We live in an age of travel, with people of all ages constantly moving. They change cities and states to follow their passions, dreams, jobs, and sometimes, love.
However, not all of these moves need to be stateside, nor do they need to follow traditions. Lots of Americans move around the world for a whole host of reasons, with life as an expat often being full of adventure.
If you want to join one of the 8 million Americans living abroad, it’s important to know what’s involved in moving to another country and which the easiest countries to move to are.
Think About Where You’d Like to Go
This is one of the most exciting parts of your move abroad, especially if you’re flexible about where you want to go. However, even if you’ve got a good idea of where you’d like to emigrate to, it’s important to do plenty of research.
A quick Google search of your potential location(s) will bring up a whole host of information, including stories from other expats and useful articles from impartial organizations. Always read travel blogs with a little hesitation, as they’ll often be quite biased towards the country they’re talking about, but they should give you a good overview of the culture and lifestyle. It’s also a good idea to investigate the living costs in your chosen country so you’ve got a realistic budget before you get there.
Still not sure where you want to go? Well, here are some of the most popular (and least popular) places to go to.
The Best Countries for Americans to Move To
According to previous expat surveys, one of the best countries to move to is Ecuador. Despite being wildly different from the countries many expats may choose, Ecuador is revered in a number of ways, including happiness, making friends, and personal finance.
Luxembourg is also popular, with the majority of expats moving there due to its financial markets and banks. However, a lot of expats won’t be staying there long-term as an overwhelming number confessed that they struggle to make friends there.
However, the country that appears to offer expats the complete package is Mexico. Hailed for its ongoing culture, spectacular food, and gorgeous weather, 44% of expats say they’ll stay there forever.
But what was at the bottom of the list?
Greece, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. While the latter two Middle Eastern countries are perhaps no surprise due to the stark difference in cultures, Greece is. However, due to the current economic issues that surround this country, many expats are concerned about their jobs and personal finance.
Sort Out Your Visa
It’s surprising how many people will move abroad without giving much thought to the legalities involved. However, it’s important to look into your legal situation along with that of your partner’s, spouse’s, or children’s, as certain countries may not accept the legal status that has been granted by your fatherland.
Get Your Taxes in Order
When you move abroad you can forget a number of things about your previous life – but if you’re going to be spending a lot of time out of the country, you can’t forget about your U.S. taxes.
To understand how U.S. taxation could affect you, you may want to speak to a tax professional. They’ll be able to help you understand what you should file and how, along with any other banking report documents you may need to report to the Treasury or IRS. And if you want to keep your U.S. bank account open, you’ll need to prove to the bank that you’re still a U.S. resident.
Arrange Your Banking
As well as keeping your existing U.S. bank account, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got all of the necessary banking methods in place in your new country, too. Speak to financial institutions in advance, making sure you’ve got an emergency stash and/or a backup card in case you lose your card or come up against some banking issues. If you can, take some photocopies of your bank details and leave these with a family member or friend back home, as this may help eradicate some of the complications people can face when moving their financial life abroad.
Finally, be sure to do your homework on all of the aspects involved in your move, particularly if there are going to be any complicated aspects, e.g. moving with kids or taking pets. There are a variety of services and resources that can help out with these tricky parts of your move, removing much of the stress and hassle from the process.
Armed with all this information on how to move to another country and your own research, your next step toward a new life abroad should run as smoothly as possible!