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Living a dignified life in France


menthe
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According to this article, these are the amounts you need monthly to live in dignity in France.

https://www.presse-citron.net/salaire-voici-combien-il-faut-gagner-au-minimum-chaque-mois-pour-vivre-dignement-en-france/?utm_source=pocket-newtab-fr-fr

It's not clear what they mean by dignity and I am sure in this as in everything else, people will have their own definition.

I just thought the amounts mentioned might be of interest and I also hope to hear a few differences of opinion.

So, if anyone is interested, do chip in with your thoughts.

 

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I aften read these articles for the UK figures.  They include such things as a new car every 10 years, one or two foreign holidays a year etc. From a 2020 article

Research suggests that a couple in the UK need an annual combined income of £47,500 to have a retirement with few or no money worries, while a single person would need £33,000.

This estimate assumes a lifestyle that includes:

  • three weeks’ holiday in Europe (per year)
  • food shops costing £56 per person per week
  • £1,500 worth of clothes per person annually

These assumptions aren’t extravagant, but they aren’t penny-pinching either.

If the French article is for working people, then there is quite a difference in expectations!  A third of income in France is usually attributed to rent/mortgage. 

Our income in France is well below that suggested by the UK article, but we have a very comfortable life style - probably as we own our own home, have no debt and reasonable expectations!

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I see these types of articles fairly frequently.  I'm not so sure how they can generalize so much.

In France, like most places I presume, it depends on where you live and how you live.  Like Lehaut said, we are fortunate in that our house is paid for, we have no debt and do not require luxurious things.  We take rare vacations and rarely eat out (though we keep saying we'll do more of each).

Though the french article excluded things like vacations, etc.  It was strictly the basic necessities for life.  I think many people in rural France can and do live on a budget UNDER what the article states.  However, big cities raise the number. 

"Pour une personne retraitée seule, une pension de 1 836 euros net mensuelle est nécessaire."

Many months we (a retired couple) do not spend the amount they've noted one person would need.

 

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As is obvious to me and others, there is much to do with personal expectations and preferences.  As Lehaut has said, we have a perfectly reasonable life and have just about everything that we could personally want.

Like Lori has mentioned holidays, what we do is that we don't go anywhere as a couple on holiday.  My husband, at his age, much prefers the comfort and familiarity of his own home.  And indeed, I am happy for that.  I do read and hear of elderly people going on holiday and having accidents either in their cars, hotels, the beach, out and about on busy streets etc.  If the familiar keeps my OH safe and well, I am happy about it.

I do go away but only on walking holidays of a few days maximum.  I love these too as I go with close and caring friends and I get to walk on mountains, my favourite thing to do.  Don't go for too long for obvious reasons and perhaps the future approaches when I will not be going anywhere at all.  But that's OK too, it's what I anticipate but that may or may not happen.

We seldom eat out and that's fine by me too. We enjoy my own cooking and I like to know that the food we eat is of good quality and, above all, that the food is prepared in a clean environment and so are all the vessels properly hygienic!  Crazy perhaps?  It's strange I NEVER used to think like that.  Must be getting crabby and old and stuck in my ways....even more so since Covid...urrgg...

Also, once retired, you don't have commuting costs, "smart" clothes for work etc etc.  I do think that in France there is less latent "competition" in social gatherings.  There is nobody going on about how many rooms their house has and how big their swimming pool and the model of their latest car.  In any all-British gatherings (of which I never go if avoidable) such topics of conversation are still rife!

Not that our house is small but I'd like something smaller but the thought of moving is too great a task to contemplate.

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20 hours ago, menthe said:

We seldom eat out and that's fine by me too. We enjoy my own cooking and I like to know that the food we eat is of good quality and, above all, that the food is prepared in a clean environment and so are all the vessels properly hygienic!  Crazy perhaps? 

If that is a measure of crazy, then I am too!  We rarely eat our and are both revolted by the sight of kitchen staff hanging around restaurants of all levels smoking at the entrances.  Even saw it at a Graham Ramsay place when we were in London last week. Yuk.

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2 hours ago, Lehaut said:

If that is a measure of crazy, then I am too!  We rarely eat our and are both revolted by the sight of kitchen staff hanging around restaurants of all levels smoking at the entrances.  Even saw it at a Graham Ramsay place when we were in London last week. Yuk.

Will tell you this little anecdote to illustrate that you have a valid point with which I fully agree🙂

Went to a meeting last weekend after which we went to a resto for a drink before dispersing.  I hardly ever have a drink in a resto but equally I couldn't just go off, saying cheerio.  I am still forbidden to drive until after the Cardiologue says so (I hope after next week) so I had no choice but go to the resto to wait for my husband to come and pick me up.

I noticed the serving girl holding the glasses right near the rim where your lips would have to go.  Also, she put out the empty glasses with her forefinger INSIDE the glass!! At that point, I declined all persuasion to "prendre quelque chose".

I mentioned this resto to my hairdresser (on the same road as the resto) a couple of days later.  She said that it was now sadly the case that resto staff are "mal formé".....not at all trained then?

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 I eat 'out' every day in  a few regular haunts and never have a problem.😛

As for

  • three weeks’ holiday in Europe (per year) The area in which I live is a major holiday destinantion
  • food shops costing £56 per person per week I spend about 75 euros including my eating out
  • £1,500 worth of clothes per person annually I doubt I spend more than 300 euros a year

On the other hand there is no mention of such major expenses as a 'mutuelle' which can easily come to nearly 2000 euros a year at my age.

 

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No, they don't, ssomon,,nothing like that where I live.

Here, I see top of the range farming equipment and a very efficient use of the land.  I suppose some of them must hire their equipment, they look fearsomely efficient and really sophisticated.

Mostly, they get 3 harvests yearly.  Not a lot of manual labour.  Seems to be the farmer and his family driving the tractors, the harvesters, the separators of grain, the watering system, etc etc.

OH spends hours watching everything with wonder, it is certainly not like in the old days, when he was a boy and helped farmers with stooking the corn or whatever it was called!  How some of the old folk (including my OH, of course, but not me!) still live in their heads and memories...😙

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