How much to live in France

Thanks to the many readers who wrote in with feedback on how much is needed as a pension for a reasonable retirement in France (rent or mortgage not included). Here’s a selection of replies:

29 January 2020

My pension is €2,500 a month but I also support my daughter, a struggling artist, her two Malinois and three cats.

If it was just me in a smaller house, I could live quite happily on €1,200 per month.

PW, Occitanie


I live alone and live comfort-ably on about €2,000 a month.

A friend gets by on €2,500 a month.

My French friends and British friends with French pensions seem to have about €2,000.

RW, Aix-en-Provence


We have owned our house outright since 2003 and have both worked in France since 2000.

I will receive my pension at age 66 and seven months in November.

Our current income is around €3,200 a month and we do not yet know what our pensions will be (my husband will receive his in 2025) but I cannot conceivably see that we could live on less than our current income.

Our outgoings will not suddenly reduce at retirement age, we will still have to pay gas, electric, phone, insurance for house, health and vehicle.

We will still have to pay taxes and buy food and very little – if any – outgoings will be reduced because we are retired!

LVS, Cher

I live happily on an income of about €1,000 a month.

J, Blois, Loir-et-Cher


The amount needed for a “reasonable” life varies so much, based on personal “must haves”. For us, €1,000 per month covers most things.

MJ, Côtes-d’Armor


My wife died last year. At that time we had combined annual pensions of £26,000, which gave us all we needed and allowed a meal out once, sometimes twice, a week, with monthly functions for friends, and having a dog and five cats.

I now have about £22,000 and would offer this as a minimum.

MP, Charente

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