Broke in the US: Americans relocating to affordable destinations

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I like watching House Hunters International and watching Americans freak out when they find it difficult to find a place with a big refrigerator, dishwasher, full size oven to cook a Thanksgiving turkey and small bathrooms that have you sitting on the toilet in shower.


This seems inconsistent with the idea that these are people struggling to make ends meet here in the US.


Depends. Some people are in a position to see what’s coming, financially, and make a move early, so spending a bit of money ahead of time can potentially save you months or years of expensive hassles. Some might include such services as part of slowly saving up for an already expensive move.


Costa Rica was affordable. (sigh)


When I read these stories, I think of my uncle who retired to Mexico because he couldn’t afford to live in the US. He’s a pretty ironic example, as he’s a Trump supporter who doesn’t speak Spanish and is presumably there as an ostensible tourist. He spent a couple years trying to figure out which country the dollar would be strongest in, where they were more likely to speak English, and where he could meet women online who would then take care of him. That last bit turned out to be non-stop catfishing, hilariously. I think he finally gave up and just went with Mexico because it was closest. He’s not doing so well at finding women to take care of him because they quickly realize he’s an asshole who is only there because he’s too poor to be in the US.

Really poor people don’t have the resources to move anywhere. These sound like people with jobs they can do online, so they have some money. It’s just not money they can survive on where they are. A few thousand bucks, where I am, would be one month’s rent on a small studio apartment. Spending that as part of a move to a place where the rent is a small fraction of that would be easy to do.


Idk. If you’re willing to tolerate poor infrastructure, endemic poverty, environmental exploitation, unpredictable crime, unstable or irrational politics, and the type of things that might come along with some of these countries, why not try Mississippi? West Virginia? Detroit?

Health care is expensive everywhere in the U.S., but otherwise cost of living varies by a lot.

I’m not condemning these places. In fact, I’m saying that while they have serious problems, by international standards, those problems start looking less serious.


Can we fucking stop shitting on Detroit? It’s been tired BS since the end of the 90’s. The city has been redeveloping for a couple decades and the rent is too damned high, just like it is everywhere else in the US.


I’m not trying to dump on Detroit. I had an acquaintance move there recently, precisely because it is redeveloping, and undervalued. But I was under the impression that it was still cheap. That’s not so?


I spent a good chunk of this winter in Bali because the cost of living is like 1/6 of my home state. I paid $300 a month for rent with all utilities included. Here in Maine you’re lucky to find a closet for less than $1200

There’s some pretty significant issues with wealth inequality and dealing with less developed countries. I did a Homestay and ate at warungs that put the bulk of my money into local hands, but there is a LOT of western investment- Meaning tourists paying American prices to Westerners who pay the locals pennies on the dollar.

The one thing I did notice was the separation that they put between the tourists and locals. They seem to have learned from other destinations that got overrun.

All the tourist stuff was advertised in English, but local cultural stuff was exclusively in native language. There would be one temple doing really performative stuff in English, while the other 50 or so wouldn’t let anyone in that didn’t belong there. I’m hoping they manage to maintain that and still take advantage of the influx of western cash.


All the new apartment blocks are as expensive as all new apartment blocks in every US city. It’s probably less, by a little, than Ann Arbor rent.


My little 3 bed/1.5 bath ranch house in the Detroit 'burbs purchased for just under 100K in the late aughts is now worth double that according to Zillow.
Rents have gone from 800-ish for a decent apartment to 1500+ a month.
A lot of the affordable houses in the Detroit area were soaked up by investment funds after the 2008 crash and rents are now exorbitant. Competition for the “affordable” houses is driving prices up.


Yeah…I’m not moving to Ecuador regardless of how inexpensive it is.


What I said in the previous topic applies here too:

At the very least, it takes thousands of dollars in liquid capital to finance a move abroad. The people most hard done by the system are effectively trapped by it. That’s why all of us* have to do what we can to fix this broken system.

[* Including a proto digital nomad like myself who spends less time in the States with every passing year]


I know someone who moved to Ecuador to retire, though I don’t know if its for money reasons or something else. You have trade offs with things being cheaper and nice weather, but the electrical grid is flaky and mail or an amazon order takes like 2 weeks to a month.

Still - man - something has to give. In Europe they complain about high taxes and a higher cost of living, but they also don’t go bankrupt from medical bills (not sure how housing is overall).

What sucks is most of these problems are solvable or at least alleviated by programs - but the people paying to lobby in DC want the ability to grind people down and keep charging them so much to just exist. It’s just been the slow steady increase in squeezing people, with the people in charge gaming the system to keep the money. :confused:


These things can be done cheaply, if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices and lifestyle changes.

Mind you, I’m not saying that’s attainable for everyone. EVERYTHING I own fits in my vehicle, and I spend months at a time living with no more than I can physically carry. I’m also strictly speaking homeless, which creates all kinds of issues in and of itself.

I find the nomadic/ seasonal lifestyle fulfilling. Most people are not suited to it.


Yeah, when i think of moving abroad my first thought is what the hell would i do for work? I would likely have to hustle pretty hard to get back into the field that i’m in but there’s a really good chance that i wouldn’t be able to if there’s a big disconnect to how the industry i’m in runs in another country. For folks that can just work online anywhere and make good money, good for you. What a privilege.


Yeah, living in late stage capitalism is awesome. cf:



With our aging population (I’m getting there, will be in my 60’s in a couple years) and STILL lagging wages, the biggest fear for most people is likely healthcare. With housing costs close behind, of course in any major metro area.
Universal healthcare would solve so many problems. Job mobility, rising care costs as one ages, fear of a major illness pulling one into bankruptcy, etc…