Why Move to France?
When you think of France, the first things that come to mind include fantastic food and exceptional wine – a country rich in architecture, full of culture and intertwined with romance. Little wonder, then, that the 2014 InterNations Expat Insider survey says that “love” is the most popular reason for relocating to France.
But you don’t have to be driven by matters of the heart to want to move there, so what else could you expect from a life in France? According to the HSBC Expat Explorer report, it outranks the UK in several areas of life. Unsurprisingly, expats to France claim it is the number one destination in the world for a good diet, which is complemented nicely by high quality healthcare; 60 per cent of expats in France now experience far better care for their health since moving.
The country also trumps the UK for offering a good social life, pleasant working environment and, importantly, a more enjoyable work/life balance that ranks over twice as high as the UK in the global rankings.
More than 150,000 Britons have made France their permanent home. As its closest continental neighbour, many (particularly those in their retirement years) find it a straightforward way to improve their quality of life with more desirable weather, delightful scenery and affordable housing without the need for a visa to live and work.
Others move for the benefit of their family. InterNations ranks France 9th (out of 34) for the quality of its education and the country is desirable for its inexpensive state schooling and childcare. Plus, not only is raising children considered cheaper and safer than it would be in many other countries, it is only beaten by Sweden and Denmark in InterNations’ worldwide Family Life Index.
One thing that does not seem to be much of a motivation to move to France is money. InterNations expats note that there are not as many career opportunities as they would like; Britons moving to France could well experience a drop in their household income, along with an increase in taxes. Late last year, income tax rates were changed, meaning those earning over €26,632 are taxed at 30 per cent, which rises to 41 per cent for salaries over €71,398. The 45 per cent tax rate applies for salaries over €150,201. On top of income taxes, salaried workers pay social charges on earnings, similar to national insurance contributions.
While many expats who move to France are likely to experience a much better quality of life, they also mention that it will take time settling comfortably into their new life. While some may feel that they can ‘make do’ speaking English, learning French before you move is extremely important; adopting the language will help considerably with fitting in with the locals.
As long as you are fully committed to integrating into the French way of life, expats will be able to fully appreciate the many beautiful and fascinating things that France has to offer.
If you are considering a move to France, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London give us a call.
Information correct at time of publication.