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Hi to all in France.
We are located in Brisbane in Queensland and seriously thinking of joining the aptly described "Ping pong poms" of OZ and relocating back to Europe, we want to be closer to Family and have access to euro culture and particularly better food, and, hopefully, closer to people with a wider world perspective.

We have UK passports and I have a full UK state pension, I love France altho we initially thought of relocating to Spain but after a 3 week visit a month ago we decided against it, too many similarities to Queensland and too many economic problems, despite wonderful people.

Some of the ponderables at the moment are, one, will an income of around 25K-27K euros see us able to live a reasonable lifestyle where we could eat out perhaps once a week , not at a fine restaurant but at least at a town cafe/restaurant and make a couple of trips to the UK each year and run a house with central heating and with one,diesel, car. A modest lifestyle but comfortable one.

The other ponderable is- have I interpretated the posts on this site about health care correctly.
As we have UK nationality, having been born in the UK, with UK passports and I have a UK state pension (my wife is younger than myself), would we be eligible for inclusion in the French health care system albeit at a percentage rate of approx 75%, the remainder having to be covered by insurance.

I would be extremely grateful for any help that contributors can give on these issues and as a general query whether people feel happy with the choice of France as their adopted country and how they feel their choice has worked out in practice.:ranger:
All responses warmly welcomed
 

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Hi to all in France.
We are located in Brisbane in Queensland and seriously thinking of joining the aptly described "Ping pong poms" of OZ and relocating back to Europe, we want to be closer to Family and have access to euro culture and particularly better food, and, hopefully, closer to people with a wider world perspective.

We have UK passports and I have a full UK state pension, I love France altho we initially thought of relocating to Spain but after a 3 week visit a month ago we decided against it, too many similarities to Queensland and too many economic problems, despite wonderful people.

Some of the ponderables at the moment are, one, will an income of around 25K-27K euros see us able to live a reasonable lifestyle where we could eat out perhaps once a week , not at a fine restaurant but at least at a town cafe/restaurant and make a couple of trips to the UK each year and run a house with central heating and with one,diesel, car. A modest lifestyle but comfortable one.

The other ponderable is- have I interpretated the posts on this site about health care correctly.
As we have UK nationality, having been born in the UK, with UK passports and I have a UK state pension (my wife is younger than myself), would we be eligible for inclusion in the French health care system albeit at a percentage rate of approx 75%, the remainder having to be covered by insurance.

I would be extremely grateful for any help that contributors can give on these issues and as a general query whether people feel happy with the choice of France as their adopted country and how they feel their choice has worked out in practice.:ranger:
All responses warmly welcomed
Hi......Your first objective would be to get your Carte Vitales (medical/social security cards) my late mother-in-law moved from the UK to join us in France and got hers, though she paid quite a bit for the "top up" insurance..... I can't really give you a definative answers.....BUT it's essential you get one.

What weather do you like? If you want the sun and a milder winter, then you need to look south where it's more expensive to buy / live. If you want good connections to the UK and aren't worried about the weather, than chose somewhere close to the north or near a airport serviced by a UK or Irish airline.
I live in the haute vienne, right smack in the middle of France....it's been a cold winter and presently raining hard (again).The weather is generally better than the UK though.

On your pension you could live reasonably well and property prices are good. If I was to choose an area....I maybe look at St Junien in the haute vienne or go further south into the Dordogne, say Bergerac, both are close to airports.

bon chance,
Mark
 

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You should do ok with an income of 25-27K euros - depends a bit on your tastes and lifestyle, but plenty of other folks here live quite nicely on that amount.

As for the insurance, you need to check with Newcastle (being American, I don't entirely understand the process but that's the advice the Brits here give). You'll need to get a statement (an S-1, IIRC) of your eligibility for health care benefits in the UK based on your UK pension. Once your UK state pension kicks in, you can use that statement to sign up with the French sécu for health care. The health care will cover both you and your wife as long as you are of pensionable age in the UK.

The top-up insurance in France is called a "mutuelle" and is available through many, many sources, including your bank and most regular insurers, as well as agencies that seem to deal exclusively with mutuelle coverages. (Almost everyone here has a mutuelle, so you can always ask around to see which ones are recommended by friends and neighbors.) Just remember that the French health care system is a reimbursement system - you pay the bill and then are reimbursed by the State and your mutuelle.

France is a country that you have to adapt to. (Think of the Borg from Star Trek: You WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile.) But with the great food and fine wines, that's not always such a terrible price to pay. Be prepared to learn the language if you don't already speak it and accept that fact that some of the laws (especially those concerning inheritance and property) will seem very strange and even outrageous to some extent. There is little to nothing you can do about it except to do as the French do.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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