Retire To Cessanon-Sur-Orb, France

Wine Country, With A Long History And A Lot Of Heart—The Best Of French Country Retirement

I’d argue that nowhere serves up better living than France, and Euro-Editor Lucy Culpepper agrees.

After spending a year on the road, trying a series of places on for size, Lucy and her family decided to settle in the “other” South of France. Not Provence (which, yes, is pricey), but west of there, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, between Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur to the east, the Midi-Pyrenees to the west, and the Auvergne to the north. Spain is a few hours’ drive to the south.

Not everyone is cut out for life in the Tropics or the developing world, as Lucy and her family discovered. They tried the Yucatan coast of Mexico…cooler climes in the hills outside San Jose, Costa Rica…and another highlands choice in the Americas, El Valle, just outside Panama City.

None of these places felt right, and, finally, Lucy and her crew realized that that fact was less to do with Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama and more to do with a fundamental personal preference:

Her family prefers Old World living. So they recalibrated and launched a new search on the other side of the Atlantic. This time, they landed in the south of France, which, Lucy reports, is perhaps the best value lifestyle option on the Continent today.

As Lucy explains, this region 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.

And, as Lucy and her family discovered, this region can be far more affordable than you might imagine. Certainly this isn’t the cheapest place in the world to retire. However, Lucy calculates that a retired couple could live comfortably here on just about 1,200 euro a month, including 500 euro a month to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

Lucy will be joining us in Scottsdale late April for our next Retire Overseas Conference, when she’ll present top current retirement and lifestyle options in Europe, including in this region of France.

In preparation for that event, Lucy has been researching the local property market in this part of the world. She wrote this week to share some of her discoveries…including:

A 91-meter-square stone house just outside the Cessanon-Sur-Orb village center, with a garden, a terrace, two garages, and a pretty view across the Orb Valley, on offer for 112,000 euro…

A typical winemaker’s home…a 200-square-meter house with five bedrooms and many original features, including stone floors and large windows, in need of renovation and updating, with an asking price of 180,000 euro…

A five-bedroom house with a large garage plus an independent apartment with a private terrace and street-level access, both with 125 square meters of living space…plus the property has an enclosed 600-square-meter garden with space to create a swimming pool…asking price is 180,000 euro…

A charming, fully renovated, 90-square-meter, two-bedroom stone village house (with a new roof and double-glazed windows) with a vaulted cellar and a pretty living room with a beautiful fireplace, ready to move into, on offer for 117,000 euro…

Another completely renovated two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 80-square-meter house with a roof terrace and open views across the Orb Valley, again, no work required, ready to move into, for 168,000 euro…

Or, if your budget is a bit bigger, a spacious four-bedroom villa, with 280 square meters of living space, a 100-square-meter terrace with summer kitchen, a swimming pool, and a 7,280-square-meter landscaped garden with a view to the mountains, turn-key and beautiful, for 990,000 euro.

Lucy recommends two local property agencies as good places to launch your search in this part of the world:

She’ll have much more to share, about her experiences as an expat in France and Spain, about the current best lifestyle and retirement options to be found on the Continent, and about buying, owning, and renovating your dream home in the Old World, in Scottsdale late April.

Kathleen Peddicord

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