Expat retirees in France can expect a longer life

Published:  25 May at 6 PM
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A recent study has confirmed the French are living longer than those in most other countries, making it the perfect destination for expat retirees.

According to a French study of life expectancy across the world, French elder citizens are fortunate they were born there due to the fact that life expectancy is at one of the world’s highest levels and still increasing. For example, women’s average age is now approaching 90, and men aren’t far behind. The country has been attracting expat retirees for decades, and it now seems the incomers made the right choice.

For the majority of older expats, France represents life in the slow lane, offering a welcome change from the stressful daily grind of commuting, working, returning home and slumping in front of the television. Even professionals with fascinating jobs begin to look forward to independence from the rat race as they grow older. Once quality of life is put before quantity of money in the bank, retirement in France becomes a dream to be realised.

The country has always ranked near the top in the ever-popular expat surveys, with last year’s HSBC offering rating it fourth out of 45 for quality of life. Unsurprisingly, the UK was placed 30th, below the USA at 26th. Quality of life in retirement depends on health, with the French healthcare system rated as affordable and top quality. Four out of six expat retiree respondents to an InterNations survey praised it for a combination of reasonable costs and excellent care.

Properties in France are also affordable compared to most of the rest of Europe, and cheap when compared with the UK. There’s something for everyone from apartments in historic towns to country cottages with a little plot of land for growing vegetables and fruit. All styles of outdoor life can be had, dependent on the chosen location, from charming smaller cities to traditional villages and beachside properties. Importantly, French weather is milder than in the UK and northern Europe, giving summer sun and mostly mild winters.

Although not spectacularly cheap, France’s average cost of living is acceptable, being slightly higher than the UK but decidedly lower than Australia and the UK. Expats on modest pensions can live well, especially if they frequent the weekly fresh produce markets. Most importantly for elderly expats, France is one of the world’s safest countries, with 62 per cent of residents saying they felt secure walking by themselves at night.
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