During the current economic crisis in the US, many Americans are suffering. Every day there are new reports of massive layoffs, companies closing down, banks going bankrupt and things that Americans took for granted not being there any more. That’s why, for a lot of Americans, moving out of America has now become the ‘smart thing’ to do. I’ve lived outside the US now for most of the last six years. Even before the financial crisis, it was a smart thing for me to do. Since the financial crisis, moving out of the US has been the best thing I ever did, bar none. So, if you’re one of those Americans who are struggling and not sure if you’re going to make it through the financial crisis intact, why not think about moving overseas? It could solve all your problems and here’s why.
Job Opportunities Better Outside the US – Even though it’s a worldwide economic crisis, in many countries, there are better job opportunities than in the US if you’re in certain fields. I teach English and Business Skills in Thailand and, even in this economic crisis, I turn down job offers every week. I currently have a job teaching at a top international company, which is the best job I’ve ever had and offers the highest salary I’ve ever made (salary vs cost of living, that is). In fact, last week, I picked up an American woman at the airport in Bangkok that I’d met on the internet recently. She’d been laid off from her job in the US six months ago and couldn’t find another one. She decided to move to Thailand to teach as she felt the job prospects would be better. Three days after she landed in Thailand, she already had a job offer that was better than anything she’d ever had in the US. I have a feeling she’s staying in Thailand!
The same thing applies for teaching in many other countries, as well as jobs like writing, editing, marketing, public relations and a whole slew of other things. Another friend of mine recently took a marketing job in South Korea. Great opportunity with amazing benefits and far outclassed the job she got offered last year in the US.
Tax Rates Are Lower in Most Other Countries – When I lived in the US and made a very good salary, I still never had any money as the tax rate in California was so high. By the time I’d paid federal and state tax every year, I was losing upwards of 40% of my salary. In Thailand, I pay 10% taxes on a salary that is more than 10 times the Thai national average.
Most other countries, including European countries, have lower tax rates than the US. Plus, you get free education, free (or cheap!) health insurance, excellent public transportation and a whole slew of other things. The US now has one of the highest tax rates in the world, yet, you get nothing for it.
Cost of Living is Lower in Most Other Countries vs The USA – I make around 40% of what I made in the US. But, my tax rate is one quarter of what I paid in the US, and the cost of living in Thailand is 20% of what it is in the US so, even on a lower salary, my lifestyle is much better.
It’s the same in many other countries. Most of Asia (except countries like Japan and Singapore) offer much lower costs of living. Quite a few European countries also have lower costs of living, as do most South American countries, especially if you factor in free healthcare and cheap public transportation (just stay away from Great Britain, which is still one of the most expensive countries in the world!)
Healthcare Better Than The US in Many Countries – Healthcare in many countries in the world is free or very cheap. In the US, healthcare is incredibly expensive. On top of that, a lot of Americans can’t afford health insurance (more than 25% of Americans are now uninsured), so don’t have access to health care even if they need it. In every job I’ve had in Thailand, I get free health insurance plus healthcare is as good if not better in Thailand than it is in the US.
Most European countries also offer free or cheap healthcare, even for Americans that live there. In the US, I’ve lost count of the people I know who haven’t been to a doctor for years because they can’t afford the doctor’s visit. The cost of my last doctor’s visit in Thailand, to a doctor at one of the top hospitals in Asia and who was trained in the US? Three dollars. Need I say more?
Quality of Life in Other Countries vs The US – In most other countries in the world, the quality of life is better than in the US. They get more vacations, they work less hours, they spend more time with their families, and their jobs are more relaxing. I always felt stressed when I worked in the US. In Thailand, I never feel stressed in my job, Thai culture doesn’t allow it. Thailand also has the highest number of public holidays of almost any country in the world. This week we get one day off, next week we get two days off, all for various Buddhist holidays. In the US, even on days off, I usually ended up working. I had to, just to get my job done.
In most countries in the world, the quality of life is just better than in the US. Jobs are less stressful, companies understand the importance of employees spending time with their families, and there isn’t the dog-eat-dog atmosphere like there is in many US companies.
Overall, I’m always surprised when Americans tell me they think they live in the best country in a world. The US has one of the highest crime rates, the most expensive healthcare system in the world, a declining education system, high tax rate, lower quality of life, and a high cost of living. When I lived in the US, I never felt like I was ‘succeeding’. In Thailand, every day is a ‘success’ for me. And, for many of my friends who live in countries other than the US, they also feel the same way. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of Americans I’ve met who wouldn’t ever consider moving back to the US.
So, if you’re struggling in the US, why not consider moving elsewhere? The world is a big place, opportunities are in every country, and the stressful life you lead in the US could soon be a thing of the past.