Friday, 30 December 2011

Move to France 2012 - your New Year's Resolution

The choice to retire abroad is one being made by an ever increasing number of Britons, and thanks to globalisation and the internet, it is now easier than ever to plan and finalise your dream of retiring abroad even if you’ve never visited your chosen nation before!
Information about almost every element of starting a new life overseas is now just a mouse click away, and suddenly the world really does seem like a much smaller, more accessible place.
The Britons who have already relocated overseas or who are in the active planning stages cite the following top 5 reasons for wanting to move abroad when they give up work…
1) Better weather 2) Less crime 3) An improved lifestyle 4) Lower cost of living 5) And lower taxes
1) In the areas that we cover, the Dordogne Valley & Poitou Charentes, the weather is significantly better than back in the UK. Shorter milder winters, and longer, warmer summers, but all 4 seasons.
2) Much less crime on this side of the channel, reflected in the much cheaper property insurance. Increasingly some Britons are citing their main reason for relocation abroad in retirement as wanting a safer place to live.
3) Everything from taxation to energy bills are rising, so as the cost of living escalates and job security falls dramatically, the lifestyle "enjoyed" by Britons is seriously declining. A recent quality of life index by uSwitch, advises that the quality of life in the UK is the worst in Europe… and that in France was No1.
4) Property prices & costs in France can be lower, and with the £ currently around 1.20 € now is a good time to be looking.
5) Thanks to the introduction of qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) by HMRC, those who are retiring abroad may also be able to improve their pension income by moving their pension to a regulated offshore jurisdiction where tax may not be charged, or may also be charged at much lower rates than in the UK. France although sometimes seen as a country of higher taxation, does offer significant possibilities for paying less Inheritance Tax (IHT) & also Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
Further information via

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Focus still on the €uro

The euro has fallen further against other major currencies as fears continue over the eurozone's future. The euro fell below $1.30 for the first time since 12 January. Against the pound, one euro bought 83.85 pence, while the pound was worth 1.19 euros.
Last week, 26 of the 27 members of the European Union backed new fiscal rules, with only the UK abstaining. But many fear that the budget pact will still not be enough to prevent more countries from seeking a bailout.
Traders are now watching closely to see what kind of interest rate Italy in particular will have to pay, particularly after Germany’s Chancellor Merkel ruled out an expansion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the current Eurozone bailout fund. Whether they like it or not, Germany is running things in Europe at the moment (financially speaking) and that is causing some quite vocal animosity around the member states.
The ‘deal’ forged on Friday to create a more integrated fiscal situation in Europe is in trouble after it emerged that it would be hard to get it ratified in Sweden, the Czech republic, Holland, Denmark and Finland. Whether France will ever ratify the package is also now in doubt after France’s main opposition party rejected the deal. The problem there is that there is a very good chance this party will oust President Sarkozy in the April elections so Angela Merkel may find herself in a coalition of one.