Senior living in France for Kiwis

Happy New Year, all.
I notice that most of the posts with information for seniors comes from and for English folks. Lots of obvious reasons for this, but my husband and I are in the final stages of committing to living in France and leaving the USA where we live. We have dual NZ/US citizenship, but will probably enter France as Kiwis. We are in our mid 60’s and feel we have at least 10-15 year ahead of us to enjoy ‘the good life’ as it were, and ‘all things going well’ we will not have great need of extraordinary health care in that time. Good luck and good management , right?
One of our biggest questions/concerns is this: What happens if one of us needs care in a ‘facility’ of any kind because of Alzheimers/dementia or physical needs? What services are available from the French system, that we might expect? Providing that we are eligible for health coverage I guess we would be provided with the same as any other person? Just what those services are, is the question. I have been unable to find any information on this, anywhere. TIA, if anyone can shed light. I hope I haven’t been too inarticulate on this matter.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your eventual move!

Alzheimers care is available, obviously, and potentially it is good. I have a French friend whose mum suffered from Alzheimers and my friend had no complaints, although she did have to push in order for her mum to receive the latest treatments.

However it’s not state funded. In France it’s the family’s responsibility to fund the costs, ie patient, spouse,and direct ascendants/descendants. That would include any children you have, even if they’re not in France. If that’s not possible, or when it becomes no longer possible, the family’s finances will be scrutinised and if the state agrees they’re not in a position to pay, the bills will be met so that the patient can be looked after but this will be reclaimed from the estate in due course.

It’s different from the UK in that children aren’t legally responsible for paying the costs of their parents’ care in the UK, and I believe part of the estate is left untouched even if the cost of care has not been fully repaid. I don’t suppose any country can afford to fully cover this kind of care.

So basically - if you have kids, this could be an issue for them. If there’s just the two of you, it will be taken care of.

Thanks Anna. It all makes sense. :slight_smile:

Hi Monica,

If coming to retire in France as New Zealanders, you need to address all
questions to the Consular section of the French Embassy in NZ.


Thanks Anna.

Monica, I have friends who moved to France one of whom was a kiwi but not at pensionable age and her husband who had worked in NZ and qualified for a kiwi pension. He was told that his NZ pension would not be payable in France so therefore had to move to the UK to qualify.
Apparently France didn’t have an agreement with NZ regarding pension rights, unlike the UK.

No, France and NZ don’t have any kind of reciprocal arrangements, Peter. We arestill NZ tax payers (and US ones too…gah!) and have an NZ address (and a USA one, gah! lol) so we are obviously terrors for punishment, lol. We didn’t get our UK/EU passports back when we could have done so, in our 20’s, so now we have ‘issues’. Interestingly we can not only get our pension in the UK, but UK and NZ have reciprocal healthcare, which is a bonus, BUT, we don’t want to live in the UK! lol. Oh how much simpler that has the potential to be! We never did do things the simple way, so our future in France just follows this pattern, I guess. As someone on another thread says, ‘It is a process’ and we are prepared to take on the bureaucracy to complete it. Just needed to know if anyone had experience with elders in France. None of us know what the future may bring, but it is always nice to be forewarned:slight_smile: