replied to the thread Living in the South of France after retirement
on the France forum on July 01, 2015:
How difficult is it to get a permanent visa to retire in France?
If you're a retired American (or Canadian, Australian, etc.), it's relatively easy to get a one-year stay visa for France. Check with your nearest French consulate for the list of documents you'll need to provide when making the request, as each consulate seems to do things differently. In general, however, you just need to prove you have sufficient income to live for a year without working (the minimum is approximately 31,000 euros), that you have health coverage in France, and that you have an address (this can be the trickiest part). Once you're here and have made France your permanent residence, you can easily renew your visa each year and eventually request a resident card that's valid 10 years (and renewable).
replied to the thread Retirement to South France
on the France forum on June 29, 2015:
We're just beginning to explore retirement overseas and France is most intriguing, along with Spain and Italy. My biggest initial concern is with continuing to receive my Social Security benefits and healthcare. What can you tell me?
Love France lived n Paris
N 70s. Where do u live
N what r ur monthly costs
My understanding is that Americans cannot buy into the French healthcare system. Has this changed in the last year?
Check AARO for their insurance rates for Americans.
replied to the thread Pregnant and Moving to France
on the France forum:
I am an American, 10 weeks pregnant living in the UK currently with dual US/UK citizenship. As my family is in the US and my partner's family is in France, we have no one in the UK really but each other, so we've decided we want to move to be closer to family and France is the most logical choice as neither of us have to get a visa to settle there.
We are considering moving to the south east of France, preferrably within 2 hours drive of Beziers but we aren't 100% on where. We are both in IT, with me being a system admin and my partner being a senior java engineer. We've seen there's a technology hub around Sophia Antipolis which may be a bit far from where we're looking, but we may consider it if that's where the jobs are and it pays well enough.
There are a few worries and uncertainties for us, which can be summed up in the following:
1. We have a mortgage on our current house, we know it's possible to sell at a small profit (though possibly not to the full extent of our initial downpayment on the house), but we're not sure when, and if we should sell before securing employment or purchasing a house in France. If we did this, we would downsize our belongings and rent until we found something, but would it make more sense to sell our house after we've already confirmed employment and housing in France and just move straight across? We live in a big city with a housing crisis already, so I do not doubt we will be able to take our house from advertising to completion within a few months, but there is the worry of needing to get everything done in time so that we do not end up spending or wasting excess money. Our budget will be tight and all money from our house here will go into moving and purchasing a place in France.
2. Is it sensible to make this move before or after the baby comes? I worry about setting up French antenatal care, I have been learning French for the past year but I would still not be able to arrange these appointments myself in French, though my partner or a relative potentially could. At the same time though, is there any sense in sitting around waiting for 3 months? If I give birth here, it will just be my partner and I raising the baby, to have his family nearby for moral support would be far more preferred.
3. Are there any limitations for me as a dual UK/US citizen that would prevent me from settling in France? My partner and I are unmarried and it may be a couple of years before we can do so, but with my UK citienship I should currently be allowed under EU law to come and go freely in the EU.
Any advice on any or all of these points would be deeply appreciated!
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Wanting to have family close is understandable and wise, IMHO, but I think the biggest challenge you will face is finding well-paid work in France, especially near Béziers. There are a lot of techies and remote IT workers, but they don't earn much. We moved down to Montpellier from Paris 5 years ago, but I was able to work remotely with my int'l American company, and my husband (a Network Architect) eventually had to take a pay cut (in half!) to get a local job. Housing is much cheaper than Paris, as is the overall cost of living, but your budget has to be scalable (ie., not too many fixed costs).
As for having the baby here, it's definitely doable. I'm American and had both my babies in Paris - in fact there is a wonderful support group for English-speaking mothers (to-be) called MESSAGE, which provides antenatal courses, breast-feeding supporters, and all sorts of other resources. Around Montpellier, there are women's groups too (I started Long Duck Ladies on FB), but they aren't as organized as MESSAGE.
One idea might be to relocate to Paris in a first step. The TGV goes to Montpellier and Béziers several times per day, and there are regular flights.
Yes, you're right that your UK citizenship covers you for working and traveling anywhere in the EU.
If you decide to come down this way, send me a message and I'll hook you up with a group of English-speaking women!
Best of luck,
replied to the thread Near St. Girons (near Toulouse)
on the France forum:
We are living near St. Girons about an hour south of Toulouse. We are interested in keeping abreast of happenings in the region, especially with regard to swing/tango dance, and leisure hiking/biking. Thank you!
Please give my husband Allan a call at 0561 966753 (0033 561 966 753 from outside France). We are home next 24 hours then away for a few days. Or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
I am interested in your rental barn. We would be renting in France in October and November.
replied to the thread Moving to France
on the France forum:
I'm a 59 year old retired male looking at the possibilities on retiring in France. I've done some research and it seems the suggestion is to settle in Paris or the Languedoc region. I don't know if that is correct, but I'm open to any tips about making the transition. I'm single, on a fixed income (about $3000 per month).
Very true! and it seems that each French consulate in the US does things a little differently, so definitely query the people who you'll eventually be dealing with. It doesn't hurt to look for complementary information on your own, but you should confirm it with the officials whenever possible.
Rather than ask people who don't really know the answer ask your nearest French consul.
They have the most up to date information. I expect each case is different, so a generic answer could set you on the wrong path. You won't want to do that ,easier to get the right information first and get every scrap of paperwork they want. Every mistake could set you back months.
replied most recently with:
Would like to know a little more about Moulins if you don't mind. How is cost of living there? Housing, a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, can you live on a SS check? Obviously that depends on how much but can you live there for $1500 a month. Would love to hear about the winters, how close are you to snow/skiing. Are the summers hot or mild? Are there supermarkets stocked with the normal things we have in the US? Are there inside shopping mall away from the elements, cafes and restaurants in the medium range? Good health care providers (doctors and hospital in case of serious emergencies). It sounds like a nice place and would love to hear from you. Thanks in advance.
I live in Moulins and would LOVE to join this English Club, I live in the countryside and it has been so difficult to find and build a community. Please give me more information!