The Golden Years in Wine Country: Retiring in France as a UK Expat

The allure of France has perennially drawn individuals from across the globe, with its rich cultural tapestry, exquisite cuisine, and landscapes that range from the ruggedly charming to the serenely picturesque. For UK expats eyeing their golden years, retiring in the lush wine country of France presents a dream imbued with the aroma of fine vintages and the gentle hum of serene living.This article explores the appeal of retiring in France, delving into the facets of property, lifestyle, and navigating the mortgage landscape, particularly in the context of post-Brexit implications.

The Appeal of the French Countryside

France, with its sprawling vineyards, historic towns, and a lifestyle that gracefully intertwines leisure with a vibrant local culture, offers a retirement that is as enriching as it is tranquil. The wine regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Provence, offer not just the promise of splendid vintages but also a lifestyle that is deeply rooted in the local terroir, offering a blend of leisurely pursuits, culinary adventures, and a community that shares a profound appreciation for the finer things in life.

Properties range from rustic farmhouses to elegant chateaux, each offering a unique charm and a connection to the lush, verdant landscapes that have become synonymous with the French countryside.

Lifestyle and Community

The lifestyle in France’s wine country is one that is deeply connected to the land and the community. Markets brimming with local produce, festivals that celebrate the harvest, and a daily life that is as relaxed as it is engaging, offer a retirement that is active without being hurried.

Communities in these regions often share a close-knit bond, with local events, tastings, and gatherings offering ample opportunities to forge connections and immerse oneself in the local culture and traditions.

Navigating Property and Mortgages Post-Brexit

The implications of Brexit have introduced new considerations for UK expats looking to retire in France. While the allure of the French countryside remains steadfast, it is imperative to navigate the property and mortgage landscape with an understanding of the new regulations and requirements.

UK expats are now subject to non-EU regulations when it comes to property purchases and mortgages in France. While French banks have traditionally been open to offering mortgages to non-residents, the process may involve stringent checks, a requirement for larger deposits, and potentially higher interest rates.

Understanding the nuances of the mortgage application process, including the documentation, eligibility criteria, and potential tax implications, becomes pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition to your retirement home in the French wine country.

Healthcare and Residency

Healthcare is another pivotal consideration for retirees. France offers an exemplary healthcare system, and while UK expats can access healthcare services, it is crucial to understand the changes post-Brexit and ensure all legal and administrative requirements are met to access healthcare services.

Residency is another aspect that has been impacted by Brexit. UK nationals now need to navigate through visa applications and ensure compliance with the residency regulations applicable to non-EU citizens. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial to ensure a seamless and compliant transition into retirement in France.


Retiring in the wine country of France offers a picturesque and enriching experience, where the tranquility of the landscapes, the richness of the culture, and the warmth of the community offer a golden chapter that is as leisurely as it is vibrant.

Navigating through the property, mortgage, and administrative landscape, particularly in the context of post-Brexit implications, requires meticulous planning and adherence to the new set of regulations and requirements. With the right preparation and understanding, the dream of spending the golden years amidst the vineyards and historic charm of France’s wine country can be a reality that is as splendid as the finest vintages the region has to offer.

Note: This article is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or professional advice. Always consult with a professional when making decisions related to property, legal, and financial matters