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Spidworthy

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  1. My sincere apologies if I appear to be abusing the forum's willingness to seek out chapter and verse on all this -- it is definitely not my intent! It's merely that I have had so much conflicting advice from sources which appear to be authoritative (e.g. the professional French specialist who facilitated my AE registration and insisted it was purely a three-year concessionary scheme, and the aforementioned 'bollocks' passed on from that professional advisor) that I really wanted to be ABSOLUTELY sure that I'm on solid ground.

    I will in fact now print out the advice and references which have been given and will take it back to some of the contradictory sources. I do certainly feel that I am now up to speed on what's involved, and my thanks again to you all for taking the time and trouble.
  2. Many thanks to both for the advice. Though it may not only be anglophone websites which lie at the root of any confusion.

    One example: the official website NormanH refers to states towards the end:

    À noter : si vous êtes vous-même ayant droit majeur d'un assuré, vous continuez à bénéficier de la prise en charge de vos frais de santé sans aucun changement. (Roughly: if you are a major beneficiary of an insured person, you will continue to benefit from the assumption of your health costs without any change.)

    .... Which would appear to suggest that one's non-working wife (i.e. beneficiary) would indeed continue to enjoy cover contrary to what you state?

    A Brit colleague was recently told by a professional advisor that under the new system, continuing to pay for top-up ('complementaire') insurance is the surest way to guarantee continued entitlement to the healthcare system.

    The quest for clarity continues!
  3. Submerging under contradictory information on healthcare entitlement under the new(ish) PUMA system, and having read everything I can find, I fear I am as confused as ever. It seems from what I read I am not alone. Perhaps someone out there can un-confuse me?

    My situation in a nutshell: without any entitlement to an S1 or any other 'open sesame' (I have worked abroad as a Britpat all my life), I started work here as an AE just over two years ago at the age of 66, and have dutifully declared and paid all my 'cotisations' on my modest freelance income every quarter under that scheme. I was told by the organization which arranged my business registration that the AE scheme would run out in three years -- by which time in any case I hope to really retire! But it was also my understanding at the time that fulfilling the three years would 'de facto' secure my Carte Vitale (and thereby that of my non-working partner) in perpetuity once I did actually retire here.

    (And just for the record, registering as an AE was never intended solely as a ruse to get the Carte Vitale, as some have pointed out here; I have run a modest freelance business here for more than two years, and getting the CV on its basis was simply an added bonus).

    Although like all good residents I submit my annual tax return, sadly my (combined) income has never taken us above the minimum household taxpaying threshold.

    So the question to which I've had so many varied answers is this: when I 'retire' from the AE scheme on January 1 next year after the full three years, and then stop declaring and paying the quarterly deductions, will we nevertheless continue to enjoy the fruits of our Carte Vitale (and the top-up insurance we've had with it right from the start)?

    Or will we, like the Led Zeppelin song, continue to be Dazed and Confused about the whole complicated business?
  4. Many thanks for all the advice above. One supplementary question:

    If we do go the route above and draw up a separate French will, in the presence of a notaire, and then lodge it with him or her, does this also mean that when we both pop our clogs, that notaire is effectively the Executor of said will (for a set fee, we assume)? Or are we still then supposed to appoint our own Executor?
  5. The dilemma in a nutshell: to draw up one will covering our assets both in France and abroad, or to have a separate French one purely for our assets here?

    My understanding is that since last year, under EU rules we can now choose to have our entire estate processed under English law (well, at least until Brexit, but let's cross that bridge when).

    With a fairly simple situation (we have neither been divorced/remarried, nor do we have any offspring, and were married in Community of Property), the easiest option is of course to go for one will, under English law, covering both our UK/offshore assets, and the few things we own here (mainly our main-residence French home, plus dribs and drabs like car, bank balance etc.). We are not French citizens, nor are we envisaging citizenship.

    Drawing up a separate French will is a time-consuming and expensive exercise to get it right, by all accounts, so the easier one-will option obviously attracts. Can anyone advise, particularly from their own direct experience? Thanks!!
  6. As a quick afterthought, I see some online sources say Orange charges 50 euros to cancel an account? Is this really correct?

    They also say it is no longer necessary to send a registered letter to cancel, as used to be the case; it can simply be done through the helpline.

    Also, what happens to the actual (old-style) Livebox when I cancel? I 'inherited' it from the previous owner (who had already had it for a few years). Orange had no problem with that, and consequently does not charge me any rental for the actual box. Do I just pass it on similarly to someone else, or is there some sort of deposit due if/when returning it to Orange?
  7. Thanks for the tips, appreciated. Fortunately my contract is 'sans engagement' so I am free to cancel at any time without penalty. And now that mobile data offers me double the speed at less than half the price for the volume I use monthly, and we don't use the French TV option through the Livebox, there seems little point in continuing it. We've been promised fibre-optic for years, but I keep seeing visions of airborne pigs....
  8. You may have misunderstood what I was trying to explain. I don't use my day-to-day phone as a wifi hotspot -- I have bought an entirely separate, small one, about the same size as a MiFi in fact (a Motorola Moto E) dedicated solely as a wifi hotspot. Same price as a MiFi, but it can of course do so much more if and when you might need it!

    So it is loaded with the separate SIM-card I use purely for data, as it would be in the MiFi. And yes, it can easily 'drive' six or seven connected wifi devices, exactly as a MiFi can. Same range, same price, same size, same convenience -- but you get so much more for your money.

    The whole concept is a little like dedicated MP3 players which are slowly disappearing because most people now use their phones for listening to audio. Dedicated MiFi will continue for a while to be adopted by those attracted by their simplicity, but as technology 'convergence' advances, they will ultimately go the way of MP3 players and before them pocket organisers, PDAs, pagers, portable e-mailers, pocket game devices, mainstream digital cameras, handheld GPS devices.....
  9. It's probably too late for the person who originally posted the query, but from my own experience it makes no sense at all to buy a dedicated MiFi device anymore, now that even the simplest Android phone will serve just as well (and in some cases actually better!) as a 'Mobile Hotspot', with no special technical expertise required other than the ability to tap an icon.

    For the same price as my previous one-trick-pony MiFi Hotspot I bought an excellent Motorola Moto E 4G phone, slapped my SIM into it and turned on the Mobile Hotspot feature (either by enabling it in the settings, or for supreme ease, by downloading a Mobile WiFi widget button to achieve the same thing with just one On/Off tap on the Home screen).

    Any half-decent current Android phone can now do the same for the same cash outlay, but with all the added features of a new smartphone thrown in 'gratuit', and with just as much ease of use. Time to retire that old one-trick-pony MiFi back to the stable!
  10. Does anyone know whether it's possible to cancel a 'sans engagement' Livebox subscription simply by calling the English Helpline (the helpline assistant said yes) -- or whether as others insist, you have to go the usual ISP route of sending a registered letter?

    As mobile data becomes steadily cheaper I have finally decided to relinquish the (expensive) landline service in favour of twice-as-fast mobile data at less than half the price. Anyone else in a similar situation (and not yet eligible for fibre-optic) may like to consider this route now that the mobile market is evolving so fast. In my own 'sans engagement' offer, I've got a hefty 20 GB of 3G/4G data a month from SFR RED, for just 10 euros (that 'forfait' is unfortunately now closed) -- which includes free 'illimite' landline calls Europe wide, and free SMSes in France. My Livebox package even after I cancelled the actual landline phone in favour of an internet one, was EUR 37-50 -- vive la difference!
  11. Yes that is certainly one option -- if we die at separate times. Our concern at the moment is more about what happens if both of us are run over by a number vingt-sept bus together, meeting our maker simultaneously.
  12. Many thanks indeed for the information and links -- even if you were the bearer of bad news :-) . So it's not looking good then, and this rather strange system also goes some way to explaining why so many French properties are simply abandoned on the death of their owners, I would think.

    Having to pay 35% or more of the market value upfront certainly narrows our options of who to leave our French home to, and few family members (especially outside France) would be too keen to take on that burden in the hope of being able to sell the home -- eventually. So we are going to have to rethink the options for our French will. What arrangements have other Brit members of this forum made about passing on their properties when they pop their clogs, I wonder?
  13. Can anyone perhaps advise on what inheriting a French house involves?

    We are drafting a French will in what is a very simple family situation -- we have no former spouses and no children. In the event of the death of both of us, we want our French (primary) home to go to a sibling in the Netherlands.

    That beneficiary would ultimately sell the house. However he is worried that he would first have to pay French succession taxes or similar in advance (and is this much on a modest house currently worth less than EUR 150k?), on actually inheriting the house, leaving him considerably out of pocket until the house can finally be sold.

    Is this the case, or could he first sell the house and then pay any taxes due? Thanks for the help!
  14. As the saying goes, your mileage may differ. I am certainly very pleased for you that your experience was different to mine -- where unlike you I waited 10 days (through many many frustrated calls) for that replacement SIM while my phone-dependent freelance business ground to a halt.

    And no, naturally I wouldn't be naive enough to think somebody at LFM was tracking this forum, 'just in case'. This time after days of frustration and broken promises I in fact told them I had posted my case here, with the link -- and magically, the RIO code I needed appeared within hours... Sure, could be a coincidence, let's give them the benefit of the doubt and all that.

    I'm sure LFM is indeed a perfectly adequate organisation (though horribly expensive compared to signing up for a 'real' French package in the mainstream market) -- but in my case, twice, their customer service really didn't cut it.

    So in such instances, when all else really fails and you are banging your head against the proverbial brick wall, social media, correctly applied, can work wonders if the offending party knows that's the ultimate route you will take.

  15. That would indeed have saved a lot of hassle. In fact I already have a Virgin contract to which I would have liked to port my LFM number. But a French-speaking friend tried to arrange it with Virgin and was told that because my Virgin contract had already been in use for some months, they could not port my LFM number to it anymore. It seems you were luckier with your provider....

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