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More French pensioners head abroad to settle

Ben McPartland · 30 Mar 2015, 17:41

Published: 30 Mar 2015 17:41 GMT+02:00

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While retired Brits head to the south of France en masse to get a bit of sun after of years slogging away, more and more elderly French clearly don’t think their country is sunny enough.
New data released this week revealed that there are now over one million French nationals spending their hard-earned pensions in 180 different countries around the world.
That number accounts for around one in ten of all retired French people.
And the numbers heading abroad are rising year on year. Last year 251,223 retired French nationals moved abroad compared to 225,000 in 2013 – that reflects a rise of 11.7 percent.
So where are they all going?
While most remain in Europe, 44 percent head to Africa with Morocco particularly popular. In Europe Portugal and Spain are the most popular destinations, and further afield, Bali and Thailand are proving attractive too.
According to the site retraite-etranger.fr the French are attracted to politically stable countries where the cost of living is much lower than in France.
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Another reason many retirees head abroad is that many have roots or families in those countries. 
French pensioners have also flocked to countries with better tax rates on their pensions.
Pensioners in Portugal, for example, can be completely exempt from paying taxes if they fill the right criteria, and in Morocco, they can make tax savings of up to 80 percent.



Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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