One of our local newspapers had an article entitled, “How much does it cost to be old in France?” so I just had to read that. With homage to Ethel Merman’s character Annie Oakley on Broadway, aging just seemed to me to be a natural process with no admission charge. However, if you want to stay for the whole show you have to pay the price which depends on where you sit from the orchestra to the balcony. It also depends if you are like 85% of the French who say that they want to spend their retirement years at home rather than moving to group living arrangements or to a medical facility. A website that specializes in banking and insurance for seniors (Retraite.com) teamed with another site that helps people live and age well at home (Silver Alliance) to calculate the costs.
People were divided into 3 groups: age 65 to 75, age 75 to 85, and over age 85 and twenty-five different products and services available to all groups were studied. While recurring costs such as rent, utilities, and food were excluded, fees for items such as top-up medical insurance (mutuelle), domestic helpers, and home medical equipment were part of the study. Based on a 30-year timespan, the average additional amount an individual would spend to stay at home would be 12,641€ per year or 1,053€ per month. (Approximately $1,278 monthly).
To better understand how that average was derived, the report explains how expenses were allocated across the 3 groups:
Age 65 to 75—the main expense would be for extra health insurance plus assistance, if desired, with house cleaning and gardening. Entertainment and travel charges should also be considered for this still socially active age group.
Age 75 to 85—top up health insurance remains the major cost while vacation/travel expenses decrease for people who become more sedentary. Domestic help becomes more necessary.
Age 85 and up—dependence on others moves to the forefront. Visiting nurses, delivered meals, and night care become the norm. Subscription to an emergency alert service is undertaken.
According to this study, the average monthly pension in France is 1,382€. For those who are physically unable to stay at home the cost of an EHPAD retirement home in our area averages around 1,700€ per month. A link to the government’s website for seniors who wish to remain autonomous is below.
The complete “Cost of Being Old” report can be found at this website: https://www.retraite.com/dossier-retraite/actualites/decembre-2020/combien-ca-coute-d-etre-vieux-en-france.html
This is a pdf of the article if the link does not work :Combien ça coûte d’être vieux en France _ – Retraite.com
Senior Autonomy: https://www.pour-les-personnes-agees.gouv.fr/