Exploring the 6 cheapest places to retire in France

Many expats are planning a dream retirement in France, because is there any better place than France to retire? While some regions may be known for their luxurious lifestyle, there are also affordable options for those seeking a retirement haven without breaking the bank. Let’s explore the six cheapest places to retire in France, each offering its unique charm and attractions for expats. 

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Normandy

Normandy is characterised by its stunning coastline, quaint villages, and rich historical heritage. This region presents retirees with an idyllic and affordable lifestyle. The region boasts an abundance of historic landmarks, including the iconic D-Day landing beaches and medieval castles, offering retirees ample opportunities for cultural enrichment and exploration. Main cities such as Caen, Rouen and Le Havre blend modern amenities with traditional French charm, providing retirees with a comfortable and vibrant living environment. 

Retirees in Normandy can indulge in fresh seafood delicacies, take leisurely long walks along the cliffs and immerse themselves in the region’s lively cultural festivals. With its lower housing costs and moderate cost of living compared to other regions in France, Normandy emerges as an appealing choice for those seeking a serene retirement by the sea. If you want to learn more about this region, download our free regional guide on Normandy. Download here.

As of 2024, the average property price in Normandy stands at 256,096 €, making homeownership a feasible option for retirees. For expats preferring rental accommodations, the average rent price for an unfurnished house is approximately 785. €.

Languedoc Roussillon

Nestled in the sunny south of France, Languedoc offers retirees the Mediterranean lifestyle at an affordable price point compared to Provence or the French Riviera. Main cities like Montpellier, Nîmes and Perpignan have an idyllic weather but also offers historical architecture and vibrant cultural activities. Retirees in Languedoc can spend their days exploring ancient Roman ruins, leisurely strolling through picturesque vineyards and indulging in the region’s renowned culinary delights, including hearty cassoulet dishes and freshly caught seafood.

With its comparatively lower housing costs and moderate overall cost of living, Languedoc presents an appealing option for retirees seeking a relaxed retirement destination. The region offers a diverse array of housing options to suit various preferences and budgets. In 2024, the average property price in Languedoc-Roussillon is at around 380,972 € while the average monthly rent for an unfurnished house is approximately 836 €. 

> You might be interested in this article: Life in France as retired expats

Dordogne

Located in the centre of France, Dordogne, offers picturesque countryside, charming villages, and delicious specialities, offering a serene haven for those seeking tranquility in their retirement years. Main cities like Périgueux, Bergerac and Sarlat-la-Canéda exude medieval allure, inviting retirees to explore local markets, historical landmarks and a plethora of outdoor activities such as canoeing and cycling. Retirees can also indulge in the region’s culinary treasures such as foie gras and truffles, while immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of prehistoric caves and enchanting castles that dot the landscape. 

With its affordable housing options and moderate cost of living, Dordogne presents an enchanting destination for retirees looking to embrace a slower pace of life and reconnect with nature. In 2024, the average property price in Dordogne stands at 323,749 € and the average monthly rent for an unfurnished house is approximately 736 €, providing retirees with comfortable and affordable living options among the rustic charm of Dordogne.

Brittany

Brittany is famed for its rugged coastline, medieval towns, and rich Celtic heritage. The region allures retirees with its serene ambiance and stunning natural landscapes. The region’s main cities, including Rennes, Brest, and Saint-Malo, offer a harmonious blend of historical allure and modern amenities. Retirees in Brittany can embark on journeys to explore ancient castles, savour the region’s renowned fresh seafood delicacies and engage in outdoor pursuits such as sailing and hiking amid the breathtaking scenery. If you want to learn more about Brittany, download our free regional guide here

With a range of affordable housing options and a moderate cost of living, Brittany presents retirees with an ideal backdrop for a rewarding retirement experience. In 2024, the average property price in Brittany is at 310,877 €. When it comes to rental options, the average monthly rent for an unfurnished house hovers around 713 €.

Pays de la Loire

The Pays de la Loire region entices retirees with its beautiful Renaissance and Medieval châteaux, vineyards and charming towns, offering a delightful blend of history, culture and natural splendour at an affordable price. Main cities like Nantes, Angers and Le Mans are steeped in rich cultural heritage, providing retirees with access to a large amount of cultural events and outdoor activities. Retirees c an embark on leisurely strolls through historic châteaux, indulge in wine tastings at local vineyards and enjoy tranquil boat rides along the meandering Loire River. 

With lower housing costs and cost of living, the Pays de la Loire region presents an enticing prospect for expats planning to retire in France and seeking to immerse themselves in the essence of French life without breaking the bank. In 2024, the average property price in the region is around 270,526 €. And for expats considering rental accommodations, the average monthly rent for an unfurnished house in approximately 673 €. 

> You might be interested in this article: Will your pension go further in France or in Spain?

Limousin

Limousin, nestled in central France, offers retirees a tranquil and affordable retirement destination. Main cities like Limoges, Brive-la-Gaillarde, and Guéret provide retirees with access to charming markets, historic sites, and scenic countryside. Retirees can explore medieval villages, indulge in local delicacies like Limousin beef and chestnut dishes, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing. With its lower housing cost and cost of living, Limousin is an ideal choice for retirees seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of France. 

In 2024, the average property price in the Pays de la Loire region is 194,961 €. For expats looking at renting, the average rent price for an unfurnished house is 543 €.

Final notes

Retiring in France doesn’t have to break the bank, thanks to the affordability of regions like Normandy, Brittany, Languedoc, Dordogne, Pays de la Loire and Limousin. These areas offer retirees the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life, rich cultural experiences, and stunning landscapes without sacrificing their savings. Whether you’re drawn to coastal towns, historic cities or picturesque countryside, there’s a perfect retirement destination waiting for you to retire in France.

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