Monday, June 29, 2009

Americans visiting Panama: Don’t forget your VISA!

Americans visiting Panama: Don’t forget your VISA!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cheapest Places for Americans to Live Abroad

When considering the cheapest places to live abroad it is insufficient to just look at cost of living indexes - real estate, taxation, health care, accessibility, are a few other considerations to be keep in mind.

This article has been written to answer a question asked by many Americans reaching retirement as well as younger people seeking to escape the rat race. It seems that there are many US citizens seeking an affordable overseas destination in which to live and work or retire and there are many options available to them.

Countries such as Mexico, Panama and Belize are well known as lower cost locations for US citizens seeking an affordable overseas location. All have very low costs of living, low real estate costs and low or no taxation. Naturally enough all of these factors make the destinations favourites of ours too! But when it comes to younger Americans in search of a cheaper country in which to live many struggle to find decent employment or education for their children in Mexico, Panama or Belize. One option for some might be teaching jobs overseas for Americans but this is not a option for some unless they have a degree.

Healthcare is a major concern for retiree Americans abroad whether they remain at home or move abroad; those who have been signed up to a particular health insurance provider for many years may find that they are able to maintain payments into retirement and even extend cover to the overseas country in which they choose to live as well. Alternatively, once an individual becomes non-resident in the US they will find that their expat health insurance costs usually fall dramatically and sometimes healthcare is actually free – so affording healthcare abroad needed be restrictively expensive – one just has to do a certain amount of research into which providers cover which countries and how much one will have to pay for the necessary level of health cover.

Americans of working age who are looking for overseas jobs and a good country in which to live and work don’t necessarily need to look too far from home. A growing number of US citizens are choosing to move north to Canada where real estate can be cheaper, taxation can be lower, healthcare is far cheaper and the standard of living as high as in America. Canada has welcomed a new generation of Americans who generate their income via the internet and who can effectively live anywhere in the world for example.

For those simply looking to reduce their taxation burden tax free countries like Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar may appeal – although the US IRS like to keep tabs on all their citizens’ earnings no matter where in the world they live!

Eastern Europe is emerging as a destination of choice for some of the more pioneering Americans who want affordable real estate, a low cost and nice standard of living. Countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Croatia and Romania all have emerging economies and real estate markets and are working hard to attract foreign investment – whether direct investment or in the form of welcoming expatriates to live and even work among them.

In conclusion, the cheapest places to consider for Americans living abroad are plentiful in number and an individual’s choice will ultimately be dictated by many personal factors. The internet is probably the best place to begin a search for new horizons and anyone thinking about moving abroad should write their own ‘destination must have’ checklist to enable them to find the best countries available that fulfil all criteria and meet all objectives. Amazon have a whole range of books dedicated to retiring abroad as well and those who don’t want to buy the books online can at least read about the titles before ordering them from the library!