Cost of Living in France
France is synonymous with the finer things in life: indulging in a glass of Bordeaux or Burgundy wine, nibbling on olives and mouth-watering cheese, wearing haute couture, having a residence with a concierge, excellent health care and top-notch education.
Most available products are made in France and workers are paid first world standard wages. This makes local products pricey, especially in Paris. Hotels and restaurants in the French regions, as well as goods and services, are significantly less expensive than in Paris. Nevertheless, Paris offers the best of France.
The cost of healthcare, education, and childcare is heavily subsidized by the government, which makes it more cost effective for individuals. Note that these subsidies are from the taxes paid by individuals which can be as much as 40 percent of total household income.
As France is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, real estate price tends to be higher than in neighboring European countries. Housing and rentals usually include insurance and utilities. The government provides a subsidy for housing, but this only applies to French citizens. Expatriates must follow stringent rules for renting or purchasing a house.
Here is a sample of typical grocery and services prices in France:
• Baguette 80 cents,
• Dozen eggs 3 euro,
• 1 kg fresh chicken 3 euro,
• 1 kg fresh fish is 4 euro,
• Milk 1.50 euro
• Rice per kg 2 euro,
• 2 kg sugar at 2 euro,
• A 10km taxi journey 10 euro
• Petrol 1.17 euro.
• SMS (Short Messaging Service) can cost you as much as 10 cents per message because there is only one telecommunications provider.
• Rising tax levels can make an expat think twice about moving to France with impot sur le revenue (Income Tax) of up to 40% of an employee's salary. However, the government is introducing a new tax bracket to help lower and middle income earners, abolishing the lower rate band so that French residents can earn up to €11,673 before income is due at the rate of 5.5%. Currently, incomes lower than 5,853 euro are not liable for tax and those earning above 69, 505 euro pay 40% tax.
• New residents in France are offered a five-year exemption from Wealth Tax (Impôt de Solidarité Sur la Fortune) on all their overseas assets. This exemption only applies to people who arrived in France after 6 August 2008.
• Enjoying ‘La vie en rose' sums up the charm of French life, but it has nothing to do with wealth, in fact, discussing money in public is taboo. Living in France can be costly because of the local-made products, but these quality products have charmed the world.
Expat Services in France
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