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In retrospect, would you move again to France?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in France, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in France so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!

Christine

Yes.. it's the best decision we ever took. We've been here almost 10 years now and it suits us down to the ground. I should say though that we moved here on retirement and so I can't speak for those who are in the workplace.  I think that group might have a different viewpoint.

Occasionally we've been asked by visitors from the UK if we miss England and have we ever thought of returning? No - and we've never contemplated anything other than staying here.

Thinking about all the 'ifs' and 'buts' in the UK, the one variable that we couldn't control was the £/€ exchange rate. I thought the pound might drift down slowly against the euro but we had enough margin in our finances (I thought!) to allow for that. This theory was put to the test shortly after we moved here when the pound plummeted to almost parity with the euro.  OK, we tightened our belts a little and we managed. (still didn't think about returning - even though if we'd sold our house there and then the exchange rate would have been heavily weighted in our favour if we'd gone back).

We sold up in the UK and came here in a white van with no property here (in at the deep end!). We were very lucky to find our house almost immediately - which was exactly what we wanted - and we signed within 10 days of arriving. We lived in a rented gite for 5 months until the house was ready to move in to.

If I was to make a list of do's and don't's, at the top of the do's list would be: do all your thinking up front - before you make the decision to move here (repeat after me). Try visiting your chosen region out of season.. and if necessary and if possible try living here for a few months to see if the dream matches the reality. Don't skimp on doing your homework.

A very close second on the list would be to ensure that both of you have a workable grasp of French. I can't stress this enough.

If you are dependent upon a sterling income/pension, make sure your finances have a sufficient margin in them to allow for any violent changes in the £/€ exchange rate (especially with that UK referendum looming). Sat in the UK, I found it difficult to quantify how much would be enough to live here? In the end, I made a stab at it and I was pretty close.

Don't's?

There's no shortage of seductively-priced properties on the market.. many of them in 'la France profonde' (ie, buried deep in the countryside). Yes, there might be glorious to-die-for-views (as they say in the property programmes) but how would you manage there day-to-day..? And in winter.. Do you really want to live at the end of a lane with no neighbours? And to have to use the car each time you want a packet of drawing pins? Try not to let yourself be sucked in by the charm of a property without considering the practicalities.. (think: where are the nearest shops, doctor, school, dentist, tax office, hospital etc etc) 

What are the benefits of living in France? We constantly pinch ourselves that we are lucky enough to live here.. we've made more friends than ever before.. and both of us have joined hobby groups, associations and sporting clubs. We've been made very welcome by one and all..

So - all-in-all, our move here worked very well for us. However, all our circumstances are different so, if you're thinking/dreaming/planning about a move here, think very hard about what your priorities are and make a plan; make sure your finances add up and above all - learn French!       

Pip

France is all about tax, tax, and more tax.
10,000 millionaires moved out of France in the 1st quarter of 2016.
We will be joining them.

We are feed up with their politics and their wealth and capital gains taxes.

^you definitely don't belong in France.

No I would have gone to Spain and not here in the Med. Where I was before in the Tarn there was more interior sunshine from the people, while down here there is just a meism culture, gloomy with  deep rooted anxieties, they just don't care.
Not everyone is like that, but in general this is the situation, Montpellier being the exception. This region is very polluted: air, water, and soil and people with asthma or heart disease should avoid it like the devil.

Also looking for a way out of France, but first we must find a country to reside that has good medical care.

French wealth taxes are so unfair.
However, more and more taxes in addition to the wealth tax, capital gains tax and tax on workers will burden only the worker and the retiree.

France is broke as is all of Europe!
France is targeting your money!
The King wants it all!

Most Americans have only savings and no pensions.
To tax our savings is to rip us off on top of everything else done for the banks and our "owners".

Europe has already said that any money in the bank over 100,000 euros will be "bailed in".
In addition, if you deposit money in a European Bank, you will not be allowed to wire transfer it out!
This is the future I want to avoid.

Anyone with capital or brains does not belong in FRANCE.

Good to know. Thank you for your input.

Yes, I would definitely do it again.

I lived in other countries before, but so far France has been the best.

As a citizen I feel protected (No issues related with my rent being increased for no reason and good quality life and food).

French people are not the most friendly in the word. But they are considerated and if you listen enough, they can accept you in their society. It,s not hard to become part of France, the key is to observe, and understand.

Culture is amazing too, they,ve got a lot of festivals, live music concerts and events.

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