Will you lead a happier and healthier life in France? You may not know for sure until you arrive, but many aspects of daily life suggest that this is certainly possible. From more free time to great healthcare, France could be the best place to increase your joie de vivre.

Good healthcare

France has universal healthcare, which is especially reassuring if you’re moving there in later life. Around 70% of the costs of consultations and treatments are reimbursed, with an 80% reimbursement for hospital treatments.

You can be covered by the French healthcare system (‘PUMa’) if you have been a resident in France for at least 3 months. If you’re employed in France, you can apply to be covered as soon as you start work.

Once registered, you’ll get your ‘Carte Vitale’, which you should take with you whenever you visit a doctor, pharmacy or specialist provider.

More free time

With 35 hour working weeks, 11 bank holiday days and a 30-day annual leave entitlement, the French truly value their free time. Rather than living to work in France, you definitely work to live!

A report submitted by the French government concluded that this shorter working week, which came into practice during the year 2000, affected employees positively, both at work and at home. Because of employment legislation, working overtime is less common than in other countries.

An appreciation for food

Tying in with an appreciation for work-life balance, the French take lunchtime extremely seriously. Lunch breaks last for up to 2 hours and are a chance to chat with family or colleagues and take things at a relaxed pace, whist enjoying food and coffee.

It won’t come as a surprise that there is a strong appreciation for good food and drink in France. In both cities and rural areas, street markets are popular and locals will enjoy buying fresh produce every day or week. Most people can enjoy a healthy diet in France on a very low budget.

Eating out is generally quite cheap also, with ingredients and wine often sourced locally.

A sense of community

In smaller towns or villages, there is a very strong sense of community. A central point of life is the local Mairie (town hall), where you can get involved in social activities, community events and meetings about local issues. This is a great way to meet people in your area and throw yourself into community life.

If you would like further advice on the selling process in France, download your free France Guide.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday home in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family.

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