moving to france - anyone done it? thought about it?(8 Posts)
We are seriously thinking about doing this. The kids are all young enough (the eldest would be four,)our work arrangements are flexible and property/schools in France have much to reccommend them.What d'you think? Anyone done this?
we've considered it but both of us would make sure to fully learn the language before going. we're a bit unsettled right now and will probably end up moving somewhere abroad within the next year.
Think very carefully ahead - visit at different times of year, try to build local contacts etc. It may seem idyllic but it could prove very hard work and a local community difficult to integrate successfully into. Make sure you have a real positive focus rather than just negative feelings about the UK and really do your homework.
Friends of mine did it on some kind of a whim 2 years ago - they have 2 children (now 10 & 13). The kids speak fluent French now, they go to an international school in Grenoble which is state funded. They all love it. They rented a place to start with but have now bought a really old house needing a lot of renovation. The French aren't keen on doing renovations and I think my friends may have taken on a bit too much. And the only other negative thing is that the man works from home for a UK company and is not learning french. The woman was made redundant and goes to french lessons, is dealing with the renovation and her french is coming along really well.
Their quality of life is fantastic. The kids are bilingual. They are an hour away from the ski slopes, the weather is great, they have a house big enough for the family - they wouldn't have got close to affording it in the UK. They love the french culture, society and approach to life(even though most of their friends seem to be ex-pats), friends and family are always happy to visit them. It hasn't been easy but there is nothing to tempt them back to the UK.
just noticed this thread and thought hey theres one i can comment on. i lived in france as a child for a few years and in fact my parents are just about to move back there to retire. i loved everything about the country and go there on hols at least twice a year.
they have a fantastic education system and health service. the language barrier could be a problem but basically if you are willing to trry then the french people are more likely to help you out.
Another Mumsnetter, Rhubarb, is living in France atm. She might see this post and reply to you or you could CAT her.
can't add much as have been living in France as part of dh's UK work contract so we haven't fully integrated on things like social security, health services etc
think it's a good place to have kids - childcare is v available, and faciliies seem to be good, also there are tax incentives for families with more than 2 children.
be careful about planning your finances though - we've found paying french taxes to be complicated (taxed on any money in the UK as well as money in France) and be aware of the inheritance laws - kids inherit in preference to spouses - get good advice on money and will's.
http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/13/ is a good site that includes general info on financial and legal stuff and bulletin boards specific to the Cote d'Azur, Brittany and Normandy.
Standard of healthcare here is great btw.
Thanks, everyone. Fodders, my dh has real concerns around the taxes/inheritance. If you know of an accountant -someone that has advised you, perhaps- that is good - I'd love to know of his/her name. By the way, where are you based? Our preference is to live in the Tarn - close to Toulouse. Is this an area you know?
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