Are British expats happy in France?

Christine Haworth-Staines“My research on Brits living in France will involve much more than the Happiness survey. This is really just the beginning,” says psychologist Christine Haworth-StainesBritish expats in France, that is. Well, we may be on the way to getting an answer – that’s if you look at the early results from a recent survey. Gers-based psychologist Christine Haworth-Staines is organising a nation-wide study of UK citizens living here aimed to measure their contentment. Early results, she says, indicate that expats are happier than those who’ve stayed at home. If you’d like to take part in her study you can do so at www.tinyurl.com/ExpatHappinessSurvey. We’ll be talking to hedonometrist Haworth-Staines in a future issue (build your vocabulary with the Reporter, folks! You’ve learned the word for “a student of human happiness”).

Before we diminish some readers’ happiness here’s good news for quite a few. The government has decided to continue to pay the Winter Fuel Allowance to those living abroad and not to tax it. Of course, objections were raised by some Westminster pols ... and, I admit, they’ve got a point when some WFA beneficiaries are shivering in such corners of France as Tahiti or Guadeloupe.

Surveys in Britain and the US show that people are no happier now than in the 1950s – despite massive economic growth.

In an experiment, individuals with a positive outlook were less likely to get the flu when exposed to the virus.

Doing good is one of the best ways to feel good. People who care more about others are happier than those who care less about others.

People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

Action for Happiness: www.actionforhappiness.org
But now some tidings of no joy: HMRC has set up an Affluent Team using “sophisticated data mining techniques” (oooh!) to catch holiday-haven tax-dodgers. Put simply, they’re after undeclared rental income and capital gains and once they start talking to you they’ll want to know where the money came from in the first place to buy that holiday home in Juan-les-Pins.


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