Warn me about the downside of moving to France

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martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 04 Nov 2017 16:03

Gus Morris wrote:From what I can see, for a quick, anonymous and cost free estimate of how your tax liability would be under current conditions you might do worse than running the figures through

https://www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/simulateurs

Gus
I knew there had to be something like this, as I suggested on a similar thread recently, without actually bothering to find it. So kudos to you. And I’m sure it’s worth trying: I didn’t get past the first page because I couldn’t be bothered to fill in any boxes, but it seemed doable so far as I got, if you have some French.

But I think Allan is ultimately right: you need to find someone who really knows this stuff (in “officialâ€￾ French) and can apply it your details in English. And then ask you the questions you wouldn’t have thought to ask yourself, and give you advice. Corinna’s position is, so far, entirely hypothetical: for all I know, it might be worth her while operating her business through a company here. Maybe she already has a company in the UK. I’d doubt it, but what do I know?

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Post by Webdoc » Sat 04 Nov 2017 17:26

martyn94 wrote:Corinna’s position is, so far, entirely hypothetical:
One significant hypothetical aspect is that she doesn't have experience of living here and doesn't know if she'd like it.

The members of this forum are, almost by definition, the select bunch who love it here.

Although the financial aspects are far from trivial I would compare it to parenthood. There is absolutely no financial argument in favour of having children but those who do (and suffer the loss of money and independence that parenthood brings) would, almost universally, say that it's the best thing they ever did.

I rather feel that renting for a year might be the answer and, if like me, they fall in love with the place they are in a good position to find their forever-home.

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 04 Nov 2017 19:55

Webdoc wrote:
martyn94 wrote:Corinna’s position is, so far, entirely hypothetical:
One significant hypothetical aspect is that she doesn't have experience of living here and doesn't know if she'd like it.

The members of this forum are, almost by definition, the select bunch who love it here.

Although the financial aspects are far from trivial I would compare it to parenthood. There is absolutely no financial argument in favour of having children but those who do (and suffer the loss of money and independence that parenthood brings) would, almost universally, say that it's the best thing they ever did.

I rather feel that renting for a year might be the answer and, if like me, they fall in love with the place they are in a good position to find their forever-home.
I tend to think that these things are more like an arranged marriage: you pick places for pragmatic reasons (“what’s the nicest place I can afford, in a place which I know might be niceâ€￾), and then you fall in love with them later (if only faute de mieux, which is a good enough reason).

Anywhere in the south of France is nice, if you are not too tied to practical stuff like work, and schools for the kids, and money. The idea that you have to find some sort of “coup de foudreâ€￾ (out of God knows how many thousands of square kilometres) seems sentimental to me.

In my case, I thought as much about practical things (can I buy my baguette without using the car, and could I rationally hope to still do it when I’m 80?) as I did about my love affair. Touch wood, I hope that I have struck lucky in both respects. Though of course I did already know the place superficially after holidays here. But I still didn’t know, accurately, what the weather was like in the winter until I looked it up on the internet.

I agree, in principle, with the idea of renting for a year here. But as I understand it, Corinna has other possible targets, so it could take a decade to work through them.

In my case, I’ve always liked living by the sea: I can’t explain why, but it does narrow your options in a helpful way.

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Post by russell » Sun 05 Nov 2017 11:20

You could do worse than to download Blevins Franks' French Tax Guide:

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/download/tax-guides

Russell

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 05 Nov 2017 13:25

russell wrote:You could do worse than to download Blevins Franks' French Tax Guide:

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/download/tax-guides

Russell
You may be right. But the last time I looked at it, some years ago, they made not much attempt, if any, to deal closely with social security contributions (for people who are still working) or their tax for that matter, or health care charges, or CSG. Income tax and ISF and death duties may be a big deal for the customers they hope to attract (basically wealthy old people), but for people like Corinna, as I understand her situation, they are the least of her worries.

Allan’s advice remains good: this is not something you to try to work out for yourself, with or without online guides from firms who are are basically trying to sell you tax fiddles on commission (or more politely, from their website, “a holistic approach to financial planningâ€￾). So far as I understand it, Corinna doesn’t need financial planning: she just needs income planning, or just income information, which is a whole other kettle of ballgames.

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Post by jethro » Sun 05 Nov 2017 15:22

This is two years old, but largely still relevant.

http://www.englishinformerinfrance.com/ ... e-Tax-2015
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by jethro » Sun 05 Nov 2017 15:23

This is two years old, but still largely relevant.

http://www.englishinformerinfrance.com/ ... e-Tax-2015
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by jethro » Sun 05 Nov 2017 15:31

As is this, but it requires a modicum of French. Basically, it says that if you have a Form S1, which means that ultimately Britain pays your medical expenses, you don't have to pay the whole Social Charge, which Macron has increased and put largely on the backs of the wealthy retired people.

http://leparticulier.lefigaro.fr/jcms/p ... -de-la-csg
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 05 Nov 2017 18:01

jethro wrote:As is this, but it requires a modicum of French. Basically, it says that if you have a Form S1, which means that ultimately Britain pays your medical expenses, you don't have to pay the whole Social Charge, which Macron has increased and put largely on the backs of the wealthy retired people.

http://leparticulier.lefigaro.fr/jcms/p ... -de-la-csg
This and your earlier post are well meant, but the links they pointed to contain fairly random bits of information. The piece about tax formalities is not particularly useful to someone not yet living here (though the possibility of double taxation relief claims may or may not be relevant to them in future). And the stuff about CSG even less so: it seems impossible to believe that Corinna and her husband have any past CSG to claim back, and we have no particular reason to think that they will have any significant income eligible for CSG exemption in the future.

I think that this reinforces Allan’s point about not relying on snippets of information from the internet: even if they are accurate, and you interpret them correctly, they do not necessarily give a complete picture for you. For us to give useful advice, Corinna would have to give us the most exhaustive details of her and her husband’s income and finances. Even if she were mad enough to give it, I don’t want to have it. And if I did have it, my advice would be lousy anyway, especially when it raised issues falling outside my own very simple affairs. This is a job for professionals.

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Post by NigelS » Sun 05 Nov 2017 20:39

Hi everyone, so much good information - I thank you all VERY much!!

Basically, the address Alan gave us has hit the jackpot - for 100 Euros we can get a rough tax calculatiion and when we move these people can help us register the business and do all sorts of wonderful things for us. Their fees seem very reasonable.

Today we are in the Ariege and tomorrow we will be spending 2 days in the P.O. I have been dozens of times in France throughout my life and now I am looking at the country through the lenses of our new home. I am liking it!!

We got lost in the woods today and arrived wet and cold in a dark Sieux. We went into a cafe asking for a number for a taxi. The landlord immediately offered to drive us to our car that was 3 km away. So much kindness! A good omen?

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Post by Webdoc » Sun 05 Nov 2017 21:00

Sorry to be a bore and repeat myself but there's a huge premium weather-wise of being near the Med, especially in the winter.

There's a good web page here to compare the weather of two towns - try Foix and Ceret:

http://www.meteofrance.com/climat/comparateur

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Post by Florence » Sun 05 Nov 2017 21:05

I suppose it´s OK if you´ve got the money to pay a company to do all that for you. When we can here, there were no forums or anything. I found it quite simple to register my husband´s micro, the tax office were very helpfull and all the other paperwork URSAFF, etc was quite straightforward. I had to do a 4 day course at the chambre de metiers where they explained how to run a business in France with lots of advice on what to do and what not to do.

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Mon 06 Nov 2017 09:17

Webdoc is bang on about the weather by the Med, it was one of the priorites for us. Be careful of the weather comparison site, it is a bit "broad brush", for example the beach resort of Ageles and the Ski resort of Mont Louis both use Perpignan weather stats.
Not much I can contribute here in comparison to you long termers. Good job!
I am in England today (back in PO on Wednesday) and yesterday enjoyed the simple pleasure of cheese beano made with extra mature cheddar melted over Heinz beans on doorstep toast. Just as well the choice of food in french shops is fantastic, especially fresh produce, fish, cheeses and bread, because a proper cheese beano would cost way over its worth to make in France.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 15:01

Richard and Sharon wrote:Webdoc is bang on about the weather by the Med, it was one of the priorites for us. Be careful of the weather comparison site, it is a bit "broad brush", for example the beach resort of Ageles and the Ski resort of Mont Louis both use Perpignan weather stats.
Not much I can contribute here in comparison to you long termers. Good job!
I am in England today (back in PO on Wednesday) and yesterday enjoyed the simple pleasure of cheese beano made with extra mature cheddar melted over Heinz beans on doorstep toast. Just as well the choice of food in french shops is fantastic, especially fresh produce, fish, cheeses and bread, because a proper cheese beano would cost way over its worth to make in France.
Not really. You can get doorsteppable bread - but better - for less than €2 a loaf. And they have baked beans in my local supermarket (and cheaper in Spain, or in the pound shop north of Perpignan). And cantal entre-deux stands in pretty well for cheddar, at around €10 a kilo, and less industrial. (Vieux cantal might be better, but would take more effort to find.) I make welsh rabbit (à ma façon) on a regular basis. You can even get the Worcester sauce, if you use it, in all but the smallest supermarkets for not a huge markup on the UK price.

As for weather, I don’t what comparison site you use . But you can find much more detailed info if you look (and know where you want to know about), as I guess you may have discovered: just do a Google search on “climat Argèlesâ€￾ or whatever. Living in Port-Vendres I can find the climate measured at Cap Béar (which I can see, quite close, out of my bedroom window) in many places, but for example here

http://meteonews.fr/fr/Climat/M07749000/Cap_Béar

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 15:11

martyn94 wrote:
Richard and Sharon wrote:Webdoc is bang on about the weather by the Med, it was one of the priorites for us. Be careful of the weather comparison site, it is a bit "broad brush", for example the beach resort of Ageles and the Ski resort of Mont Louis both use Perpignan weather stats.
Not much I can contribute here in comparison to you long termers. Good job!
I am in England today (back in PO on Wednesday) and yesterday enjoyed the simple pleasure of cheese beano made with extra mature cheddar melted over Heinz beans on doorstep toast. Just as well the choice of food in french shops is fantastic, especially fresh produce, fish, cheeses and bread, because a proper cheese beano would cost way over its worth to make in France.
Not really. You can get doorsteppable bread - but better - for less than €2 a loaf. And they have baked beans in my local supermarket (and cheaper in Spain, or in the pound shop north of Perpignan). And cantal entre-deux stands in pretty well for cheddar, at around €10 a kilo, and less industrial. (Vieux cantal might be better, but would take more effort to find.) I make welsh rabbit (à ma façon) on a regular basis. You can even get the Worcester sauce, if you use it, in all but the smallest supermarkets for not a huge markup on the UK price.

As for weather, I don’t what comparison site you use . But you can find much more detailed info if you look (and know where you want to know about), as I guess you may have discovered: just do a Google search on “climat Argèlesâ€￾ or whatever. Living in Port-Vendres I can find the climate measured at Cap Béar (which I can see, quite close, out of my bedroom window) in many places, but for exampl
http://meteonews.fr/fr/Climat/M07749000/Cap_Béar

/quote]

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 15:16

I don’t if it’s my browser, or the way this site works, but long links seem to get truncated. The link in my post above ends “Béarâ€￾ not “Béâ€￾.

You may not be bothered anyway: but it may be the nearest weather station to Argèles, if you are interested in there.

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Post by Allan » Mon 06 Nov 2017 15:22

martyn94 wrote:I don’t if it’s my browser, or the way this site works, but long links seem to get truncated. The link in my post above ends “Béarâ€￾ not “Béâ€￾.

You may not be bothered anyway: but it may be the nearest weather station to Argèles, if you are interested in there.
I think it is the accent that causes the problem

http://meteonews.fr/fr/Climat/M07749000/Cap_B%C3%A9ar

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Mon 06 Nov 2017 15:55

Ha ha, I was being a bit tongue in cheek about the cheese beano, but thanks for the tips, it could be useful in a moment of need!

Re the weather, I was referring to the link to the "comparateur" posted by Webdoc.

For a clothing sanity check before venturing out, I just type "weather" and the place into google, that gives me a simple and fairly accurate 7 day forcast with sun/cloud, wind and prcipiatation. Of course there are many other weather sites. An interesting one that I like for accuracy and detail is windguru.cz Not just for the Czech Republic, its global. It facilitates customised forcasts for Cap Bear or any other spot that you care to specify on their map.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 16:31

Allan wrote:
martyn94 wrote:I don’t if it’s my browser, or the way this site works, but long links seem to get truncated. The link in my post above ends “Béarâ€￾ not “Béâ€￾.

You may not be bothered anyway: but it may be the nearest weather station to Argèles, if you are interested in there.
I think it is the accent that causes the problem

http://meteonews.fr/fr/Climat/M07749000/Cap_B%C3%A9ar
Thanks: I think you’ve said that before, and I keep forgetting.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 17:06

Richard and Sharon wrote:Ha ha, I was being a bit tongue in cheek about the cheese beano, but thanks for the tips, it could be useful in a moment of need!

Re the weather, I was referring to the link to the "comparateur" posted by Webdoc.
In re beans, I obviously can no longer tell the difference between tongue in cheek and serious. It’s the sort of quick comfort food you might want after a day’s travelling (though I’d draw the line at Heinz tinned spaghetti: do they still make that? It must be 50-odd years since I’ve had it, and not a day too long.) I used to have a weakness for their “curried beansâ€￾ but the original formula seems to have disappeared. They have a “tagineâ€￾ flavour now: just messed up foreign rubbish.

The advantage of searching on “climat(e) XYZâ€￾ rather than “weather XYZâ€￾ is that you go straight to the long term picture (if that’s what you want) rather than getting today.

Your Czech weather site must be a bit like using bahn.com for trains. They must all get the same data feeds, but some use them more effectively than others.

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Mon 06 Nov 2017 17:38

Yerk! Heinz tinned spagetti. I fully agree, dreadful stuff. I cringed when overhearing a woman in my local supermarket asking a stacker where she could find tinned spagetti bolognaise. Why would you? She must have been planning to punish somebody or deter her kids friends from ever coming round to tea again!

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 06 Nov 2017 19:19

Richard and Sharon wrote:Yerk! Heinz tinned spagetti. I fully agree, dreadful stuff. I cringed when overhearing a woman in my local supermarket asking a stacker where she could find tinned spagetti bolognaise. Why would you? She must have been planning to punish somebody or deter her kids friends from ever coming round to tea again!
I guess I agree, if it exists. But there are infinite degrees of snobbery and one-upmanship between tinned spag bol and tagliatelle al ragu. Some of the intermediate stages can be OK, if you don’t come from Bologna. At the worst, they take you back to your youth.

And some tinned foods which might seem superficially similar can be not too bad: decent tinned cassoulet for example. It’s a shame that it rarely gets cold enough round here (and I exert myself enough) to make me think I deserve it.

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Tue 07 Nov 2017 21:37

Agreed, and I am too bothered if it exists or not. Maybe that makes me a snob, but spag bol is student fodder and I confess to being happy to eat it when my daughter cooked it for me in her uni digs, but when seen on a Bologna menu, we walk on by, clearly catering to tourists!
As for tinned cassoulet, tres bon! It is a different beast altogether. We have one on standby now, for tomorrow when we arrive from the UK on the train from the airport, too late to buy anything fresh.
I do respect the French for their general non acceptance of mediocre food. This started some 40 years ago when my father was a fisherman in Cornwall and all the monkfish, spider crabs, gurnard and any other "exotic" fish you dont get in your average chippy, got exported to France because the English would not buy it. Because the price was so low to him, we had to eat good fish all the time!

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Post by martyn94 » Wed 08 Nov 2017 15:39

Richard and Sharon wrote:Agreed, and I am too bothered if it exists or not. Maybe that makes me a snob, but spag bol is student fodder and I confess to being happy to eat it when my daughter cooked it for me in her uni digs, but when seen on a Bologna menu, we walk on by, clearly catering to tourists!
As for tinned cassoulet, tres bon! It is a different beast altogether. We have one on standby now, for tomorrow when we arrive from the UK on the train from the airport, too late to buy anything fresh.
I do respect the French for their general non acceptance of mediocre food. This started some 40 years ago when my father was a fisherman in Cornwall and all the monkfish, spider crabs, gurnard and any other "exotic" fish you dont get in your average chippy, got exported to France because the English would not buy it. Because the price was so low to him, we had to eat good fish all the time!
I stopped in Castelnaudary a few years ago while biking down the Canal du Midi. Cassoulet is not really what I want on a warm day in late June, but it seems to be essentially compulsory there, particularly on a Sunday evening. I don’t know whether mine came out of a tin, but they should have left it in the microwave a bit longer. Apart from that, a pleasant spot. And it’s a pleasant bike ride, at least until they cut all the trees down.

I used to go in the same pub, after work, as the humble fisherfolk in Bangor (Gwynedd, not NI). A couple of times I got big fat monkfish for the price of a pint. I think restaurants had woken up to them by then (it used to be said that they sold them as scampi), but they hadn’t caught enough to make up a box. And a lovely salmon trout once (or sewin, as they call them round there).

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Post by martyn94 » Wed 08 Nov 2017 15:56

Richard and Sharon wrote:Agreed, and I am too bothered if it exists or not. Maybe that makes me a snob, but spag bol is student fodder and I confess to being happy to eat it when my daughter cooked it for me in her uni digs, but when seen on a Bologna menu, we walk on by, clearly catering to tourists!
I do like ragu (and Bologna), but there’s more than enough fuss made about it: you must/absolutely must not use pork/beef/chicken livers/garlic/tomato paste/milk/cream/red wine/white wine.

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Thu 09 Nov 2017 22:13

It amuses me how precious people get about their regional dishes. Ragu, Paella, Cassoulet or Pasties. Cassoulet is claimed by Castelnaudary, Toulouse and probably several other places, each was the first and all the others are fake. Surely these ancient concoctions must have been variable depending on what was available on the day. That remains my excuse for rarely following a recipe with any diligence. Satisfaction comes from breaking the rules and enjoying the results. The canned version sufficed when we got in just after 10 last night, and the temperature in the empty house justified it.
We love most things Italian. and have spent a fair amount of time there. In fact we looking to buy in Italy before we settled on PO. No regrets though.

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