The Occitanie (formerly Languedoc-Roussillon) region offers so much to do, particularly if you are active and like to get out and about. A visit to the beautiful 12th-century Abbeye de Fontcaude just 10 minutes from Cessenon is well worth the trip. There is everything you need in the village for daily life—local produce shops, restaurants, a bar—yet it is still has a small town feel.
Cessenon-sur-Orb is in the Occitanie region, between Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur to the east, the Midi-Pyrenees to the west, and the Auvergne to the north, which is colorful, eclectic, always changing, never following a formula, and very open to retirees. This is wine country, with a long history and a lot of heart.
The cost of living is higher in France than in say India, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, or Mexico. So if you are relocating with the primary agenda of significantly reducing your cost of living, think carefully about France. However, if you want to experience a southern European lifestyle, are looking to invest in a property where you could live full- or part-time, and are prepared to learn some French, Occitanie is great place to start over.
Today you can live and retire comfortably in Occitanie for under 1,800 euros.
|Rent||€550||Unfurnished, two-bedroom, comfortable apartment of 75-80 square meters in desirable part of town.|
|Gas||N/A||Not commonly used here.|
|Electricity||€50||Per month costs will range between 35 and 80 euros depending on the season.|
|Water||€20||This would be higher (maybe doubled) if you had a large villa with yard and pool.|
|Cell Phone||N/A||Bundled with internet and TV (240 channels; French and international programs).|
|Internet and Cable||€22.99||Triple-play package from Orange: 160 TV channels, unlimited land-line calling, 300 mbps internet.|
|Medical Appointment||€25||A basic doctor/clinic appointment; per visit.|
|Groceries||€375||Basic items for a couple.|
|Entertainment||€239||Movie tickets: €7-8 euros per ticket; dinner and drinks for two: €24-60; drinks for two: €7.|
|Household Help||€79.04||Two four-hour visits per week; 9.88 per hour.|
France’s Occitanie region represents the best of the South of France but with lower prices. It’s still possible to find attractive property for 90,000 euros or less in the region. Despite the growing popularity of this part of France, there really are, still, a lot of low-budget properties to choose from that would make part-time living accessible to many budding expats. And, if you’re able to increase your budget to around 135,000 euros, you’ll find more properties with more outdoor space, which gives you, the owner, more chance to enjoy al fresco living and makes the property more tempting to potential vacation renters. If you’re planning on part-time living in your new retirement haven, a lock-up-and-leave option in the south of France is worth considering.