More and more French people over 60 years old decide to leave France for warmer horizons (and with less taxes). This silver diaspora often prefers countries in Southern Europe or North Africa to stay close to France, but let's stop the clichés! Some seniors also venture to distant lands to try to change careers.
According to the Ministry's figures, 15.3% of those registered in the register of French nationals living abroad are over 60 years old. This figure is constantly rising.
At the 18ème edition of the Salon des Seniors, which took place at the beginning of April, Portugal was in the spotlight. With more than 30,000 French retirees already settled on the Lusitanian peninsula, Portugal is the ideal Eldorado for senior citizens looking for proximity to France, sunshine and a low cost of living (10% lower than in France). What's more, Portugal boasts an attractive tax system. French nationals who settle there benefit from a total income tax exemption on their retirement pensions for 10 years. With the exception of former civil servants, who retain resident status.
Advantageous tax treaties for retirees
In Morocco, non-French residents are taxed in their host country and benefit from a 40% deduction on the amount to be declared. Between 20,000 and 25,000 French retirees take advantage of these tax benefits. Combined with a low cost of living, less than 30% compared to France, as well as an inexpensive range of personal services, Morocco is one of the preferred destinations for seniors.
It is the same in Tunisia, but the abatement on the amount of the pension amounts to 80%! In addition, the Tunisian cost of living is reduced by half compared to the French cost.
Only 39% of retirees move abroad for tax reasons
However, it is still Spain that attracts the most retirees, with 150,000 seniors already living there. The proximity to France, the climate and the abundant culture make this country a privileged destination, despite " a tax system that is in some respects rather counter-incentive "according to Nadège Gaillard. In addition, the low presence of retirees in tax-advantaged countries such as Belgium (1%) and Switzerland (6%) shows that the reasons for expatriation go far beyond tax issues.
An adventurous senior population!
Of the 262,000 retired expatriates in 180 countries, 25% are still working, compared to 2% in France for the same age group. Many young active seniors leave to give a second wind to their professional lives, whether in NGOs, in entrepreneurship or to make good deals, like the retirees who left for Florida in the early 2000s, attracted by the drop in real estate prices. Out of the 100,000 French people present, one third would be retirees.
They also favor developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia where there are more opportunities. In Thailand, the number of French people over 60 years old would have increased from 4 to 16% from 2000 to 2015.
Some leave for Black Africa, where Senegal, for example, is very popular: there are about 5,000 French retirees. Benjamin Kisso, president of the association " Care 4 ", specializing in the accompaniment of retirees and early retirees in Cameroon, says that French seniors bring a lot to their host country, either economically or in terms of expertise. He strongly encourages seniors to venture beyond the south of the Sahara!