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Surviving on a UK Pension


Bannon
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We are fast approaching retirement and consequently winding down our small business here - to much hassle and to much bother with officialdom. The thing is, are we going to be able to survive here in France on a basic UK state pension? Mine is pretty well paid up with the Mrs not far behind. We'll have a small additional income from our little gite/annexe but that's about it really.

Any thoughts guys?

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There are many threads on this subject Bannon, just use the search facility.

As regards living on just a UK state pension I would say no, it's not possible, or at least it would be very difficult.

Someone may disagree, of course, as It all depends on your personal circumstances.

Gary.

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Thats 720 amonth which is the  same amount I earn in my part time job each month. With this I invest 200 each month in a share scheme which now after doing it for 5 years gives me between 4/9 thousand pay out each year, leaving me 500 amonth to pay all the bills in England and France this includes poll taxes in both countries electric, gaz, petrol, house insurances, car insurance, water rates, animal bills and our food.(probally other things I cant think of right now) But no morgage payments.

My husband also works but we save his wages to cover expenses like a new car and our future retirment. 

The yearly pay out I get covers my travel/holidays, car hire, clothes, treets such as books , lunch out with friends chocolate ect......  

So if you just have the one house to cover I should think this would be enough to cover major expenses. For extras I asume you will have some savings or could maybe get a part time job? There are people all over england and the world suriving on a lot less so I think its do-a-ble as long as your good at money managment ...[:)] 

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As Pads says, it's doable.  But, you'll have to live in a small house in the countryside and in an inexpensible area so that your fonciere and habitation taxes are modest.

You'll also have to be careful with heating, electricity and water bills.

At a squeeze, you could run a small, economical car. 

Depends what you like doing but, unless your visitors can pay their way, you want to say "no-no" to people who want to visit you and you'll also not want to hanker too much about visiting the UK.

Yes, can-do on present cost of living but, wouldn't like to guess about 5 or even 2 years down the line.

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I agree with S17 except that if you live in the countryside you can't manage without a car, public transport is very rare. In fact a village or small town is probably more practical.

Also , you are at the mercy of the exchange rate.

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In my opinion it's do-able - just - but you won't live comfortably.

Also one person has already mentioned exchenge rates.  Just to make the point totally clear your pension is paid in pounds and your outgoings are in euros.  This year the exchange rate has already moved from 0,67 to over 0,8 (and then slightly back again).  This means that your pension would have changed from 270€ per week down to 225€ per week.  That has a lot of impact on your quality of life.

 

In the late 1980s the exchange rate moved from 12FFR to 7,5.  So wild swings in exchange rate are quite possible and you could come a serious cropper on such a tight budget.  Of course he swings could go the other way - in which case you are laughing.  My main concern is that there is no safety net in your plan.

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Thanks guys, lots to think about and you never know maybe by the time we do retire the UK will have joined the euro which will of course make it much easy to construct a stable household budget.

The other thought of course is equity relase which is now available to ex-pats but not until you are 70 and only from one French bank in particular?

 

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[quote user="Bannon"]... The other thought of course is equity relase which is now available to ex-pats but not until you are 70 and only from one French bank in particular? [/quote]

Discussions about equity release schemes in France (Prêt Viager Hypothécaire):

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1280766/ShowPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1142077/ShowPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1080274/ShowPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/985586/ShowPost.aspx

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1052661/ShowPost.aspx

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[quote user="chessfou"]What a lovely new word "inexpensible" is - for me it conjures up the twin ideas of being not only inexpensive but also an area where it is difficult to spend money. A serendipitous "typo".
[/quote]

Right, chessfou, I shall henceforth add that word to my vocabulary.  It is truly an indispensable or do I mean indispensive word?

 

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[quote user="Pads"]

Thats 720 a month which is the  same amount I earn in my part time job each month............. so I think its do-a-ble as long as your good at money managment ...[:)] 

[/quote]

Sorry but its time for a bit of realism.  That OAP would give the OP at present 885€ a month, with no other guaranteed income.  That is not a sum I would like to live on anywhere in France, especially where a car was necessary and heating, car maintenance and fuel bills need to be met.  The OP is also at pensionable age with the risk of medical bills to pay over and above E121 cover and the mutuelles are age related for premiums.

Lets face it, they can live in France but not with any quality of life, France is not cheap anymore and prices including fuel and food are on the increase as in the UK.  OK the "gite" might give some income but its rarely the 1000€ a month seen on the Live in the Sun programmes and gites need maintenance, what with the downturn in tourism, the over supply of gites I would certainly not take chance on living in France with no bolthole on a net OAP with no short term likelihood of the pound going back up.

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Seems then we are between a rock and a hard place. Struggle on a pension here in France or struggle on a pension back in the UK. Reckon we'll take our chances here and see how it works out. At least it's warmer.... well, sometimes anyway :-)

Thanks again for your input guys. 

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Broadly speaking I think that if you can manage on £x in the UK then in broad terms you will be able to mange in France. Some things are dearer some things are cheaper but by and large if you haven't got a mortgage to pay things work out pretty much the same.

However

In your case I think the problem is that nobody in the UK is expected to survive on the basic pension. That's why the Government introduced Pension Credits. You won't get those if you live in France, and you won't get anything from the French system either.

 

 

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[quote user="Ron Avery"]Benjamin, I took the UK pension of £720 and converted it at the rate I got from HSBC's new auto trnsfer facility  on Tuesday for a transfer of less than £5k of £1 to 1.23€..  [/quote]

Lead me gently by the hand here. So that's £180 per week. Is it something to do with a married couple's pension?

Mrs Benjamin receives a UK State Pension but as I'm not yet of pensionable age she gets nothing for me. Just curious that's all.

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[quote user="BJSLIV"]

Broadly speaking I think that if you can manage on £x in the UK then in broad terms you will be able to mange in France. Some things are dearer some things are cheaper but by and large if you haven't got a mortgage to pay things work out pretty much the same.

However

In your case I think the problem is that nobody in the UK is expected to survive on the basic pension. That's why the Government introduced Pension Credits. You won't get those if you live in France, and you won't get anything from the French system either.

 

 

[/quote]

Is that a Freudian slip?  Being able to eat is all very well but, occasionally, it's nice to be able to do other things as well.

"Man lives not by bread alone.............." etc.

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