Retiring in paradise

From the South of France to Southern Colorado, here's where readers are spending their golden years.

1 of 8
BACKNEXT
Cassagnes-Comtaux, France
Cassagnes-Comtaux, France
Lauren and Jack in Annecy, France, on a jaunt away from their farmhouse near Bordeaux.
Name: Lauren and Jack Hermann
Age: 61 and 65
Why they love it: It's France!

I came here in 1994 before I got married and 10 years before I retired, saw the breath-taking view from the main road and decided that I would one day live here.

We sold our three-bedroom townhouse in suburban Washington for $385,000 in 2004 and paid $118,000 for the house in France. It was originally a barn built in 1842 that the previous owner restored. It has four bedrooms and two baths and stunning views.

I spend my time doing exactly what I feel like. I cook and make several types of jam each year. The lifestyle is much slower. People take their time to enjoy a good meal and stop and talk to friends. A neighbor stops and gives me eggs from her hens. Pastures surround us and some days we see sheep grazing there. Their milk is used to make Roquefort cheese.

The grape harvest, or "vendage," is coming up this month, and it's one of the yearly highlights. Every year we pick grapes for our wine producer friend near Bordeaux, and it's such a wonderful experience. We meet many people and reconnect with previous vendangeurs.

Living costs are generally higher, but with no mortgage to pay and our investments, we live quite well. Also, we know we will never be bankrupted by medical costs. We have coverage under the French healthcare system and are ever-so-grateful for that. Our experiences with the doctors and hospital here have been extremely positive.


NEXT: Hilton Head, S.C.
Last updated September 13 2010: 8:42 AM ET


25 Best Places to Retire Your post-work years are a time to improve your golf game, take up a new hobby, or just enjoy a well-deserved break. In these great college towns, you can expand your intellectual horizons too. More
Durham, N.C.: Where retirees playDuke University offers a large number of continued learning courses for retirees, keeping them active in the college town of Durham. More
Best Places to Live These terrific small cities -- even now -- boast plenty of jobs, great schools, safe streets, low crime, lots to do, charm, and other features that make a town great for raising a family. More
Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.