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As a 26-year-old EU national (German) working in France I'm faced with the question to save some money (100-150€ per month) for retirement as a second pillar. My bank HSBC offers a "Life Insurance Wrapper". They say it is the favorite investment of the french in this regard. In their brochure, they detail the tax advantages, the various investment models, loss protection, etc.

In Germany life insurance-based retirement plans were a huge business but got out of favor because of high costs and low returns. Also getting out is hard and often means additional losses. So more and more people in Germany invest in plain vanilla ETFs like the ones based on MSCI World.

Here are my questions: Is it true that investment products like the one from HSBC are #1 among the french? Should I leave France is there a way to get the money invested so far back w/o substantial loss? Is there a movement in France towards simpler means to build up capital for retirement like the ETF saving plans offered by many online brokers?

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    How profitable these different options are strongly depends on the taxes involved both of the money you put it and the money you will eventually take out. Rules may differ between France and Germany and may be even more complicated for a German working in France or vice versa.
    – quarague
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 13:49

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