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  1. +1 for Transferwise/Wise. They really are amazing. I looked at sending £150 to the states yesterday, they quoted 87p for that.
  2. I have lots of pension questions, I wonder if there are any experts out there who can help. I’m a French resident but cross border worker. I pay tax in uk and receive an S1 form for healthcare while I continue to work. I have a U.K. private pension/SIPP. If I retire early, can I take private healthcare (not a mutuel) in order to opt out of social charges? I will lose my S1 form when I stop working until I reach age 67. Any idea how much private healthcare is per month? I know, how long is a piece of string - but a very rough ballpark figure? If I take all the pension at retirement I pay 7.5% tax on the whole pot (less 10% allowance). Generally it’s then best to transfer in to an assurance vie for tax purposes? i believe I would then only pay tax on the gain of the assurance vie but at what rate? Ideally I’m looking for income tax rates and social charges separately here. I have looked on the web but there are lots of pre 2017 figures clouding my understanding. I will of course be seeking professional advice too but I like to be as clued up as I can before consultation so hope you can help.
  3. Hi Devonian77. I moved to France 4 years ago and still work in UK. I am a salaried UK employee but considered a French resident because my main residence is in France. Regardless of size or status of my home or number of nights spent there the French property is considered my main residence because that is where my wife and children are. However being employed in UK I am taxed in UK under the dual tax arrangements. The number of nights I spend in either country has no bearing on my fiscal status in either country. It is important to remember these are my experiences as a UK employee, I believe things are very different if you are self employed or a director. As others have said, seek out the advice of a good accountant and there is also a fair amount on the Internet for a bit of background reading. Good luck.
  4. Thanks for the responses guys. I had hoped to do it without skirting but what you both describe is probably a neater job.
  5. Hope you don't mind me asking another question on your thread but does anyone have any ideas about how to finish wooden flooring where it meets a stone wall? I'll have to leave an expansion gap but there won't be any skirting board to cover the gap. I had thought to maybe fill with mastic or is there a simple solution I've overlooked? Good luck with you project Alpinemist.
  6. does anyone know what network Lebara use? SFR is the only network we can recieve consistently in the house.
  7. (Sorry if this answer is a bit late to help you) I use it at the moment in France and calling my wife's mobile while I'm in UK and she's in France (we've both got vodafone passport). It works very well and there are no catches. You can also opt in to use data roaming abroad at £2 per day or £10 per month.
  8. I'll take a really rough guess of 15,000 euros supplied and installed but there's so many knowledgeable posters on here you should probably wait for their answer.
  9. On the subject of air source heat pumps.... They work at lower temperatures than oil or as boilers so that's why they're best suited to underfloor heating. Radiators attached to an air source heat pump have to be oversized to kick out enough heat. The alternative may be heat pumps that are filled with CO2 rather than refrigerant but last time I looked they were pretty expensive. *written from memory from our research 2 years ago - just waiting on EDF installing 3 phase and I'll let you know if it works!!
  10. Thanks for the feedback guys. Here's a quote from one of the blogs AnOther linked to... "In reality, carrier's aren't all that concerned about this yet. It seems like, for the time being, you can get free long distance using this method. It makes sense for the carriers to extend their UMA service abroad, because otherwise you would simply be benefiting a foreign network. Here's an ideal scheme: Suppose you have a lot of family in the US, but you live in the UK. So you go to the US, sign up for UMA service from T-Mobile, and they give you a handset and an access point. Say thanks, and then go back home. Plug that AP into your existing broadband internet, and you can now make calls to the US at local rates. This assumes that your Internet bandwidth is cheap, however." Sounds like the UK Orange system will work just fine. If I try it out I'll post some feedback here. In the meantime if anyone has any more info I'd love to here it.
  11. Quillan, I've got no fixed phone line in France, broadband via WiMax (very pleased so far!) and since I've got a UK mobile contract which I need to keep it would be cheaper for me to use my existing inclusive minutes over UMA than to subscribe to the WiMax phone package or another provider.
  12. Sorry for double post (blooming iPhones!) AnOther, the 'holy grail' is already available via Orange UK as UMA, or so it seems. Using a Femtocell abroad via a proxy server is against the Vodafone Ts and Cs, it doesn't mean no one's ever tried it!
  13. Thanks for the response. The 2 different technologies are Vodafone's Sure Signal which uses Femtocells and Orange's Signal Boost which uses UMA. 'roaming' refers to charges made on a UK contract when mobile is used abroad. If it was possible to use the Vodafone system abroad I would install the UK Femtocell in my French house and when using my UK mobile I would not incur 'roaming' (international) charges. I understand this may be outside the terms and conditions of Vodafone UKs contract but I wanted to know if anyone had achieved this using a proxy server. This system will not work in different wifi hotspots as Quillan pointed out. The UK orange UMA system is the same as the system offered by SFR and Orange in Francewill work through any wifi hotspot. Most blackberry phones support UMA and several other smartphones but not iPhone. I've read many testimonials online from people who have used their UMA phone and contract abroad to bypass international 'roaming' charges. Since I have a UK contract and broadband in France I see no reason why I cannot use UMA to make and receive calls while in France from my UK mobile inclusive minutes provided I have a compatible orange phone and contract. While both systems are primarily to boost signals in areas of poor coverage, a happy by product of UMA is the provision of 'free' calls abroad.
  14. Thanks Quillan. The different system in France offered by Orange and SFR is also offered in UK by Orange. They call it signal boost over there. It's available on most blackberries but not on the iPhone. As well as using it in areas of poor reception it can also be used abroad as long as you have a good broadband signal. Many business in cities use it where their mobile signal is blocked by buildings but they have access to high speed broadband. I've got 2 Meg broadband in rural France with Wi Max so hopefully that's enough though I'd be interested in hearing from anyone with personal experience. Ive got a contract phone in UK anyway so it'd save me lots if I could use my inclusive minutes without incurring roaming charges.
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