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The Healthiest Country On Earth

International Living just published it’s 23rd annual Quality of Life
Index for 2004 and guess what? France came up as the heathiest country on earth! France comes 12th in the Index this year. “It has the best health care in the world. France also boasts a top-notch culture, good weather, and an overall high quality of life.”

Funny, I was just talking about this yesterday while walking with friend and author, Kathy Borrus (“One Thousand Buildings of Paris“). We took a marathon walk after a big lunch at “La Cave a l’Os a Moëlle” just at the Lourmel Métro in the 15th to the Musée d’Orsay to see the exhibit there — “At the Origins of Abstraction (1800-1914)” on through February 22, 2004.

After an hour in the exhibit (which you shouldn’t miss if you can help it — it’s very exciting, if you like abstract and colorful art), we stopped for a drink at the Palais Royal just in front of the bejeweled Métro entrance then continued our walk to Le Marais and home up my 70 stairs.

In essence, we had spent four hours on our feet and had walked in a diagonal from one side of the city to the other and it felt wonderful! Kathy is naturally athletic (an avid tennis-player in home town Washington, D.C.) and loves walking the streets of Paris as much as I do. It’s the best exercise you can get…and you can discover so much more about the city on two feet than underground in the Métro or from the window of a taxi. Also, we had the opportunity to stop in front of several buildings along the way, noting historical points of interest she learned while writing her book.

The IL Quality of Life Index further noted that France ranks as the 187th most affordable country in the world, and, according to Finfacts Worldwide 2003 Cost of Living Survey City Rankings, Paris ranks as the 23rd most expensive city in the world.

“The primary downside to la vie française is the tax burden, which is considerable. In addition to income, property, and sales taxes, France imposes a wealth tax based on your net worth, which (get this) the French government calculates for you.” Of course, keep in mind that there are many ways you can still enjoy life in France without being responsible to France for income taxes, depending on your fiscal responsibilities and residence status. This is a conversation you should have with an advisor (we can assist you with this during our one-on-one consultations, or we can recommend various legal advisors and attorneys).

More importantly to consider is that the taxes we pay here DO go toward our beautiful city, our excellent healthcare, our abundance of art and cultural activities and our high quality of life.

Everyday, I feel luckier to be here.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. “La Cave a l’Os a Moëlle” is one of my good-value Paris restaurants with an all-you-can-eat buffet for 20 Euros! You’ll find it in the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants


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