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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to retire in the EU preferably France, Portugal or Spain. We are both US citizens. Everything I see looks quite confusing and demanding. Does anyone have their own experience accomplishing without the headaches?
 

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For France, you will need to apply for a "visiteur" visa - which means you'll have to show that you have adequate income (usually from a pension), a place to live and health coverage for (probably) the first year in France. Check the website of your local French consulate - depending where in California you live, either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

I suspect the requirements for Spain and Portugal are similar - though as I understand it, the health insurance requirement can be a bit tougher in Spain, where you don't have quite the same option to enroll in the national system.

As for the rest, it depends on just which "headaches" you are looking to avoid.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I would like to retire in the EU preferably France, Portugal or Spain. We are both US citizens. Everything I see looks quite confusing and demanding. Does anyone have their own experience accomplishing without the headaches?

Hi cruises.
You're bound to have some headaches, it's best to do your homework and start learning french.

I'm retired and will make the move early 2018.

I would approach this as if I'm putting a puzzle together, take your time, and do your homework and preuse the search function, and ask questions.

You didn't say where in California you live, I'm in northern Ca and will apply at the SanFrancisco Consulate.


Links to Los Angeles and SanFrancisco Consulates.


https://losangeles.consulfrance.org/spip.php?article799

https://sanfrancisco.consulfrance.org/spip.php?rubrique806

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Two questions please

1. Once you get the visituer visa can you eventually get into the health care system so I could drop the expensive insurance that i am being quoted.

2. I am on Medicare. I totally understand that it is not accepted but my secondary insurance in their “Evidence of Coverage” says that I am covered for hospital and health clinic for emergencies worldwide. Is the health coverage still required. Sounds like double dipping. If an emergency occured I would return to the US for treatment.

I am in the San Diego area
 

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...1. Once you get the visituer visa can you eventually get into the health care system so I could drop the expensive insurance that i am being quoted.
One can apply for insurance from France once one establishes residence. Once you’ve applied, it can take 3 - 6 months or longer to receive coverage. The coverage will cost you approximately 8% of your worldwide income over $9,500 / year. Once you have this coverage, you can drop your US coverage if you choose to do so.

...2. I am on Medicare. I totally understand that it is not accepted but my secondary insurance in their “Evidence of Coverage” says that I am covered for hospital and health clinic for emergencies worldwide. Is the health coverage still required. Sounds like double dipping. If an emergency occured I would return to the US for treatment....
The purpose of having health coverage for the first year is in case one has a health problem whose treatment cost exceeds what one can pay and/or that is sufficiently grave that one cannot fly to the US for treatment.

If your Medicare or Medicare Supplemental insurance specifies that it will pay for your treatment in France, it will likely be accepted as meeting the requirements. Some Medicare Supplemental Insurance, such as Blue Cross, does cover treatment abroad. However, Blue Cross Medicare Supplemental Insurance doesn’t offer international treatment coverage in all states.

In our state, Blue Cross did cover treatment abroad. I printed all of the appropriate text from the policy and the Blue Cross website regarding international treatment (including that France was one of the countries included). The website also allowed one to search for doctors and hospitals in France, which I did. I printed lists of the doctors and hospitals from our region, as well. I presented all of that to our Consulate in the US when we applied for our Visa de Longue Sejour. It was accepted.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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It can depend on the nature of your "overseas" cover - I think most consulates will require you to have more than "just" emergency cover. It used to be that you needed health insurance "equivalent to" the national health plan, but that may very well have changed.

Officially, you can apply for the French system once you have been living in France for at least 3 months - however, as Ray says, the process of signing up can take "several" months after that. You'll be assessed a percentage of your worldwide income (less a platform amount) for the national cover - but don't forget that you'll probably need a mutuelle (a "top up" insurance) to handle the medical costs the national plan doesn't reimburse. (Generally speaking about 30% of most regular type charges, plus any "excess" where you see a private doctor or get treated in a private facility that charges over and above the state-mandated fees.)

While you may plan to return to the US for any treatment, don't forget that in some emergencies there won't be the time to get back there (e.g. appendicitis, for example), and consider, too, the cost of "medical evacuation" if it's not included in your insurance coverage.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I would like to retire in the EU preferably France, Portugal or Spain. We are both US citizens. Everything I see looks quite confusing and demanding. Does anyone have their own experience accomplishing without the headaches?
Are either of you the child or grandchild of someone born in Ireland, Italy or Poland? If so it's not that difficult to get citizenship from one of them and if at least one of you is an EU citizen you're free to stay in France, Portugal or Spain. The other person gets to stay as the spouse of an EU citizen.
 

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Are either of you the child or grandchild of someone born in Ireland, Italy or Poland? If so it's not that difficult to get citizenship from one of them and if at least one of you is an EU citizen you're free to stay in France, Portugal or Spain. The other person gets to stay as the spouse of an EU citizen.
Ah, the old "Irish grandmother" ploy! One (small) caveat, though - even if you succeed in getting Irish, Italian or Polish nationality, you still need to show that you both have health insurance cover when you go to register the non-EU partner in France. (And that has to be done within 3 months of your arrival - i.e. before you're eligible to apply for the French system.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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