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Everything posted by andyh4

  1. I know what you mean. In the last 6 months the washing machine, tumble dryer and oven have all needed to be replaced.
  2. And beware, if you have previously clicked to avoid sharing your information with the list of "trusted" partners, it seems that that decision is overwritten when the message comes back up. I am no expert, but I strongly suspect that Archant are in breach of the law with that particular SNAFU.
  3. Kong wrote Great thing about bleach from an eco point of view is it breaks down and therefore doesn't do long term damage like salt/vinegar mixes do. Don't kid yourself Erm. Bleach breaks down to sodium chloride - aka salt. I no longer give a feck about by fecking privacy. Just stop the IT equivalent of the water drop torture :PLEASE.
  4. If you are using a Sky box or Freesat and channel 103, this is HD. You need to try the SD signal - 803 on Sky (from which you may gather I too have had problems I the last week or so.) Not sure of the channel number on Freesat.
  5. Mods Please get this sorted with your so called IT expert or I will be joining Chancer. I have had this on a near daily basis until today when it has been virtually on each movement up/down page back/forward, next page, reply etc.
  6. Not done it Pel but some thoughts. You can look for property on www.leboncoin.fr. Alternatively do a Goggle.fr search for "immobilier Provence" You will get hundreds of hits. 150k does not seem a lot for a property where you are looking, but if you are prepared to take an apartment I am sure it is possible. Any purchase of property as an investment is a risk - possibly more so in France than the UK. PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'Azur - the region you are looking at) has held up well regarding property values, which can be looked at two ways - it is a relatively safe bet, or it is a market that could see a correction. Currently I would favour the former, but I make no claims as an expert. Beware of properties that are in need of renovation - not what you are looking for. Think about renting out carefully. The period when you are likely to get short term (weekly) rentals is likely to be exactly the period when you will want to use it yourself. You will also need an agent to handle change-overs and for trouble shooting. This will impact on any income you hope to make. Location: Nice has virtually as good air connections as Marseille - in fact if you discount the low cost airlines, Nice has a better service with national airlines. National airlines are less likely to walk away from a route than the Locos. The downside is that I think you will find that that end of PACA is more expensive than the more industrial Marseille area.
  7. As far as tax residency is concerned, if your husband becomes French tax resident, then you are both French tax resident. Your combined incomes will need to be declared to the French authorities. However your UK income which is taxed or considered for tax if you do not reach the personal allowance is only taxed in the UK. That is the upside. The downside is that your OH's income is taxed as if his income were starting from the value of your income. Your husband would (because he would not be covered by UK healthcare) have to pay into the health system - currently 8% of income. This might be worthwhile if you (actually it would only be he) are trying to establish French residency before Brexit to ease any potential problems or barriers at a later date. There is a risk in this either way since although we have seen proposals nothing is yet set in stone. Worst case is that you would in the future have to supply the same information and guarantees regarding income as say a US citizen today.
  8. Well I would prefer to be in front rather than behind a truck tootling along at 80kph. 1. Having the truck in front significantly reduces my forward field of view and makes judging the road, its conditions and what others may be about to do much more difficult. 2. When the truck slows - as it inevitably will do because of other road users, reaching a 50km limit, sharp bend or whatever - its acceleration once the object has been passed is very much less than mine. Sod's law will say that at this time, road conditions will make overtaking impossible or at least unsafe/unwise.
  9. Substantial sections of the N7 round here have already had the speed limit reduced and 80 signage is already there. Exiting a built up area often does not have a speed limit sign, it is just the national limit (90 now, 80 next month). I think this will be a much smaller problem than many think.
  10. Thank you for that Betty. I did actually tell a little white lie in so far as the John Deer website does have a potato harvester for sale - €200 - the only problem is that it is a 1:32 scale model.
  11. Richard Not quite sure what your little YouTube clip was supposed to demonstrate unless it was how easy and relaxing potato cropping is. What it leaves out is the cost of the equipment. I could not track down the price of a self propelled potato harvester but will make an educated guess of between £250.000 - 350.000. I did track down the price for a similar tractor to that towing the trailer £54.000 - for a second hand model. Then add the cost of a good sturdy trailer to carry 10 tonnes - £7.000 - 10.000. New kit all round and you are probably looking at the thick end of half a million euros. Not that any farmer round here could even get that kit to their farms easily, let alone pay for it. The roads are just too narrow and twisty. Potatoes are harvested in a much more traditional method here with a turning share to lift them and human hands to pick them up and put them in baskets. With the sorts of financial burdens for the kit your clip shows it is perhaps not entirely unsurprising that suicide rates in the UK farming community are around 33% higher than the average population. . Your comment about farmers not being stupid is well made; but if they wanted to stay here and not move to the city then they have no real choice - as per my previous post. In fact throughout the 20th century that is exactly what has happened, with the village population gradually drifting down to around 1/3 of what it was in 1900. Since the start of this century that has started to turn around and more - and importantly younger - people now moving in/back. The ability to run business remotely has undoubtedly helped.
  12. Relatively few unemployed here Richard - certainly not the 9% national average. We do however have a relatively large number of retirees - many living from the agricultural pension that is 4/5 of not a lot (other 4/5 phrases are available). The reason that people here stay in farming is however to avoid becoming a part of that unemployed group, because you are right, in such communities there is little else to do - a few artisan building trades with their one or two (often casual) workers. A couple of mechanics to mend the agricultural kit. The usual professionals - vet, doctor, nurse etc. Plus a few shop keepers and their employees. So if you want to stay here you probably stay in farming, otherwise it's a move to the big city.
  13. And note the study uses changes hands rather than is sold. So Betty's 1.6% movements within the agricultural industry includes those retiring and those who die in service. That is probably most of the changing hands. Richard if this farming malarkey were so wonderfully profitable why have the investment firms in France largely ignored it.* I say largely because I do know that some areas of Northern France have come to their attention, as have a number of better known vineyards in the Bordeaux area. * part of the answer might lie in the number of departements where land values have fallen according to your link. Another by the stated growth rates over 20 years - somewhat better than a bank but only somewhat. Our commune is largely agricultural with few being employed as agricultural workers. The majority are therefore farms owned and run by the family alone. The average household income for our commune is around €8500. Land prices dropped by 7% in 2016 in the Ardeche. Here at least it is not a money making exercise to be a farmer.
  14. Judith I never could understand people who won't use the pool in the rain. Are you afraid of getting wet? ;-)
  15. I have to agree with Richard about not expecting to come out of the conversion with a "profit". One of our two building that we converted was a small barn. I reckon it must have cost €2000/m sq. to a good but certainly not luxurious standard. If we sold I would expect to roughly get back the conversion cost but not the purchase price, but we have no intentions to sell because it does give us pretty much exactly what we want.
  16. Wooly wrote: If you are not sure, look ........ on the shelves of the local supermarket where they will sell the tabs if water hard. I wish it were so WB. Our supermarkets are full of the stuff and the nearest Chalk/Limestone is 3 valleys to the South or 75km and a huge river valley to the East. Your kettle suggestion is however spot on. Never had a kettle so pristine bright before.
  17. A few comments Healthcare: Your wife will be entitled to an S1 providing healthcare in France - which is generally 70% of the costs. The remainder being up to you or paid through a mutuelle or insurance policy. As a dependent spouse you may be entitled to piggy-back onto her S1 until you retire and get one in your own right. This is what I did, but the rules keep changing. The NHS website makes no mention that I can find, but other websites say it is possible. Climate You have mentioned warmer weather in a couple of posts. Beware; in most of France winters are very much colder than the UK. We typically enjoy winters where the daytime high may stay below minus ten for as much as a week. A bit extreme perhaps since although we are as far South as Bordeaux we live rather high up, but you should take note. We don't have a longer growing season as a consequence - but we do have olive trees - albeit in pots that we can bring in (olives are frost hardy down to below minus ten.) Tax If you can legally still keep your ISA when living permanently abroad, you will still have to declare any profits on your French tax forms - and be taxed on them (not covered by the double taxation treaty). You might look at transferring the money and taking out equivalent tax free investments in France such as a Livret A - although interest rates are poor at present. You should probably take professional advice since I doubt anyone here is sufficiently expert to give definitive advice. Translation of tax forms would be a Forth Bridge painting job since the rules change and the forms also on a regular basis. There is lots of advice on forums of what goes where on the forms and you can do an online simulation of your tax affairs.
  18. It's unlikely that there will be insulation or indeed damp proofing below the existing floor. If there is head room then you could well start from the existing floor. ALBF's suggestion of self levelling compound might prove very expensive if the falls are anything like I imagine they are.
  19. But you are changing the habitable area of the property and taxes are based on that I think. Bureaucracy is a painful thing. Good luck Mogs.
  20. It's a trade show for garden designers and purveyors of specialist plants. It is no different than say the Geneva Car show, Ideal Home at Kensington, or a thousand other shows around the world. the big difference is that maybe because so many people have gardens and an interest - albeit passing - in plants, that it gets air time on the TV. Just as (obtusely perhaps) the car industry gets air time through top gear and fifth gear; the restaurant industry through Saturday Morning Kitchen, and a host of other pseudo-cookery shows (as in all you need is a hint of fairy dust excelsior, I got mine from a small specialist store in Hampstead Heath but if you cannot find it substitute with spinach); the property industry through Homes under the hammer, the big build and various other DIY/home improvement shows; The second hand/auction/Car boot market through Greed on Sunday (sorry Antiques Roadshow), Fl(w)og it, Bargain hunt, Money for Nothing .... We could of course ban them all and have broadcasting starting at 17:00 with Muffin the Mule (except that there is probably a sexual innuendo there - perhaps we need to exchange for a potter's wheel) and close down at 22:00 - Good Night everybody, Good Night! Good Night Dicky boy, Good Night!
  21. It depends why it died, but in such a short period of time I think you can take a risk. Just dig out the old one with a goodly amount of the soil around it and put the replacement in with fresh soil - not what you have dug out. I cannot remember now which of the TV gardening gurus said it but, "If you buy a ten bob plant, dig a ten pound hole." still holds true for me.
  22. I can only speak from my one experience in the UK Mac. In the mid 90s it tried to persuade employees to switch from a defined benefits to defined contributions scheme. Some changed, others stayed with the defined benefits scheme. [In hindsight this was probably set up to forestall a shortfall in the fund.] So with two systems running we could see how the differences worked. Employee and company contributions went into the fund and this was indeed managed by the trustees - irrespective of which scheme. On retirement differences kicked in. For those on defined benefits, their pension pot stayed under the control of the trustees. For those on defined contributions they were given options of annuities with different insurance companies and with different levels of benefit and the money was transferred from the fund to the chosen annuity. Maybe that's not how it works elsewhere but that is how it worked for the company I was working for.
  23. But where is the distinction? Once you have bought an annuity, you are with an insurance company, just as with a private pension. Those who might be safe are those (diminishing number) who have defined benefits, but if you have defined contributions then I suspect if this is not sorted it will become a right mess.
  24. Just to add to Lehaut's post re the LM loyalty card, your first purchase will also give you a discount - so go prepared with a big list of things you need, get the card and make a killing.
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