Many Brits have retired in France. The country is extremely popular with the Brits because of its close proximity to England. France is separated from England by the English Channel. Paris is the most populous city in France and also the capital, there is a large community of British expats in Paris, as a result The Cote d’Azur is an Anglophone or English speaking area, as well as Aix en Provence with many British expats residing there.
Similarly there are numerous Brits in Normandy probably, due to its close proximity to the southern English coast. From Stonehenge, London you can journey down to Portsmouth and board a ferry which is about 6 hours to Caen, Normandy.
Many retirees also enjoy the quality of life in Brittany, France. The area is serene and devoid of the hustle and bustle experienced in London. Many claim life in France is less stressful than that of the UK, nagging issues like: traffic, crowds, limited space etc. are rarely experienced especially at the countryside.
Many old retirees claim they feel safe at night and enjoy a close knit support with their local community in France. Having said that, the most frequent problem Brits encounter in France is usually the language.
The official language and the most used language for the large majority of citizens, is French. However, there are many regional languages across France which includes: Breton, Catalan, Basque, Occitan, and on the island of Corsica, Corse (or Corsican).
If your language skills are not up to conversation standards yet, there are many institutions you can enrol in to learn the language, likewise you can hire an interpreter who will help you liaise with people, write and type in French etc. for a fee.
As a British citizen you do not require any visa to live and work in France, as both countries are both European Union member states, however for visits up to three months you need a passport that will be valid for the whole duration of your stay.
It is important you sort out your finances before relocating to France and do your homework before leaving, in as much as you have contributed significantly to your national insurance you can claim your UK state pension anywhere in France because France is an EEA country, your pension will increase each year in accordance with pensions paid in the UK.
How should Brits in France tend to their social pensions? If you are in receipt of any UK benefits, contact the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and find out if it’s possible to claim them in France. It is imperative you enquire before setting off in order not be disappointed especially if your pension is your only source of income.
Also, before choosing retirement in france for uk citizens visit your choice properties in order to ascertain whether you will need to adapt it to your needs especially if you are disabled; also visit the properties at different seasons like summer and winter to have a feel of what the area is like at different times, for instance during summer some areas may be populated due to tourists.
If you want to enjoy retirement in France – get a free quotation for a removal to France.
Contribution by Michael Pawlicki
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