Sometimes, living in the same place for longer time is stressful and makes you look for other place to go to or relocate, Sure , it is a wise idea to change your habitat in order to adventure and expand your knowledge about different places around the World. Many people just think changing places of living is only associated with political unrest and war in the Country. It's certainly very possible to do, but this is also probably one of the most expensive undertakings.
The first question always is, where do I go? Places to live will always be determined by economic state of an individual. The Côte d’Azur polarizes opinion like few places in France. To some it remains the most glamorous of all Mediterranean playgrounds.
Whether you call it the South of France or the French Riviera, when living in France the French will soon remind you that it’s actually called the Côte d’Azur. A topic that needs no debating among expats living in France is the lifestyle in the South of France. With the delights of Nice, Cannes, Monaco, and Saint Tropez on your doorstep, the French Riviera remains a popular destination for expatriates. Living in France as an Expat can be a demanding experience though you can have the tips on how to survive in Cote d Azur during your stay.
As many people do, you should consider the following:
- Purchasing property
The Côte d’Azur is a prestigious region so being realistic with your budget is important. The chances of finding a picture perfect property that will triple in value as your second home is becoming more unlikely. This strong regional demand does however afford buyers the safety net of stable and rising property values.
Many properties with stunning views and deep architectural character can be found well within the €500k bracket with those on the sea rising towards and beyond €1m. A popular and growing alternative for couples and retirees are apartments, which can be found for as little as €160,000 in the some of the region’s most vibrant areas.
Competitiveness and timing of your foreign currency exchange deal will impact positively on your economic status. High street bank charges are extortionate and representatives are unlikely to have the expertise or incentive to advise you upon the best deals. So, ensure you get the best advice whenever you do currency exchange.
- Cost of living
This will vary with the lifestyle and level of comfort you desire, but excluding mortgage costs, €2,500-3000 pm (65% for singles) is suffice for a couple to enjoy an active and rewarding social life.
Obviously when you wish to frequent the regions hotspots, dine in Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez’s more esteemed restaurants, and enjoy the odd flutter in Monte Carlo, an increased budget is advised.
A crucial factor to consider is the ‘high season’ between June – August. The population of coastline swells during this period so prices become inflated. A plat du jour or Set Menu may increase from €15 to €20-€25. Though frustrating, this at least ensures that equilibrium is maintained and that service and standards of restaurants are upheld.
- Educational facilities
Social amenities like Schools are important in the surrounding. A strong educational background will empower your children to shape them, own destiny, doing something they enjoy, making for a content and satisfied life.
Fortunately, many reputable schools exist when living in France including Mougins School (Sophia Antipolis), the International School of Nice (Nice) and the International Bilingual School of Provence (Aix-en-Provence).
Mougins is a prestigious school with 50-years’ experience located by the Sophia Antipolis technology park, a 30-minute drive from Nice. It follows the English national curriculum, which has the key advantage of students easily integrating into the UK higher education system.
- Setup an offshore bank account
The term ‘Offshore’ often attracts negative publicity and is commonly portrayed as a dark and deceitful world where the super-wealthy hide their yachts and fortunes. This depiction is inaccurate.
An offshore bank account is simply an account located outside the depositor’s country of origin. No Ferrari needed. In fact, offshore banks offer you the most cost effective and convenient way for living in France.
How will the offshore bank accounts benefit you?
Convenience – Same bank no matter where you move
Easy global access – Choice of multi-currency accounts
Geographical freedom – Online and telephone banking
Relaxation – Discussing finances in English with a familiar representative
Working in Cote d Azur
Human beings are cultured to work and be productive in order to put food on the table, with that in mind, you will search for employment in any place. Just like any other place, there are job opportunities in France to make you sustain your stay.
Salary offers in France are usually gross. If you are single this is 58 500 euros nets: Most importantly, you should do some simple arithmetic’s with the income , that is to say 20 % of the salary will cater for rent : 975 euros mobility (car+petrol+insurance) : up to 500 euros (and more)house charges (electricity, heating, water, internet): 190 euros telephone: 45 -60insurances.
Having done the simple calculations above, you need to seek financial advice.
- Financial advice for living
France’s famous ‘laissez faire’ approach is a key attraction for living in France. This attitude is great for many aspects of your life. However, it can be very frustrating when dealing with your finances.
For instance, banks in France are generally closed on Mondays and shut for two-hour lunch-breaks during the week.
Furthermore, the UK is arguably the most regulated financial advisory market and the ‘Twin Peaks’ model enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) & Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) ensures that clients receive only the highest levels of advice and protection.
Visiting Cote d Azur
No matter how many times you go back, St Trop, as its 5,600 inhabitants call it, never fails to disappoint. Despite the millions of visitors and rip-off prices, the place defiantly oozes glamour. St Tropez has two very different sides - the ever-fashionable meeting place for celebs and millionaires, and the spoilt picturesque fishing village.
So if you don't mind shelling out €5 for an espresso, you can sit out on the terrace of the iconic Sennequier cafe, and enjoy the daily street show of wide-eyed tourists watching the exhibitionist nouveau riche sipping champagne on the decks of their yachts. If that doesn't float your boat, there is a wonderful nature walk round the coast from the old port all the way to the sandy beaches at Pampelonne, where you pass through dazzling Mediterranean landscapes and can even find a quiet public beach to swim without paying a fortune for sun loungers and umbrellas.
Where to stay
Finding somewhere affordable to stay in isn’t easy, but if you book far enough in advance two secluded B & Bs provide an idyllic solution. Right in the middle of the old town, squeezed in between chic boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs are two ancient fishermen's cottages where three rooms have been stylishly transformed into a chambres d'hote. Ensure before your departure to the place you do prior booking to avoid inconveniences.