There's a Hidden Corner of France Few People Know About...
Whether you dream of a city pied-a-terre...or a rambling farmhouse among the sunflowers...or a village house wrapped in wisteria-hung memories of long ago, France is more than affordable. In fact, there are many parts of the country where habitable homes in storybook settings cost under $150,000.
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View France in a larger map Fast Facts on France
View France in a larger map
Capital City: Paris
Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean
Time Zone: GMT+1
Country Code: 33
Coastline: 4,668 km
Read more about France in the articles below
A freelance opportunity to photograph Paris presented itself over drinks at a cocktail party. The president of a small publishing company complained to me about a freelance photographer who did not obtain shots needed to complete a French language textbook. The project deadline was fast approaching. I asked what was required.
The small, pretty town of Chantilly is less than 30 minutes from Paris by train, but when you arrive at the station and take a lungful of fresh air, the big city couldn’t feel farther away. Chantilly (pronounced shahn-tee-yee) lies in the Oise department of France, 24 miles north-northeast of Paris. It is both the name of a town of 11,000 people, and of a larger commune that comprises several other towns and villages, bringing the total population to 36,000.
A metropolis like Panama City or Paris or Montevideo has its advantages. In large, cosmopolitan communities, you have a wealth of choice in restaurants, museums, and parks. The hospitals tend to be better, the cultural offerings more varied. But a big city has its downsides, too. It can be loud, frenetic, disorganized. You may gain a measure of anonymity you enjoy, but it can be difficult to meet your neighbors and make friends.
- A Pied-à-Terre in the South of France: $676 a Month
Posted on November 20, 2013 by Barbara Diggs
Think you can’t afford to retire in the South of France? Think again. While it’s true that unless you’re fairly wealthy, you should cross places like Cannes, St. Tropez, and most of the pretty medieval villages of Provence off your list, there are still a number of south of France towns, villages and cities, particularly in the Languedoc-Rousillon region (my favorite), that offer a highly enjoyable lifestyle for a reasonable price.
- 5 Quick Questions Everyone Should Answer Before Moving Overseas
Posted on November 20, 2013 by Barbara Ross
There are many benefits to moving overseas: the weather is better, your quality of life will improve and you will always have something to do. Here are a few quick questions that you should ask yourself before moving overseas. 1. What type of weather do you like? If you don’t like the snow then you should…
A metropolis like Panama City or Paris or Montevideo has its advantages. In large, cosmopolitan communities, you have a wealth of choice in restaurants, museums, and parks. The hospitals tend to be better, the cultural offerings more varied. But a big city has its downsides, too. It can be loud, frenetic, disorganized.
Tucked away in Ecuador’s imposing Andes mountains are hundreds of green valleys where tumbling rivers nourish fertile soils and temperatures are near perfect all year round. These are among the best places to live in the country, and expats are busily discovering them. You’ll meet couples in this mountainous region who report expenses of $1,440 a month including rent. Most do not own a car.
The savviest investors and businessmen in the world are taking advantage of the bargains in Europe and you should be doing the same. “A few months ago, when I was researching European dividendpaying stocks, I learned about Neil Woodford and his favorite stock,” says Evaldo Albuquerque of Sovereigninvestor.com. “Not many people in the U.S. have heard about Neil Woodford. But in the UK, he’s a superstar…the UK version of Warren Buffett.
If you’re a die-hard lover of Paris, there’s probably no possible place on earth to live except in a sweet, 19th-century apartment in Montmartre that offers a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Or among the teeming cafés near the Bastille. Or in the glamorous neighborhoods surrounding the Boulevard Saint-Germain.
- Troglodyte Homes: Around the World…and Underground
Posted on November 18, 2013 by International Living
The accepted story goes that as humankind progressed over the millennia, we abandoned our cave shelters in favor of constructed homes. But plenty of folks still live in dwellings carved out of volcanic rock, into mountains, rocky hillsides, cliffs, or quarries. And they aren’t living a primitive life in caveman-style homes, either (though they are referred to as “troglodyte” homes).
- Living Internationally: How to Enjoy a Roving Retirement
Posted on November 14, 2013 by International Living
Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and—if you know where to look—you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Right now, living internationally…
At first it just happened by chance, but it was the best thing that ever happened to someone struggling to survive in a foreign land. A $47,000 investment (down payment and closing costs) in the year 2000 to purchase a 750-square-foot apartment in Le Marais, Paris has resulted in the ownership of five properties valued at almost $3.5 million in today’s market. I was living in the apartment as a rental for the first two years, then the owners wanted to sell…but, I simply couldn’t bear to leave it and spent nine months figuring out how to buy it. That was just the beginning.
It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…
Gliding between the jagged peaks of the French Pyrenees in my chairlift seat, I took a deep breath and tried to relax. It wasn’t the soaring height of the peaks that made me nervous, or the prospect of swishing down them on my skis. It wasn’t the weather, either—blue skies stretched from peak to peak. Nope, everything on the slopes was perfect.
Fifty years ago, if at retirement age you spent a few months in Paris…then moved on to Lisbon for the winter…settled for the spring in Italy…and then steamed down to Panama and Argentina…you were probably either wealthy, eccentric, or running from the law. These days…you’re just a run-of-the-mill vagabond retiree.
Sunsets over the Seine, croissants on the terrace, and lunch or dinner at the corner brasserie…life in Paris is as good as it sounds, and you can try it out for a lot less than you think. Just ask the folks living a “roving retirement,” many of whom make the City of Light a yearly stop.
- The Secrets to Finding a Rental for a Trial Run in Europe
Posted on October 17, 2013 by Valerie Fortney Schneider
You’ve made plans, set tentative dates…you’re almost ready to take off on your three- or six-month European tour…the next step is a roof over your head. But the short-term rentals offered online can be sickeningly expensive. Fully furnished and ready to go they may be, but with prices often multiples of those you’ll find on the ground, there are better ways to look.
Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Often that’s what I pay for accommodation when I travel. But I’m not roughing it. I’ve been in unique and unforgettable places around the world. I’ve made friends, met interesting people and learned new skills. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated the system. But it’s entirely above board.
- Embrace an International Life, Retire, Travel Slowly, See the World
Posted on October 17, 2013 by International Living
Not so long ago, only sailors, soldiers and the super wealthy got to see the world. But today, globetrotting isn’t just a job for mariners or the preserve of the jet set. You can cruise to Europe for up to 70% off standard prices if you know how… you can use a host of websites to organize low-cost, luxurious accommodation for a few months—enough time to try a place on for size—before moving on to the next…
The breeze is gently swaying the hanging bed, perched over a terraced hill, with views of three islands in the foreground. The South Pacific, an intoxicating mix of jade, turquoise and cobalt, is just a few steps down the stairs. Behind me is the pool with a mosaic, blue starfish in the bottom and lounge chairs—farther back, a three-bedroom, three-bath house…each room with its own view of this unspoiled paradise.
- Paris Real Estate: Tips for Buying in the City of Light
Posted on October 8, 2013 by Barbara Diggs
Now is a pretty good time to buy. Thanks to a weak economy and the flight of the wealthy to tax-friendlier countries, housing prices in most parts of Paris were (and continue to be) on their way down for the first time in over a decade. According to a recent Bloomberg news report, Paris prices fell by 2% in the last quarter of 2012 and sales volume is down by 20%. What’s more, prices are likely to fall further over the next year.
- “This Retirement Haven Keeps Getting Better and Better”
Posted on October 3, 2013 by Jennifer Stevens
“From curried kale chips to soy milk…every time I say, ‘I wish we could get that here,’ the person I’m talking to tells me we can and where I can go to pick it up…or I stumble on the item myself at the store two weeks later,” said Jessica Ramesch this morning to a packed house of 800 International Living readers. “Panama just keeps getting better and better.”
Health care can be expensive in the U.S. That’s why many people now travel or retire overseas for more affordable, reliable health care. France offers the best health care in the world. In fact, the World Health Organization named France number one in their health report, providing the best overall health care system in the world.
- The Top Three Best Places to Retire Overseas Where the Health Care is Excellent
Posted on September 30, 2013 by Barbara Ross
Health care can be expensive no matter what age you are but when you reach retirement, it is one thing that you don’t want to worry about. According to International Living’s Annual Retirement Index 2013, below are three of the best places in the world for health care.
My French adventure began in the ninth grade—in a classroom with a tall bearded French teacher called Mr. Kavanaugh. Mr. Kavanaugh adored la belle France—often showing us French films or playing the music of Edith Piaf—and his enthusiasm for the country was infectious. I nursed those fanciful high school moments into a dream of visiting and maybe one day, living in France.
No, Paris is unmatchable. It has bragging rights that other cities can only dream of. For centuries, people have traveled to Paris from all corners of the world to sip from its cup of sophistication and knowledge.
- Is This the Best Way to Make Money in Florence…or Paris?
Posted on September 23, 2013 by Cynthia Morris
If you’ve dreamed of traveling the world and getting paid to do so, try this… One of my favorite things is to lead creativity tours in Paris. Together, this group of avid travelers explore all kinds of off-the-beaten-path things that inspire us to be better writers and artists and to enjoy life more, once back home.
With a stylish, international population, 300 days of sunshine and a rich heritage, Aix-en-Provence is a refined town drenched in sunlight and culture. Full of surprises and delights, Aix celebrates its history yet evolves with the times.
For thousands of years skiing was just a way to travel in winter, carry mail and goods to snowbound towns, or—believe it or not—charge into battle. Then in the mid-19th century the first races took place and before long enthusiastic amateurs had taken up the sport.
Mon ami, you painted a pretty picture of life in southern Italy. But something is lacking—the sophisticated delights of duck confit, sweet onion preserves, foie gras and garriguette strawberries. You Italians are obviously clueless about food.
France is nice, I guess. Lavender fields and a vast wine country surely hold a certain appeal. But it’s Italy that captures the heart and feels like home. My cousin bought a house in a lovely little village in southern France, but when she comes to Basilicata, Italy she feels a pang of regret. How could she not, with so much home-spun seduction enveloping anyone who sets foot in the region?
Mi dispiace, France. I’m sorry. It’s no contest. Even in your rainy-day Brittany region, you can’t come up with a two-story house that a buyer could move into for 18,000 euro ($24,000). We can. It’s not a doll’s house either—there’s 1,290 square feet of living space.
The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.
- Former Lawyer Has a Better Lifestyle Since Using This Income Trick
Posted on August 29, 2013 by Rob Berger
When I started doing this in 2007, I didn’t have a business in mind. It was more of a hobby. I practiced law during the day, and I was a bored with it. I wanted to do something different.
- An Affordable Home in 3 of the World’s Best Cities
Posted on August 26, 2013 by Eoin Bassett
It may be your lifelong dream to live in the grand old cities of Europe…cities with a foot in the past and another firmly in the present. Or maybe you’d rather be closer to home in the Americas, enjoying the sultry Latin lifestyle of Panama City or Buenos Aires.
- No Such Thing as a Free Lunch? Try This in France…
Posted on August 21, 2013 by Steenie Harvey
For grilled squid, lavender ice cream, and a glass of chilled local white wine, I know a waterfront terrace restaurant at Cassis that’s perfect.
Paris, France, brings its communal gardens, castles, mansions, and cultural centers to life for the Festival Ile-de-France—a mix of jazz, classical, folk, and even Japanese concerts from September 7 to October 13.
If you’re looking for a laidback lifestyle in a tropical paradise then Roatan, the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands, fits the bill. Just a two-hour direct flight from Houston or Miami it’s the kind of place where dressing up means wearing flip flops.
Fast Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference 2014
Event Date: Oct 02, 2014
2014 Fast-Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference
October 2-4 2014, Las Vegas,NV
While your neighbors tighten their belts and reign in their retirement dreams… you can live with less stress, more freedom, and all the comforts you’ve always imagined.
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