France covers a landmass of over 640,000 square kilometres, and in all that space it spans such broad topography that whether you’re looking for retirement on a sun drenched beach, with views of dramatic mountain peaks, in a vibrant city or in the heart of the most gorgeous rolling countryside, you will find a home for yourself in France.
France tops the retirement abroad checklist for many, especially those from the United Kingdom (UK) and European Economic Area (EEA) because for them, retiring to France requires almost nothing in the form of visas and paperwork.
If you herald from North America it’s possible to get a long-stay visa and convert that to residency if you fulfil fairly simple affordability and character criteria.
This means that retiring to France is a real possibility for many of us.
But what stacks up in France’s favour?
A quality of life unsurpassed. You will live in a nation rich in history and culture, famed for its gastronomy, its wine and its inimitably laid back pace of life.
France also has first world infrastructure and healthcare; the latter is affordably accessible for anyone from the UK or EEA in receipt of a state pension. Healthcare in France is also accessible with medical insurance that’s far cheaper than US insurance for those who retire from America for example.
France has excellent international air links. And because of its excellent road and rail infrastructure, nowhere in France is inaccessible whether you want to live in the rural heartlands of Brittany in the north, or overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the south.
French regions favoured for retirement include the Dordogne and Provence, but don’t overlook the Midi Pyrenees or Vercors when conducting your own search for the perfect home in France.
Whilst the Dordogne and Provence are stunning, their desirability has inflated their real estate prices. Whereas if you head to lesser known parts of France such as the Midi Pyrenees or Vercors you can still snap up an absolute bargain of a property in France at rock bottom prices.
Whilst it isn’t considered a low cost or tax favourable place to live, it’s taxation and cost of living rates are no higher that you might face at home, and in many cases retirees living in France find their expenses are far less.
Submerse yourself in the French language and you will assimilate it in no time, and give yourself up to the French way of life to ensure yours is a fabulously relaxed and happy retirement abroad.