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Some general advice needed

Some general advice needed

Old Sep 26th 2022, 10:59 pm
  #1  
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Smile Some general advice needed

Hi all,

First time poster here.

We are planning to move to France, hopefully within 5 years or so. I know no one has a crystal ball so we don't know if things may of changed by then, but going on todays rules and regulations the main question we have is regarding the minimum income that is required. We are not planning on working and will have an income from a rental property in the UK, probably around £1000 per month. We will have other funds behind us as well. So in order to prove the income could we just set up a standing order from one bank account, say a UK account paying into a French bank account or is it not as simple as that? Also, what is the current amount of income that a couple would need to prove?

Thanks in advance and any advice is much appreciated 😊

Thanks, Rob
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Old Sep 27th 2022, 4:57 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Welcome to the forum!
Others more informed than myself may be able to confirm or correct but I believe the minimum income (based on the nett SMIC in France) is €1,302.64 or more net per month, or €15,631.75 annually to cover the duration of the visa you are applying for. Investment income and/or pensions are acceptable as proof of income.
Early planning is of course adviseable, but as the minimum wage is revalued at the beginning of each year (indexed to inflation for those with lowest income) be aware that between now and 2027 the SMIC will certainly be higher.
Imho France has never been a cheap place to live and at the rate of increase of all forms of taxes in recent years, nobody can forsee how the cost of living will compare from this time 5 years hence.

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Sep 27th 2022 at 5:07 am.
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Old Sep 27th 2022, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

The amount that is generally regarded as being the minimum amount that you would need is usually equivalent to the French minimum wage called SMIC.The current amount prior to deductions is 1678 € per month(reviewed regualarly but there is as usual a bit of flexibility if you are close to that amount as long as the income is regular so a pension is the perfect income as far as France is concerned but rental income is good too.However lump sums and savings are generally treated with scepticism as funds can easily be used up so perhaps think about a monthly income type investment?To prove income you would need to show say your rental contract for the property and bank statements.However you should be aware that France is not a cheap place to live and your biggest headache will be the exchange rate,as we have just seen. Could you live on £1000 per month in the UK?
https://www.service-public.fr/partic...osdroits/F2300
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Old Sep 27th 2022, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Around 2005-ish, you would have received 1.60€ to the £.
This has fallen over the years to around 1.12€.
The point is that with exchange rates your actual income can unexpectedly fall below your expectations.
The state health service in France is not free. It will cover 70% of most things including prescriptions and hospital stays including treatment for accidents etc.
You can cover the other 30% by paying for a "mutuelle" insurance to cover the other 30%.
In addition, you can increase this insurance to cover dental and optic treatments.
When you leave the UK, you can no longer get NHS treatment in the UK.
You dont say whether you intend to buy a house or to rent but perhaps that is for another question.
Good luck with your research


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Old Sep 27th 2022, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by Lobandrou
Hi all,

First time poster here.

We are planning to move to France, hopefully within 5 years or so. I know no one has a crystal ball so we don't know if things may of changed by then, but going on todays rules and regulations the main question we have is regarding the minimum income that is required. We are not planning on working and will have an income from a rental property in the UK, probably around £1000 per month. We will have other funds behind us as well. So in order to prove the income could we just set up a standing order from one bank account, say a UK account paying into a French bank account or is it not as simple as that? Also, what is the current amount of income that a couple would need to prove?

Thanks in advance and any advice is much appreciated 😊

Thanks, Rob
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
Presumably "we" means a couple? As said, the SMIC, which represents more or less the poverty line in France, is higher than this for one person. This means that the euro-equivalent of £1000 per month (variable depending on the rate of exchange) would have to cover joint utilities, internet, car expenses, home insurance, travel, unexpected repairs, etc..., not to mention food and clothing for two. Add to that the advisable Mutuelle, to reimburse the 30%-odd that the Social Security doesn't reimburse (once you're in the System). If you're buying property, you must add the annual Taxe Foncière (about 1200 € p.a. for me, = 100€ per month). And if you'll be renting, be aware that landlords require proof that one's monthly income is 3-4 times the rent.... And, once the rent is paid, there'd be that much less left to survive on.
Even if you obtained a Visa, you would be counting your centimes all the time, which doesn't make for a comfortable existence if you have to count on your other funds to live on.
Since this is a long-term project and no one can predict what the situation will be even next year (look at the energy crisis and inflation this year since the conflict in Ukraine), stay with the Forum, to get an idea of developments, good or bad.
Meanwhile, you don't say how your French is - you've both got plenty of time to learn/brush up the language! You don't mention your ages, either. Take a look in the Growing Old in France thread (among others) in the Read-Me Moving to France FAQs above, if you intend to live here forever more.
Sorry to sound like a wet-blanket on the financial front, but even before Brexit and Visas, £1000 per month couldn't have been comfortable for a couple to live on.
Fore-warned is fore-armed!
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Old Sep 28th 2022, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Thanks all for your replies and the advice is very welcomed.

It will be me and my wife looking to move and possibly be joined by my mother in law. We will be looking to buy a property with no mortgage or loan. I will be 55 in 5 years and my wife 45. We have been dreaming of this for a long time and are determined to make it work somehow. Our French is probably below average, I can ask for directions, order food and have a brief conversation but we have plenty of time to get up to speed with that. The idea of both of us retiring may have to be put on hold and maybe look at working, ideally remotely, but would have to look in to that a bit more. Definitely a lot more research to be done and I will be following on here with great interest.

Thanks again for the help so far.

Rob
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Old Sep 28th 2022, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by Lobandrou
Thanks all for your replies and the advice is very welcomed.

It will be me and my wife looking to move and possibly be joined by my mother in law. We will be looking to buy a property with no mortgage or loan. I will be 55 in 5 years and my wife 45. We have been dreaming of this for a long time and are determined to make it work somehow. Our French is probably below average, I can ask for directions, order food and have a brief conversation but we have plenty of time to get up to speed with that. The idea of both of us retiring may have to be put on hold and maybe look at working, ideally remotely, but would have to look in to that a bit more. Definitely a lot more research to be done and I will be following on here with great interest.

Thanks again for the help so far.

Rob
Probably easier to move to Ireland and in 5 years you have citizenship. Also having money in a different currency won't help either, so having your savings in € is not a lottery.
I'd agree and €1000 or £1000 is not a lot anywhere in Western Europe.

Last edited by Moses2013; Sep 28th 2022 at 2:39 am.
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Old Sep 28th 2022, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Your MIL would have to apply for a visa in her own right with enough income to qualify for a visa.
You cannot just "work remotely" in France. You would need to set up a french business entity.
This would get you into the French healthcare system.
If you earn enough then you would also pay French social charges (NIC) which are higher than in the UK.
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Old Sep 28th 2022, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by cyrian
Your MIL would have to apply for a visa in her own right with enough income to qualify for a visa.
You cannot just "work remotely" in France. You would need to set up a french business entity.
This would get you into the French healthcare system.
If you earn enough then you would also pay French social charges (NIC) which are higher than in the UK.
Even if the OP's MIL obtained a visa based on her own income and Retiree status, the OP's family would have to think seriously about her future. The "Growing Old in France" thread applies to her already, not to mention the one on "Death in France". As mentioned in another recent thread, older expats might find it difficult to communicate with the locals and make friends. As an anecdote, my father came to live here with us after my mother died, and he returned to the UK after a few months. He missed his daily newspaper, the British TV, British food, and couldn't join in village activities for Oldies since he didn't speak French.
Even before Brexit, it was necessary to set up a French business entity (even two, if a couple's professions are different) in order to work remotely from France. Others more in the know will come along to say what the Visa people require to prove this.
As the OP says, a lot of research has to be done and they've got time to do it....
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Old Sep 28th 2022, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

As said, important poiints to note include:
MiL will need to apply separately if she wishes to join you.
If you wish to work at all in France, including remotely, you need to apply for a visa that gives you the right to do this, so take a look at the criteria for working visas. If you apply as an economically inactive person, you will be asked to sign a statement promising not to work, and you'll need to demonstrate sufficient "unearned" income both on initial application and at each renewal.
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Old Sep 29th 2022, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Thanks again everyone, so very useful information.

We knew that MiL would need apply separately and her pension should provide her with sufficient income. The main issue I can see at the moment is the 'unearned' income. Although we will have a rental income from property in the UK it won't be nearly enough to cover 30.000 plus euros, so the idea of us both putting our feet up and having an early retirement will have to wait. Unfortunately for my DW she is the ones with the skills so will be the one who would have to continue to work. We want to live quite a simple life an be as self sufficient as possible with growing our own and shopping smart. I know this probably sounds a bit cliché and is most people's dream, but this is our dream and we're determined to make it happen...one day
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Old Sep 29th 2022, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by Lobandrou
Thanks again everyone, so very useful information.

We knew that MiL would need apply separately and her pension should provide her with sufficient income. The main issue I can see at the moment is the 'unearned' income. Although we will have a rental income from property in the UK it won't be nearly enough to cover 30.000 plus euros, so the idea of us both putting our feet up and having an early retirement will have to wait. Unfortunately for my DW she is the ones with the skills so will be the one who would have to continue to work. We want to live quite a simple life an be as self sufficient as possible with growing our own and shopping smart. I know this probably sounds a bit cliché and is most people's dream, but this is our dream and we're determined to make it happen...one day

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Old Sep 29th 2022, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by cyrian
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Old Oct 2nd 2022, 5:32 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Lucky your sights are not set on Spain, here a couple need ~€34k p/a for no work allowed visas plus 12 months fully paid up private health insurance with no excesses or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Also, or at least as things stand currently, they will have to take a Spanish driving test within the first 6 months.

No test of language competence though!
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Old Oct 2nd 2022, 6:00 am
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Default Re: Some general advice needed

Originally Posted by Notdunroamin
Lucky your sights are not set on Spain, here a couple need ~€34k p/a for no work allowed visas plus 12 months fully paid up private health insurance with no excesses or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Also, or at least as things stand currently, they will have to take a Spanish driving test within the first 6 months.

No test of language competence though!
Funny you should say that as we have been looking at Spain also. At least with Spain you can have the lump sum in the bank rather than having to show a monthly income which might be an easy option for us.

Still so much to think about and soooo much research to be done.
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