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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bonjour,

My husband is French and would like to move back to France. We have two children under 4 years old and will be doing school by correspondance via a recognized French correspondance school. However, we have not been in France for five years, almost six. Most of the jobs my husband is looking at average out at $40-45kEuros/year brut. If we live in Yvelines, IDF, on just that salary will that be enough?

This will of course be a major factor in whether or not we can return to France.

Merci beaucoup!
Amanda
 

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It depends on just how you want to live, but I can assure you there are loads of folks living on less than €40-45K a year and doing just fine. In Yvelines, you may have to pick and choose your area - Versailles can be expensive, but there are lots of other towns, including some newly built up areas that might be of interest.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It depends on just how you want to live, but I can assure you there are loads of folks living on less than €40-45K a year and doing just fine. In Yvelines, you may have to pick and choose your area - Versailles can be expensive, but there are lots of other towns, including some newly built up areas that might be of interest.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks a lot Bev, for the information. Would you or anyone else happen to have a sample budget for a lifestyle that allows for minimal travel within France via train and very little "fun" extras? I am trying to get a feel for what groceries, insurances for home and supplemental to health cost. Can we easily purchase things online like we can in the States to save money?
Realistically for a family four how much income tax is paid? I just don't want to move back and we can never buy clothes or get our hair cut or eat out once per month. We have one child in diapers still but will have to pay medication for the kids monthly which I think the system can help with.

Thanks for helping us with this!!!
Amanda
 

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We get lots of folks asking for budget specifics, and to be honest, it's a really tough question to answer in anything other than general terms.

Figure on about 20 - 25% of your gross salary being withheld for cotisations (social insurances) - I'm assuming that you're coming from the US. That takes care of your health insurance for the entire family. (Most employers will have a mutuelle of some sort.) If the medications for your kids are prescription, that's covered.

Cost of food is said to be a bit higher in France than in the US, though that also kind of depends on your tastes. Buying all your meat from the local butcher and all your produce at the local marché will run you a bit more than if you're currently buying your groceries at the discount supermarket in the US. But for one thing, there is simply less junk food here - so another savings. Wine, on the other hand, is much cheaper (for better quality) than in the US.

Most non-food goods run about 20% more than in the US due to the TVA (VAT, for anyone lurking). Figure that France gets most of its revenue to run the government from TVA and not from income tax.

How much you pay in income taxes can depend quite a bit on how your household is set up (investments, savings, any sources of income other than salary), but with 2 children, you should be taxed based on 3 parts (i.e. one each for you and your husband, plus one-half each for the kids). I'd guess you'd pay something less in tax than you currently do in the US, with the VAT making up the difference paid on your purchases.

Then there are various benefits to living in France - allocation familiale, for one (though my understanding is that it is now income based), employer subsidy of a public transit pass, activities and sports for the kids run by the local town government, maternelle and/or halte garderie to watch over the kids and give Mom a regular day(s) off.

Just a few examples of how prices vary. And of course you can certainly buy things online, though it normally works best to buy from within the EU rather than paying for shipment from the US or Canada.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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45K euros seem to be limited considering social contributions to be deducted (25%). You will not pay income taxes or very little, with 4 children.
45K euros gross are about 2800 euros a month net 933750 a year) which is extremely tight in Paris with uncountable occasions of spending. You will be fully eligible to prestations familiales (family social security benefits) for around 600 euros monthly making it 3400 euros if the contract is France based. If you pay for distance schooling for instance, this will come down.

Living in and around Paris is the most expansive in France, food and clothing are expensive, heating and accommodation are expensive, transportation not cheap. As someone wrote, only wine is cheaper than in the US (and better). Remember that children under the age of 4 travel for free in public transport (with a ticket though) and families with 3 or more children are eligible 30 to 75% discount on the French railway systems and some shops, cinemas, theatres . Apply for carte de famille nombreuse at sncf.fr

It is feasable though as Bev rightly indicated if you do not pay a high rent. Since you kids are small you can live in a village where rents could be around 750-800-900 euros for a nice little house with a garden. But heating the house in winter must be considered and it could range up to 4000 euros a year of diesel or electricity. And you would need to buy a car and insure it, plus feed it. Living in a flat could be less expansive though but a bit more stressing for young children (no space).
 
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