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A few of the benefits of growing old in France

Two older people sitting on the floor looking out over a body of water
Growing old in France has its benefits. Photo: Katarzyna Grabowska / Unsplash
There are numerous reasons to spend your golden years in France - the good weather and the good living notable among them. But here are a few more benefits to help you grow old gracefully (or not) here.

You might not believe it, given that older people in France have marched to protect their pension rights in recent years – but France looks after its older generations pretty well. Here are a few of the ways…

Health

Annual flu jabs are available for free to over-65s, and mammograms are free for over-50s. Other healthcare benefits are also provided for older residents in France who are in the healthcare system.

Local travel

Local travel authorities routinely offer free or reduced travel for older people. For example,  Greater Paris region residents aged over-65 with an income less than €2,200 per month have been entitled to free Navigo passes, allowing travel on the Metro, RER trains, trams and buses.

You can also demand others give up certain seats so you can sit down.

Meanwhile the Lignes d’Azur bus and tram company in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur offers a reduced-fare card for over-65s on proof of identity and age. Similar to Paris, those on lower incomes who live in the region are entitled to free travel.

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Rail cards

For a €49 annual fee, SNCF’s Carte Avantage Sénior+ gives 30 percent off train fares in both standard and first class – while up to three children aged four to 11 get 60 percent off, if they are travelling with you. If you’re even just a semi-regular rail user it’s worth the price. Details available HERE

Flights

Air France and its budget subsidiary Hop! offer a reduction card for those aged over 65, with up to 30 percent off flights to France and Europe – including the UK. The card costs €49 per year. Details HERE

Leisure and culture

Many towns and cities offer special cards that give reductions on cultural and leisure activities for residents aged 55 and over, and again for those aged 65 and over. 

It’s worth checking, too, if you can get cheap movie tickets or museum entrance. Many cinemas – and museums and art galleries – offer reductions based purely on proof of age.

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Taxes

There are various tax reductions and exemptions for older people living in France – especially those on modest incomes. There’s an income tax allowance for over-65s, and a reduction on taxe foncière for homeowners over 65 before an exemption kicks in for those aged 75 and over, depending on income level.

Meanwhile, taxe d’habitation may be on its way out for main residences – but over-60s on modest incomes are exempt, anyway.

You can find more details on the income levels required for exemptions here.

Benefits

Some of the benefits for older people on lower incomes are listed HERE. They include a ‘solidarity’ allowance for those on limited means, assistance with housing costs, home help aid, access to ‘foyer restaurants’ which offer meals at low prices for older residents, and financial assistance to adapt your home to your changing needs.

Further details of the help available to older people living in France can be found on a dedicated government website HERE

TV licence

As a rule of thumb, anyone who has a TV at their property in France must have a TV licence. And, yes, you still need a licence even if you do not watch French TV and only watch DVDs or stream programmes from overseas on a TV.

But there are some exemptions, however, for example over-60s on a low income, widows or widowers on a low income, or people with a registered disability. Find the full details HERE

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: Who has to pay France’s TV licence?


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