Retire in France
Your Retirement in France Will Be Unlike Retiring Anywhere Else
If you are wondering where to spend your retirement years, then you should definitely be considering a retirement in France. For the retiree, France offers a great quality of life along with all the modern comforts you enjoy at home.
While France does not have a special incentive visa for retirees, the process of retiring in France is quite simple. You apply for a long-term visa at the nearest French consulate in your home country, after which you obtain a carte de séjour visiteur. To prove you have the financial means, statements from your pension plan should be enough to satisfy the authorities.
Be sure that your health plan covers you in France, or obtain a suitable French plan. We still recommend a three-month trial in France to find your home base and to network with other retirees. Because Paris is the most expensive place to live in France, you may want to consider retiring in the French countryside, where real estate, rents, and the cost of living are cheaper.
The Paperwork Necessary for Retiring in France
Generally, it isn’t difficult for North Americans to gain long-term residency and retire in France, but you should check out your particular situation before making plans. Plenty of documentation will be needed, and current requirements are as follows:
* A passport, signed and valid for three months after the last day of stay
* Eight separate application forms, signed and legibly filled out
* Eight passport-size photos per individual glued to the forms
* Non-U.S./Canadian citizens will also need evidence of current legal residency status
* One long-term application annex, which must be completed, dated, signed, and notarized
Please check with the French consulate nearest you for complete instructions.
The Climate in France
France has a mostly temperate climate, though there are many regional variations. Average winter temperatures range from 32° F to 46° F and average summer temperatures from 61° F to 75° F. For the most warmth and sunshine, look to the Midi, the term the French themselves use for the deep south of the country. The Provence and Languedoc regions are characterized by mild winters and blisteringly hot summers. Along with the north and central regions, Paris has cool and fairly rainy winters, though summers here are usually hot. Winters are a lot colder in the eastern regions of Alsace-Lorraine and in the mountainous regions of the Alps, the Pyrénées, and the Massif Central. Be aware that the French use the Celsius temperature scale (° C), so don’t expect to see temperatures given in Fahrenheit once you’re there.
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