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Hi everyone. I'm new here. My husband and I are going to retire eventually to France. We both know some French and are taking lessons. We're making trips to France to visit as many different areas as we can. This year, we won a week's stay in Chamonix, so we'll go there for a week's visit. Next year, we'll find another area to visit for a week or two. We're cheap, so it can be done fairly inexpensively.

We still have quite some time until we retire, about 15 yrs, so it isn't happening just yet. We're stuck here in the US for 15 more yrs so that we can get our full pension, which we are estimating to be around $70,000 a year together, plus a little itsy bit from our 451k, and eventually social security, if it even exists by then.

My questions is this - since we have some time until we actually move to France, what should we be doing to prepare ahead of time for the move? We're going to keep taking French lessons via Alliance Francaise, and keep visiting France as often as we are able to afford to do so. We don't have kids and our parents died yrs ago. So there isn't anyone holding us back to the US. We don't care for US television and really aren't too fond of American foods (other than catfish, I admit).

Also, is it possible for my husband, who will be 55 at the time, to get a working visa, or should we just stick with the retirement type visas? He just wanted to keep working, as he is an engineer and can't sit still for long without trying to fix something. We should have the income via our pensions and etc to cover the retirement visas income requirement hopefully and our spoken and reading French is getting better.

Any info would be so helpful. We can start preparing early on and not let it surprise us too much later on.

Thanks!!
 
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15 years to retirement and you are planning from now?? LOL....I like your enthusiasm for France but 15 years from now France may be no different than the US...already if you drive through this country there is a McDonalds at every 10 minutes. If you love France so much then why not figure out a way to move over now?
 

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For your husband to work in France, he would have to have a job offer, with an employer to sponsor his visa application, before he puts in for his visa. The danger with that plan is that (at least under the current rules) you would have to return to the US to re-apply for a retirement visa when he wants to stop working - unless he works long enough to qualify for a carte de residente (usually about 5 years), at which point you'd both have full cartes de residente.

Finding a job that could sponsor him for a visa at age 55 is going to be tough. Probably even 15 years from now.

The best thing you could do right now is to continue working on your French and be sure to force yourselves to use your French when you visit France. As a tourist, it's easy to fall back on all the tourist personnel who speak English. Having to deal in French on a day in day out basis is always alot harder than you thought it would be. So the more practice you can get in, the better.

If you really want to consider moving to France before retirement, use your visits to reconnoitre the job situation (which admittedly could change over the next 15 years).
Cheers,
Bev
 
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