Living in France

Many Britons dream of living in France; we explore the realities of every aspect of expat life across the Channel

Is France the Best Place to Live Abroad?

France has recently been hitting the headlines for its popularity as a place to holiday, invest in property, retire and just generally consider as a new destination abroad for a new life abroad – but does it really tick all the expat boxes?

France is suddenly topping various charts and surveys, and coming out on top with Britons looking for a place to live, work , retire, pay less tax and holiday abroad.  It’s even appealing from a property point of view as well, if you believe some recent headlines.

So is France really the best place to live abroad at the moment?  It certainly has a great deal in its favour as we will now detail; however, there are certain downsides to this stunning nation that we would be amiss if we failed to highlight too!

If you’re looking to escape Blighty’s gloomy skies and dismal economic outlook, France could be worthy of your consideration – but heed the cons as well as the pros before you make a firm commitment to relocate across the Channel for a new life in France.

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How Hard Can Expat Integration Be?  Focus: Living in Paris

As we continue our mini-series of expats’ integration stories, we hear from one woman who got completely lost in Paris, and who had to abandon her car and take the Metro home proving that settling in and settling down can be tough even if you only pop across the Channel!

How Hard Can Expat Integration Be?  Focus: Living in ParisYesterday we began a new mini-series of articles illustrating how integration abroad can be a challenging experience for all expats – no matter where in the world they live, no matter how long they’ve been an expat for, and no matter whether they speak the local language or not!

If you’re thinking of moving abroad it’s important to know that you may face bumps in the road and hurdles as you inevitably progress towards complete integration – otherwise you may falsely believe it’s all going to be plain sailing.  What’s more, if you’re already living abroad, hopefully it’s in some way nice to know that you’re not alone if you too have faced the odd hiccup in terms of settling in and settling down.

Any relocation brings with it challenges, but often it’s the most unexpected thing which can throw you off course.  We want you to know that you’re really not alone in facing these obstacles – all expats have to go through it, and hopefully it’s ultimately an enriching experience or at least one you can look back on and laugh at!  Today we’re going to hear from an expat living in Paris who thought all was going swimmingly until one day everything seemed to conspire against her!

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Giving You 1 Good Reason to Retire to France

Newly proposed tax changes in France could herald a strong exodus of Britain’s wealthier retirees looking for a lower tax country in which to retire abroad…we look at the facts relating to this tax change and how you could perhaps now live in France and pay no wealth tax on your assets

Giving You 1 Good Reason to Retire to FranceLast week we focused on the positive tax changes afoot in Portugal that are likely to encourage a resurgence in interest in this stunning European nation as a potential place to retire.  However, the Portuguese government aren’t the only ones aware of the fact that they need to do something in order to encourage an inflow of new residents and new capital.

France, an evergreen destination in terms of its huge popularity with Britons as a place to holiday, invest, relocate and retire, has also decided to embark on some significant changes to its taxation systems in a bid to attract new and wealthy residents.

As reported in this week’s The Sunday Times, the French president has come up with a canny way to attract the wealthiest foreign expatriates with a proposed abolishment of wealth tax.  So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for a safer haven to live in (financially speaking), or you’re seeking a more attractively taxed destination for your retirement, read on to discover how this change to France’s tax system could positively affect you.

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Where Are the Best Places to Live in France?

If you’re thinking of moving to live in France, where should you live? A French magazine has reviewed the 96 departments and all the regions and we examine their findings about the best places to live in France.

Where Are the Best Places to Live in France?According to International Living Magazine, there is nowhere better to live in the world than France.  Earlier this year the influential publication examined 194 countries on 9 specific criteria such as culture, climate and crime, and France came out on top – for the fifth year running!  For us Britons that’s fortunate, because France is on our doorstep and it’s therefore an easy country to escape to…

…and considering Britain was placed in 25th by International Living Magazine in terms of the quality of life it offers its citizens, behind countries such as Uruguay and Lithuania, it’s a good thing that we can so easily access beautiful France for a better quality of more affordable life!  However, a more in-depth study of what it’s like to live specifically in France reveals that there is a great deal of difference between the various departments and regions.

So, where are the best places to live in France?  The answer is of course ‘it depends’ – i.e., it depends what you’re looking for from life.  France’s L’Express magazine has taken it upon itself to examine the whole of France based on a range of criteria that determine quality of life, and it’s findings are invaluable if you are thinking of living in France.

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Should You Take Your Car to France?

Are you thinking about starting a brand new life in France? If so, in this report we discuss whether you should take your British car with you and how you go about re-registering it if you decide you’re taking it to France

Should You Take Your Car to France?Expats are an interesting yet unusual breed by and large – with people from very different backgrounds absolutely no more or less likely to want to move to live abroad and get away from the UK.  It seems that anyone and everyone has reasons to move overseas and issues to prevent them remaining in Britain, but the one thing that does differentiate between groups of expats is that some research their move and some don’t.

There are of course pros and cons to both approach – for example, if you don’t do much research you’re less likely to begin reading negatives or finding out things you don’t like about your new chosen country, so you’re less likely to give up on your dream before you start!  However, those who do do the research and do have a fair idea of what they’re letting themselves in for are of course better prepared.

In this report we’re going to look at whether you should take your car to France – because if you are thinking about moving to the Continent from the UK and taking your car with you, you could face all sorts of issues, hurdles, disappointments and bureaucracy.  Of course, if you’re the type of would-be expat who doesn’t research their new life abroad you’ll move without reading this!  And maybe you’ll figure it all out on your own, or maybe you’ll begin getting frustrated when you realise that there is no one there to hold your hand and guide you through what is an incredibly complex process of re-registration!

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Which Expatriates Make the Most of Living in France?

Taking a look at which expatriates have already made a successful go of a new life living in France and what makes them stay

Most people who think about moving abroad want to know as much information in advance to make sure that their move will be a success.  Therefore people read books, research on the Internet, join expat forums and try and find as much as they can to generally help them prepare properly for the relocation.

Well now, thanks to the likes of HSBC International, researching would-be expats have another way of finding out pertinent information that will help them determine whether or not a) they’re cut out for a new life abroad and b) whether the country they have chosen for their expatriation is right for them.

In a recent survey by HSBC into the lives of their expat customers, there is a very clear and distinct group of people who settle well into life across the Channel.  If you’re thinking that maybe France is the place that you want to settle down, in this article we’ll look at which expatriates make the most of living in France.

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Become a Euro-Commuter, Live in France & Work in UK

How you can live the dream by working in the UK and living in France, i.e., how to become a Euro-commuter

Become a Euro-Commuter, Live in France & Work in UKWe’ve touched on the concept of Euro-commuting at Shelter Offshore before.  It’s a concept that has become more appealing since the new Eurostar terminal opened at St. Pancras International, and it is now possible to travel to and from France and land up right in the heart of central London with minimum fuss and maximum comfort.

Now it seems as though there has been something of an upsurge in the numbers of us Britons who want to escape all that is wrong with the UK, whilst still enjoying our jobs.  For such individuals, the idea of becoming a Euro-commuter and living in France whilst working in the UK is very appealing indeed.

In this article we look at the realities and practicalities of the idea and speak to someone who is a real life Euro-commuter.  An individual who is living the dream, i.e., living in France and commuting to a very nice job thank you in London!  And if he can do it – why can’t you?

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Having a Baby When Living in France

Discussing the experiences of expatriate pregnant women who have given birth in France and rate the French system highly

Having a Baby When Living in FranceThe healthcare system abroad differs from country to country, what’s more, many nations have a less advanced system than we have in the UK with the good old NHS, therefore the thought of having to have a baby anywhere other than ‘home’ is incredibly daunting for many pregnant expatriate women.

We don’t expect expat soon-to-be dads to have the first clue about any of this – after all, ‘a hospital’s a hospital, what’s the problem.’  But we do understand that for expectant mums, the additional concerns relating to having a baby abroad in a foreign hospital, under a foreign health service and through the medium of a foreign language can be really quite daunting.

The good news for those who have moved across the Channel is that having a baby when living in France can be a far more pleasant, reassuring and supported experience than you may have in the UK.

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Living in France Really Costs Less

Adding up the savings you could benefit from if you moved to live in France from the UK

Deciding Where to Live in France

Exploring Shelter Offshore’s four favourite French regions for would be expatriates seeking the best place to live France

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