TESTIMONY. We want to spend our retirement on the Côte d’Azur at all costs, but it’s more complicated than expected…


Some spend their lives thinking about the day they will stop working. Sylviane and Didier, 59 and 60, have only really thought about their retirement for a few years. “We are passionate about our respective businesses, so we only started to seriously plan this end of activity one or two years ago”, explains Sylviane, who works in the pharmaceutical industry.

But for a long time, a dream has been running through their minds. Parisians since always, they want to spend their old age on the Côte d’Azur, in the Var, precisely. “We fell in love with the region and its idyllic setting during our holidays there, continues the fifty-year-old. The region is beautiful, there is the sea, the climate is serene, and then, we have friends in the area”.

Sylviane and Didier already see themselves there: basking to the sound of cicadas in a garden with swimming pool, facing the Mediterranean… But that’s without taking into account certain obstacles. First: the purchase of a house on the spot, which could well turn into a headache.

The two pre-retirees also prefer to acquire a property where they will only have to put their suitcases down. “We don’t want to spend our retirement doing work,” adds Didier.

Another major problem in the region: the houses are leaving at full speed. “When you’re not there, it’s very complicated, notes Sylviane. We barely have time to call the agency that it’s already sold. The market is very tense, people make offers without even having visited.”

It must be said that the couple from Ile-de-France is not the only one who wants to spend happy days on the Coast. According to a Notre-Temps survey in partnership with the Cnav, 12% of respondents believed that the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region was the ideal place for retirement.

And it’s not just retirees who love the region. Tourists, too, rush there in large numbers as soon as the first rays of sun appear. And this crowd, which the couple knows well, could well cool them slightly. “The world in July-August creates traffic jams, food prices are rising… We have to take that into account as well,” thunders Sylviane, assisted by her husband.

But conversely, the couple is not afraid of winters, known to be “bleak” on the Riviera. “We plan to sign up for activities, walk, sing, see our friends. And then, doing nothing is fine too, we’re not against it! ” continues the dapper fifties.

“I’m not really afraid of boredom or loneliness, but rather of estrangement with our children and grandchildren, explains Didier for his part. From Paris, where they live, the region is not easily accessible for a weekend, for example…”

To remedy this, the couple plans to return to the capital from time to time for short stays.

Sylviane also dreams of traveling…to Italy. “By car, we’ll be at three o’clock!” enthuses the mother.

The race against time is on: Didier plans to stop working in a few months. Sylviane must wait another three years before retiring at full rate. But she doesn’t rule out the possibility of finding a job there while waiting… And thus advancing their change of life by a few months, to make a smooth transition.

“It could facilitate the installation, we could already create a network, and we would have time to look for a house, with the significant advantage of being on site”, explains Sylviane.

The 50-year-old admits to being eager to retire, even if she loves her job, which is very demanding. “I want to have this freedom, and to enjoy while we are still in good shape, to take the time to do things.”

Didier is also passionate about his activity as an airline pilot. And retiring is a little more anxiety. “It’s the end of an era. I don’t want to lose this socio-professional link, even if I will continue to fly recreational planes”, he confides to Planet.

The two Parisians can, in any case, count on each other to carry out their project… Despite the difficulties.