It’s Really Happening: Escape from America
International Living Magazine recently reported a “Massive Surge in Americans Searching for Info on Moving Overseas…Americans are looking to escape—over the last three months, International Living has seen a surge of 504.97% in traffic around ‘How to Move Out of the U.S.’ The five-fold increase offers evidence that more Americans are seeking out options for living better beyond the U.S. borders.”
We concur. “Normally” at this time of the year, we sit back, relax, let the quiet summer months while away as most people aren’t thinking of much of anything except enjoying their own vacations. “Normally” we set our sights on the fall during “La Rentrée” when everyone’s back at school, back at work, and putting in place all the things they dreamed of doing while they were sunning on the sand. Under “normal” circumstances, I’d be advising our clients to hold off till fall when there is more property on the market, or when the airfares are cheaper to come over to France to search for the “pied-à-terre” of their dreams. But, this year isn’t “normal.” At least not for Americans.
The “tidal wave in American interest in expatriating” that International Living is experiencing and writing about is hitting all of us here. Our experience concurs with theirs. Just as an example, we have a large number of property searches in progress in Nice alone, all purchasing “sight unseen!” That’s the first time we’ve ever seen Americans so thirsty to make a move as bold as this, that they’re willing to entrust us with such important decisions. They can and they should trust us—we’re capable of doing the job, but the point is, we’re seeing their desperation to find greener pastures. France is certainly among them.
It’s no wonder. The election has everyone in a stir. Will we have four more years of Donald Trump or will there be a real change in store for America’s future? Either way, it’s going to be tough. It will take a long time to repair the damage that’s already been done to our democratic ideals. International Living says they saw similar patterns in 2016 just prior to election, but to a lesser degree.
On top of the presidential elections, and maybe even more important is the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s pretty obvious now that the U.S. has done a rather poor job of controlling the spread of the virus—certainly not as well as most of Europe, or France for sure. I could cite statistics, but that’s useless. No one can deny the serious impact the virus has had on the U.S. compared to other parts of the world. The question we are all thinking is: “Where do we want to be if and when this happens again?”
Everyone in France has health care and health care coverage. Everyone. Approximately 77 percent of health expenditures are covered by government-funded agencies. And the care is excellent. Again, I could cite Covid-19 statistics and the accolades bestowed on the French health care system, but it’s a well-known fact that the World Health Organization deemed it Number 1 in the world as long ago as 2000. Americans are so disillusioned with their own health care system, many who lost their health care when they lost their jobs during Covid-19, are seeking alternatives they can count on, like we can in France.
Add to that, many jobs have evaporated as a result. When you have nothing to go “back” to, it leaves an opportunity to go “forward” to something new and different. In fact, when we made the move to France in 1994, it was largely timing, too. My advertising business in Los Angeles was suffering from the recession, so we decided that if we weren’t earning much money anyway, why not take the opportunity to see what else life had to offer doing something very different. Clearly, that was the right move at the time…I’m still here 26 years later and very pleased to be here, and not there.
With so much time to spare, people are surfing online and dreaming. International Living says the top search phrase is “how to move out of the United States.” Our clients are asking the same thing, but with the idea of moving specifically to France. International Living’s readers are most interested in Belize, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica and Italy, but their primary interest is in lowering their cost of living while at the same time raising the quality of life they are able to enjoy. France is presumed to be a more expensive choice than those others, but you might find that’s not so true. Living in France can cost you a whole lot less than you ever dreamed and without a doubt, less than your existence in the U.S.
Even before all this started with Covid-19 and the U.S. elections, a CBS News report discovered that Americans wanting to retire outside of the U.S. was up by 40 percent. And now we’ve discovered we can work from anywhere, too. This has made it possible for people to consider living just about anywhere. As long as there is Internet…there is life…and the ability to earn a living!
We’ve been watching France’s official visa site almost daily and the good news is that France’s diplomatic and consular posts are once again issuing visas, so it is now possible to apply online via the France-Visas portal. There are a few caveats, however. Certain applicants will be prioritized:
- If you have professional grounds for settlement in France
- If you have family grounds for expatriation to France
- If you hold a residence permit expiring after June 15th
Students are getting special attention, too. Here’s how you would qualify:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You must have already chosen your training course or studies
Enrollment conditions differ depending on your nationality. Check it out here.
Listen, we know it can be frightening and daunting to pick up one’s life and move it to a strange and foreign land, but let us expatriates make you feel comfortable by quelling your fears. There is an amazing life in front of you in a beautiful and culturally rich land that we have all discovered. We’re sitting here watching you struggle, agonize, angered, frustrated, yearning, and we want to help you have what we have. There is nothing to fear. We did it. You can do it, too.
Let all of us help you “Escape from America.”
A la prochaine,
Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. Helping you change your life for a better life in France is what we do. We can begin with a consultation that will strategize how to reach your goals and provide you with the resources you will need to make that happen. We can find you a property to rent or purchase, long before you can even set foot in it. And you can trust us to do all this with only your interests in mind. If you’re ready, like so many are to turn in another direction, in the direction of France, then don’t wait another minute to find out how! Contact us to get started.