12 Best Countries to Move to from USA

Olivia Carter

Updated on:

best countries to move to from usa

Moving out of the USA after retirement is a personal decision that depends on individual preferences, circumstances, and goals. While there are potential benefits to retiring abroad, it's important to consider them in the context of your specific situation.

At the same time, there’re also potential hazards too. One of the main issues that could affect American citizens is widespread terrorism. Though it might not affect you directly, the strife in some countries makes it unsafe to stay for everyone, regardless of your citizenship.

Certain countries around the world offer investment-based citizenship, second passport or also retirement visas, or what’s known as the ‘golden visa’ to foreigners to settle.

Understandably, there’re some financial and other considerations for getting such visas or rights to migrate. However, thousands of Americans are moving abroad after retirement to ensure their savings can last much longer.

Benefits of Moving Out of the USA

If you migrated to the USA some years ago and are now a US citizen, there could be some advantages in returning to your native country. You would have lots of relatives in the home country and also a few old-time friends. This makes retiring outside USA prove attractive.

Here are some potential benefits that American citizens might consider when contemplating a retirement overseas:

1. Cost of living: Some countries offer a lower cost of living compared to the USA. This can allow retirees to stretch their retirement savings further and potentially enjoy a more affordable lifestyle. Lower housing costs, healthcare expenses, and everyday expenses can contribute to a more financially comfortable retirement.

2. Healthcare affordability: Healthcare costs in the USA can be high, particularly for retirees without comprehensive insurance coverage. Moving to a country with lower healthcare costs can provide access to quality medical care at a fraction of the price. However, it's essential to research and understand the healthcare system and quality of care in the chosen destination.

3. Lifestyle and culture: Retirement abroad can offer a chance to experience a new culture, language, and way of life. Many retirees find joy and fulfilment in immersing themselves in a different culture, exploring new traditions, and enjoying unique experiences. It can provide an opportunity for personal growth, learning, and expanding one's horizons.

4. Climate and natural beauty: Some retirees seek warmer climates or proximity to natural landscapes, such as beaches, mountains, or lush countryside. Living in a place with a more favourable climate can enhance outdoor activities, promote an active lifestyle, and improve overall well-being.

5. Adventure and travel opportunities: Living abroad can open up new travel possibilities and adventures. Retirees may have the chance to explore nearby countries, indulge in local cuisines, and visit famous landmarks or cultural sites. Being in a different part of the world can make it easier and more affordable to travel to various destinations.

6. Financial considerations: Depending on the country chosen for retirement, there may be tax advantages or incentives for retirees. Some countries offer specific retirement visa programs or tax benefits to attract foreign retirees. Consulting with a tax professional or financial advisor can help assess the potential financial advantages and considerations in the chosen destination.

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Dangers of Moving Out of the USA

Retiring abroad also comes with potential challenges, such as language barriers, cultural differences, access to family and friends, and adjusting to a new environment. It's crucial to thoroughly research and visit potential destinations, consult with professionals, and consider personal factors before making a decision to move out of the USA after retirement.

While moving out of the USA after retirement can be an exciting and enriching experience, there are certain potential risks and challenges that Americans should be aware of. These may include:

1. Healthcare access and quality: The healthcare systems in foreign countries may differ significantly from what Americans are accustomed to. Access to quality healthcare, availability of specialized treatments, language barriers, and varying standards of care can be potential challenges. It's important to thoroughly research the healthcare system in the chosen destination and consider obtaining international health insurance coverage.

2. Language and cultural barriers: Moving to a foreign country often involves adapting to a new language and culture. Language barriers can make it challenging to communicate, access services, and integrate into the local community. Cultural differences may require adjustments and open-mindedness to embrace new customs, traditions, and social norms.

3. Legal and regulatory complexities: Navigating the legal and regulatory systems of a foreign country can be complex and unfamiliar. Understanding visa requirements, residency permits, taxation laws, property ownership regulations, and other legal obligations is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.

4. Social isolation and support networks: Moving away from family, friends, and familiar support networks can lead to feelings of social isolation, especially if there is a significant language or cultural barrier. Building new social connections and support systems in a foreign country can take time and effort. Engaging with local communities, ex-pat groups, and social organizations can help mitigate this risk.

5. Financial considerations and scams: Managing finances and navigating the financial systems of a foreign country can pose challenges. Currency exchange rates, tax implications, potential scams targeting expatriates, and unfamiliar banking systems require careful planning and vigilance. Working with trusted financial advisors and staying informed about local regulations and practices is important to protect your financial interests.

6. Safety and security: Safety and security conditions can vary across different countries and regions. Researching and understanding the local safety situation, crime rates, political stability, and healthcare infrastructure is crucial. Staying updated on travel advisories issued by your home country's government and taking necessary precautions can help mitigate risks.

7. Distance from family and support systems: Being far away from family and friends can present emotional challenges, particularly during times of need or emergencies. It's important to have contingency plans in place, maintain open lines of communication, and consider factors like access to reliable transportation options and travel costs for visits back home.

To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to thoroughly research potential destinations, visit the country before making a permanent move, consult with professionals, join ex-pat communities, and establish a support network in the new country.

Understanding and preparing for the potential challenges can help ensure a safer and more fulfilling retirement abroad.

12 Best Countries For Americans To Move To In 2023

Choosing the best country for retirement depends on various factors, including personal preferences, lifestyle, financial situation, healthcare needs, and desired quality of life. Here are a few popular destinations for USA citizens considering moving out after or before retirement, along with some reasons why they are attractive:

1. Mexico


Mexico offers a lower cost of living compared to the USA, with beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm weather. Additionally, its proximity to the USA allows for easy travel back home, and healthcare is generally affordable and of good quality in many areas.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Known for its natural beauty, Costa Rica offers a peaceful and stable environment for retirees. It has a low cost of living, excellent healthcare infrastructure, a warm climate, and a welcoming culture. Costa Rica also has a well-established expat community.

3. Portugal

Portugal best countries to move to from usa

Portugal is increasingly popular among retirees due to its affordable cost of living, pleasant climate, rich history, and high quality of life. The country offers a favourable tax regime for foreign residents, a low crime rate, and excellent healthcare facilities.

4. Panama


Panama is known for its pensionado program, which offers various incentives to retirees, including discounts on healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and more. The country has a stable economy, a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and a low cost of living.

5. Spain


Spain offers a diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and a comfortable lifestyle. Its healthcare system is highly regarded, and the cost of living can be reasonable, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. The country also provides a favourable retirement visa program for non-European Union citizens.

6. Thailand


Thailand is a popular retirement destination due to its low cost of living, warm climate, and friendly culture. The country offers a range of attractions, from bustling cities to tranquil beach towns, and has a well-developed infrastructure for ex-pats. The country offers a variety of retirement visa options, including the popular Non-Immigrant “O-A” Visa, which allows retirees to stay long-term. Thailand also has excellent healthcare facilities, particularly in major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

7. Ecuador

Ecuador best countries for americans to move to

Ecuador is known for its affordable healthcare system, low cost of living, and diverse landscapes, including the Galapagos Islands and the Andes Mountains. The country offers a retirement visa program with several benefits, including discounts on flights and public transportation.

Here are six popular Asian countries for American citizens to consider settling in after retirement, along with some reasons why they are attractive destinations:

8. Malaysia


Malaysia is an increasingly popular retirement destination due to its affordable cost of living, modern infrastructure, and diverse cultural experiences. The country offers the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, which provides long-term residency for foreign retirees. Malaysia has a good healthcare system, with private healthcare options available at a fraction of the cost compared to the USA.

9. Vietnam


Vietnam offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant culture. The cost of living is relatively low, and expatriates can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. The healthcare system is improving, particularly in major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, although some retirees may choose to have international health insurance for additional peace of mind.

10. Philippines


The Philippines is known for its stunning beaches, English-speaking population, and friendly locals. The cost of living is generally low, and retirees can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. The country has a special retirement visa program called the Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV), which offers various benefits to retirees, including permanent residency.

11. Singapore


While Singapore is known for its higher cost of living compared to other Asian countries, it offers a highly developed infrastructure, excellent healthcare facilities, and a high standard of living. It's a cosmopolitan city-state with a diverse expat community, and English is widely spoken. Singapore's efficient public transportation system and excellent healthcare make it an attractive choice for retirees who value convenience and quality services.

12. Taiwan


Taiwan offers a high standard of living, modern infrastructure, and welcoming culture. The cost of living is reasonable, particularly outside of Taipei. Taiwan has a National Health Insurance program, providing affordable healthcare options for residents. The country is known for its safety, efficient public transportation, and beautiful natural landscapes.

It's important to thoroughly research and visit potential retirement destinations to assess if they meet your specific needs and preferences.

Factors such as language barriers, visa requirements, cultural differences, and proximity to family and friends should also be considered when making a decision. Consulting with a financial advisor and exploring expat communities can provide valuable insights as well.

Working in Foreign Lands

When it comes to working in foreign countries, there’re lots of restrictions that US citizens might face, despite having adequate skills and experience in their relevant fields.

  1. Most countries require you to hold a work permit to take employment legally on their territories.
  2. Such work permits are available only to large businesses. This means you need to take a job with such companies and their work permit or work visa.
  3. Jobs in foreign countries aren’t easy to find because they prefer to hire their own citizens first. This means you might have to find an American employer in that country. Or a local employer that desperately needs your skills.
  4. Working in foreign lands might not always get you the same security as working in the US. This leaves you open to exploitation.
  5. Usually, working abroad means you have to learn a different culture altogether and adjust to the place and its locals. This might prove tough for people that are introverts of sorts.

Of course, there’re thousands of US citizens working abroad. They usually work for American companies and hence get pay and perks according to US standards.

Wrap Up

Before concluding, I will add that it can prove worthwhile to move to a foreign land after retirement and get full benefits from own income rather than depend on some other source. In some cases, you can settle in a country that’s in Asia and enjoy the fullest benefit of the foreign currency exchange rates.

At the same time, its worth knowing that policies of different governments can get changed or amended from time to time,ea and you would have to accept and adapt to these changes

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