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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
My wife and I are getting closer to making the move to France. She has been doing some DD and has not been able to find what the definition is of "proof of adequate income". We will be retiring on Social Security and a moderate nest egg.
Does anyone have a place we can go to see what the French feel is adequate income?
We will be purchasing a house so will not have a mortgage.

Thank you
 

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The French consulates used to post a "minimum" acceptable income on their websites, but that stopped a few years ago. Basically, they want an income adequate for whatever it is you have planned to do while in France, and they want that income to be "reliable" - i.e. from a source like a government or private pension or some other "renewable resource." If you are going to be cutting into your nest egg from the start, you need to have some idea just how far that money will reasonably go.

Generally speaking, you should probably start out with the SMIC (French minimum wage), which is used in France for measuring eligibility for benefits, as well as living requirements. At the moment, the SMIC runs about € 1480 a month. Some consulates like to see the SMIC for each person included in the household or on the visa, but for a retired couple, you can generally get by on somewhat less. If you're close, you may want to run up some sort of a budget in order to show that you have some awareness of the cost of living in France (and it does vary a bit depending on where you are planning on living and how you expect to live).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Turtle,

We just got our visas - SS income only (and a small nest egg). Our SS is less than yours, so I think you will be OK. PM me if you have any questions. Where are you thinking of moving to? We will be in Carcassonne!

Karen (& Gene)
 

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You can PM me too. I'm nowhere in the same life situation as you (I'm not retirement age!) but I got a long stay visitor visa back in 2014 and I could tell you the rumored "figure" for savings minimum, to show them what you have. Thought it (savings) might not matter as much if you can show you'll be getting SS each month, too. I agree with kjohnston that I think you will be fine. If you're selling a house and will have that "nest egg" too I am pretty sure you'll have enough...
 

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As everyone has said, that sounds perfectly adequate. And the fact that it is "steady income" counts for something, too. An added bonus is that, once you're over here and have a bank account established, you can have your US SS direct deposited into your French bank account. It really is a big deal to have an automatic deposit like this coming into your French bank account (for a number of reasons) - and, the US Consulate gets a very good exchange rate each month, due to the amount of $$ they are transferring on a regular basis.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Bev. We have our fingers crossed that the house sale goes quickly. We live on San Juan Island in Washington state, served only by ferry, so it sometimes takes a while for buyers to warm up to the idea of living far from a Walmart.
Is there anyway of knowing the difference in exchange rates of the US Consulate vs. market rate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Carcassonne is a beautiful looking area. I wanted to explore that region, but the wife thinks the weather will be too warm for her. We originally were looking around Monein, but so far have not seen any homes that fit our style. It looks like Dordogne has more of what we want, so are focusing on regions close to it.
We are used to rural areas with some land. A home with open concept is preferable, so the renovated barns seem to move up the list of preferences. Brittany is too far north, although being from a big country and regularly driving from Washington to California, all of the EU seems to be in easy reach.
I would like to PM but do not yet have the clearance to do so from the site administrator. I would like to compare budgets and get some insights into the visa process.
Thank you again for the information.
 

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Thank you Bev. We have our fingers crossed that the house sale goes quickly. We live on San Juan Island in Washington state, served only by ferry, so it sometimes takes a while for buyers to warm up to the idea of living far from a Walmart.
Is there anyway of knowing the difference in exchange rates of the US Consulate vs. market rate?
I'm not sure if it's so much a matter of the difference in exchange rates or if it's just that the Consulate can pretty much transfer at the market rate. Most other forms of exchange transfer involve some level of fees, usually set as a percentage of the transaction amount - a fee on both ends, in many cases (i.e. one by the sending bank, another by the receiving bank).

The Consulate makes a monthly whopping big transfer and then makes the direct deposit to all French accounts as a "local" bank transfer - for which there is no fee by the receiving bank.

At least that's how I understand it to work. I wonder if anyone on the forum here who is receiving US SS in France has checked the amount received against the market exchange rates for the date they receive their benefits to see if they can see a difference.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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