Moving abroad on your own can seem very daunting, but you are not alone! Approximately 60% of the inquiries we receive are from people considering a move to France without a partner. And sometimes, people who make the move with a partner wind up on their own, too.
In fact, the Internations network estimate that almost 40% of the expats in France are single. Within the Renestance team we’ve all experienced life in France in different circumstances; single, married, and divorced. Here we thought we’d take a look at some of the challenges and advantages of a life in France on your own.
It almost goes without saying that living alone you really only have one decision maker – you! So the choice of where to rent or when to buy is 100% easier. When considering a real estate purchase, you’re able to move forward significantly faster!
The cost of living for one person is clearly lower than for two. Property prices have risen most places in recent years, but not as dramatically in France. Sought after coastal communities are still largely accessible. For retirees in particular, the Occitanie coastline from Narbonne through to the Camargue is extremely popular due to its great climate, easy transport links and lower cost of living.
Living alone can rapidly increase your chances of mastering French! It takes some discipline, of course, but listening/reading/watching French/TV/internet a few hours a day will help you immerse yourself in your new country and start to pick up the phonetics and phrases used in everyday conversations. When you live with someone who speaks your native language, there’s far less push to learn French.
You may have to work a little harder at avoiding loneliness as a singleton. On the other hand, you don’t have to take into account someone else’s mood, interests or personality when deciding how and when you want to socialize.
Anything administrative will be half the work. For example, setting up bank accounts or requesting a mortgage only requires one set of documents and translations. And approval processes are swifter with less paperwork to be examined.
There are no tax benefits for single person households, unless they are a single parent (parent isolé). However, there can also be some allowances for the elderly, carers, and those with low incomes.
10 Top Tips for Solo Renesters
- Try before you buy – rent or stay in an area in the low season to see if it’s somewhere you would be happy to live all year round
- Force yourself to get out of the house regularly and talk to people
- Invite your French neighbors for an apéro dinatoire
- Listen to French radio and watch French TV
- Appoint a power of attorney in the event that decisions need to be taken on your behalf
- Make a will so that you know ahead of time how/if French inheritance rules will apply to your property in the event of your death
- Participate in activities you enjoyed at home
- Find new activities from the local mairie and join an event that interests you
- Volunteer with a charity or local animal shelter
- Once you’re comfortable in French, stand to be elected as a member of the conseil municipal and have a say at local council meetings
Helpful Languedoc links
THINK – Facebook group for general information and events in the south of France
SAIL – Facebook group for Single Anglophones in Languedoc
VEEM – Association in Olonzac. They offer language classes and other activities.
AFAL – Anglo/French group in Narbonne
Our Regional Reconnaissance package is perfect for anyone thinking of investing in a property or moving to southern France for 6 months or more. Please get in touch and let us know the area you are interested in this form.
Dennelle is the President of Renestance and a bilingual American who’s lived in France since 2000. She loves so many things about France, its language, culture, geography, quality of life... that she started a business to help others realize their dreams of living in this incredible place.
All articles by: Dennelle Taylor Nizoux