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We DONT want to start a new life - just relocate our old one. Is this possible/where to start(10 Posts)
DH and I have been talking recently about moving abroad - somewhere in the EU. Perhaps not permanently but for a couple of years. The thing is I have been googling (of course!) but most of what I find for example about moving to france is about starting a new life - buying a house, renovating a property, setting up a holiday rental business or whatever at best its about the problems of finding work there when you dont speak french.
The problem is we dont want to do any of that - we run a (very small!) business which is registered as a Ltd company in this country. It is big enough to support our family and employ both of us but in reality is small (our personal income varies between £25-30K a year combined).
We have never struggled for money but obviously we dont have the cash to rush about buying houses or starting random campsite or whatever. We literally want our life as it is now somewhere else. We like out life we just fancy trying it elsewhere for a while. We have moved around the UK ( from wales to kent then kent to the north) so we are used to moving but not abroad.
How hard would this be we have 5 children so obviously that significantly impacts out plans!.
Our business is all from home anyway and our clients are mostly outside the UK in any case so that wouldnt be affected we just want to carry on the business as normal. We dont want a house in the middle of no where just a house in a town avergae 4 bedroom house.
This probably sounds liek the most boring new life plan ever made but we have a standard average life here but how do we go about having there somewhere else because i cant find out what I need to do to start doing this!
Oh it probably make s a difference we have no family who would really care if we went and we dont own any property or even a car at the moment. We wouldnt want to bother moving most of our furniture it would only be irreplaceable thigns we would want to take. We are long term renters who have moved around a lot we dont have much we are highly attached to!
Im just looking for opinions really because so far i cant find much to fit our requirements in my mad googling sessions .
Where do I start?
I think you need to work out what you want from a move and the type of place you want to live in (mountains, coast, large city etc). Do you want to be near other expats or english speakers? You say your income is just enough ... But do you know how much your income would be in France given different tax rates etc on your business. Hw much would it cost to set up your business in France? I'm assuming your children are school age ... Do they speak enough french to learning mates, history etc in French? Not to mention take french as a mother tongue language?
If you have no particular attachment to France, why move there? Why not somewhere where English is more widely spoken and life is cheaper (I think cost of living in France is higher than uk at the moment)? Canada?
We all have different reasons for moving but I don't know anyone who wants exactly what they've got with a different view out of the window ... I would imagine that would make it easier but obviously that's not the case!
Hundreds of places to rent in Spain as the sales market has crashed. Very cheaply too as some people are desperate for cash if they can't sell. Though as you have kids it's tricky as the state of the economy there is impacting on education and health care and they are definitely tightening up the rules to ensure foreigners don't milk the system(as they see it). We came back 18months ago when DS went to Uni. Obviously going abroad just for a couple of years may make it very difficult for your kids, depending on their age as they will have just settled into a different sytem/language. It's a great experience but not one to rush into. Good luck.
The waiting time to get into Canada is about 3 years I think, if you apply to emigrate. Unless you have a skill which is in short supply here and you can find an employer to sponsor your application for a work permit, in which case you could get in in months.
Scotland? Not exactly "abroad" but a change and property in many areas is cheap, education can be excellent and you speak the language! (Mostly, I still struggle with people from some areas, particularly when they have had too much beer!)
Do you really want to relocate or just take a long vacation?
No offence but I find a lot of people post this kind of vague query in "living overseas" because its something they are fantasizing about doing, but never really take seriously. They look on google in the same way someone might look at vintage cars on ebay. I think a lot of replies are genuinely helpful but often a waste of time because as I say, the poster isn't really serious to start with.
Understand what you're saying but it is a new life, like it or not when you change countries for anything other than a holiday. Regardless of whether you emigrate and sell up or just rent for a while as you propose, you will have all the daily differences to contend with - education system, language, state support, healthcare, cost of living, cultural norms, taxation, bureaucracy, climate, housing... All v different! Maybe s 3 month try out somewhere first, see how it goes?
The effect on five children (you don't say how old they are) with having to get used to a new school system, a new language and being uprooted from their friends will be enormous and not to be underestimated.
Similarly if your company is remaining registered as a UK company you need to check all the implications of that whether it makes you ordinarily resident or not and how to access healthcare where you move to. Whilst some countries will still give you child allowance e.g. Germany, you have other costs to be aware of e.g. health insurance and whilst there are reciprocal agreements re taxation I am not sure how things stand if you are based in one country but paying tax in another iyswim.
In France, whether your company is UK-based or not, your income will be taxed in France. However, with 5 children, you will have 2+5*.5 ie 4.5 tax allowances. You will also be entitled to family allowance, and a large family card which, among other things, entitles you to extra points at Intermarché, cheap fares on SNCF trains, and quite a few other things.
You would also probably be entitled to school grants for each of your school-age children.
However, it's likely that if any of your children are working, and are with you in France that their income will be added to your income for tax purposes.
I'd recommend looking at the forum on www.frenchentree.com among sites for ideas/pitfalls etc.
There will be similar sites for expats in Spain.
There's also angloinfo.com
I live in France and can recommend it. Husband set up his graphic design business here and does pay a fair bit for social security charges but income tax is lower over here.
I cannot help with schools as my kids are younger than 2 but the childcare is much cheaper than in the uk.
Buying a house is relatively straightforward but if you are renting I think you need 2/3 months rent upfront.
Don't assume that France is like the uk - the jokes about bureaucracy and lengthy admin are all true!!
What area of France are you thinking of? Consider the weather, transport links, house prices and where you'll get your baguette from