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Living in France
There are many compelling reasons for British expats to move to France. From the famed wine and cuisine, to the culture and bustling street life, and the beauties and luxuries of the French Riviera; France truly has a lifetime of experience to offer anyone.
However, although France can be a great place for UK expats to settle, making sound financial arrangements can be complicated. For example, it’s advisable to obtain guidance related to UK QROPS compliance or inheritance tax planning.
Ensuring advice that takes full account of all the issues, is essential to achieving your wealth management objectives in France.
Yvette and I moved to France in summer 2017. We have been in touch with many of the well known names who offer advice on tax affairs, financial planning and transition from UK to France. Sadly, our experience has been that communications with these people dry up when they realise that we have modest assets. We then encountered Rosemary Sheppard, of BlacktowerFM – what a refreshing change!
Fast, efficient, focussed, heard what we wanted and acted accordingly. At no time did we feel pressured into buying potentially unwanted services (just as well, that would not have worked with us!).
I would recommend anyone making the transition to France to contact Rosemary, or her colleagues at BlacktowerFM, for pragmatic, focussed advice. And we will be in touch with Rosemary in the future for all our ongoing financial planning needs. Thank you, Rosemary!
Benefits of living in France
Living and working in France is a dream for many, due to its abundance of culture, and mixture of big cities, charming towns, and breath-taking seaside resorts. In fact, moving to the other side of the Channel can result in several benefits.
The French are renowned for their refined food and drink. Wherever you settle in France as an expat, you’ll get to enjoy regional specialities, such as Coq au Vin, Bouillabaisse, and Baeckeoffe. You should also take some time to sample delicious French wine and champagne.
Excellent education system
If you’re moving your family over to France, rest assured that the French education system is one of the best in the world. Starting in creches at the age of two, through to the baccalauréat (the high school leaving certificate examinations); more than 50% of students continue with their full-time education between the ages of 18-21.
Slower pace of life
Whilst not relevant for Paris, the rest of France has a distinctly more relaxed approach to life. Most employees enjoy long lunch breaks of up to two hours; and many shops will shut during lunchtime and on Sundays, to encourage families to spend quality time together – something expats in France really enjoy.
Best cities to move to in France
Whether you prefer the bright lights of a big city, or a peaceful country retreat, rest assured that if you choose to move to France, you’ll find the ideal area that suits your needs and requirements.
- Pint of beer: 7 EUR (£6.30)
- Cappuccino: 3.67 EUR (£3.30)
- Meal in a restaurant: 15 EUR (£13.50)
- Monthly public transport pass: 75 EUR (£67.50)
- Population: 2,161,000
Any expat in Paris will tell you that living there is entirely different from visiting as a tourist. However, its history and charm shines through, making Paris a rather popular choice for expats settling in France.
The City of Lights is full of opportunities, and is a major hub for fashion, arts, finance and science; as well as being home to many international organisation headquarters, including UNESCO, and the International Chamber of Commerce.
When it comes to finding a place to live, you’ll need to choose an arrondissement. The 11th and 17th arrondissements are popular amongst professionals, whereas the 12th, 15th and 16th arrondissements are more family-oriented. If you’re looking for an expat feel, then the 14th arrondissement is the ideal place.
- Pint of beer: 5.50 EUR (£4.95)
- Cappuccino: 2.66 EUR (£2.39)
- Meal in a restaurant: 13 EUR (£11.70)
- Monthly public transport pass: 48 EUR (£43.20)
- Population: 861,635
If you love the bright lights of Paris but yearn for sunnier climates, then Marseille is the ideal alternative. Part big-city, part sleepy fishing port, Marseille has undergone a huge transformation over the years.
Hugely popular with expats in France because of the large expanse of R&D positions, despite having a higher than average unemployment rate of 12%, there are still many opportunities here.
When it comes to choosing where to live, Longchamp in the fourth arrondissement is popular amongst families, whereas Cours Julien is a favourite with professionals.
On your weekends, you’ll be able to while away the time at the Old Port, hopping between the different cafes and restaurants; or if you’d prefer to go somewhere further afield, head to Calanques National Park to discover beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Average house price: 250,000 EUR (£225,551)
- Pint of beer: 5.25 EUR (£4.73)
- Cappuccino: 2.69 EUR (£2.42)
- Meal in a restaurant: 10 EUR (£9.05)
- Monthly public transport pass: 50.90 EUR (£45.81)
- Population: 277,270
Look at the twee timbered buildings and you might think you’re in a quaint German town, but that’s what makes Strasbourg so unique: nowhere else will you find a place that embraces its fusion of France and Germany.
France’s second largest financial hub after Paris, it accounts for two thirds of total jobs in the city; with The University of Strasbourg a large employer too.
You’ll likely spend most of your time off in Strasbourg’s beautiful Old Town, complete with an imposing Gothic cathedral; or sampling the flavoursome Alsatian cuisine, such as tarte flambee.
Managing your finances in France
To make the most of your time living in France, it’s a good idea to have your finances in order – and that means ensuring that you have access to the relevant pensions, tax, inheritance and wealth management advice.
Here at Blacktower, we work closely with our clients in France to ensure they can make positive choices to help improve their financial situations. To find out more about how we can help you, call us on +33 638 869 970, or fill in the form above.
Click below for further information on:
Wills and Estate Planning in France.