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Retiring in france

Retiring in france

Old Jul 21st 2019, 3:20 pm
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Default Retiring in france

Hello all,
My first post!

I have owned a house in Charente for 25 years. It was a holiday home but I am travelling there much more frequently now and would with my partner like to retire in France.

We are both 65, my partner gets her state pension now and I get mine in November.

We both have work pensions so are solvent.

I don't know where to start in sorting residence in France. I would like to get some agreement to residence before Brexit just for peace of mind.

I contacted the French consulate and the British, they both referred me to the other, circular or what!

Any advice on residence, Health care , health insurance etc would be very welcome regarding residence.

Neither of us will work in France, or the UK for that matter.

All help and advice would be very welcome.

Regards to all,
Geoff and Sue
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Hi Geoff,
It is unlikely that you will get anywhere with the French authorities with regards to residence before Brexit.
The french can be bloody-minded when they feel like it. They have stopped exchanging UK driving licences for french ones although they should continue to do it.
You are in an ideal position to move to France with a pension income but be careful of the exchange rate should the result be a hard Brexit.
My advice would be to continue to use your french home as a holiday home for up to 182 days per year and keep your home in the UK.
Once all the positioning and bulls**t settles then you will be in a better position (hopefully) to make your move.
Please note that "partners" are not recognised in France and you say that you own the house.
If you die then your partner would have to pay inheritance tax (60%?) on the value of the house if she inherits it.
If you have children they they would inherit it and she would be out on her ear.
You should also consider a future requirement for residential care in France and the possible return to the UK because of ill-health.
If you own a property in the UK which you sell when you move to France then you may not be able to sell your french home or to afford to buy in the UK at that time.
I think that you should consider the consequences of moving before you worry about residency.
Have a read through this site:
Notaires de France
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Nobody can really advise you what to do because Brexit will take us into unknown territory.

However, the first thing to clarify is that as an EU citizen, residency rights are acquired in retrospect, by having legally resided in a country for more than 3 months. At present, as an EU citizen you have the right to Freedom of Movement which means that you don't have to ask anyone for permission to live in France, all you have to do is meet the criteria and correctly exercise your freedom of movement. The criteria (sufficient income, health insurance etc) are set out in the EU FoM Directive, and mirrored on the French goverment website https://www.service-public.fr/partic...osdroits/F2651 That's why neither consulate can engage over this, because basically it's entirely up to you whether or not you choose to exercise your right to freedom of movement. Nothing to do with the consulate.

Under France's provisional Brexit plans, any Brit who was legally established in France prior to Brexit will be given the opportunity to remain. However, if you're not resident in France at the cut off date then you will almost certainly need to apply for a visa before you can move there. That's where the consulate comes in because they deal with visas. If you have sufficient income it shouldn't be a problem although the income requirement for a visa is likely to be higher than the income requirement for correctly exercising freedom of movement. So at the end of the day, whether you move before Brexit under FoM, or after Brexit with a visa, it will make no great practical difference. Different forms to fill in, probably different fees to pay, maybe different wording on your carte de séjour, but either route will enable you to live in France if you want to.

As Cyrian says, I think the important thing to do is to look at the long term consequences. Moving countries is a big step. France's inheritance laws are very inflexible compared to UK rules. France puts more personal responsibility on you and your family to pay for your own healthcare and eventually, residential care. If you become a French resident then you become subject to French law.
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Thanks for that.

If I want to spend 8 months of he year in France and the rest in the uk how would that play out?

Or given the 6 months residence as a non working visitor can someone spend 6 months in France and a couple of months in another eu country?

If you get ed up with me picking your brains just tell me to go away!

Geoff
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Hi Blowting
You don't say when you are going or thinking of jumping.
Afraid to say you have left it too late to get residence before brexit assuming it will happen on 31st October. However a pointed out by EuroTrash as an EU citizen you can legally live in France without having to do anything, but only for 90 days in a period of 180 days. France has also stated that after Brexit anyone legally living in France will be able to apply for residency as if UK was still in EU. So if you are moving now get along to your Marie and get a letter that confirms you are living there and the date of your arrival. This could prove invaluable.
For healthcare if you have a state pension from the UK then you can 2 weeks before you move apply for an S1 form. To paraphrase this form means that the UK will pay for your healthcare and if you take it to CMU office to get affiliated to the French health system. They will eventually issue a carte vitale to you. The ameli website has a good help site in English, sorry I can't post a url. You can also buy "top-up" health assurance for anything that Carte Vitale doesn't cover if you feel the need.
To gain full residency in France you will need to have you primary residence in France. Once you have a carte de sejour you can spend time in any Shengen country. I'm sorry I don't know if there are time limits. If you get an S1 from UK they will supply you with an EHIC E card (the health travel card you probably already have) that will cover you in another EU country. The UK say they will honour the S1 and EHICE for 2 years after Brexit even if no deal BUT ... post Brexit and no deal who knows on the health front. Bear in mind that if the UK decides not to honour its commitments there will be thousands of Brits on their doorstep, returning from the continent demanding medical help.

Your last post I can't help with, I have no idea what happens in those scenarios.

Good luck to you ... I've sold up and am moving next week on the 29th and it can't come soon enough. By the way I am retired and in receipt of a state pension and following my own advice. You only live once!
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by Blowting View Post
given the 6 months residence as a non working visitor
Not sure where 6 months comes from.
If you check the French govt website you'll see that EU citizens are allowed to spend up to 3 months in France as a visitor. This is in line with the EU FoM Directive.
Non EU citizens are allowed to spend up to 90 days out of 180 in Schengen without a long stay visa.

Originally Posted by Blowting View Post
If I want to spend 8 months of he year in France and the rest in the uk how would that play out?
Well, to put it very simply, you don't have the right to do this.
As said above, technically France allows EU citizens to stay as visitors for up to 3 months, after which they have to move on - either back to their home country or to a different country. In practice France is tolerant of EU citizens overstaying their 3 months as visitors because French immigration doesn't get involved with the movements of EU citizens. However, if and when Brits become third country citizens then they will be subject to French immigration checks.

Originally Posted by fishrock View Post
Once you have a carte de sejour you can spend time in any Shengen country.
I don't think a Brit with a cds for France will have any special privileges in other EU countries will they? I thought the EU had refused onward movement.
Apart from that I pretty much agree with the rest of your post.
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Old Jul 21st 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by Blowting View Post
Hello all,
My first post!

I have owned a house in Charente for 25 years. It was a holiday home but I am travelling there much more frequently now and would with my partner like to retire in France.

We are both 65, my partner gets her state pension now and I get mine in November.

We both have work pensions so are solvent.

I don't know where to start in sorting residence in France. I would like to get some agreement to residence before Brexit just for peace of mind.

I contacted the French consulate and the British, they both referred me to the other, circular or what!

Any advice on residence, Health care , health insurance etc would be very welcome regarding residence.

Neither of us will work in France, or the UK for that matter.

All help and advice would be very welcome.

Regards to all,
Geoff and Sue
Hi again!
As stated, France isn't "partner-friendly" and if you leave your house (and French assets) to your partner in a Will, she will have to pay 60% of their value as Taxe de Succession, within 6 months. This could lead to financial disaster for her or force her to sell the house in a hurry. If you don't mention her in a Will, she gets nothing and everything will go to your next of kin who might throw her out. One way of solving the problem would be to get married (before you arrive for good - AFAIK your partner, not being legally bound to you, would have to comply with the conditions for residency separately, and two issues would therefore be solved).
Whatever,.if you have children from an earlier relationship, by French Law they will have equal shares of their rightful inheritance. An English Will would overcome this issue if necessary, but French Law still prevails concerning Taxe de Succession on French property and assets, and they would have to pay some (but the percentage is nowhere near as high as for an unrelated heir).
Take a look in the "Inheritance Laws" and "Partner Status" threads in the Read-Me: Moving to France FAQs above, which give more details.
HTH
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

fishrock:
The OP can't get an S1 until he is in receipt of the UK state pension in November
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
fishrock:
The OP can't get an S1 until he is in receipt of the UK state pension in November
Quite so, that is why I said "If you have a state pension from the UK ..."

However the op partner does and so can apply for an S1. If op is a dependant then they may also be covered by the S1 until they can apply for their own.

Eurotrash - my understanding is that within Schengen the cds will act like a passport, but I could well be wrong. I can't remember where this came from, I may have been thinking about an id card.
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
fishrock:
The OP can't get an S1 until he is in receipt of the UK state pension in November
Good point!
In which case, if the OP arrives before then, he must take out private healthcare insurance from Day 1 as an "inactif", in order to comply with the conditions for residency. His partner, already in receipt of a UK Pension, can apply for the S1.
Re the Inheritance issue, he should consult a Notaire who will advise, depending on his present matrimonial/family status and that of his partner. We can advise better if we know all the facts, but his partner (and any children of her own) will lose out, whether he's childless or not.
Rereading your earlier post, I forgot to suggest to the OP to read the "Getting old in France" in the above FAQs, to imagine themselves in their elderly years.
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by fishrock View Post
Quite so, that is why I said "If you have a state pension from the UK ..."

However the op partner does and so can apply for an S1. If op is a dependant then they may also be covered by the S1 until they can apply for their own.

Eurotrash - my understanding is that within Schengen the cds will act like a passport, but I could well be wrong. I can't remember where this came from, I may have been thinking about an id card.
Hi, your post crossed with mine!
As they aren't legally bound, I don't think the French S.S. would accept the OP piggybacking on his partner's S1.
A CdS doesn't act as a passport. Indeed, you're thinking of French citizens' Cartes d'Identité....
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Hi, your post crossed with mine!
As they aren't legally bound, I don't think the French S.S. would accept the OP piggybacking on his partner's S1.
A CdS doesn't act as a passport. Indeed, you're thinking of French citizens' Cartes d'Identité....
Quite right, if there is no family dependency.

Carte d'identite, that's the one. Though I have seen people cross border with just their driving licence, especially those who can flutter their eyelids, but getting a French driving licence is another whole can of worms.
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

At the risk of disagreeing with those who have been here far longer than me, I think there is some confusion over the often repeated idea that you must prove that you have had private medical insurance for a certain period before applying for a carte vitale. I phoned their excellent, English language helpline for advice on applying for our CVs and was told that there was no requirement for health insurance before applying. When I said that I thought I had to prove I hadn't been a drain on their resources he said that I couldn't have been since they wouldn't have given me anything other than emergency treatment without proof of an ability to pay. There was no question or space on the application form for information on health insurance and we now have both got our CVs.
Our situation may be complicated by the fact that we did take out health insurance, but only because when we thought we were just asking for advice from the NHS on how to prove we were not eligible for S1s, they instead kicked us out and we had no health cover anywhere in the world.
I would advise the OP to phone the AMELI English speaking helpline (assuming, possibly insultingly, that his French may not be up to it) and find out for himself exactly what he and his partner need for future healthcare in France. I'd be very interested to hear what they tell him.
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

Originally Posted by Alianco View Post
there is some confusion over the often repeated idea that you must prove that you have had private medical insurance for a certain period before applying for a carte vitale.
I think there are 2 separate strands here.
Firstly, one of the of the criteria for legal residence is that you must have medical insurance in place. It doesn't have to be private insurance; if you have a valid EHIC that will count, and normally the UK will agree that you can continue using your EHIC for a short while after you leave the UK, and that will be accepted. You sound to have been unlucky, or maybe you'd been out of the UK for a while before you applied for PUMA?.
Secondly, the conditions for being accepted onto PUMA don't specifically mention prior health insurance, but they do require you to be legally resident in France. So, medical insurance is indirectly a criteria for PUMA inasmuch as it's part of legal residence. If CPAM wants to be hardline, it can ask for proof of medical insurance. But for EU citizens, normally they simply ask for proof that you live here, and as long as you can provide that they accept you are here legally. Maybe they assume that EU incomers are covered by EHICs from their home countries and they don't bother checking. I think they are more likely to check in the case of non EU citizens, but of course for EU citizens health insurance is a condition of the visa so it's a bigger deal.

Originally Posted by fishrock View Post
I have seen people cross border with just their driving licence, especially those who can flutter their eyelids, but getting a French driving licence is another whole can of worms.
A random piece of advice that you might find useful in the future - It's often better to focus on the bare facts of rights, entitlements and obligations, rather than what you can and can't do and what pieces of paper you happen to have.
Pieces of paper don't in themselves give you any rights. The point of a piece of paper is to confirm what rights you have. So if you have the right to enter a country or do whatever, and you simply need to confirm your identity because they already have the details on computer, a driving licence will probably be accepted or a cds will probably be accepted or anything that proves who you are. But, if you don't have the right to enter a country or do whatever, then it's no use flashing a driving licence or a cds or any other form of ID, because all it will do is confirm that you are a person who doesn't have the right to do whatever. Of course situations sometimes arise where you end up with a piece of paper that appears to prove you have a right that in reality you never had or no longer have. if it's just a quick check you might slip through, but you still wouldn't have that right, and doing something you shouldn't be doing risks biting you in the bum later.
In the UK we rarely need to think about our rights, we just kind of muddle along and assume that if nobody stops us from doing something then we're allowed to do it, but the rest of Europe tends to expect its citizens to be more aware of how stuff works and take responsibility for following the rules and doing things properly.
To go back to the point about France tolerating EU citizens who overstay their 3 months as visitors - there is no doubt that lots of Brits take advantage of this, and I imagine other nationalities do too, but I suspect that the big difference is that other nationalities are aware of the rules and know that they need to be a bit careful, whereas I bet most Brits haven't a clue because they never bothered to find out what the rules are. Brits have had freedom of movement for over 40 years and they're about to lose it, and how many of them thought throughout that FoM means carte blanche to move around Europe with no strings attached. They don't know what they're losing because they never knew what they had, which in a way is sad, but in a way you feel that if they never respected it, they never deserved it in the first place..

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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Retiring in france

And there was me thinking than FoM meant 'Fear of Missing Out'.
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