for workers so the food tends to be ‘rustic’ rather than high quality. I also don’t think you can really compare eating out here with the UK as France doesn’t have the likes of a Wetherspoons or the various other chains nor country pubs.

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You are quite right… you really can’t compare the 2 countries when talking about eating-out… almost chalk and cheese. :rofl:

I do agree that folk vary a great deal in how they envisage their later years…
Having witnessed Care in UK and Care here in France… I am happy to stay here…
since we know how things work locally and that will suit us just fine.
It doesn’t suit everyone… fair enough.

I think the other issue is that as we age we eat less and less meat. Rural France, despite all the wonderful potagers does not serve non-meat eaters well.
Also, I think there are those who enjoy the lunchtime fixed price menu for its value. We long ago decided it was a certain way of putting on weight and preferred to eat more simply at home, saving our rare restaurant visits for something more special or (at the other end) a quick cheap crepe if we couldn’t bother to cook.
We badly miss a really good curry and yes we can make our own but it’s such a faff and then there’s the washing up! We were fortunate in the UK that we lived near some wonderful curry restaurants way out in the sticks.

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Slightly off-topic… one of the best menu de jour we ever had was in Spain.
Using our white-van thinking we entered what seemed like a garage/storage building.

Long trestle tables with benches.
Workmen shoulder to shoulder… chatting and laughing.
They made room for us and our toddler (making a great fuss of her) and we eat the most delicious food.
No pomp and ceremony, just good wholesome food washed down with copious carafes of wine…

Some 2+ hours later we crawled out having paid the equivalent £3 a head (child eat for free).
We dozed in the carpark for a while, before feeling brave enough to drive on.

The workers, obviously used to this daily-routine, slapped one another on the back and went their various ways.

Personally I agree with Geoff. When in Rome etc. Moving here and watching BBC TV etc. Not expanding their language skills. My French is far from perfect but it was good enough for my dossier to be marked Bilingual at CDS interview. I arrived with only hello, goodbye and thankyou. Mini rant over. Eating out we only rarely do, trips out etc. But we refuse to eat at places who serve cuisine nouveau. A lump of something in the middle of the plate fancied up and a pretty pattern of sauce round the edge. We visit places like Stella. Greasy spoons. Perhaps we are just not gourmet enough.

Why does that matter?

Do you think the 160000 French living in the UK only watch Corrie now? :grinning:

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steady on old chap… nowadays, many of the workers’ eateries have showers where the workforce can freshen up before sitting down to eat… :wink: :+1:

Menu de jour has caught on over the years and the quality is not across the board… which is why we use the workforce as our guide… they don’t bother with low-quality stuff…
EDIT: actually it’s not fair to talk about “low-quality stuff”… it’s just that in some places they seem to make the menu de jour out of what they think will attract foreigners/tourists , thus it is not always to the standards we have come to expect.

I don’t think there’s any right or wrong about it - it’s a personal choice. The mystery is not moral but logistical: why they think they can’t find what they want in a country like France - which has more restaurants and doctors and dentists than the UK - but instead feel they have to move to a whole other country, with (objectively) less chance of finding what they want.

If they want all these services within walking distance they will need to live in a large village or small town here - but almost certainly a rather bigger town in the UK.