"We cut down on everything to make ends meet"

04 August 2017

This story was sent to us by Lisa who is married to a UK citizen.

"My husband, Roger Macdonald Munns, and I retired to live in France at the end of 2003.  We are both pensioners and have no other income apart from our State Pensions from the UK plus Roger's Teacher's Pension and another small life annuity pension.  In total amounting to €28,553 per annum (as of the end of the 2014 Tax Year).

One of our main reasons for retiring was that we could no longer afford to live in the UK.  Up until the Brexit saga we were managing just fine.  We have everything we need and follow a simple lifestyle.  No luxuries but, at our advanced ages, we are pretty content with what we have.  Roger is 78 and I am 75 years old.

For about five months after the General Election, due to the sudden drop in value of the British Pound, we lost an average of €400 per month which put us in dire straits and we had to make quite a large loan to see us through which, of course, has to be repaid on a monthly basis.   So, we have had to cut down on everything, including groceries to make ends meet.

Things improved slightly in the following months but the exchange rate has taken a dive again and we are back to counting our pennies.

We both have French Resident's Permits as this is now our permanent domicile.  Thank God for that and for the French medical system and the care that they take of the aged.  My husband had prostate cancer and, following that, gets free medical treatment.  He now also has cirrhosis of the liver for which he is being treated.  I had to have a knee replacement operation and am still having therapy for that.  We do belong to a Medical Insurance Society which costs us €175 per month.  We have both had to have new glasses which cost us €722 which we can fortunately pay off in monthly instalments.  If the NHS were to withdraw from supporting ex-pats then we would be at the end of our tether.

We are only just able to hold our heads above water at the moment and don't know what we shall do if the exchange rate drops down any further.

So, that is our sad story." 

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