Broke in the US: Americans relocating to affordable destinations

Barrier to entry for entrepreneurism. I’d love to spend a year seeing if a business idea would work, but insurance is a blocking problem. You’d think fans of small business and the free market might listen to that argument…

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Once you’re there you can live a more frugal and simple lifestyle if it suits you. Getting there is the real trick, one only people with existing resources and privilege can pull off. Most Americans don’t have $500 saved up for an emergency expense.

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Plus, not everyone can pull up stakes and literally abandon everyone else in their lives. They have obligations that they can’t just cast aside on a whim - especially women. This is why most people associated with the carefree bonvivant lifestyle has been white men from backgrounds of some privilege.

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Unless something really super dramatic happens, that’s basically the plan for us. Retire, sell the house and everything else, find a place that’s not in the US.

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After a three-years, my wife gained her Italian citizenship by descent. After we sell our house in June, we’re headed to the Netherlands as a “soft landing” in the EU. She has some congenital health issues and even though we were able to retire early (58) and could afford decent medical insurance, the specter getting wiped out by a catastrophic medical event has us leaving the country. We’re incredibly lucky and started down this road when t***p got elected and it has taken a bunch of research and diligence dealing with various bureaucracies. We wish y’all the best.

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Yea, that’s a great example.
Taking on the risk of starting a business is huge itself. Then factor in that you would have to purchase health insurance OR risk not having it.
Basically, anyone who’s not married and on their spouse’s plan their personal risk skyrockets in that regard…

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QFT. This is about how DH and I did it.

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This brings up another pitfall to moving abroad. Most Americans don’t do their research beforehand and often approach these matters with a sense of delusional entitlement. One may consider oneself a “citizen of the world” but the country whose socialised medical system one is trying to access at no cost is only concerned if one is a citizen of their country. After age 55, that fantasy can become dangerous.

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Don’t you own a bus? That’s cheating a bit.

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he doesn’t intend to learn Spanish and has exceeded his entry documents, but has complained about people moving to the US and not learning English as well as people being in the US “illegally.” How could I possibly know that? :woman_shrugging:

I mean, it does make it easier if you have the right vehicle for it. I have one in mind that would solve storage issues, plus a lot of my distance and time crunch ones. I just don’t know where I could find one …

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Edit: corrected a word!

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I have the option to do this, my great grandfather was Italian and one of my relatives has done a good deal of research. I can’t remember the cost but it was pretty expensive to start the process, but even if i managed to get the citizenship I don’t know what i would realistically do with it.

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Climate crisis: average world incomes to drop by nearly a fifth by 2050

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:grimacing: Sounds like the type of folks described by the couple interviewed for this article:

This is making me wonder what those folks would do if other countries had deportation policies like the U.S., with barriers to reentry/applications.

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i very seriously looked into relocating to Belize, several years ago. went so far into my research as to spend weeks and months in country over a series of two years. looking to retire with disability at 56. medical considerations were topmost concern.

the “concierge” i looked into would help with moving any large possessions that i could not do without (those turned out to be… none). but this concierge service would maintain a US post box for banking and tax correspondence. i was going to maintain US citizenship, but become a Permanent Resident of Belize, which meant having visa renewed at the passport office every month until granted the PR. still had to leave Belize every 6 months for 2 weeks. THIS was the stumbling block. i had gone so far as to make an offer on a house in Corazal Town at the northeast corner, just across the border from Chetumal, Mexico.

it was all very doable, but i ultimately backed out, due to the twice yearly “forced vacation” back to the states.
admittedly, i am a male of privilege. i had/have the resources to make a move like this. i also love Belize and Central America. above all, it would have been a huge shock and total change of every part of day-to-day life.

so, what did i end up doing?
staying in a very expensive life on a very expensive island in a home i already own. could i have saved money in Belize? sure. at a cost that i could not rationalize in leaving so much behind. with my mum now living here with me after her husband died, i am glad i stayed.
privilege? yes, absolutely.
ask me again after the election in November.

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That’s what I don’t get. Why do so many people seem to have so few local contacts – friends, fam, former colleagues, etc. – that they don’t want to leave behind?

I mean okay, if you really NEED financially to live in some far cheaper place, I could see that. But otherwise, going somewhere far away to live, where I don’t know anyone at all? All while being more infirm than I was as a youngster, and getting worse with each passing year? Not for me, thanks.

(Ps-- hope your mom is doing okay!)

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I do! But after living in it for a year or two I downsized further. The last 6 months I’ve literally lived with a guitar and what I could carry in a backpack.

Even the 200 square feet or so of living space the bus has feels cluttered and excessive. I keep looking around and thinking “do I really need all this stuff?”

Again, I understand that not everyone can live that way.

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For the curious, the Netherlands has a universal healthcare system characterized by a combination of private health insurance and government regulation. It’s based on compulsory insurance for all residents, with insurers competing for customers. The government sets standards, controls costs, and subsidizes premiums for low-income earners. Overall, it’s known for its high-quality care, accessibility, and emphasis on prevention.

Our premium will be about 10% of what we would pay in the US. The Dutch system isn’t perfect by a long measure but at least we can rest assured that our retirement nest egg will be safe from the medical industry.

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The total cost was $10K. We split it four ways between my wife’s aunt, sister, and niece, so it wasn’t too bad. We used Italian Citizenship Assistance, if you’re interested. They were very thorough and easy to work with.

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