Why wait?

Anyone who has been following this blog will know that our plan is to move to France in 2020, at the earliest. Why, given the uncertainty around at the moment, don’t we do it sooner you might ask? It’s a good question so here are just some of the answers…

The biggest reason is our current house which, as you can see, would be ideal if it was located just 700 miles further south! As with all 300-year-old properties it shows its age from time to time and, with the help of various professionals, we are currently working through one of its more challenging phases. It’s a case of ‘trial and error’ which makes it hard to put a timescale on when it will be ready to go on the market, but our best guess is early in 2020. Then we’ll need to find someone who loves it like we do to buy it.

Once we’ve sold our house we’ll have the money to buy in France. The two-year hiatus is a good thing in this respect as it gives us plenty of time to do the research, refine our criteria for what kind of property we want and make several trips to our preferred region to get a proper feel for it. It also gives us a chance to get to grips with the rules around running a business in France, the tax and social security system, health care and so on. We are also learning a lot about setting up, furnishing, running and administering a B&B.

I’m fortunate to have worked in the NHS for fifteen years up until 2004 and am entitled to a small but not insignificant pension which I can take anytime from now on. Obviously the earlier I take it the smaller the benefits so waiting for a couple more years will mean a slightly bigger ‘lump sum’ when I retire and a little more each month towards our living expenses. This will certainly help in the early days when we are establishing our business and provide a safety net if things are tougher than expected.

Another consideration is that my partner has just taken on a new job which she is excited about and which conveniently should come to an end in the summer of 2020, just in time for house hunting to begin in earnest. The plan then is to put our furniture in storage, pack our bags and set off into the sunset… of course we know it won’t be that simple! It could take us months to find the right place, a minimum of three months to make it ours and then goodness knows how long to get it ready for our first paying guests.

Then there’s the dogs…

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