favorite retirement destinations of the French

The list was published in Le Figaro newspaper just the other day: the new top seventeen favorite retirement destinations of the French. (The list changes every year). How is the list compiled? From statistics provided by La Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse (The National Old Age Insurance Fund). It is they who send retirees their monthly pensions directly into their bank accounts all over the world. Here it is for 2020/2021, in order of preference:

  1. Spain
  2. Greece
  3. Morocco
  4. Mauritius
  5. Portugal
  6. Italy
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Switzerland
  9. Poland
  10. Belgium
  11. Germany
  12. Sweden
  13. Australia
  14. Canada
  15. United Kingdom
  16. Japan
  17. U.S.A.

This interests me because I wonder where I will eventually live during the next phase of my life. “What?” people say to me, “You won’t continue to live in France?”

No, I won’t. I’ve been here far too long. Had my life circumstances been different, I would’ve left France decades ago. It was never my intention to stay so long. Had my parents not passed away in the 1990s, I would’ve returned to Canada to be with them in their golden years. Had my sole sibling not been a terrible toxic person, I would’ve returned to Canada ages ago. The truth is, I don’t think I’ll ever return to my native country.

I had chosen Portugal and/or The Netherlands as a retirement destination. What I like about The Netherlands is that it’s progressive, pragmatic, liberal. It’s also perfectly situated in the middle of Western Europe with great train hubs. I can jump on a train and within an hour or two be in London, Paris, Lille, Germany, Denmark, etc. Mobility and easy transit is important to me, as is train travel. It also has great art, modern architecture and many picturesque towns with meandering canals. With Denmark, The Netherlands has the most advanced bicycle infrastructures in the world.

Portugal is also an attractive destination, but I’m not fully convinced yet. Now I’m looking at Spain, near Valencia, or further down the coast.

Wherever I end up, it sure is nice to have choices!

2 thoughts on “favorite retirement destinations of the French

  1. I’ve often dreamed of living out my days on a beach in southern Spain – but I do have family connections that pull at me from time to time. Not sure where I’ll go next – but I’ve come full circle. I left Vancouver because of the rain and gray – and now I need to leave this drought-ridden place for a place where it rains from time to time!

    • Oh, hi Lori, I was about to email you to get your news. How ironic that you left Vancouver because of the drizzle only to find yourself years later dodging wildfires and no rain at all (although Vancouver sure could’ve used some drizzle last week!)
      Are there any nice cities you could relocate to north east of California? A pleasant city with cultural offerings and a better climate?

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