How to Retire Without Money
BEST PLACES TO RETIRE: FRANCEIn a nutshell. France is one of the largest nations in Europe both in area and in population. She has 213,009 square miles and some 45 million citizens, and that makes her second only to the Soviet Union in size, and to Great Britain in population, this side of the Iron Curtain.
For probably the majority of Americans, France is the country that first comes to mind when retiring abroad is mentioned. This for many reasons but chief among them is the wide range of offerings France makes to the person wishing the good things of life. Scenically and climatically France rivals or surpasses her neighbors and she is the admitted cultural leader of the world. Paris, her capital, is so widely known and loved that it would be redundant to describe the "City of Light" here. The French Riviera, the Cote d'Azur, probably boasts more retired foreigners than any equal area in the world-and for good reason, of course.
But another cause for so many of us thinking in terms of France when we contemplate retiring abroad is because in the past France was one of the very cheapest countries in Europe. Back in the "twenties" and the "thirties" it was indeed quite possible to live in France, even in Paris, for $25 a week or less. In fact, you could live in comparative luxury on $100 a month and there were tens of thousands of Americans doing it.
Such a reputation did France build between the two World Wars as a land where one could retire on a shoestring, that the memory continues in people's minds until this day, in spite of the fact that it costs 25 times as much to live in Paris now as it did in 1938. Twenty-five times as much!
Paris is, of course, considerably higher than the balance of the country but still the prospective American wishing to escape the work-a-day world should think twice before picking France as his home. That is, of course, unless he has a few gushers bringing him in an income. It is possible to retire in Paris and we'll end this chapter with several case histories of Americans who are doing it very nicely indeed, but I am of the opinion that there are easier places in which to accomplish this end.
If you do find it possible to pick France as a country in which to retire, then you'll find what good life can really be. No place on earth do people eat and drink better than in France, absolutely no place. No city in the world can boast the cultural qualities of Paris. No place has the electric air, the vim, the love of life that Paris breaths. It is no mistake that she is called the City of Light.
And no country in the world exceeds France in the rich beauty of her provinces. Name a few of them over to yourself, the very pronouncing of them brings a feeling of glamour. Burgundy, Normandy, Brittany, Champagne, Gascony, Alsace and Lorraine.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. All you need to enter France, if your stay is not to exceed three months, is a passport. If you plan to remain longer than that you'll have to apply for a regular visa from a French consulate. This will cost you about $10 (the amount may be changed by the time you read this) and it will take up to two months to procure since the application has to be forwarded to Paris for approval. You'll need several passport photos. There are French Consulates in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston and St. Louis. Or you can secure the visa at one of their European consulates.
Read more about some of the best places to retire:Best Places to Retire Mexico Spain France Italy