4 Reasons to Retire Abroad in Sunny Aix-en-Provence, France
For our grandparents, retirement was short, boring and lonely. Our grandmas considered themselves lucky if they made it to their 70th birthday and the average life expectancy for our grandfathers’ generation was around 65.
Even when they did manage to reach retirement age, their lifestyle wasn’t exactly wild, free and flush with cash. And, retiring abroad? Forget it!
Most of our grandparents stayed in the same house that they raised their kids in and spent their final years (if they were lucky) playing with the grandkids, watching TV and knitting.
Are You Ready to Retire Different?
Today, things are changing! For better or for worse, those of us in our 50s and 60s can look forward to 20-30 years in retirement. That’s longer than we spent raising our kids. Heck, it’s longer than some of us spent in the workforce, if we stayed at home while our kids were small.
Yes, men and women today are rethinking retirement. We are looking forward to engaging with the world, not slipping into invisibility. We want to travel and explore, not stagnate at home. And, we want to grow and learn, not grow fat in front of the TV!
Another trend that our generation is pioneering is retiring abroad. With costs (particularly health-care costs) spiraling out of control in the U.S. many baby boomers are looking to Europe, South America and even Asia for retirement options that we couldn’t get back home.
So, in this series of articles, I want to take you on a journey to some of the best places in the world to retire. And, in this first spotlight, I’ll tell you a bit about one of my personal favorite locations – Aix-en-Provence in France.
Here are 4 compelling reasons to retire abroad in Aix-en-Provence!
Charm and Character on a Budget
Take a stroll down any of the medieval streets in Aix-en-Provence and you could be forgiven for thinking that only millionaires could possibly afford to surround themselves with such beauty. The streets are clean and lined with trees and the squares sing with the voices of dozens of fountains – some grand, some quaint.
But, it is not only millionaires who can afford to live in Aix-en-Provence. There are plenty of apartments available for under $950 per month and even less if you don’t need much space. A 3-course meal will run you less than $30 and the street food is simply amazing.
All in all, according to this article by International Living, a couple can live comfortably in Aix-en-Provence for less than $2,700 a month!
A Beauty That Inspired the Greatest Painters of All Time
To the average tourist or expat, Aix-en-Provence is a place of indescribable beauty. We may talk about how surprisingly green the city is or the fact that the cobbled streets are quaint yet surprisingly accessible. But, it would take an poet to describe Aix-en-Provence in any detail… or perhaps an artist to capture its beauty.
Luckily for us, Aix-en-Provence did indeed become a source of inspiration for artists like Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.
If you want to feel inspired creatively – perhaps to write your memoir or take up painting – there are few places in Europe (or on any other continent) that are more beautiful than Aix-en-Provence.
Weather that Won’t Wear You Down
There are many parts of Europe that feel oppressively hot in the summer. Just visit the villa of any Expat in Marbella or Tenerife, Spain and you will quickly see why everyone tends to spend their days inside, enjoying the air-conditioned climate.
Aix-en-Provence is much milder. Protected from the north winds that tear across other parts of the country, the city feels sheltered and safe. And, with an average temperature of 5-6 degrees C (41-43 degrees F) in January and 23 degrees C (73 degrees F) in July, you can explore your surroundings throughout the year.
Somewhat surprising, given the amount of greenery in the city, is the fact that the city sees only 91 days of rain per year. So, if you plan on staying active in retirement, Aix-en-Provence may be a great option!
Not Too Big… or Too Small… Just Right
One of the biggest concerns that Americans have when it comes to moving to a small European city is whether there will be enough to do. After all, the United States is built around consumerism and entertainment. You can’t walk one block in most U.S. cities without passing restaurants, shops and one (if not more!) Starbucks coffee houses.
With a population of just 140,684, Aix-en-Provence is not a large city by any stretch of the imagination… but, nor does it feel provincial. In fact, there is a surprising number of things to do.
For starters, there are the classic sights, like the Aix Cathedral, old town and Cours Mirabeau. But, there also more modern attractions like the Aix-en-Provence Opera Festival, 4 movie theaters and more coffee shops than you could wave a baguette at!
But, it is not just the amenities that set Aix-en-Provence apart from other small cities in this part of the world. The residents are active, friendly and relatively welcoming to outsiders. Simply put, the city feels busy… but, not too busy.
Could you see yourself retiring abroad in Aix-en-Provence? Why or why not? What is your personal dream retirement location? Let’s have a conversation!