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Hi we intend to move to France after we've finishing doing up our house and renting it out, Britain is getting so overcrowded and we plan to retire there. Any advice on the best areas - not too hot but nice and warm would be good. We've been to the Limosin but found it a bit quiet and have a holiday booked for the West coast in September. :plane:
 

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Just be advised that Life in France as an expat can be very different from what you may have experienced while on holiday. I suppose the first question to ask is: how good is your French?

Despite all the queries we get here in the forum, it is not always possible to find English speaking professionals in France. Even though many professionals have studied English in school, they often haven't kept up with it and will not voluntarily speak English with a patient, client or customer. I live about 30 km from Paris, and there are no doctors in the area who admit to speaking enough English to treat you in English. If you make an effort with them, they'll dredge up what they remember of their school English, but there are no guarantees.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi we intend to move to France after we've finishing doing up our house and renting it out, Britain is getting so overcrowded and we plan to retire there. Any advice on the best areas - not too hot but nice and warm would be good. We've been to the Limosin but found it a bit quiet and have a holiday booked for the West coast in September. :plane:
As far as 'not too hot' is concerned, what is your version of 'too hot'? Note that this year we are experiencing an extremely hot summer in France, so there are no guarantees that wherever you choose to live it will not at some point be too hot for you.

And you say you are looking for somewhere 'nice and warm' - do you mean all year round?

BTW Normandie actually usually has among the most moderate temps in France.

Also bear in mind that most places, especially those on the coast, are much quieter in winter. Some of those areas that attract summer tourists are virtual ghost towns in winter. Once you think you've decided on a suitable place to retire, I strongly advise you to also visit in the depths of winter and the height of the summer holiday period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A good idea of yours Everhopeful to go and see what a place is like in both winter and summer.
Bev - our French is as you suggested just a smattering but we have every intentions of joining a French class which will help with intregation.
 

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I think you need to consider what sort of reirement you want and what you want to do eg do you want to be self sufficient and keep a few animals are you sporty gregarious cultural or just want a quiet life.
Once you have decided on your lifestyle then look at areas that fit.For example from what you say perhaps Morbihan in Brittany could fit as it is warmed by the Gulf Stream.And whatever you do learn French as well as you can and take your time over choosing your house.There are thousands out there .Bonne Chance
 

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Bev - our French is as you suggested just a smattering but we have every intentions of joining a French class which will help with intregation.
With respect, you need to be taking French classes now. You should check them out today and enroll tomorrow. If you arrive in France to live with no French, your lives will be far more difficult than should be the case.
 

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With respect, you need to be taking French classes now. You should check them out today and enroll tomorrow. If you arrive in France to live with no French, your lives will be far more difficult than should be the case.
Obviously there appears to be on this site which I joined hoping it would be 'friendly' as well as informative a lot of unpleasant bossy people - I won't bother posting again, not into the witches with broomsticks brigade - and - with respect you know where you can put them.
 

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Frankly, I'm astonished by your response. I was trying to help you prepare, as was each other poster. It's up to you whether you stick around or not, but I encourage you to do so. What kind of responses did you want/expect?

Do you in fact disagree with what I said?
 

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Jan, I hope you'll reconsider. On just about any online site like this, you'll find some folks who are only too willing to be friendly and helpful. But many of us have run into difficulties on arrival - in France or elsewhere - and are trying to help others avoid some of the mistakes we may have made.

Not knowing the language and thinking you'll "pick it up" when you get here can ruin otherwise perfectly good plans. (Or else it's a reflection on the person offering the advice - perhaps the big stumbling block they ran into.)

You haven't given us much to go on as far as recommending specific localities. "Warm" "nice" and uncrowded (by implication) is kind of vague. Are you looking to live in the countryside? Or do you want to be able to walk to local shops and activities?
Cheers,
Bev
 

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With respect, you need to be taking French classes now. You should check them out today and enroll tomorrow. If you arrive in France to live with no French, your lives will be far more difficult than should be the case.
Although that is true, I seriously doubt that the hoards of Brits, Americans, Canadians or other non-French nationalities moving in here are all fluent in the language when they get off the plane .

If you have your own resources and do not intend relying on the French job market, you can very well start learning the language at leisure once you settle in.

I think Jan will be more disappointed if he is thinking that France is not as overcrowded. It is probably as bad as other places, unless Jan chooses to live in a really small village or in some wood in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Obviously there appears to be on this site which I joined hoping it would be 'friendly' as well as informative a lot of unpleasant bossy people - I won't bother posting again, not into the witches with broomsticks brigade - and - with respect you know where you can put them.
I perhaps didn't take Bellthorpe's post the way you apparently did, but rather as advice to start improving your French sooner rather than later. I agree that it would make your life here much easier and I also think that getting by in France language-wise as a tourist is very different to getting by as a tourist. Then again, everyone has their own interpretation of what "a smattering" means, plus the chances are that during your school years one or both of you had the opportunity to learn French, which may have since become rusty but which may (or may not) be relatively easy to bring back up to a reasonable standard.

Unless you have people who are willing to assist you every step of the way, even as a EU citizens you will find that there are important day-to-day living issues for which you need at least a conversational level of French, eg. dealing with electricians and other tradesmen (just an example). That said, it's harder for non-EU citizens who repeatedly and endlessly have to deal with carte de sejour issues.

I would say that generally advice to learn/improve French is well-intended and should not be taken amiss.

Hope this sets your mind at ease a little.
 

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'you can take the boy out of Sarf London, but you can't take Sarf London outta the boy'
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Blimey, and she aint even encountered smeggy yet. Probably better off out than in.....
 

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Speaking from experience, living in a rural farming community is hard going. The culture is very different and our French is passable, but not great. It's important, in my opinion, to think about whether you'd like to be around other international people. We are actually selling our lovely house to move somewhere more international. We love living in France despite that and we didn't want to return to the UK. Our French is getting better all the time, but it takes a long while to become fluent. It can't be that bad because we managed to order a new kitchen and have a baby!
Please kep using this site - it's really helpful.

Yes, Smeg is very blunt!!
 

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Each contributor to this forum has his/her own experience, knowledge, origins, age and personality. Seems to me this is what makes it valuable: to each question (often vague) asked, there are usually many varied and sometimes contradictory responses – it’s up to the posters to sort out what is useful to them and discard the rest.

Sometimes the answers are blunt and direct, but everyone is trying to be helpful.

It would be a pity if the forum was reduced to a “FAQ” type of questions/replies way of operating because all the individuals that are involved at any given time make it interesting and rich.
 

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Well I have lived in 2 different EU countries and I can say that I see Ex pats Brits making the same mistakes over and over again.The first is failing to define what they want out of their move and the type of retirement they want.Retiring and moving country are two big things in your life so you need to think about it.The second is failing to learn the language to a resonable level.Now not everyone is a linguist but I think everyone with some effort on their part can learn a language enough so as to get by.All bureaucracy in France is conducted in French as it is governed by French law and procedures so you need to be able to understand what is being said.Without workable French expats existence can be very frustrating and even if they stick to an expat enclave they will miss out on so much.Now obviously JanB does not wish to benefit from my or others experience or advice so obviously I will not bother giving it
 

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People on this thread seem a little tetchy - maybe it's the heat.

Comments about the language were made early on, we don't know the OP's circumstances, and in any case people make their decisions for all sorts of reasons.

Time to drop the language discussion IMHO - no need to flog it to death. It was in any case an aside to the OP's question.
 

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OP's question was pretty darn vague - basically any nice, not to hot areas in France? And not too crowded. France is a pretty good sized country, so, the basic answer is - YES. Seems like he/she is from the UK, so he/she wont' have to worry or mess with all the immigration issues us non-EU folks have to deal with. Heck, there are some nice, not too hot areas in Germany, Italy, Greece, etc. I'd recommend he/she sit down and do some homework, or at least post a little more what he/she is looking for. I'm always impressed by the patience and niceness of posters on this site, particularly with OPs who are tossing a bait-less hook in the water.
 

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It looks to me as though we've scared off the OP. Maybe it's time to reconsider our tactics.

Yes, newbies on the forum have a tendency to ask rather vague questions. I'm sure most of us "old hands" did in our early on-line days, too. The point is that those of us who have been around for a while should try to draw them out rather than run them off altogether.

The language issue, as well as the visa issue and several others are valid things to raise. But once the issue has been raised, maybe it's time to drop it until and unless the OP asks about it. Same goes for the matter of whether or not to seek out other anglophone expats. Mention that it might not be a good idea (isolating, not getting the "true" French experience, etc.), but then let them decide what they want to do for themselves. Some people are perfectly happy living amongst people of their own kind and ordering their British groceries over the Internet from whatever "back home" grocer they prefer.

They come here asking for advice - but nothing says they have to take any advice they get.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi there

Can i be helpful about the language learning and suggest some good sites -

google 'coffee break French' a good wee conversational podcast
try www.languagesonline.org - lots of interactive exercises
have a look at the BBC languages site - lots of good interactive and conversational stuff there

Good luck with it all (if OP is still there). It's nice to give people the benefit of our experience but folk need to follow their own path - stop being so crabbit everyone! If the heat is bothering you we have about 10 degrees and pouring rain in the Lothians if you feel like a visit!

Chica
 
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