Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

10 Most Suitable Countries for American Expatriates

As much as we may aspire toward expatriatism for the exotic and venturesome, there’s no question that our exhilarating lives abroad can also bring feelings of isolation. There are times when being far away from home, and distant from family and friends, can weigh on our minds and atrophy our intrepid spirits.

That’s why for many of us it may be helpful to consider expatriating to a country that has a healthy combination of exoticism and familiarity; a place that’s compatible with where we’re from.

So in this vein, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 most suitable countries for American expatriates!

10. Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has perhaps the most stable government in Central America, and since it’s been premised upon a proven democracy for at least the last 60 years, things are run there in a familiar way for Americans. That might be what makes Costa Rica one of the most popular destinations in the world for American expatriates. It doesn’t hurt that it’s not too far away from home either, not to mention the low cost of living.

In fact, if you’re ever feeling lonely, there’ll never be a shortage of Americans on vacation to remind you of home.

9. South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has been steadily growing in popularity for American tourists, especially for students studying abroad. It’s far away from America, sure– but South Africa has that perfect combination of exoticism and familiarity. Of course, it helps that they speak english! You can start your day with an English breakfast and then finish it on a wildlife safari. It doesn’t get much better than that.

8. Mexico


Some might think Mexico is a little too close to home, but that’s also what makes it so convenient for Americans. In fact, Mexico undoubtedly houses more American expatriates than any other country in the world. Combined with the low cost of living and the intense familiarity of the culture to any American from the Southwestern United States, Mexico makes a cozy destination for the weary yankee.

7. Spain


Spain has a lower cost of living compared with central and northern Europe. Mix that with its dynamic location and lively culture and it’s clear why Spain has become a top destination for expats from around the world. The European culture will be familiar and accessible for Americans, and getting around speaking only english should be a breeze.

Spain also has historical and cultural wealth that’ll keep any expat’s mind afloat. Also, it’s become an extremely popular destination for college students.

6. Brazil


With Brazil’s burgeoning worldpower economy and the steady need for english teachers, it’s become a favorite location for American expats. That stable economy means jobs, and the cost of living in Brazil is still fairly low. The culture is diverse, yet remarkably friendly to Americans, and it’s another country with just the right mix of exoticism and familiarity.

Compared with most other South American countries, it’s easier to get around here speaking only english.

5. Italy


Italy’s appeal is similar to that of Spain’s on this list, but with Italy you get just a little bit more. The cultural history is magnificant here, there’s a stronger American expat presence, and in just about every city or town with a university you’ll find American college students studying abroad. And come on– it’s Italy!

4. Australia


Randy Newman once joked of Australia, “[America’s] building its own American amusement park there.” Indeed, Australian culture will easily be the most familar to the American among this list. English-speaking, BBQing, beer drinking Australia has a lot to offer the American. But with Australia you get a little more of the rugged and adventurous.

It also helps that the Australian dollar still comes at a good exchange rate. And they’ve got surfing too!

3. Czech Republic

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is among the cheapest places for Americans to live in Europe, and there’s always a high demand here for english teachers. Those factors alone might make it the most suitable country in Europe for American expats.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s a beautiful country with a rich cultural history. People here are particularly friendly to Americans, and positioned right in the middle of Europe, you’re just a train ride away from everything the continent has to offer.

2. Thailand


Thailand’s culture might be less familiar to Americans than any other on this list, but the country makes up for it in every other category. Thanks to the Amity Treaty of 1968, American companies have to jump through fewer hoops than any other nationality to operate here. The people are exceptionally kind and welcoming, cost of living is cheap and there’s a continuous and voracious need for english teachers. Thailand puts out a serious effort to lure the American expat. As much as you want to go there, they want you to stay even more.

It’s become one of the top places in Asia for American tourists, youth backpackers and, of course, expats. Admittedly, it also gets extra points for closest resembling paradise. You’ll instantly forget where you came from the moment you step off that plane.

1. Argentina


First and foremost, Buenos Aires made our list for one of the cheapest cities in the world for American expats to live in. That gives this beautiful, diverse, and inexorably friendly country major props on this list too. Among South American countries, getting around here speaking English is relatively simple, and the cultural wealth is the only thing that matches its landscape.

Argentina is receptive to Americans. It’s a top location for students, and the standard of living relative to the cost of living is unmatched. There’s no surprise why American expats are flocking here, and we recommend you do the same. Argentina strikes just the right balance among all the things considered among this list.

Here’s how we determined the list:

First off, we considered how receptive the locals were to Americans– is the local culture open to American values? Are they welcoming to yanks? Next, we looked at how popular the destination was for Americans who have already expatriated. Are there plenty of homegrowns who you can meet and befriend? Is there already a thriving community from the U.S. there? We also considered how easy it is to get around speaking only english, and also looked at similarities between the local culture and America. Do local customs overlap with American ones? Lastly, we considered certain practical necessities, such as how easy it would be for Americans to find jobs there, and whether the location was affordable (this is how we eliminated places like the UK, France, or Japan from the list– too expensive, despite doing well at all the other categories!). We also admit to a heavy dose of subjectivity involved in the rankings.


310 thoughts on “10 Most Suitable Countries for American Expatriates

  1. Nice to hear all the comments…. But to be honest, you Americans should stay in your own country….. I doubt if you´d be welcome in any other anyway…… So insular and inept……

  2. You should really do some research before writing an article like this.
    There are many countries better suited for expats, the countries you listed are nice vacation destinations, not for expats.

  3. Philippines, There are already expats living comfortably
    in Philippines, you can see them in subdivisions but mostly married also to Filipinos. It was surprising for me to go to Iloilo 2 years ago when we want to buy house there are foreigners with Filipino wife in a subdivision and when my brother wants to practice driving
    I saw also a foreigner smiling near the gate of his house . During the Jaro fiesta there was a procession and my brother asked me who are those foreigners in the street. Well. my guess they are the expats that living in Iloilo which is not much publicized because in Iloilo the cost of living is much cheaper because Iloilo is abundant with rice, fruits , meat and vegetables and besides it has world class malls and also plenty of restaurants serving Japanese. korean , Thai, Chinese, German, and Filipino dishes as well as fastfoods . It was a heavenly place to eat a variety of food in one place and not much expensive. Come to Iloilo and you will see what I mean and also people here can speak English because most graduates are also working in different parts of the world as engineers, nurses, seamen and there are new developments going around.

  4. may you stay at home, or try philipines, thailand or any other country that steem you some how. forget americas, we don’t like you, your style and selfish level.

  5. You miserable protestants should notice that 7 out of10countries wlcome to americans have a majority catholic poplation. Their cultures have been Catholic since day one and americans should not ruie it for them by traveling to their countries.

  6. Thailand is great, especially if you’re single and have a decent income from home. I’ve been here 6 years and would not ever think of going back to the insanity America has become. The biggest down sides to living here are the incredible heat and humidity, it almost never goes below 80 degrees and the Asian style of driving, which is very unpleasant and dangerous. Thailand more than makes up for these faults in other ways.

  7. We don’t want Americans in Australia. Don’t come here you are unwelcome. Keep your fucked up culture at home.

  8. No country will offer everything, but if you have money any of those countries would do. And their are many more. I have a friend who lives in Argentina, he says that it is very inexpensive to live their. If you have the cash you can make it any where.

  9. Generalizing all Americans is as ridiculous as someone like me assuming everyone in Australia is like Crocodile Dundee or Insert Cultural Stereotype Here.

    Ever think that the reason people would want to expatriate is because they hate the same things about America as you? You say it like wherever you’re from is an absolute paradise, no place is perfect.

    That attitude is no better than Americans hating on Hispanics.


    No one in America is from here, technically speaking.

  10. What places are best for Black americans to migrate to? It’s not like we are haveing such a great time in the US…

  11. If Americans would bother learning the local language, most countries would a nice change to the American lifestyle. But unfortunately the English speaking world is largely allergic to foreign languages and as such you will inevitably find them flocked together in the local Irish pub, speaking English and eating burgers. Making a list like this is pointless. The English speakers will build their little London/Sydney/NY in no-time.

  12. Please stop stereo typing Americans. We are not all the same just as I’m sure you are not the same as all of your fellow citizens. There are a lot of Americans that would love to travel if they had the means. Do you how much it costs for a holiday in Europe? I wish that American schools would make it mandatory to learn a language. I would love to be fluent in something other than English! With the way people on here talk about American’s it makes me want to stay at home and not travel. This is too bad because I would really like to know more about your country, understand your culture and learn your language.

  13. You know, not all Americans are ignorant, selfish, shallow idiots. Most are, but not all of us. I feel the same way about American culture as any non-American does: it’s extremely disgusting and deplorable. I can’t stand this shallow society. Here in America, if you’re not beautiful or filthy rich, then you don’t matter. You can work your ass off your entire life and still die dirt poor and alone, because here in the USA hard work doesn’t count for anything. And I’m so, so scared of my own peers because they are possibly the most uneducated and ignorant generation America has ever seen. The American life depresses me, and I would do anything to live somewhere that values human life more than this country and our people do. So please, don’t say nasty, cruel things to those of us who were unfortunate enough to be born in the USA and would like a better life somewhere else. I don’t want to leave the US and force this culture on other people in another country. I want to leave to GET AWAY from this culture and embrace a new one.

  14. Whoa.. Well, I’m new in US and I’m loving it 🙂
    You, Americans, don’t feel bad about your culture/situations/etc because honestly I think I come from a more fucked up country (not going to mention it here, just know that your intelligence is watching my country very closely, and I do think that’s not because US is acting like the world police, but because it is needed).
    Non-Americans, let’s be honest, don’t you sometimes got annoyed by your own country? About anything? Maybe about how people are so loud when you need to sleep?
    Well, this is a very subjective topic, but really, let’s be more friendly. Don’t you think this is what makes the world always fighting? 🙂

  15. When I travel people are always surprised to find that I am American, and I understand why. Traveling in multiple countries I have only found one American that I didn’t find obnoxious. Most act like they are in Disneyland–like everything they see is put there for their amusement and entertainment, are terrified of many locals and their customs, and simply tend to be grating on the nerves. I am sure I was like this in the first weeks of my first trip, but I suppose unlike the majority of Americans I took cues from those around me–I looked at what was appealing and unappealing in those around me, what made for good company, and adapted.

    The reason Americans don’t speak other languages and have blinders on to the rest of the world is due to physical isolation (Mexico is vilified in American media and Canada is completely forgotten) and emotional isolation (again, media tells us nothing of what is going on in the ‘outside world’ except murders and terrorists). It is a culture that has been purposefully driven and developed to be the way it is through fear and propaganda.

  16. Well, I am German, Irish, English, decent, and I have been nowhere but America,,, and yes I have met good, and bad here… have been hugged, and beaten… loved, and raped… yet don’t want to go far from family… I Love people around me, and yearn to learn, and experience different cultures, food, beliefs. yet do not… Love to all, and to all a GOOD night….

  17. Many people from other countries like to write that they don’t like Americans. What I am reading between their lines I believe is based out of jealousy. This can be if you mistakenly think we are all rich and do whatever we want whenever we want. This isn’t true of course. This reminds me of a special on Cuba where a Cuban male was interviewed. He said America was nothing but propaganda, everyone wants a BUKE (poorly spoken version of BUICK). No everyone doesn’t want a Buick for heaven sake. Like him, so many just don’t have a clue though they think they have ALL the answers. Rocket scientists they are not. Imagine how they’re going to feel when they actually get to know one of us and discover they have been wrong all along.

  18. WOW…I’ll say it again…WOW! I had no idea I was so disgusting to folks in other countries. This is an eye-opener for me because I know I’m kind, considerate, eager to help where I can, when I can, with whatever I have. I’m also educated, hard-working… and in the lower middle-class like so many others in the US due to our economy and government. I’m not crying over it, it is what it is. I still feel extremely fortunate. I have a beautiful home that I worked hard for years to acquire. I have a good job, good income, and wonderful family and friends. That said, this is the only home I’ve known. I’ve traveled to other countries in Europe with pleasant and not so pleasant interactions but I still long for something different in my retirement. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone, and I won’t be. I just want to live in a country of my choice, learn all about the culture, and be able to say “this is my home to” without feeling like I have no right to feel that way. I live and work in one the most diversified areas (Wash. DC)in our country. I work, assist, and speak with foreigners daily and NEVER do I make anyone feel as if they are not welcome in my country. I enjoy our sharing of cultures. For those of you who feel Americans are the dirt on your shoe, shame on you. We are good, decent people. Yes, many of us have been pushed to our limits and may not always be at our best every moment of the day – but we are a loving, forgiving, giving society! PEACE

  19. Hola. Hello. Goot morgan.
    Maybe I didn’t spell the German/Deusch correctly.
    According to my family I am Choctaw and Cherokee. Oh, gee that is American as it gets. Thre is also Irish and Scottish mixed in.
    I have a great education. Have burried a husband. He taught me some German. And a lot else. I am 56 and tryng to learn Spanish. I take every opportunity to try out a few wirds with the many obviously Hispanic people I meet. Even my nieces formerly illegal Mexican hubby has been impressed. WHY am I trying so hard. I simply can not afford to live here where my money does not go far enough. I want peace and tranquility and have enough money to employ someone to help me and my disabled fianced as we are aging. I think all people who behave civilly are good. Yep, I am prodestant but you are free to worship any way you please as I plan to do the same. Oh brother some of you sure are biggoted racist.

  20. Just like IN America, the ignorant/dumb/rascists are sooo easy to spot. They forget, that America is the ONLY country to accept EVERYONE. I have never seen such a multicultural group of people than IN America and we embrace them with open arms. (Well, we actually DONT want Nigerians,Somalis or muzzies of any type here) but EVERYONE else!

  21. Wow! I never really thought of myself as repugnant as these people present Americans. I have to be honest, I was born and raised in the US, and I am not happy here. I have always felt more comfortable outside of the US. I have always been accepting of other cultures because I have always found theirs to be infinitely more interesting than ours. I do, however, intend to move once I am close to retirement age. Not one of my visits to another country resulted in an negativity from a local. How sad that Americans are viewed as obnoxious. I’m not, and I am still, in spite of these comments, am looking forward to living in another country and embracing another culture.

  22. Have been reading and exploring characteristics of various cultures and regions for about a decade now. Have traveled and spent some time in lots of different countries trying to visualize what it might be like to live there for a period of time. In the end it boils down to the money and how you’re willing or able to live and the risks you are willing to take with your lifestyle. I like renting an apartment in an aparthotel in city center and going out from that point. Two weeks seems to be a good timeframe for me. There is lots to experience living this way. A trip with a day or two here and then there is not for me and doesn’t give me a good picture of the culture either.

  23. LOL The likes of Mario, Winchester Galindez, Roman Catholic, Bruce, and Jeroen just confirm that the “redneck” gene knows no cultural boundaries. All you can do is surround yourself with good people, whom they clearly are not. Respect others and if they don’t return the same, then to hell with them…move on. It’s a big world.

  24. Wow! I now live in Europe, after living in the States for almost 6 years and originally from one of the countries listed above. I love the States and do not find Americans shallow or obnoxious!

  25. I am a former Peace Corps Volunteer that simpply never went home. I have been living abroad for the past 10 years and I have had my ups and downs. I started out living in Paraguay, then Argentina, Guatemala and I currently live in Peru. In order to understand and appreciate a country you have to live their for a 1 year or two. Making fun of Americans was the thing to do during the Bush years, but I think most people who live in the U.S. will find good people.

  26. Wow…! That was a lot to hear about who and what the outside world thinks of the place that this kind, loving, giving and extremely compassionate wife and mother of 2 college students living in a mid middle income suburban home is seen as JUST BECAUSE I was born in and am therefore by default an American!!! The biggest misconception I think ppl from other countries have about us is that we “agree with, and/or support” EVERY DECISION our leaders make about what we do (or don’t do) to or for other countries/cultures. This is simply not true!
    I began my search this evening attempting to find countries that would be suitable to my desire to want to take my education, love and passion for the rich history and amazing architecture that the world has to offer…and possibly come away with a cpl that we cld consider relocating to. I thought my biggest worry and fear was finding one that was acceptive of African Americans, (black ppl for all you Winchester’s, Bruce’s and Roman Catholics). Now my biggest fear is opening my mouth in some of these countries -uh um Australia- when I step off the plane!
    I see individuals as HUMAN BEINGS before I see their ethnicity, religious affiliation and LEAST of all their nationatility.
    So, this God fearing non denominational christian with the big heart, loving and devoted wife and mother of 2 college children will take away from this exactly what she started with…that GOD created heaven and EARTH for all humanity, my desire to see and explore it and the possibility of living outside of the US is my “GOD GIVEN RIGHT”! For all you stereotyping American HATERS, I promise not to bring our over indulgence in EVERYTHING, with me when I visit you…and I will visit 😉

  27. Reading these comments was stunning….considering the fact I have lived abroad in two different countries for many years…and ALWAYS found friendship and affection with the local people!! As is always the case, stereotyping everyone together is a serious error in judgment…and simply wrong! I am sorry to see so many people with this unblanced viewpoint.

  28. Its sad, because personally I don’t want to live in America. And the fact that we don’t get mandatory foreign language makes me feel disadvantaged. I hate that the few Americans that hate Catholics (like myself), Muslims and Arabs think that it is okay to say that they hate them on the American behalf. This isn’t true. I’ve traveled to Europe, and Europe has problems, but they seem better and more educated. The south-east US is one of the largest anti-catholic, and other religions for that matter, in the US. I have found most protestants are very ignorant of other cultures, which bothers me because I believe that lots of anti-Americans and foreigners look to these people as average American intelligence. If you are Christian, and you hate Muslims, that’s over a billion people you hate, which happens to be a great sin. Please, American posters, try at least to type intelligently online, because th world judges you, and your country on it, which overall, makes you look ignorant, which you probably are.

  29. Try it before buying it .One’s medicine might be a poison to another . Everyone has different preferences .
    For people who wants to move on ,retire abroad …research for those countries you have your eyes on ,travel and live in those country for few months and see what its like .

  30. GEEZE We want to leave for the same reasons you don’t want us we agree with you people 100% we don’t like our brainwashed culture virtuous people from America want to get the fuck out because have been isolated and are not excepted nor do we want to be a part of this now fucked up country.. people such as myself are spat upon for having morals, virtue,cherish things that are sacred..A bucket of shit is more morally correct than today’s culture in the united states…We want to get the fuck out to be with human beings not trained monkeys..

  31. It’s a shame that Americans have such a bad reputation in the world, but unfortunately it’s something we’ve done to ourselves. We’re like the big, dumb schoolyard bully, trying to use our might to push the rest of the world around. Folks back home cheer it all on and wallow in their ignorance of the rest of the world. It’s disgusting.

    But before you bash all Americans, realize that there’s a reason some of us want to get the hell out of here. I first felt like I didn’t fit in here around the time of the first Gulf War, when so many people unquestioningly supported the rush to war. It’s just gotten worse since then. The ideals this nation was founded on are disappearing, mostly because people are willingly sacrificing those ideals out of fear and in exchange for a false sense of security. Political leaders who want to fix the system are blacked out and marginalized by the media, which is controlled by the big corporations that own the politicians in Washington. Ordinary citizens who are out protesting the corporate-government behemoth are being beaten by cops in riot gear and arrested on the flimsiest charges. We’re turning into a police state. The hostility we’ve shown to the rule of law in the world is now coming home to roost on our own streets.

    I’ve had enough, and I don’t want my baby girl growing up in a place like this.

    Stop rushing to judgment about Americans. We aren’t all ignorant and belligerent.

  32. Wow!so many guy here discuss the Americans faults, but honestly speaking that’s my wish to immigrate to U.S.(Australia is also good destination). If possible, everyone here in China would like to leave for another country. your guy take it for granted to enjoy the democracy and freedom, can not imagine our feeling of fear and angry. stop say nonsense, you are already in a paradise compare to CN and North Korea.

  33. No one can help or change were they’re born. It’s true that lots of American’s from NY or California are self centered eqotistical assholes. I work in Beverly Hills at a large bank. Everyone around here is rich or faking it. In the south, people are more down to earth. Less Hollywood want-to-be’s.

  34. I am a retired professor from Virginia. I was also a Peace Corps volunteer and Marine officer stationed in Japan earlier in my life so I’ve done some traveling. I have been living in Ethiopia for a few years now and thoroughly enjoying it. The cost of living is small and the people are very nice. Beautiful weather year-round. Interesting culture. I have learned the national language and get along very well here. My suggestion? Think about Ethiopia as an alternative to Australia, Spain, or the other countries mentioned above. See you in Addis Ababa.

  35. I am this, I am that… I. I. I. Americans. Obnoxious, self riotous, ego maniacs. Visit another country so you can bypass the language, claim to know the culture, and ask locals to take photos of you for your self enflating, social media pages that you narcisitaclly think others follow like reality show junkies. Just don’t let anyone snap a photo of you as you cry yourselves to sleep at night you fat little babies.

  36. @Jeroen: I want to move to your country to high five you while we build an pretty shopping mall over your backyard. xoxo A wealthy Midwest American family educated enough to speak multiple languages with our house staff 😉

  37. Americans are great and we ARE loved abroad as much as anyone else. Don’t listen to our lame ass President and go around apologizing for being American. Instead, be humble and love life.

  38. I have met quite a few expat Americans and short term visitors here in Australia and have found all to be articulate, genuine, and very warm. Also, the Americans I have met are generally aware/critical of (and disenchanted with)the way America has developed in the past decades. Don’t worry, a lot of Aussies will say the same thing about our country! But by and large, I would be happy see more Americans of the calibre that I have encountered settle in Australia.

  39. Argentina is NO GO these days. Since the 31st of October you can t even change your money from pesos to USD, Euros Swiss Francs or the like EVEN if you are a foreigner. The latest anti foreigner measure was taken recently when NON PERMANENT foreign residents had to close all their Argentine bank accounts. Why is this, other than to piss off foreigners? I know two foreigners who own property in Buenos Aires and had to close their accounts…how are they going to pay all their local bills then?
    What s next? The government expropriating property bought by foreigners without legal cause, wouldnt be surprised. Stay the hell out of that country. Bear in mind that the current president there is best friends with Hugo Chavez who blames the US for giving him and the Argentine president cancer. BACKWARD countries to stay well clear of…

  40. What a bunch of crap. So very typical narrow minded American journalism. I just pains me that even my spell check does not understand simple English.
    Who really cares where Americans go, stay home, you give anyone who even looks American a bulls eye on their back. I make sure that the Canadian flag is proudly in site wherever I go, imagine we are in North America and yet these friggen goof balls want a fence around themselves, Regan brought down the wall remember.
    The cost of living in Detroit is rock bottom, go there. You can a buy a house for 6000 $$.
    For all you people out there looking to buy in any Latino country, be very aware, even the local lawyers are getting into the act of ripping off touisteee. Double and triple check the source of the deal, the smell of $$$ is getting to their heads.

  41. OMG,WOW,a few people here sound a bit disgruntled,i get a kick out of the american Bashing,im a new yorker,born and raised,lived in england for a year and traveled around a bit,i also spent 4 monthes in argentina,argentinians are funny because they liked me,but had no problem letting me know how much they hate us,lol,and the same go’s for the uk,except ireland,if it was a life or death decision to live in another country,i would pick either france or argentina,the french dont have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of,but they are HAPPY,the aregentinians dont even have the piss to put in the pot,let alone a window to throw it out of,but they are HAPPY,it is expensive to live in argentina,unless you have money in the bank in america,the peso is worthless there,and if you live in france and shop in andorra,your ok,the point im trying to make is, americans go where your going to be HAPPY,its certainly not going to be america.

  42. Bruce, you’re a jerk…and you’re countries infested with black flies, I was there six months and Aussies all had a huge attitude and inferiority complex.

  43. Thats not true. If you wanna live in Brazil, you must speak at least, a little bit of portuguese, most of brazilians dont speak english, is a big and monolingual country (like China or USA). However people are usually friendly and like foreigners.

  44. Canada seems like an obvious possibility for U.S. expats, but not on list and not even mentioned. Is it also expensive and/or difficult to get a job in?

  45. We love the combination of living in the Bahamas and Argentina. Best of both worlds, meaning downhill skiing in the Andes and ocean sports in the crystal clear Bahamian Atlantic. Great food, scenery and people respectively!

  46. How about the governments? Suffering from an increasingly invasive, oppressive and despotic government, I am interested in a government that is freer than the USA, or at least, weak, even if corrupt.

  47. I’m a little surprised that the Philippines didn’t make it on this list especially since English is more widely spoken, understood than most of the countries listed. Also a large percentage of the three million Filipino Americans will be heading home during their retirement years. The Philippines also offers the easiest immigration policies in Asia to foreign retirees. Filipinos are well known as nurses and caregivers allowing the elderly to be taken care of at lower budgets than most countries listed above.

  48. Anybody been a recent American Expat in Germany? Although I gather it probably expensive, Right? I read that Germans take pride speaking good English.

  49. I have to second the criticisms offered about the pretentious, chip-on-their-shoulders Australian culture and overwhelming exotic species (adding in particular that the cockatoos are perhaps the most obscenely noisy, destructive birds I’ve ever encountered, even having lived in Mexico and Thailand where the tropical specimens are no joke either). 
    I also question how Australia made the list if you were taking cost of living into consideration as you claim. Sydney and Perth have been ranked by consumers on expatistan.com as the 5th and 6th MOST EXPENSIVE cities in the world, respectively. Moreover I can vouch from my time there that everything from rent to groceries in Sydney is infuriatingly expensive. We can expect the Australian Dollar to continue to appreciate against the US Dollar as they enter their heyday selling natural resources to China, which is perhaps good news for anyone employed there but extremely bad for retirees trying to stretch their life savings through their golden years. 
    Sydney itself is an extremely livable city, but perhaps this is because it must cater to citizens from the country with the lowest national average IQ on earth! If Japan couldn’t make the list, Australia definitely has no place on it!

  50. Would be interested in any feedback on Costa Rica and Panama
    All reviews seem too good to be true – and that in itself is a red flag! Hope someone out there can help. Will

  51. Tough crowd! It’s great that people that have lived in other countries are sharing their experiences. But, I don’t get all the extreme criticism… When someone is sharing their perspective on something, it’s great to share your opinion, but all the negativity is scary!

    Personally I think it’s a good blog, it’s a fresh take on things.

  52. Mexico?! I can’t count the number of people who are barely escaping there with their lives. Some that I know personally. A wonderful Christian friend who would never harm a soul was murdered in cold blood and her husband is still being hunted by the drug cartels. Mexico would never be on my list of friendly places to visit.

  53. I live in Buenos Aires now and have been here 18 months. I have decided to leave. It is NOT particularly receptive to expats, and you must continuously watch your back. There is very little English spoken here, even in Palermo and Recoleta — and as for getting around the country in English — that is absolutely ridiculous. Do your homework before you consider this place. Prices are going up every week, and it is NOT the lifestyle bargain that it once was. It is a unique experience for sure, however. I recommend a stay of 3 weeks to 3 months.



  56. Panama wasn’t mentioned. I have lived in Panama for almost 3 years on a limited budget. Seems to be nice and safe in the outlying towns away from Panama City. Inflation has become very high as the economy here is booming. Not much to do in Panama outside of the big city. Most of the country has been deforested. Nice people. Quiet most of the time. If you have a nice pension, and require amenity’s like decent shopping etc, Panama City has that but the city is nasty. Most Americans I meet never come back to Panama because of the high heat and humidity and lack of amenity’s in areas worth living in.

  57. How about the Philippines? It’s very nice here. Not only that, we do have a very cehap labor here and nice tourist spots!

  58. Philippines people are among the nicest, kindest, most laid back people I have ever met. However, from what I have heard, even from people from there, is that it is very dangerous. Crime is high. Islamic terrorists roam the south and robbery is common. Yes, U.S. cities are also dangerous, too, but at least you can defend yourself.

  59. My wife is from the Philippines, she and the kids are there, I travel back and forth. Philippines was great but over the last couple years the down economy has made the Philippines more dangerous. The Police kidnap expat familiy members for ransom in Olongapo and the people now are far more hostile. They will do anything to steal from you. Its a shame because I LOVE the Philippines and Filipinos. Subic and Clark which have former military bases now turned into resorts where you can get long term leases in beautiful houses are really fun and Filipinos are usually friendly, fun, speak english and treat Americans especially former military like rock stars but the corrupt officials are ruining it for everyone. Also the lack of jobs for Filipinos overseas who send billions back to the Philippines along with food and gas prices going up is making it hard on the poor there and they come after you out of necessity.

  60. Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop says:

    Mexico?! I can’t count the number of people who are barely escaping there with their lives.
    Very responsible, objective, and intelligent comment, Darlene. As if one crime typifies a situation in an entire country, and as if your silly opinion makes it all clear. Mexico has more expats from the US than any other country. They are not all shivering in their boots. Few of them live in border towns. Most are very happy. The great problem with so much of the internet is that it is littered with hyperventilating people without any common sense and who think that their brainless generalizations constitute valid thinking.

  61. It is very fascinating how Americans, who are from the most aggressive country on earth, are also the most fearful, the most obsessed with “is it safe?” The US is a burgeoning police state, and its citizens have been turned into rabbits. Read “Watership Down” for a view of America and its future.

  62. Mexico: The small towns, not the big cites are pretty safe.

    There we go again. Everything has to be “safe.” A little common sense, and perhaps a modicum of reading, would tell you that all big cities have their good and bad areas. In point of statistics, Mexico City is much safer than say, Chicago or New York. Guadalajara is great for the most part. And so on. Are there difficult cities? Yes, there are, but they are not expat destinations anyway. Too many American brains are ruined by their mindless passivity towards their mass media and by their mental laziness.

  63. Brian, I wholeheartedly agree with you. So many negative people who think America is the only place to live, in spite of all its negatives. For the past six years, I’ve been struggling every single day trying to make do on a maximum S.S. check in the Valley in L.A. The people here are rude, inconsiderate, wouldn’t stop if you were laying dead in the street. The prices so high I can’t afford my own apartment and have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords since my disability. Then there’s the daily fights to find decent doctors. It shouldn’t be so hard.

    Since I’m a former New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I speak Spanish fluently. I’ve been to Mexico several times on vacation and never paid “gringa” prices. You’re right. It’s all about common sense. The dangers here, both financial and environmental, which include people, crime and anything else you can think of, are far worse to me than those in Mexico. As a Latina, I know how warm people can be in a country like Mexico. As a common-sense American, I know that the same behavior that makes me vulnerable to crime here is the same behavior that accomplishes that in any country.

    People tell me, “go first, look around.” I’ve researched this move for two years, chatting with Americans of every age and gender living there. If I start in Mexico City, since it’s got the most culture, which I want, I don’t have to stay there. I can live in Tequis, a smaller, quieter town two hours north. One thing I’m sure of: if I stay here I’ll continue to struggle and suffer and never realize my dream of happiness in my later years and seeing parts of the world I can only watch on documentaries and read about. I yearn to visit places like Palenque and eventually go to Europe. That will NEVER happen if I stay here. I will never have my own little private apartment if I stay here. I will never be able to afford the dental work I desperately need if I stay here. So many “I will nevers,” how can I possibly lose? Even without using the “Ben Franklin Method, I know my chances of happiness are far greater if I leave. What is the real risk? It’s certainly not fear of being killed or hurt by others; that fear is greater right here in my back yard and in the U.S. in general.

    I firmly believe most of the negativity you find on these expat blogs is based on pure jealousy. Most people don’t have the vision or the guts to get out of their misery and achieve their dreams, so they create false realities to deter those of us who have. I, for one, have more common sense than all these people put together, and I REFUSE to let them deter me at the age of 57 from achieving a dream I’ve had all my life…to find happiness again and travel as much of the world as I can. I can do that by creating a home base in Mexico, and seeing some of the world before I leave it. My safety, my overall emotional well being lies in doing my heart’s desire, not denying it.

    Thank you for your wonderful insight and honesty.

  64. Gladys, I totally agree. I worked like a dog for 20+ years, raised 2 girls on my own, and ended up seriously in debt due to one child’s medical bills, and my eventual layoff due to my age (65). Now I am in the same shape as you financially, it appears. Can’t get my teeth fixed, medical bills paid, and sometimes rent and utilities are shut off. What a glorious end to a great career! This current population is like a spoiled pre-teen, mentally and emotionally under-developed, and it just keeps getting worse. We have no sense of loyalty to our fellow man, as he/she might be “different”. Plus corporate america has turned us (willingly) into consumer piggies who simultaneously believe that people in need are shiftless losers and should not be helped. This ole Puritan Ethic works beautifully, especially for the power-mad fundamentalist right, and power-mad 1%, and the equally power mad cads who want to ride the wave of this Any Rand inspired, treacherous movement to destroy our democracy. What a ship of fools. I’m leaving first $1000 I can get…it may take a while, but I’ve been waiting this long. Good luck to you. Susan

  65. james is so brave, he is the guy who swaggers into mexico and they find him 20 yrs later in the form of a dog chewy

  66. I liked South Africa a lot and it was very cheap when I was there in the 90’s. I was in Capetown and not Johannesburg. If I had to choose one place on the list I think I would have to check out Costa Rica since it is close and then Thailand! I have been to the Phillipines and think that should definitely be in the top 20 and maybe the top 10. Nice article and lets all get along! Thanks

  67. @ Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop

    Not every state in Mexico is a drug infested den of killers, although there is plenty to go around, there are still places that are peaceful. So please, don’t talk about what you know nothing about, I bet you’ve never even been to Mexico.

    @ James

    I agree whole-heartedly with most of what you say, but after that incident with the Zeta’s dumping 48 decapitated bodies on a highway in Mexico yesterday, there is some serious cause for concern, not to mention the already thousands of innocent civilians that have been killed since Calderon thought to do the impossible and uproot the entire drug cartel system of Mexico.

    I have been to Mexico about 10 times, my wife is Mexican. I’ve been to the states of Mexico, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Chihuahau. It’s a beautiful country, most people are very friend and show tremendous hospitality, but Mexico is also #2 in the world for kidnappings, so its bitter sweet, but I love Mexico.

  68. I so want to leave Amerikkka when I retire. I’m looking for reasonably priced living on an island. I loved Barbados as it is breezy, affordable, and immersed in the Atlantic and Caribbean seas.

  69. Gladys,
    I’m with you, mi amiga. As a mixed breed American I lived in Spain years ago as a military wife. Knew only 4 or 5 words of Spanish before moving to Spain. Sad to say but Americans had a bad reputation. The main reason was due to not respecting the Spanish culture. Embracing its beauty.
    For the 3 years I lived away from the “Little Americas” coined where the created, small, off base communities grouped together out of fear. Rarely, if ever, did they venture out due to fear. They had little regard, let alone respect, for the way the Spanish lived.
    First thing I did was buy a Spanish/English dictionary to start speaking the language. Dressed accordingly. American women was considered loose and easy. Wasn’t true. It was how they dressed. I could see both sides, but how much easier it would have been to not run around wearing shorts? At the time Spanish women had been wearing slacks for only a few years.
    Within 6 months was speaking Spanish and marketing every morning on the economy. Was wonderful to buy and eat fresh food daily. Even more wonderful, I was embraced by the Spanairds. To this day Spain is my second home.
    Spain has changed. It is equally as expensive to live there now as in the US.

    Like you, I need extensive dental work. We live on a low, fixed income. My husband got injured at work. BWC is a racket. The attorneys get rich off injured people. Both sides. Drag it out for as long as possible. He finally won to have back surgery and theBWC doctor operated on the wrong area. He has to have another surgery and is horrible that he suffers every day. That they make money off people in pain is disgusting. I stay home to help him yet he is strong willed and does what he can depending on the pain. The cold winters make it worse.

    We can’t stay either. Is not affordable. Things like shelter is getting more expensive. Is utterly ridiculious for there to bd so many empty houses while homelesss people live in the streets ig lucky, live in their vehicles.

    We’re not yet sure where to move. He’s diabetic too. What I feel is people need to help each other and not let nationality, cultures, skin color or religion get in the way. Instead embrace all these and unite as one. America is suppose to be the “melting pot” but seemd like the pot is melting.

    However, I believe in the power of prayer. Everyday I pray for mankind to be man kind. Its much easier. And Good.

    Good luck to you and blessings. ~ Sage

  70. I flew my plane up and down the baja peninsula a couple of years ago…Everyone was very cordial except for one jackass airport official who kept me waiting for a half hour before he let me get gas for my airplane…Many Americans living down there for obvious reasons, i.e. its beautiful and cheap, or relatively so…Concur with James on crime. Most American metro areas have the neighborhoods that are dangerous crime ridden havens. We all know it, and we avoid those areas. Typically, the hoods are more interested in doing each other harm than harming regular folks…So, I expect that Mexico has similar problems. The more egregious crimes that make the international news tend to color the whole country. The upshot is that you have to do your research and find what’s comfortable for you…Having said all that, I would add that the United States is tough to beat. It can be expensive, but it can also be very reasonable if you get outside the gold plated zipcodes and city centers. I rent a two bedroom unit about five minutes from downtown Charleston, SC and five minutes from a very popular folly beach in the other direction. I never lock my doors and everyone is very friendly. That ain’t too bad in my book…For those who have a serious case of “gotta get out of the states-itis,” go to your destination of choice. Have fun…You may look at home differently after awhile. We have an enormous, stable, rich, friendly country with more than our share of natural wonders and beauty. And, as a pilot, I can tell you that the US is surprisingly un-developed…Whenever flying I never cease to marvel at how unpopulated and undeveloped our country is just a few miles outside of metro areas…Hell, out west of the mississippi you can fly for hundreds of miles and barely see any man-made anything…Something to think about.

    happy trails

  71. AmeriKwa WAS a great country but is rapidly descending in to a 3rd World Banana Republic. I think most are wanting to go to a place that at least admits that it’s a Banana Republic. It’s ironic how growing up we all heard about those terrible Soviet Communists only to have that the way it’s becoming in AmeriKwa. For my money AmeriKwa is beautiful but is rapidly declining from within from unregulated influx of illegals that are only burdening the socialist welfare systems and from the corporate raiders that are placing all their losses on the backs of the dumb downed White middle class. AmeriKwa 4 thumbs down for relinquishing its responsibilites to it’s own citizens in favor of propping up the illegal and warmongering Israhell.

  72. Is there anyone who was ever and expat in Brazil. I’m a single African American woman that has Brazil on the brain forever, any suggestions?

  73. hi,may i just interject here and say PLEEEEEEASE dont judge ALL of us aussies as a bunch of crude,uneducated, lazy ,animals,…ok granted,there are some dreadful examples of the above,but as a Western Australian…i can honestly say , here you ALSO have the COMPLETE OPPOSITE TOO we have indeed managed to mix MANY MANY different CULTURES.religions,nationalities and get on with, i believe ,a pretty good level of coexistence…..and i MEAN ALOT!!!there are plenty of people who wish to accuse us of many nefarious deeds ,of EVERY KIND…..growing up here i was NEVER AWARE of ANY racism,only mentions of FAIRNESS,SO PLEASE there are many of us ,that do not fit the stereotype.
    if anyone can possibly tell me a bit more about life in Costa Rica id be grateful,any place that reveres and grows coffee has GOT TO BE MY KINDA PLACE!!!

  74. I have been living in Costa Rica for 7 years after retiring from Ft.Lauderdale. I built a beautiful home in the central mountains near Cartago (coffee country). The climate is perfect, requiring no artificial heating or air conditioning and humidity is always low. Labor costs, basic commodities and taxes are low. Any imported items (of which there are many) are costly. It really depends on your lifestyle choices. If you can’t do without imported cheeses, USDA steaks, latest fashions or luxury cars for example, costs will rival the same as the US. Still, all is available if you want it. Your choice. There are shopping malls in the suburbs that rival the best in the US. But there are also family owned shops in every mercado centro in every town. A person can live as low as $500 per month or $5000 per month based on the lifestyle they choose or can afford.
    Patience is a necessity rather than a virtue. If efficiency is a must (in government, in banking, in general services, in simply trying to get a telephone installed) go to Germany. Anything that can be put off until tomorrow, will be. Count on it. Urgency is not in the vocabulary, or has an entirely different meaning as we know it. If you are told something will be done on Monday, you must ask “which Monday?” Seriously.
    But, considering all of this, the people are warm, accepting and friendly. Politeness is paramount in all social and business aspects. Any offered excuse must be accepted with understanding and grace. Confrontations will be avoided at all costs. If you are a type A personality, Costa Rica will be your own personal Hell.
    I started a business 3 years ago. It has grown from $12k to $200k annual revenue in that short amount of time. Modest, but we continue to grow and potential is boundless. This is despite the countless inefficiencies and cultural barriers that must be hurdled frequently. I am no business genius, but I have learned the language, gained patience, and accepted the culture. I have a wonderful life here. There is no magic to it. I have no special insight or connections or huge financial resource. What I have done can be done by anyone.
    If you have an interest in Costa Rica (or any country) I suggest first making a few visits for a week or two. If your interest continues, arrange to rent a small house or apartment. Then use that as a base to visit several areas. When you find what you like, rent in that area for at least a year to decide if you REALLY want to reside in the country.
    If you have any specific questions about Costa Rica, or expat life in general, drop me a note. Be patient, it may be mañana before I reply.
    [email protected]

  75. I don’t understand why we (Americans) look for countries that speak english. It seems to infuriate the people I know when people move here, work here, but don’t speak the language. Seems to me that if we are going to another country for any appreciable amount of time, It our responsibility to learn their language and adapt to their culture, rather than going afar and expecting to find America. Why go? Going Italian? Go as Italian as you can. Get used to tiny refrigerators and bidets. Experience the culture as well as the scenery.

  76. I’ve been researching expat locations on the internet for a few years now and it’s nice to see a new list and new view points here. I’m wondering if anyone has done or will do a “top 10 least oil dependent places to live”? I’d find that list very helpful.

  77. This article isn’t exactly helpful to anyone seriously considering a move out of the US. and doesn’t provide any real information. Instead, it makes expatriation sound like a cakewalk, which it isn’t. I do think the author of this article needs to do much more research before they give out advice on something as life changing as moving to another country – and I would never recommend moving to any country where you don’t know the language, laws, or culture without in-depth preparation …

  78. Half of these countries have such a high crime rate. People should never move there. Make a new list and this time factor in crime.

  79. Well……I was born in Wales, went to Australia at 13, lived in the US 25 years and Japan and Korea for last few.I am a single Dad of 2 grown Australian guys. We visited Australia some months back and yes it has become outrageously expensive !!! There are MANY rude and crude types there that is true !!! But there are also millions of folk from Britain and many other countries and not ALL people can be categorised in the same way.Some of the most arrogant and provocative we encountered are white hating aboriginals and some lebanese and other muslims,etc.THere are also violent vietnamese gangs in sydney’s western suburbs and many dangerous motorcycle gangs too !!! Australia depends on china these days, it is no longer a sheep dependent land. The typical Oz mentality is born from isolationism being a basically european stock country 12,000 miles away from where most aussies ancestors came from.However, it is not as overcrowded as most modern places and doesn’t just allow zillions of derelicts and or illegal immigrant hordes to invade like most european countries do, including over 30 million uninvited mexicans and other latins in the US, many of them hard core criminals.
    There are MANY worse places to live than australia. WE mostly live in Japan and Korea these days, they are VERY safe countries and most folk are very friendly and helpful !!! Asia appears to be were the best future economies will be in the view of MOST economic experts, for one reason alone people work HARD and SAVE their $$$ !!! As far as the other countries are concerned I wouldn’t send a dog to live there. We just visited Canada and Cancun mexico……..I wouldn’t recommend either place….enough said !!!

  80. Aussies are a rowdy rude bunch by nature and what is not mentioned here they have a cut off age for relocating there and that’s 35! So I’m thinking Brazil they like American hot rod builders like me old school chevy street truck builders are in extremely high demand and I can easily pull down 1.5 mill a year working 3.5 days a week!

  81. Sorry, but I don’t think the Philippines is a good spot for expats. They kiss up to Americans because they want to leave their country. It’s not only dangerous, but it’s a desperately poor, backwards third world nation. At least in Euro countries you get a top-notch medical system. Why do you think there are so many Filipinos working in service or medical jobs all over the world? Because their country is so f**ked up they couldn’t survive living there.

  82. Just a few points…thank you to those responding who have actually lived or investigated living in another country. Your information and insight is very helpful. However the rest of the bunch, did you come to this site just to make ridiculous, narrow-minded, empty-based comments? My guess is that you’ve never even traveled out of your own neighborhood, let alone to another country. And if you did travel anywhere, do you feel that your one-week vacation gave you enough input to grasp the depth of what it would be like to actually live as an expat? Yes, there are dangerous places out there, and lots of giant bugs, bad weather and scary food. That’s why this forum exists…to give people much needed guidance. It would be extremely helpful if the comments came from people they actually know what they’re talking about. Honestly!

  83. laila I agree with you,Barbados is very nice the people are friendly, I plan to retired here I live in Canada,But Barbados is my home,Laila next time you are in Barbados look me up. Inch Marlow near Buffy shop sholom

  84. Now that the election is over, I am strongly considering a move to the Czech Republic. I am an English teacher….and I am prepared to liquidate my portfolios and move over to Europe to escape the decline of America. I disagree strongly with the direction our own country is heading. This is the land that my fathers fought to immigrate to in the late 1800’s…..but this is not the same America…land of opportunity. We are becoming a nation of gimmee, gimmee. Not one of Americans who work hard and have pride in their successes.

  85. Now that Obama has been elected supreme leader by 49% of the electorate we will see the US become a garden of eden. Once the government takes everything of value from the rich people who don’t escape we will all be equal and happy just like those in Cuba. Nobody in their right mind would want to leave this heavan on earth.

  86. I have read the critique of the Top Ten Places, but have not read all of the Posts. Where is the best Medical Treatment for Seniors? Where are the largest colonies of Americans residing and which has the lowest crime rate against Non-native people. Do all of these nations allow us to retain any weapons we may own? Who has the lowest entry costs?

  87. Sydney itself is an extremely livable city, but perhaps this is because it must cater to citizens from the country with the lowest national average IQ on earth! If Japan couldn’t make the list, Australia definitely has no place on it!

    Sydney has to cater to citizens from Nigeria?

  88. James, beheading people is fast becoming the national sport in Mexico. It’s not “hysteria” to be wary of the rampant crime in Mexico.

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