US expat exodus down to cost of living and politics

US expat exodus down to cost of living and politics

US expat exodus down to cost of living and politics

An increasing number of US citizens are upping sticks and leaving for expat destinations with a lower cost of living.

Expatriation from the USA isn’t just confined to expat professionals and retirees, it’s the cool thing to do for millennials and baby boomers sick of struggling to make ends meet on a decent salary and concerned about the country’s political future. Necessities are a strong infrastructure, good quality technology and a chance to start again in a new land. Nearly nine million Americans are living life to the full elsewhere, according to figures released by the US State Department.

Costa Rica is a hotspot for US retirees, in spite of its record as regards hits by tropical storms. Around 120,000 Americans now call the island their home, and it’s been attracting expats for at least 50 years. Locals are gentle, welcoming and friendly, politics are decidedly low-key and the overall motto is ‘live and let live’. State of the art healthcare provision costs just a third of the cost in the home country, and rental properties are reasonably priced.

Portugal has been an all-time favourite with British expats for decades, with USA retirees now discovering its low cost of living, stunning coastline and friendly locals. It’s now home to over 100,000 foreign retirees and working expats, and English is widely spoken. Retirement income comes tax free in the country, and its world-class healthcare is inexpensive and even free should you establish legal residency. The southern Algarve region is known for its tiny fishing villages and medieval towns, as well as for its stunning beaches and almost year-round sunshine.

English is the official language in Belize, one reason why Americans flock to the island for recreation and eventual retirement. Ambergris Caye’s spectacular beaches and easy access to the mainland have made it the perfect spot for island life in a thriving expat community, and the cost of living suits US pensioners very well. For those looking towards Europe, Spain has been a favourite with Brits since the 1970s, and is warm, inexpensive and leisurely. Cost-wise, it’s still less expensive than other European expat hubs, and the beach life in summer is unbeatable.

For the adventurous expat retiree, the Philippines offers a fascinating culture, natural beauty and wide choice of islands to pick from once you’ve arrived. Spanish and US cultural remnants make the islands unique, and the living is seriously cheap as well as easy. Filipinos view friends as part of the family, and welcome incoming expats with open arms. North American expats have arrived in Panama during the last decade for its safety, stability and affordability. A unique attraction is the diversity of places to live, from buzzing Panama City through the small mountain towns of Valle de Anton and Boquete to even smaller villages set close by the rainforests with their amazing variety of flora and fauna.

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