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Fred

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  1. We adopted a stray 3 years ago and it has changed our lives completely - for the better!

    To anyone who is toying with the idea, but is worried that it might put the mockers on travel plans, just be strong and get used to putting your new pet in kennels from time to time, and don't feel guilty about it. Or even take your dog with you - France is a very dog-friendly place.
  2. We received our first bill for social charges last month and have only been billed for social charges on investments and not on pension income, so it worked! Thanks to all the advice received on this forum.
  3. I know this is an old thread now, but I was searching for info on how the valeur locative brute was calculated and came upon a few discussions on the topic which were very helpful - thanks to those who contributed. I eventually tracked down the nitty gritty of how it is calculated - all the details can be found in the code generale des impots, annexe 3, article 324 (especially 324T which tells you how many sq meters are added for each extra bath, loo, sink, etc). I eventually managed to work out how many sq meters my house is now deemed to have, after the improvements are finished, and the percentage increase roughly equated to the percentage increase in taxe d'habitation (assuming all other factors remain unchanged). I guess the taxe fonciere will also increase, although I've got a stay of execution with that for the moment (2 years, I think one post said?). Anyway, hope that helps if anyone else is looking for the formula. As to the magic coefficients which multiply the sq meterage to give you the valeur locative brute, I gather that this differs from commune to commune, and only the tax office or your Mairie can tell you what it is. Good luck.

  4. Hi Scott,

    I can't help you with a specific refrence, but we had our roof done recently and it was 12,000 euros TTC to replace asbestos tiles with slate, and also to replace most of the wood except for the main beams. I don't know the surface area, but the house is 12m x 6m, with about a 45 degree pitch, and no roof windows or other complicated bits. We are in Brittany, so I don't know how the prices compare with other depts.
  5. We are in a similar position to yourselves (though not quite as young, unfortunately) and are now on our third insurance company (the reason for the changes being cost and degree of comprehensiveness). I don't want to get into any details about specific insurance companies on the forum, but if you want to email me I can let you know who we were with, their website addresses, and what they covered (or, more importantly, didn't cover).
  6. Hi, we have lost some channels since the analogue switch off (we have a cheapie TNT box which receives a signal from our rooftop aerial pointed in the Nantes direction). We re-tuned our TNT box and now get canal+ (which we didn't before) but have lost France 2 and 3. Any ideas?
  7. I have just come across an interesting article/guide on http://www.french-property.com/guides/france/finance-taxation/taxation/social-security/social-welfare-levy/ which goes into more detail concerning the differences between the various types of pension/retirement, and liability for social charges. There are also two newsletters, one for 2008 http://www.french-property.com/news/tax_france/french_social_charges_uk_pensions/ and another for 2009 http://www.french-property.com/news/tax_france/social_charges_uk_pensions/ which discusses the subject further. It confirms what you have said, Sunday Driver, but suggests that there are some areas open for interpretation and warns that things may change in the future.....

    EDIT Links made live by mod. To make live link, highlight link text, click on ball & chain icon, make sure text is in box and http isn't duplicated, click on OK. If link is underlined it is live.

  8. Thanks Sunday Driver, I sincerely hope you are right.

    I had already checked out the tax FAQs (which I find very useful - thanks Cathy) but they did not address my particular circumstances. The FAQ states:

    "(a) if your French healthcare cover is courtesy of an E-form, then you are exempt from social charges (contributions sociales) on your UK company and old age pensions.

    or (b) if your heathcare cover is under couverture maladie universelle (CMU) and you are paying your quarterly 8% health contributions, then your pension will be subject to social charges. "

    I think we, and others in the same situation as ourselves arriving after November 2007 with neither CMU entitlement nor an 'E' form, need an option "c", and I've come across several various opinions as to whether we should, or should not, be paying one or more of the various social charges on hubby's pension.

    Is there anyone else out there in the same situation as us? There must be hundreds, but I've not met anyone yet - all the expats we've met so far seem to have carte vitales!

    Edit - Having just read your latest post, I looked up Tax Note 2041GG on the internet and interpret this as meaning that if you are not contributing (or not entitled to contribute, in our case) to the CMU, for whatever reason, you don't have to pay the CRDS on (any) foreign pensions, whether state or company pensions. And goes on to recommend that you say something to this effect at the end of form 2047. Have I interpreted this correctly?
  9. We moved to France recently and are lucky enough to be early 'inactif' retirees. Unfortunately we cannot yet join the French health service and have to rely on private health insurance. Neither of us is entitled to an 'E' form and whilst my husband has an occupational non-government pension, we do not receive a state pension for several years.

    I am about to complete my tax form, as I know we are liable for income tax on the pension and any savings.

    My question is: are we liable for any or all of the social charges, or does the fact that we are not entitled to join the CMU exempt us in any way? And if so, where do we indicate this on the tax form?

    Any help would be much appreciated - thanks
  10. We always use Rational Fx. I originally set up accounts with 4 or 5 Forex companies, and would compare their spot rates prior to each exchange, and Rational Fx were consistently best. I must admit that I haven't compared their rates recently, but would probably do so now and then in the future just to make sure they're still the most competitive.
  11. We took out travel insurance with flexicover.co.uk, but haven't had cause to put it to the test yet (fortunately)
  12. I see that Brittany Ferries have got one of their Spring special offers on at the moment with £66 for a car + 2 people for 48 hours in France. It isn't much good to me now that I live here, but I used to find the 24 and 48 hour crossing deals quite useful when I needed to pop over to check on the property or just bring a car load of stuff over.

    I might tell a few friends so that they can come and visit for not-too-long and have the benefit of their own car so we don't have to do the guided tour yet again!

    Fred
  13. I can thoroughly recommend the Franklin French-English electronic dictionary (the one I've got is the BFQ-450). It's excellent, and beats the socks off the previous 6 language electronic dictionary I had previously. I use it all the time, and it's small and light enough to carry round in a pocket.
  14. I watched the "allo docteur" special swine flu broadcast on Wednesday evening on France 5, and it had some very interesting discussions on the subject (I think you can watch it again on the France 5 internet site)
  15. Fred

    Glasses

    It's great that most Uk opticians offer free or low cost eye tests, but I assume that they rely on sales of specs in order to subsidise the cost of the eye test. I have never previously thought of this as a possible conflict of interests until I came to France.

    Recently I had my eyes tested by a chain of (UK) opticians I had not been to previously, and I was a bit concerned that more time and attention was given to the sale (they called it selection) of specs after the eye test, than to the eye test itself!

    I therefore arranged for a second eye test with another (UK) chain, and was interested to discover that the two prescriptions differed, the latter being the same as my existing specs which I had bought two years previously.

    It may be the case that opthalmology is not an exact science and that one optician's prescription may differ from another's quite genuinely, but I did wonder if there is pressure on opticians to find that your eyesight has "changed", necessitating new specs.

    It begs the question as to whether the French system is better, in that the opthalmologists who carry out eye tests are independent of the opticians who sell the specs, albeit at a greater overall cost.

    I'd be interested to hear anyone else's views on this?
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