How to expat?
United States Livability
"...24/7 Wall St. created an index with measures in eight categories -- crime, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure, and leisure -- to identify the 50 worst cities to live in. Not confined to a single region, the worst cities span the country from the South to the Midwest and from New England to the Pacific coast."
"...Daniel thinks that if you are an expat who doesn’t work here, life is pretty good. “If you come here and you are retired and have a pension, or you move and get married, or if you come with your own business, or if you have huge savings — so that you do not need to live sparingly, you are fine. But if you do need to spend conservatively, is very difficult.” His business operates in Britain and he works from home. And “home” for him is Athens."
Cost of Expat in 11 cities
The article measures these cities with a basic cost of living plus semi-essential extras:
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Sydney, Australia
- Hong Kong
- Dubai, UAE
- Santiago de Chile, Chile
- Toronto, Canada
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Brussels, Belgium
- Geneva, Switzerland
How to avoid expat troubles
Good article which categorizes basic, obvious things that can get overlooked, things as simple as planning to use local area phone services instead of paying expensive roaming fees on a mobile; making sure you've informed your bank of what's happening; and then very basic things like acquiring a multi-country adapter.
Using the Expat experience
"The historic Greek capital is now home to a thriving expat community who view it as a city of possibilities, with young, foreign creatives flocking to join in with its remarkable quality of life."
"Greek PM Alexis Tsipras. The Greek government has made tourism a high priority with ambitious plans that include the creation of tourist villages set to host EU nationals for a six-month period, allowing them to transfer their tax residence to Greece."
Healthiest Community in America?
"That community is Falls Church, a roughly 2-square-mile city nestled between the much larger counties of Arlington and Fairfax that holds the No. 1 spot in the inaugural U.S. News rankings of the Healthiest Communities in America."
Article also mentions cities in the UK, Vancouver, Auckland, Zurich and: "Baghdad has been at the bottom of the list for a decade now. "
"The article covers job opportunity in places like Dublin, Birmingham, London etc. Based on survey responses form 27,587 people, the information cconatins a brief overview with a statistical results, for examples that the average expat earnings for a worker in New York City is $182,240..."
Expat and Families
Article discusses (briefly) Taiwan, Costa Rica, Thailnad, and particular mentions Greece:
"Family is the corner stone of life in Greece so its not surprising that families are welcomed with open arms. Meals out quickly turn into communal affairs. Long tables with benches are the norm and within minutes your kids will be running freely with new found friends, allowing you to kick back and enjoy a chilled retsina or two. It certainly makes a change from other parts of Europe where children are seen as a troublesome inconvenience. "
Top salary rates
"Expatriates who work in Mumbai, India, are the highest-paid in the world, according to the survey conducted by HSBC Bank International, earning an average of US$217,165, more than double the world average of US$99,903, the survey found, according to multiple reports."
French expat taxes
"The initial forms can be easily downloaded from the French Government’s website, with the pink 2047 form used to declare income earned overseas and the blue 2042 form used to declare all income, included that already declared on the pink form. France’s tax year runs between January and December, with arrivals part-way through the year only having to declare their income from the date they arrived."
"Foreign holdings of U.S. equities climbed to $7.2 trillion as of June 30, from $6.2 trillion a year earlier. Short-term debt holdings increased to $954 billion from $909 billion, while long-term debt holdings rose to $10.3 trillion from $10 trillion, the data showed."
"Paul Barnes, 33, and his fiancee Sophie Henley, 25, received a £40,000 NHS bill because they live abroad in Zambia so do they not get free NHS treatment..."
USA Murder Rates
Article from 2017 which compares the murder rates across the obvious places: Chicago, Baltimore, New York City, along with many more locations.
"Our analysis suggests that the national homicide rate is rising at its fastest pace since the early 1970s..."
This is a 2015 article but contains a good (American) look at the subject:
"There's really no need to have a car in Switzerland. The Swiss have their public transportation system down to a science. The trains are on time down to the second — trust me, I've missed enough to know — and you can get across the whole country with just one ticket that works for multiple kinds of transportation."
Brief list discussing Philippines, Greece, Colombia, Brazil, more.
Hong Kong vs. Singapore
Hong Kong, SIngapore and Shanghai lead the list of expensive rentals:
Florida: Worst State of the Union? - Miami Herald
America Slips - Switzerland remains the No. 1 country to live in - US News and World Report
"While the U.S. Department of Commerce showed a 6.1 percent drop in travelers coming to the U.S. in the first half of 2017, international arrivals and departures were up 11.4 percent at Logan through August of last year. The number of passengers going through Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport is up more than 16 percent for the same period. Discover New England, the group that represents the region to other countries, reported that a record number of foreign tourists came to New England and spent a record $2.1 billion in 2016."
Using your money somewhere else
A survey of properties suitable for retirement or leisure
The article at Forbes attributes longevity chiefly to nine main habits. The top five mentioned are:
- Engaging in regular exercise.
- Eating a plant-based diet.
- Drinking alcohol moderately.
- Eat only until we hit 80% of our fullness capacity
- Punctuating our days with a stress-reducing activity
"Chinese investors are especially attracted to Greece’s “golden visa” program, which gives property buyers a visa to the country and, with it, much of Europe. Chinese investors accounted for 43 percent of the 2,053 golden visas Greece issued between 2013 and October, and Russians came in second place with 18.6 percent."
Multi-page semi-visual survey of regrets (complaints primarily pertaining to career, love, language, etc.) about moving to France as an expat. Has a distinctly British point of view but applicable for any foreigner coming into France.
Something from the article which isn't exactly a full-bore complaint:
"In a way I regret living in Paris for so long. You get used to the holidays here, the 35-hour week, the conditions of work and the quality of life that makes it almost impossible to go somewhere else."
Expat Jakarta Ranking
"Despite its low valuation, Jakarta actually did better than many cities with bigger reputations like Milan (43) and Sydney at (44) and Paris (49)."
Much advice about coming to Scotland, mainly from an American point of view:
"Finding a place to rentfrom overseas is incredibly challenging, so if you’re able, try to book temporary accommodations to allow yourself time to look upon arrival. We found that flats in Edinburgh move very quickly, so you could view several within a few days and be ready to move in immediately after.
More rural areas obviously offer fewer options, but you might have more luck finding available places in advance if you reach out to real estate companies in the area."
"The quietest places on Earth"
UK Telegraph article about the most noise-free places on the planet. The first two are labs which use technology and design characteristics to create soundless-environments, but the list (15 places) includes national parks and natural locations (Mojave desert, Olympic National Park, a cave) which are accessible to the travel-minded.
"27 cities around the world where expats are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful"
This article at Business Insider is offering everything in the headline, though what is termed 'affordable' is not another word for 'inexpensive' and almost all of these locations (27 in total) are compared to living in New York City, a place most locations on the planet can easily beat for cost of living.
There are some remarkably low numbers among these 30 places, though, for example Kampala, Uganda is listed here with a rent average of "$234.87 for a one-bedroom in the city center." On the other hand most of these places are bunched around $1000.00 for the 'one bedroom apartment' and some are quite high: $1,882.28 for a one-bedroom in the city center for Dubai, United Arab Emirates and $1,842.98 for a one-bedroom in the city center for Zurich, Switzerland.
"...To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 7,985 expats living in 40 countries. A city had to be mentioned at least 45 times to be included. City rankings were determined based on the quality and cost of urban living, quality of work life and finances, and ease of settling into the city."
To make this list simple and a handy comparison place-to-place, it grades the locations according to how far below New York City they rank, and also includes average costs for more than a one bedroom apartment, but also what are the costs for utilities, a commuter pass on local transportation, cost for a cappuccino and for domestic beer.
This article makes a list of places around the globe where internet penetration has been the least intrusive. For example, it lists four South American countries (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador) where internet usage numbers below 20% of the population. Many other countries are described, for example Mongolia, for being a good location for a good touring experience but also coupled with a place with few internet capabilities making it a special place for folks seeking a "digital detox" experience.
Expats in Mexico
An interesting comment found in the article was how some expats are annoyed by other expats who want to "fix Mexico."
"Completed by 1,129 expats, the survey offers insight into the motivations, expectations, concerns, experiences and opinions of people who have moved to Mexico to live, either to continue working or to retire.
...Just over 70% of respondents said that none of the fears or concerns they had about living in Mexico came true. Slightly more than 10% said they missed first world goods and services while just under 10% said that infrastructure including internet, roads and electricity was substandard."
Income of expats in India average among highest in world
Results of a short survey that simply define reasons for expat activity in India combined with job and business prospects there.
Survey results at Economictimes Indiatimes
USA drops from #13 to #17 in Economic Freedom ranking in 2017
Heritage Org has moved the USA from last years #13 spot (which was actually a move out of the previous years ranking in the top ten) down to #17 for the year 2017.
"The United States, with the world’s largest and most diversified economy, is still suffering through a protracted period of slow growth that has held down job creation and labor market participation. "
World ranking Top 10:
United Arab Emirates
Expats in Catalonia, Spain
Expat view from Catalonia: 'no intelligent leadership on either side' - Video report Online
Expat favorability rankings shuffle since last year
"...Out of the 50m expats spread across the globe, Bahrain was ranked as the most favourable nation to work and raise a family, vastly outranking its Persian Gulf neighbours, most of which ranked in the bottom 10 of countries surveyed. Greece came in dead last due to the strain on its long suffering economy and Australia, which came in at number seven on the list a year earlier, dropped all the way to 34. "
"To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 12,519 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries around the world"
Greece low ranking
"The networking group conducted a survey asking expats to rate and provide information on what it’s like to live and work in 65 countries that are considered key destinations for expats. Scores were calculated on 43 factors, including quality of life, personal finances, cost of living, education, and healthcare, to get an overall ranking.
The survey had nearly 13,000 respondents, representing 166 nationalities, and Greece ranked at the bottom."
The CostArticle at the UK Express:
Are these the cheapest countries for expat living?
- South Africa
"While money shouldn’t be the only factor used to decide where you expatriate to, it is a necessary consideration for many."
"Expat retirees enjoy a life reminiscent of an earlier time "
Article on expat living (and expectations) from Market Watch
"...many Americans and Canadians have not only moved abroad partly to search for a life reminiscent of an earlier time, but quite a few tell me that they’ve found it — and in some very unlikely places, including Mexico, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua. "
Less government involvement
The family is supreme
Elders are respected
"The dark side of expat life in France (and where to turn for help)
...This isn’t a fluffy feel-good post on how life in France is OMGAMAZING 24/7. Nowhere is perfect day in and day out and that’s the truth. This is a post about mental health. I don’t think it does the expat community any favors by sweeping this extremely important topic under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist. So let’s talk."
Article at Ouiinfrance.com
Book review at the NY Times:
A British Expat in Norway Gets Beyond the Scandinavian Stereotypes Scandinavians - In Search of the Soul of the North
"...Gradually, the quirks and the knowledge cohere into an argument that makes sense of all that melancholy: In small, homogeneous nations governed by a rigid social conformity, it takes a particularly extreme temperament to stand out. “Considerable personal courage and ethical conviction are required,” he writes, “if such voices are to survive disapproval long enough for people to start listening to what they have to say.”
"Retirees flock to Latin America to live an upper-class lifestyle on $1,500 a month"
Article at the Charlotte Observer
“The internet has changed everything,” said Dan Prescher, a senior editor at International Living who recently moved from Ecuador to Mexico to be closer to his family in the United States. “Now you can talk to ex-pats who are living the life in real time. It has lowered the research bar for those who are thinking about it.”
...If there is a real driving force for retirees, it’s healthcare...."
Interview with John Manuel, born in Bath, UK, now living on Rhodes.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture? What the Greeks eat for breakfast. Olives, Feta, those horrible little crispy bread-type biscuits, Ham!?
9. What is a myth about your adopted country? That all Greeks are lazy. A lot of them may not be dead keen on paying their taxes, but they work harder than most of the rest of Europe.
JapanGrowing Old in Japan - an Expat Guide - Metropolis Japan
"...For such a dense, complicated and emotional topic, The Expat’s Guide to Growing Old in Japan is a surprisingly readable and slim volume complete with touches of light humor and cultural insight. Readers are advised to put on their “invisible Sherlock Holmes cap and investigate” assisted living facilities. In the health care section they learn what pinpin korori (healthy until you fall over dead) is and the many reasons it is the preferred way of moving on to the next realm. "
Expats and Children
"The InterNations organization, which represents expats throughout the world, has released results of its recent survey of perceptions of the countries most welcoming to expats with children."
- Costa Rica
See the entire list of ten countries here - The Yucatan Times
Expats in UAE
"....After two weeks, Sarah took Nathan to see a doctor and broke down, asking for help. Nathan was referred to a counsellor, and when he started school, things slowly started to improve."
Greek housing market woes makes residency cheaper
Article at NeoKosmos on the continued troubles in the Greek economy and specifically the housing market, and how this presents residency opportunities and increased buying power for house hunters:
"Despite difficult ongoing economic conditions, Greece's visa-for-investment program is helping draw interest from investors: mainly from the eastern Mediterranean region, Russia, and China. Greek government officials are considering broadening the program to investors spending capital on all asset classes above €250,000, not just real estate.
...Apartment prices in the centres of Athens and Thessaloniki are proving to be more resilient than the broader market, helped by a strong tourism industry and demand for short-term rentals stemming from platforms such as Airbnb."
Expat Women - working and living in Luxembourg.
Artcle at Delano about the challenges for living in Luxembourg with brief opinions shared by 10 different female profressionals:
"...She was also positively surprised by the fact that women can become CEOs or members of the boards of directors here. Catherine noted two downsides: her husband works in Lille at the moment, so she is quite far from her family. But she said that they always meet up in Paris!"
United States debt rising
"...as the past 8 years have shown, only debt cures more debt, so expect nothing to change."
Additional graphic information, though a bit on the cartoony side: www.usdebtclock.org
Shifting from NYC to Panama
Forbes with the insights of a American professional pulling out of the around-the-clock NYC work schedule into a rural environment with a challenge to make an independent business succeed:
"...New York was everything I imagined it would be, and more. It was non-stop adrenaline: the city hustle, the constant moving from one meeting to the next, the late nights in the office followed by work dinners or going out with friends. It was thrilling and rewarding, but this came at a high cost. My career always took precedence, and I realized I am just not wired that way..."
Counting the cost for an Expat lifestyle
"Dreaming about living in another country is easy, but creating a budget to make it happen is hard."
The Four Ways To Be An Expat
Article at Expat Yourself
For everyone who moved to a different country, there are just four ways how they got there: as a student, from their government, as an private employee or they just pack their bags and left.
Netherlands Dutch Expat Help
"Our relocation plan, Dutch LIFE, is designed to give you the most relevant information in a logical way."
"Do your homework: When applying for a loan, it is safe to say the bank will want to look at the purpose of the loan and how much you want to borrow. So make sure you have an amount in mind that is in line with the asset or purpose for the loan. You will also need to supply your regular income and have proof of your outgoing expenditure so they can see if you can afford the repayments. Do not borrow to pay off debt: Most foreign banks will not offer you a personal loan to help you pay off your existing debt. In today’s tough economic climate, it is viewed as throwing good money after bad."
List of helpful articles on going to Britain as an expat:
Hong Kong becomes world's costliest city for expats
Article at Japan Today:
"Hong Kong has overtaken Angola’s capital to become the costliest city in the world for expats, Mercer’s annual survey said Wednesday.
After topping the Cost of Living report for three consecutive years, Luanda was pipped by the Asian city in 2016, owing to a stronger Hong Kong dollar.
The survey by the Mercer consulting group compares the cost of over 200 items in over 200 cities, including housing, food, transport and entertainment."
The most popular countries for Brits looking to work abroad
Article at the UK Telegraph:
"The US is the top destination for British workers looking for a fresh challenge internationally, attracting 37pc of jobseekers' clicks across the top 10 destination countries. "
The Telegrpah article also covers short-term work situations, and Germany placed number one on their list for that designation.
Who is holding U.S. Debt?
Article at Bloomberg about their FOA effort to get the true numbers on U.S. debt - U.S. Discloses Saudi Holdings of Treasuries for First Time
"Yet the disclosure may bring more questions than answers, because Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves amount to $587 billion, and central banks typically put about two-thirds of their coffers in dollars, according to International Monetary Fund data. Some nations accumulate Treasuries in offshore financial centers, meaning the holdings show up under the data of other countries. For example, Belgium, which held $143 billion of U.S. government debt as of February, is home to Chinese custodial accounts, analysts say."
U. S. Treasury Department debt date - March 2016
- Saudi Arabia 116.8
- United Arab Emirates 62.5
- Kuwait 31.2
- Oman 15.9
- Iraq 13.4
- Qatar 3.7
- Nigeria 3.1
- Bahrain 1.2
- Algeria 0.7
Source: U.S. Treasury Department. Data as of March.
Sweden expat opportunities
Article at the Swedish English language TheLocal - 'Foreigners like to whine about Sweden, don't they?'
“This is the right size of city, the right lifestyle and the right everything for me. I really wanted to stay here. At first I was staying for the job, but after Spotify I interviewed for jobs all over the world – but there was nowhere that felt as right as Stockholm."
“It’s a great place to be based, with lots of tools and networking opportunities.”
"Sweden gives you freedom that you don’t get in other places. You have freedom of movement, of speech, and freedom of time. They have long parental leave, long vacations – compared to six days a year in Mexico! Sweden lets you choose what to do with your time."
Bahrain expat workers
"Employers in Bahrain will have to pay an extra $800 (BD300) for every expat worker that exceeds their regular quota in addition to the regular two-year $530 (BD200) tax and monthly fees for each foreign employee."
New Zealand takes top spot for quality of life abroad for women
Article at newswire titled "Global expat survey: New Zealand takes top spot, Canada ranks 7th when it comes to quality of life amongst women living abroad" heavy emphasis on comparing Canda to other countries in terms of benefit to women.
"Painting a picture of expat life across a broad range of criteria, the annual Expat Explorer survey is an insightful and comprehensive resource for all current and prospective expats. Not only can expats find out how the country they live in performs compared to other destinations, but they can also share the real life experiences of their peers. "
The article is referencing HSBC Expat Survey effort here.
Want to earn $250,000? Try being an expat in Asia
March 2016: Article at the Financial Times:
"If you are looking to ride a career helicopter into the rarefied echelons of those who earn more than $250,000 a year – then consider becoming an expat working in Asia.
...If you’re hoping for a blissful retirement then Canada takes the crown. with three times more expat retirees than the global expat average (31 per cent compared with 11 per cent globally). A whopping 70 per cent of expats in Canada and the US said that both countries offer them an easy time settling in and a great quality of life."
Expat Voters — Will They Start To Matter In 2016?
March 2016 - Article at Worldcrunch:
"...we are witnessing the rise of Expat Man and Expat Woman. The laws have changed to make overseas voting easier and efforts such as Vote from Abroad have helped inform voters and facilitate registration. The Democratic and Republican parties have woken up to the fact that, according to the State Department, 7.6 million Americans live outside the territorial limits of the U.S.; by population, equivalent to the 13th American state.
... Though it is undersized (and voter turnout generally even lower than domestic turnout), the vote potential of Expat Man no longer draws dismissive sniggers. Delayed overseas ballots helped give the 2000 election to George W. Bush (an event that Democrats Abroad says led to a tripling in registrations). Voting from abroad also arguably affected other close election contests, including a 2009 New York Congressional race that gave a narrow victory to Democrat Scott Murphy and the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota in which a Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, was defeated by a wafer-slim margin by Democratic challenger Al Franken."
Upon re-entry back home after expat life, brace yourself for turbulence
March 2016: Article at Japan Times:
"....After initially resisting certain aspects of Japanese culture (“I couldn’t speak keigo — polite Japanese — for a long time,” said one female student in her early 20s), most of those surveyed hinted at feeling a newfound confidence from having lived overseas. Their perspectives had widened and they could now view their native culture though a wider lens than their peers. "
In Search of That Expat ‘Aha!’ Moment
Feb 2016: Wall Street Journal article:
"...And as I stood there I thought, even though I was a newcomer to this foreign land, I now had the ability to look out into the vast Alpine mountains, recognize familiar locales, and even point out a few great peaks that Willy Wonka and I had conquered, all on our own. It was in that moment I felt an immediate rush of self-fulfillment and contentment, and knew I was just where I was meant to be. Aha!"
Ranking for well-being puts Hawaii and Alaska first
Jan 28, 2016: Article at Reuters
"If you want to improve your sense of well-being, leave the Lower 48.
A new report ranking all 50 states based on residents' sense of well-being puts Hawaii at No. 1, followed by Alaska, which held the top spot last year.
Hawaii has been No. 1 in the poll five times since 2008."
The top expat destination of 2015 may surprise you
January 26, 2016: Article at Business Insider:
"...In fact, there are now as many as 53 million expats in the world, with an estimated growth of up to 56.8 million by 2017, according to international market research and consulting company Finaccord."
Google Most Searched Travel Destinations of 2015
Article at Expatriatehealthcare:
The recent statistics reveal exactly where Brits have been researching during 2015, and reveals some intriguing data about how our travel habits have been affected by world events.
Typically, for example, Paris is the single most searched destination among Brits, long considered the “ultimate” destination for a city break or a romantic getaway. This year, however, it seems that Paris has been completely wiped off the top 10.
... Whatever the case, with Paris dropping out of the top ten, a new winner has been revealed; New York. Following closely along behind New York City comes the USA as a whole.
Low living costs draw expats to Vietnam
October 19, 2015: Article at vietnamnet.vn
"According to the latest Expat Explorer Survey, Vietnam ranks 25th on the list of 39 places that are good for expats to work and live, behind some Asian destinations such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. Singapore takes the top spot in the eighth Expat Explorer country league table, with expatriates praising the opportunities for career development, appealing salaries and an excellent quality of life..."
The Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching
Bloomberg article about 20 cities which are steadily losing populace due to various conditions:
"Interestingly, these are also the cities with some of the highest net inflows of people from outside the country. That gives many of these cities a steadily growing population, despite the net exodus of people moving within the U.S.
So what's going on here?..."
The Top Expat Locations
Article at Internations asked 14,000 respondents from 195 countries and overseas territories. The ranking has 64 locations as destinations for expats. The top ten ranking is:
- New Zealand
Is this the best place in the world to be an expat?
Often considered a plumb location for international companies for a number of reasons. Article at BBC
"Singapore may hold the dubious title of “most expensive city in the world,” but it remains the most popular place for expats to live and work, according to an annual survey of expats released by HSBC. Expats praised the city-state for its appealing salaries, career development opportunities and quality of life. And despite the eye-watering cost of living day-to-day in Singapore (including transport costs three-times that of New York), more than a quarter of its expats who responded to the 2015 Expat Explorer survey said they earned more than $200,000 per annum (compared to just 13% of expats globally)."
The Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching
July 2015 article at Bloomberg
"New York City, Los Angeles, Honolulu: They're all places you would think would be popular destinations for Americans. So it might come as a surprise that these are among the cities U.S. residents are fleeing in droves. The map below shows the 20 metropolitan areas that lost the greatest share of local people to other parts of the country between July 2013 and July 2014...."
The 3 best and worst countries to be an American expat
Article at CBS News
- Saudi Arabia
"Greece, on the other hand, is a surprise. Although expat life in Greece can be excellent, with a culture that emphasizes joie de vivre and some of the world's most beautiful landscapes both inland and coastal, none of that was enough to overcome the country's current economic struggles..."
Recalling a Tokyo Expat Adventure
Article at The Wall Street Journal
"My wife suggested that I sell tofu from a wooden cart on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. That was her plan for my successful re-entry into the U.S. I confess to actually considering it..."
20 globe-trotting readers share travel tips
Article at Santa Cruz Sentinel on how to conquer some of the difficulties inherent to certain places. Article discusses these places:
Greece, England, Azores, Italy, stonia - and others.
Current account balance compares a country's net trade in goods and services, plus net earnings, and net transfer payments to and from the rest of the world during the period specified. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis. Source: CIA Factbook
POSITIVE BALANCE "Top Ten"