considering retiring to Brittany, (advice please)

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greg.g

Full Member
May 20, 2015
277
102
birmingham
Your collective wisdom will be much appreciated.
I intended to retire at 60 in four years time. Both myself and my wife have private pensions. Not massive, but when combined with the state pension should be comfortable. Our official retirement age is 66.
Anyway, onto my dilemma. We are considering moving to Brittany to retire. At present property in France is much cheaper than here in the UK. Our budget will be enough for a renovated cottage with a bit of land if we so wish. There is plenty of choice.
Then came BREXIT.
If we wait, then we are gambling on still being allowed to settle in the EU in four years time.
If we choose to move now (if allowed too), then it would be a bit of a push to live on just our private pensions for 10 years till state pension age. (I was delaying till 60 to build up a nest egg to subsidise the next 6 years).
Having done a few searches, its any ones guess on future legislation. I know that leaving the UK will be a gamble. But when you look what your buck buys you in a beautiful coastal location, its hard not to be tempted.
Any thoughts please....
Greg
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The problem might be that EU might impose an end for UK citizens moving into EU. Which is fair and logical.
The only way might be that you need to get a residency approval.
But it may be possible for you to get approval as a person with independent means, if they think your pension is enough to live there and be able to pay all expenses.

One more thing is, EU countries might want you to pay for a health insurance so you do not use the country’s healtcare for free.

(Same with all benefits of course. You will get none)

You might get extra taxation on your property.

One of my UK friends moved to France from Cayman, and the above was his thoughts.


Only the allmighty Gods know what will happen with that unholy mess!

Property is cheaper in France, but at your age you should be mortgage free by now, so it should not matter?
 
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oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,761
1,320
80
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
We faced the same dilemma 20 years ago but without the problem of brexit.
Rather than completely committing, we first bought a studio flat in our chosen village and kept our house in England. We paid for it by putting all of my meager earnings towards paying off the bank loan while living on my wife's pay. Once the mortgage on our English home was paid off, we downsized in England and up sized in France. We found it suited us best to do the homestead bit in England and the lock up and leave bit in France, but that's us.

We feel we have the best of both worlds by keeping a foot on both shores. We have full social lives in both countries and make ends meet on the kind of income you appear to describe. Extra income if needed could be generated by letting one property while living in the other.

One problem with retirement is that it comes when age starts to play tricks with health and circumstances can change. We know many people who have retired abroad then have been unable to return because of the imbalance between property prices. My younger son, now pushing 50, has moved to work in Spain where he has restored a ruin with some land, while letting his English house to cover the mortgage.

Hope this helps!
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,283
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The EU might take the same stance towards UK after Brexit as it does to other countries outside EU.
If it does, everything will change from the past.

Personally I would wait.
If you sell in UK and by in France, and then (after Brexit) be forced to sell, you might find that the property is very difficult to sell, or you will get much less than you bought it gor.
The reason - other British prople try to sell too and the market becomes flooded with properties for sale
Less Brits are interesting in relocating and buying a French rural propert - prices drop on those.
So a double whammy.
 

BrokenDoll

Member
Jul 4, 2018
12
8
Berkshire
Would you consider renting out your property in the UK and using the income to rent a place in France? I know it may seem like a halfway house but it could be a good way to test the waters before selling up and making a permanent move. The income from your UK property should more than cover your rent in France and also give you some additional income. If things don't work out then at least you have a property to return to.

What will happen with Brexit is anyone's guess at the moment unfortunately.
 

greg.g

Full Member
May 20, 2015
277
102
birmingham
Thanks for the replies so far.
I hadn't really considered the medical insurance issue. This could be of concern to me as I had a brain haemorrhage 5 years ago. I am fine now, but will be on drugs for the rest of my life. I think I will have to wait and see how things pan out.
I will have to console myself with a baguette and a bottle of red plonk;)
 
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Jan 13, 2018
358
251
64
Rural Lincolnshire
Depending on your reasons for moving (is it just the price of housing ?) there are many delightful, rural, areas in the UK at much reduced prices compared to Birmingham and other 'hotspots'.
Staying in the UK you keep all of the benefits (such as they are), continue to use 'real money', and understand the language, customs and traditions.

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/heatmaps/

Some years ago we moved to North Wales and purchased a farm for the price we sold our Victorian Semi in Sale (Cheshire)
We then moved to Lincolnshire and prices were even lower.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,761
1,320
80
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
Thanks for the replies so far.
I hadn't really considered the medical insurance issue. This could be of concern to me as I had a brain haemorrhage 5 years ago. I am fine now, but will be on drugs for the rest of my life. I think I will have to wait and see how things pan out.
I will have to console myself with a baguette and a bottle of red plonk;)
In Brittany it would surely be a draught of cidre and a crepe!
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,855
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Canada
I am late 50s and live between a bunch of countries, UK one of them, with the same types of issues you are looking at. It is always complex. Try not to think about it predominantly in terms of finance and other complexities. To a certain extent, you have to obviously, but mainly think about what you want to do. Frankly, you haven't got long to live, and only another ten or so being really active ... so, enjoy it. Bon Voyage.

.... I just deleted some wittily excoriating remarks about brexit, but I find it hard to be scathing about it now. The rage has gone ... the effects are far too saddening. Maybe someone will be able to make something of it. A spell in the French countryside will help :)
 

bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
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Stockton on Tees
Have you set on buying abroad, have you considered rental ? put your money into something that will pay the rent, my folks did that but in Spain, a nice very quiet village, cheap as chips, just my 2penneth :)
 
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Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,755
780
Cornwall
Why don,t you go there for a month. rent a place and live like a local and see how it goes, just because property is cheaper does not mean the cost of living is cheaper, find out about the things you will need and how much they are, car insurance, health insurance, medicines, etc, etc,then work out if you could afford to live there comfortably, moving away from friends,availability of part time work, language problems,there is a lot to consider, especially as you have to wait for your state pension, which by the way will never increase if you move out of the Uk, no yearly rise, .if you get your pensions now paid into your bank, how much will you lose if it is converted to Euros, allow at least 10%. Cost of travel back to here if you need to, a lot to consider, and a lot that is needed to look into for your move to be successful.
 
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greg.g

Full Member
May 20, 2015
277
102
birmingham
I have travelled round france a few times over the last 15 years. As a holiday maker, I like the relaxed life style. I realise that living there would be completely different. To be honest, I had always planned on retiring to the Peak District in England, but over the last year or so, I have seen the property prices in this area jump up to the point where the sort of rural properties that would interest me have become scarce. Out of interest, I checked the property prices for Brittany (an area we have visited a few times) and there are loads of suitable properties in my price bracket. The possibility of relocating was born.
With retirement only being round the corner so to speak, it starts to bring these considerations into focus.

Greg
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,283
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have relocated a couple of times to countries with vastly different cultures from my own, and the main advice I would give is: adopt.
Learn and kive according to the new countries culture.

I assume you speak French? Remember, people in any countrie’s countryside are not likely to speak any other language than their own!
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,558
2,278
McBride, BC
Long term rentals to go exploring. Live like a local. I studied 3 places.
McBride was not my first choice but was certainly my best choice.

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
That's because there's a lot of crap in the grass
and you won't know that until you're standing in it.
 

greg.g

Full Member
May 20, 2015
277
102
birmingham
I have relocated a couple of times to countries with vastly different cultures from my own, and the main advice I would give is: adopt.
Learn and kive according to the new countries culture.

I assume you speak French? Remember, people in any countrie’s countryside are not likely to speak any other language than their own!

I used to be able to get by. Far from fluent. More effluent:redface:
I would need to get back in practise again.
 

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