World's Best Quality of Life…
World's Best Health Care…
World's Most Beautiful,
Most Romantic City…
The Good Life Defined…
But Here's What
You May Not Realize About France:
It’s Far More Affordable Than
You Might Ever Imagine
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
The sweetest pleasures of life, there for the taking. Picnics in the Luxembourg Gardens, long walks along the Seine, afternoons lost among the cobblestones of the Latin Quarter...
This city is a never-ending feast of gallery openings and special performances, museum exhibitions and seasonal celebrations, many available for little cost. You can enjoy three course meals for US$20 or less, and you can spend hours in a café , seeing and being seen, for the price of but a single café au lait. You can join conversation groups, discussion groups, book clubs, and cooking classes often for very little cost, even free.
In many ways, la vie francaise is as good as it gets... and even Paris can be far more affordable than you might ever imagine...
Of course, walks among the centuries-old rues of the Latin Quarter and gallery openings don't substitute for dinner on the table or wi-fi access.
That's OK, because, in France, even in Paris, the more practical necessities of life can also be a bargain... if you know your way around and where to go for the best deals.Years ago, when we were preparing for our move from Paris to Panama City, my husband Lief presented me with a budget showing that it would cost slightly more for our family to be in Panama City, Panama, than it had been costing us to live in Paris, France.
I suggested he double-check his math…My husband, the accountant, assured me his figures were correct, and, indeed, Lief's projections have played out. Our day-to-day cost of living in Panama City is a little higher than it was in Paris.
How can this be?
Paris is the most beautiful, most romantic city in the world. It's also a place where your cost of living can be hugely variable and highly controllable.
That is to say, you don't necessarily need a royal's budget to be able to enjoy life in the greatest city on earth.
In Paris, you can live happily car-free, walking nearly anywhere you'd want to go. The butcher, the baker, the grocer, the wine shop, a half-dozen busy cafes, and as many lovely parks and gardens are all less than 15 minutes' walk from almost any point in central Paris. And, when you want to venture beyond your quartier, the Metro will transport you from restaurant to nightclub, from museum to café for around US$2.
France boasts perhaps the world's best infrastructure, and it's a bargain. Cable TV, Internet, and telephone, as well as the Metro, the bus, and the RER train system... all are likely less costly than comparable services where you're living now. Our phone plan living in Paris cost less than 40 euro per month and allowed unlimited free calls anytime to anywhere in the United States and anywhere throughout Europe. That's hard to beat.
My point is not that you should plan to move to Paris to reduce your cost of living. It is possible, in fact, to do just that, but that's not the typical agenda where Paris or France is concerned.
My point is that you shouldn't deny or delay your dreams of la vie française because you're worried you can't afford them. We lived in Paris for four years, with two children, and I'm here to tell you that we were able to control our costs within a very reasonable budget.And oh what a lifestyle that budget bought us!
In many ways, life in Paris is as good as it gets…luxury defined...
Hands down, no contest, this is the best place in the world to seek out what qualifies no question as a rich and full life. Five-star restaurants with wine lists to match... malls and boutiques offering internationally recognized brand-name indulgences... live theater... movie cinemas showing first-run and foreign flicks (in English)... an active artist community... specialty food shops... wine stores offering top vintages from around the world... English-language bookstores... spa and salon services... cafes full of interesting people on every corner...
All in a setting of architectural delights... historic landmarks... manicured gardens... well-tended parks...
And running through the center of everything the romantic Seine River with its many romantic bridges...
Everywhere you turn something new to explore and discover... somewhere lovely to wander and linger...
The Charms Of French Country Life
(And Very Budget-Friendly)
And, of course, Paris is only the beginning of France. The charms and appeals of French Country Life are likewise unrivalled.
After spending a year on the road, trying a series of places on for size, Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper and her family chose to settle in the "other" south of France. Not Provence (which, yes, is pricey), but southwest of there, in Aquitaine.
Not everyone is cut out for life in the Tropics or the developing world. If you, like Lucy, are more interested in Old World living, you, like she, could find this region of France offers just what you're looking for.
As Lucy explains, this other south of France is "colorful, eclectic, always changing, never following a formula, very open to retirees, and very affordable."
Lucy also spends a lot of time with her extended family at the other end of the Pyrenees, in the Languedoc region. This is big wine country, with a long history and a lot of heart. And, again, this part of the country is cheap. Lucy explains that a retired couple could live comfortably here on a monthly budget of US$2,000, including rent.
Affordable... Even Free
France is a country of superlatives.
Its health care, for example, is the best in the world. For years, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an index rating and ranking the quality of the health care in all the countries of the world, and, year after year, France came out the winner.
If you're a legal resident, health care in this country is also highly subsidized by the government, sometimes even free.
Which raises a critical question: Should you become a full-time legal resident of France?
It can be easier to do than you might imagine. The truth is, becoming a resident of this country isn't necessarily the challenge. The challenge is facing the tax liabilities that can ensue. However, you can plan for and mitigate your tax burden as a full-time foreign resident in France, if you get the right help from the start.
This is one of the many important questions we address in detail in our all-new "France Starter Kit."
By their own admission, the French like paperwork. Do you want to get wrapped up in the paperwork associated with applying for full-time residency? There can be important benefits (the world's best health care free, for example). But they are downsides, too.
Plus, could you possibly qualify if you made the effort? This is one of the sticky wickets of a new life in France, an administrative hurdle that you want to address but that certainly shouldn't interfere with your plans for a new life in this glorious country.
I've been spending time in France for over 30 years, and, in that time, I've known dozens of expats, in Paris and elsewhere, residing in the country full-time or only now and then, some operating businesses, some raising children, some soaking up la vie française in retirement... Each case is different, and, as a result, the plan, the process, and, yes, the paperwork required can vary greatly.
To launch a new life in any foreign country, you need help. But, in France, not getting the right help and the right advice in advance of your move can have costly consequences.
Years ago, a friend, an American who'd been living, investing, and doing business all around the world for decades, relocated his family from the States to France. Because he had so much general international experience, didn't think to seek out professional tax advice for his move to France.
Five years later, he found himself on the wrong side of a conversation with the French tax authorities. In the end, he had to pay fines that amounted to several thousand dollars.
I don't share this story to scare you, but to forearm you.
It's the kind of tale of firsthand experience we shared when we convened our top France experts and resources for our Live & Invest in France program.
We got every one of these presentations and discussions on tape, including those of France expat friends, who shared their tales of choosing, relocating to, even operating businesses in this country.
I'm not writing today to sell you on the idea of living or retiring in France. A new life in France isn't an idea that needs to be sold. It's an idea whose appeal speaks for itself.
I'm writing today to invite you to invite you to avail of a one-of-a-kind bundle of France resources, a collection of manuals and special reports that, together, detail the glories and the frustrations... the benefits and the downsides... the ins and the outs of spending your time and your money in this beautiful country that in so many ways epitomizes the very notion of "the good life."
Getting Down To Brass Tacks-
What Does It Really Cost To Own In France?
(You Might Not Believe The Answer)
If you're ready to go small, you could own right now in the beautiful south of France for as little as 30,000 euro.
"There is a great diversity of property for sale in the region of France where we've chosen to settle," reports Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper. "I've just discovered a lovely stone barn that has been converted to a three-bedroom house on offer for 150,000 euro... a typical local farmhouse with outbuildings available for 150,000 euro... and a 60,000-euro renovation project..."
If you are prepared to go small, then you could own right now in some parts of southern France on a budget of as little as 30,000 to 40,000 euro (that is, about US$50,000).
And you could maybe even own for a little less. We've just found a one-bedroom duplex/apartment in a lovely French country town on the market for 28,000 euro…
Or how about a three-floor, one-room-wide ancient stone townhouse in need of renovation. The price is US$42,700 at today's exchange rate, including the agency fees!Also on offer as of this writing are...
- A small two-bedroom village house for sale furnished, asking price US$70,419...
- A two-bedroom village apartment in good condition, possible rental, asking price US$96,000...
- A typical stone house on three levels, possibly dating to the 12th century, in need of renovation, asking price US$151,200...
We discuss many of these kinds of opportunities to own the French country house of your dreams in our new France Starter Kit ... whether you're looking for something fully fitted out and ready to move into or whether you're in the market for a labor of love, a renovation bargain set amidst the sunflowers and the lavender ...
And, yes, we'll tempt you with appealing Paris pied-a-terre options, as well…introducing you to the chicest Parisian addresses... the most up-and-coming arrondissements... and the most affordable places to own in this country right now...
Plus, our experts walk you through the property purchase process... and even help you consider all your options for arranging financing in France. Yes, this is possible. With help from the experts we'll introduce you to in our France Starter Kit.
Our top financing contact in the country reports that French banks, which had pulled back a couple of years ago and become more restrictive in their lending policies, especially toward foreign buyers, are loosening up. If you qualify, you can borrow up to 90% LTV in the current market.
Lief and I have borrowed locally to buy in Paris ourselves, and, in this recording series, share details of our own experience.
Renting can be a challenge in France (if you want to rent legally and not off the books... our experts discuss the pros and cons of each approach), because a French owner will require lots of proof and guarantees that you are able to pay. Remember, when in France, it's all about the paper, the paper, the paper. They'll drown you in documentation and paperwork if given half a chance.
But we won't let that happen to you. Again, the experts and friends we feature in our new kit walk you through the process of renting, both in Paris and elsewhere throughout France. They arm you not only with the step-by-step details of how to rent an apartment or a house in this country... but they also offer creative solutions and workarounds. All completely above board, of course! We don't want to get anyone into any trouble. But one thing you'll learn about doing business in France is that you have the protocols and the procedures... and then you have strategies for how to get things done. Everyone understands this, especially the French themselves. Our experts and expat friends discuss all your creative options, as well.
How much to rent? In rural France, in the region of the country Lucy calls home, you could rent a small apartment for as little as 250 euro per month.
In Paris, again, if you're willing to go small and you don't need to be at a super-chic, center-of-the-city address, you could rent for as little as 700 euro per month... maybe even a little less.
One Of The World's Most Proven
Rental Investment Markets
France is the most-touristed country on earth. As a result, Paris is perhaps the world's most proven rental market. If you're considering a real estate purchase in the French capital, think about a place you could use yourself from time to time... and then rent out when you're elsewhere.
When we moved from Paris to Panama City 9 years ago, we didn't sell our Paris digs. They figure in our long-term retirement plan, as Paris is a place we know we'll want to return to as often as possible throughout our lifetimes.
However, we had another, more pragmatic reason for not selling our Paris apartment when we decided to move out of the city. We met with a Paris rental manager who told us how much we'd be able to rent the place out for and what occupancy rate we could expect!
Lief and I have been long-distance landlords in many countries around the world. We've had delightful and profitable experiences... and we've had disastrous and costly ones. The difference, we've learned, is the rental manager. A good one is both the key to success and often a very difficult thing to find.
And, in fact, you need not only a rental manager, but a property manager, too, if you're not residing locally yourself. That is, you need someone to find renters for your rental, but you also need someone to look after the place while you're away. Someone to manage inventory and cleaning (if you're renting your place out furnished). Someone to pay local bills. Someone to deal with repairs and maintenance. Someone you trust to look after your property as if it were his (or her) own.
Again, not always an easy thing to find.
In Paris, I'm delighted to report, we have found a lady who has been acting as both property and rental manager for us and who is doing a bang-up job on both fronts. She's keeping the place rented, and she's making sure our Paris home is well taken care of in the process.
Bottom line, an apartment in Paris can be one of the smartest things you could do with your money right now. It's a hard asset that can double as a yield-producing one, as well, in a market that will always see renters. A Paris pied-a-terre can be a solid part of your long-term portfolio, a wise buy with both personal and financial upsides.
All the details on where, how, and for what return you should consider buying are covered in our new France Starter Kit.
How To Earn A Guaranteed Rental Yield
For The Next Nine Years
Also featured in our new France Starter Kit is a particular French property investment opportunity that can make great sense, especially in the current global financial climate.
It's called the French Leaseback. In today's zero percent world, this is an opportunity to earn up to 5% and more per year guaranteed.
This is a long-term play, as you must commit to lease your property back to the rental management group for nine years. However, again, in the current climate, locking in nine years of guaranteed yields doesn't sound like such a bad idea. And, at the end of the nine years, you can walk away with your own retirement home in France.
As resident global real estate investing expert Lief Simon explains it:
"I discovered the French leaseback more than a decade ago. At the time, the appeal to me of these units was their simplicity. They amount to condo-hotel units (though you sometimes find Leaseback properties that are full villas). The proposition is straightforward. You buy the unit, lease it back to the management company, which rents it out for you, and you receive a quarterly check for the guaranteed yield.
"The French Leaseback program was put in place by the French government to encourage the construction of rental accommodation throughout the country. France has been the world's number-one tourist destination for decades, and the government found it prudent more than two decades ago to take steps to ensure enough rental rooms long term.
"What really makes this program work for the investor is the leaseback requirement. You must lease your unit to the specified management company for a term of nine years. In return, the management company pays you a net rental amount throughout the term of the lease.
"I like the Leaseback, again, for its simplicity (once you've made the purchase, you don't have to think about it again, other than to deposit your yield payouts). Couple this with the fact that you can get a mortgage in France for the purchase of a Leaseback property. Leverage on a piece of real estate for which you know your minimum cash flow up front for nine years allows you to set up the investment so that it breaks even from a cash flow point of view from day one... making this a truly set-it-and-leave-it investment.
"Plus, with leverage, you can turn a 5% yield into a double-digit annualized ROI over the term of the nine-year lease.
"In addition, the leverage means that only modest capital is required to get into a Leaseback."
Lief has written a special report on five particularly interesting Leaseback investment opportunities in France. This was originally published for readers of Lief’s Global Property Investor's Marketwatch service. However, he has agreed to allow us to include it as part of our new France Starter Kit.
France is the good life defined. The food, the wine, the art, the shopping, the history... This country boasts the most beautiful and romantic city on earth plus the best of country living and dramatic Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. On top of all this, France is home to the world's best health care, the world's best infrastructure, top international schools, and, in some regions, zero crime and a wonderfully relaxed way of life...
And, in some parts of the country, the very good life can be very affordable, as well.
If you've ever day-dreamed about la vie française, here's your chance to make that dream come true.
France is a land of superlatives... including, perhaps, most bureaucratic nation on earth. Meaning that, no matter what form your French dreams take, you'd do well to enlist some help making them come true.
I've been spending time in France for more than 25 years. In that time, I've also spent time in more than 50 other countries. For me, nowhere else compares. France gets under your skin. It captures your imagination in a way that is impossible to ignore.
Eventually, I was able to realize my own French dreams and to make a home in Paris. My family and I spent four years savoring the charms of this city. During that time, we made many contacts and friends, including French attorneys and notaries, real estate agents and property managers, bankers and finance brokers, residency experts and tax advisors, doctors and logistics experts, architects and antique dealers, plumbers and cabinet-makers...
Plus, of course, we got to know other expats, not only fellow American expats, but also people from all over the world who have sought out new lives in this appealing country.
If you dream of joining them, again, you'd do well to engage some help.
And that's what I'm writing today to offer: Help.
In our France Starter Kit, we open our Rolodex and introduce you to our top resources in this country. This is your chance to have every one of your France questions answered by people who know from firsthand experience what they're talking about...
- Should you become a legal resident? What are the pluses and the minuses... and how would you qualify?...
- What is required to open a bank account?...
- What are the options for health insurance?...
- What about public medical care? It can be free. Would you qualify to use it?...
- What are the options for financing as a foreigner? How much could you borrow... how would you qualify... what terms are available? (Our recording series includes a special presentation from a France mortgage broker.)...
- Don't the French hate Americans? (We get this all the time. The answer, of course, is no... but we give you further insight in our France Starter Kit.)...
- What are your best options for learning French?...
- Where does it make sense to buy today for investment?...
- What return could you expect from a rental in Paris, arrondissement by arrondissement?...
- What about French taxes? (They can be diabolical... but you need not necessarily deal with them.)...
- How would you undertake a country house renovation? What would it cost? (Our recording series includes presentations from two expats who have undertaken country house renovations and who speak from personal experience about the joys (?!) of making this kind of investment.)...
- What are the opportunities for you to connect with the expat communities in Paris and elsewhere in France? (Many.)...
In short, our France Starter Kit details everything you need to know about residency and taxes... bank accounts and mortgage financing... rental management and health insurance…
Plus, in it, we introduce you to your many and varied opportunities and options for savoring la vie française. If you're dreaming of a new life, either full- or maybe part-time, in France, you need to know about the cost of living, health care, renting, buying, paying your utility bills, opening a bank account...
Those things are all important. However, we want to make sure that, while addressing them, you don't lose sight of the big picture.
For, when it comes to France, the big picture is pretty appealing. The big picture is a chance to make all your French daydreams come true... to make a new life in France, full-time, part-time, or maybe just now and then...
I've enjoyed life in this country, and I'm here to tell you: It's everything you imagine it to be and so much more. You might even say it's the best this world has to offer…
Who else do you need to know?
Our France Starter Kit includes everything you need to know about medical care and health insurance in France... current real estate markets, both for purchase and rentals... obtaining a visa and qualifying for residency... opening a bank account... shipping your household goods to the country... everything right down to how to have the electricity turned on in your new home, how to arrange for cable and a cell phone, and how to go about furnishing your new France digs...
Plus, our new bundle of France resources walks you through a detailed and fully itemized budget for living in France, both as a property owner and as a renter. In fact, we present you with more than one budget, for the cost of living in Paris, for example, would be quite different from that out in the southwestern region of the country, for example, where Lucy Culpepper calls home.
Specifically, this new bundle of France resources includes:
- Our all-new Live and Invest in France Manual, more than 100 pages on every aspect of importance and interest to the would-be expat or retiree in this country, prepared by Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper. Lucy, a France expat herself, has spent months researching this comprehensive guide to life in her adopted homeland… (Retail Value: US$79)
- Our complete illustrated Overseas Haven Report to Basque, France, one of the regions of this country that offers particular appeal right now for the foreign resident. Though there’s no border marking the entry to the Basque region of France, there’s no doubting when you cross it. The most obvious change is the architecture. Every house is painted white with lots of Basque red. The Basque people have their own flag, cuisine, language, music, sport, and even typeface. This colorful region hides tempting property buys and a highly affordable cost of living, and the Basque coastline is dotted with jewels, including Biarritz, Bayonne, St Jean de Luz, Hendaye, and tiny Gué thary… (Retail Value: US$9.95)
- Our complete illustrated Overseas Haven Report to the Bearn, France, where you can enjoy la belle vie in the foothills of the Pyrenees. This is a corner of France so tucked away that even the French find it hard to place on the map. From the Romans to the Renaissance, the Belle Epoque to Art Deco, there’s history to be enjoyed at every turn. Gorgeous scenery, rolling wooded countryside, friendly people, and, again, a highly affordable cost of living… (Retail Value: US$9.95)
- Our complete illustrated Overseas Haven Report to the Languedoc, France, in which Correspondent Lucy Culpepper takes you on a journey through the medieval villages of the Languedoc region, the “other” south of France, one of this country’s least discovered but most expat-friendly areas… (Retail Value: US$9.95)
- Lief Simon’s special report, “The French Leaseback—A Guaranteed Yield From Your Pied-a-Terre In France”… This special report is unavailable on its own and was published originally for members of Lief’s Global Property Investor’s Marketwatch…
- “44 Things You Must Know Before You Relocate, Retire, Or Invest Offshore”…the nuts-and-bolts support you need for making any international move with confidence. This handbook shows you the secret to cheap international health insurance…your best options for shipping your personal belongings overseas…how to meet people in your new country, even before you move…the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep in touch with friends and family back home…and much, much more… (Retail Value: US$29)
All told, the resources bundled in our new France Starter Kit have a combined retail value of US$137.85.
However, this one-of-a-kind bundle of resources is available right now for the special discount of nearly 45% off the regular price. Meaning that the France Starter Kit is available to you today for only US$79.
This offer is for a limited time only. Act now to enjoy the special discount, and to treat yourself to the greatest France resource available.
Bottom line, here's our promise to you: Our new France Starter Kit brings you France, from Paris to the coast, from country villages to mountain hideaways. The real France. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the workarounds. This is the real deal, based on real firsthand experience.No place is perfect. This may be the land of "la vie en rose," but, even here, we understand that a rose-colored view does you no favors.
There are reasons why the folks you'll hear from in our new France Starter Kit have chosen to spend their time and their money in France. They're smitten. But they're not fools. They recognize not only the pluses, but the minuses, too, of day-to-day life and of trying to do day-to-day business in this country. They're enjoying the advantages... and they're reconciled to the downsides.
An important part of our agenda in our new France Starter Kit is to show you these downsides... so you can decide whether you could live with them, too.
Our new France Starter Kit is a one-of-a-kind bundle of resources intended to help you to experience France, not as a tourist, but with the help of long-time residents... while, at the same time, making every connection and contact you'll need to make your own France dreams come true.
And it’s available now, for nearly 45% off the regular price.
Publisher, Live and Invest Overseas
P.S. If you dream of la vie francaise, you owe it to yourself to take this step toward making that dream come true.
This is all the support you need to launch a new life enjoying what qualifies in many ways as the world’s best quality of life.
And, right now, you can purchase our new France Starter Kit and save nearly 45% off the regular price.
or by phone, toll-free from the United States, at 1-888-627-8834.
Copyright © 2008-2019 Live and Invest Overseas, Founding Publisher Kathleen Peddicord