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Growing old in France

Growing old in France

Old Jan 12th 2016, 10:30 pm
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Default Growing old in France

A recent thread has prompted the following info for potential expats who dream of retiring in France:
You are in relative good health, will receive your UK State Pension in France and, upon presentation of the necessary document from Newcastle, receive the same healthcare coverage as a French person. Everything in the garden will be rosy...
But
- Unless your French is already adequate, you'll find it difficult to learn the language and integrate. Not all French people can communicate in English, least of all Administrations and artisans. In a couple, both should be able to communicate (for reasons set forth below).
- French Laws being so different from the UK, property buyers should get advice from the Notaire when making a Will, especially in the case of recomposed families. One can now choose the country of validity of a Will, but French Law prevails for the Taxe de Succession on French property and assets. A head-ache for heirs living in the UK or elsewhere. See thread on Inheritance Laws in the Moving to France FAQs...
- Everything can be rosy until one of the spouses has an accident or becomes ill and needs treatment/hospitalisation. This tends to happen more often as one gets older. Both need to be able to communicate with the doctors and nursing staff and deal with the administrative side.
- After about 80, thought should be given to care. It's possible to arrange for home helps to come daily to cook meals, do housework, shopping, etc..., and a Doctor will, where necessary, prescribe the twice-daily Aide-Soignantes (Carers) to wash and dress the person and put them to bed, and regular visits by a nurse. The carers and nurse are reimbursed by the Social Security, the home-helps are subsidized by the Conseil Général of the Département, depending on your income. It's very rare for any of these helpers to speak English...
- If it proves impossible for some one to remain at home, despite this help, then a Nursing/Retirement Home should be considered. Be aware that, by French Law, children are financially responsible for their parents' well-being, and must contribute to the costs of a Nursing/Retirement Home if their parents' income falls short.
- To conclude, if one dies in France, there are specific administrative steps to be taken (see "Death in France" in the FAQs). The surviving spouse must be able to cope with these, in addition to his/her grief.

Corrections and additions welcome!!
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Old Jan 14th 2016, 8:14 am
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Default re: Growing old in France

one issue we had was communication. Even if my Dad had been able to speak French, it would have pointless as after his stroke as he was unable to speak. My Mum could speak French but with her illness, her speech was very badly effected so communication was very difficult. I hate to think what their lives would have been like if they didn't have us to lean on. The health team was very good but not one person spoke English so we ended up communicating via electronics as we don't speak French, not the ideal way of dealing with very difficult times or relying on complete strangers who were slightly friendly with my parents.
Before my Dad's stroke, they had very good care from the local social services, with people come in almost every day in the end but it didn't help when my Mum had falls on an almost daily basis. My Dad couldn't get her up without help so he would have to run(walk very slowly) over to their neighbours. It was a terrible strain on the neighbours and they worried constantly about them.
So consider if your family in the UK or wherever you come from speaks French. Also the French system is very different from the UK so make sure your family is aware of this as we found ourselves wading from a distance. I know the distance thing is something a lot of us have to deal with but it helps it you can speak the language and know something about the relevant government agencies.
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Old Jan 14th 2016, 10:57 am
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Default re: Growing old in France

I was recently hospitalised in France for a serious infection. Fortunately the doctors and nurses are correct and professional but the administration is the usual French incompetence.You don't just have to speak reasonable French, you also need to deal in writing with the foncs in French. Unless you tell them what it is their duty to do they will do nothing.Not a place for old people to retire to.
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Old Jan 14th 2016, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in France

Originally Posted by cardi
.Not a place for old people to retire to.
New retirees aren't "old", and can enjoy life here while they're still fit, but they should imagine themselves in 15-20 years' time and plan ahead for their "elderly" years. Especially couples, where one spouse is hospitalised or has died, and the other is at a loss, without family around, only friends and neighbours who might not be able to give sufficient support.
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Old Oct 12th 2021, 9:09 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in France

New link provided by DMU

https://apiwp.thelocal.com/20211011/...ner-in-france/
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Old Oct 13th 2021, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Growing old in France

“One can now choose the country of validity of a Will, but French Law prevails for the Taxe de Succession on French property and assets. A head-ache for heirs living in the UK or elsewhere. “

I think it’s actually worse than that.
You can elect to have your assets disposed of under, say, a UK will. But that just determines who gets what.
Tax is a different matter.
If you’re resident in France when you die, French inheritance tax rules apply to ALL your assets, no matter where in the world they are.
So for example my niece and nephew in the UK would have to pay more than 50% inheritance tax on any property I own in the UK as well as on everything I own in France.
Bill payable within 6 months of my death.
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