It is important to know how you are going to live, whether you are going to work here, what you will do - and fundamentally how you will fund your new lifestyle.
People of all ages move to France, not just those retiring, and indeed we have many young friends who have found their niche in all sorts of ways so that they have an income and are able to live comfortably. Don’t worry: it is certainly possible!
Plainly, having some knowledge of French is not only useful but pretty essential if you are planning to get into the French system. Here are some ideas for easy ways to fund your lifestyle.
Many folk decide to buy a property with one or more gîtes. These are very popular in France and once you are set up and registered with Gîtes de France, this is a good way to earn an income. Alternatively you may consider opening a B&B – again very popular and many properties lend themselves to this. We have friends who have just bought a large property in a nearby village and have already received permission from the mairie to turn it into a B&B (this is important). Other friends of ours earn money by doing changeovers in various gîtes: ok quite hard work on a Saturday morning when you have one lot of people leaving and another lot arriving, but it is only for one day! Plenty of people have second homes here and are constantly on the look for help with the changeovers in their absence.
Do you have a skill? For example, another friend of ours has set herself up as a mobile hairdresser. Word of mouth in rural parts soon gets the customers coming in and she loves her job – meets all sorts of people and gets to drive around beautiful countryside.
Teaching English is another popular way of earning money. You don’t necessarily need to have a qualification for this. If you have the patience and impetus, you can advertise for one to one lessons for all ages locally.
If you have building/decorating skills, you will find work. Be careful about how you earn though; if you do establish yourself in this field, you would be wise to register in the system as an auto entrepreneur which means you will be paying tax of course, but in the long term, this will be a good thing. You will also qualify for a carte vitale for your health protection, and also be entitled to a French pension!
Talking of pensions, now that the UK Government has allowed people to free up their pensions, this has enabled many to feel they can come and live in France with some money in their pocket. The State pension also will be paid into your French bank account, if required. It’s just a question of filling out the relevant forms, although we do recommend speaking a currency exchange specialist like Smart Currency Exchange to ensure you make the most of your transfers and achieve the best exchange rates.
My general advice is to think about your skills and how they could translate into your life in France. There are so many ways in which to earn money here whilst still enjoying a tranquil lifestyle.