Have you considered what it would be like to pack up your life and move abroad to a new country? If you have saved up some money, work as a freelancer, are considering early retirement, or you’ve joined the “remote working” society that has become so prevalent in the last year, moving abroad may be easier than you once thought possible.
In these unprecedented times, working at a job you love does not necessarily mean you have to work in the city where your job is located. As long as you have a reliable internet connection you can have your cake and eat it too. You can earn your high-wage American paycheck while taking advantage of the lower cost of living in a different country.
If moving abroad sounds appealing to you, read on to learn more about the perks of living in a distant location, far from home.
#1 Move Abroad for a Fresh Start
Moving to a new and foreign destination allows you to create a fresh start for yourself—the world becomes your oyster!
Starting fresh does not mean you need to transform your life completely, but you can finally take the opportunity to change bad habits, focus on the things in life that you truly love, and meet new friends who can have a profoundly positive influence on you.
A fresh start in a new country allows you to wipe the slate clean and get your life in order.
#2 Move Abroad to Pay Down Debt
When deciding where to start your life anew, be sure to take the local cost of living into consideration.
In countries such as Ecuador, where the U.S. dollar is also the official currency, you won’t need to worry about calculating currency exchanges in your head. The cost of living is also much lower compared to living back in the states, affording you the opportunity to spread your money out much further.
Other countries in Southeast Asia like the Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and India are even MORE affordable than Ecuador! However, they’re much further away and you might experience more of a culture shock if you’re leaving the United States.
Depending on where decide to move abroad, your cost of living could be 1/3 or even less than you’re paying back home.
Check out our Cost of Living in Ecuador: A Guide for Expat Budgeting article for more on this topic.
#3 Move Abroad to Save For Retirement
Living abroad as an expat affords you the opportunity to develop a more aggressive strategy for saving for retirement.
Again, a lower cost of living allows you to live comfortably for less money, so the money you save can be invested into your retirement account. If you structure your retirement savings strategy the right way, you should be able to save much more money while living abroad, which will allow you to enjoy a better retirement when you get older.
The key is continuing to be frugal with your money, even when the exchange rate or cost of living works out well in your favor. Don’t adopt a more luxurious lifestyle just because you can.
#4 Move Abroad to Retire Early
If warm weather and sandy beaches are calling your name, consider becoming an expat and retire from the workforce earlier than the standard average age of 67.
We know several military, police and firefighters who retired after their 20 years of honorable service and moved to Ecuador. Their pensions weren’t enough to live a comfortable life back in the United States, but they can live a very comfortable life in Ecuador without working anymore. Imagine retiring in your 40’s or 50’s while you’re still young enough to enjoy life!
Moving abroad could be the ticket to realizing an earlier retirement, thanks to cheap real estate prices and being able to stretch your money out further.
#5 Move Abroad for a Better Work/Life Balance
If you can’t afford to retire yet, one of the benefits of working remotely is that you can achieve a better work/life balance since you won’t be spending as much time commuting to a job. Less time in a car means more time at home with your family and friends.
You could also live in a vacation destination so you can enjoy the beach or the mountains every day instead of just when you take time off from work.
And since you don’t need as much money if you live in a low cost of living country, you may find that you don’t need to work as much. It’s a beautiful thing!
#6 Move Abroad for Medical or Dental Care
One of the biggest perks of moving to a country with a lower cost of living is that you will be better able to afford costly medical and dental procedures you may have been putting off.
You may be surprised to learn that reputable doctors and specialists are available in lots of countries, and you will find that it is perfectly safe and much more affordable to have medical and dental work completed abroad.
According to CEOWORLD Magazine, in 2019 and 2021 Ecuador had the best healthcare system in the Americas south of Canada. They looked at Overall Healthcare, Infrastructure, Professionals, Cost, Medicine Availability and Government Readiness. Ecuador ranks 25th among the 89 countries they evaluated, barely losing to Canada (23rd) and beating the US (30th). The top 9 countries are in Asia and Europe, and number 10 is Australia.
Not only can you save between 50% to 90% having your medical and dental treatments taken care of abroad, but foreign medical and dental insurance policies are much cheaper than purchasing these policies from insurance companies based in the United States.
Check out our FAQ #6 – What about HEALTH INSURANCE In Ecuador? for more on this topic.
#7 Move Abroad to Expand Your Worldview
The best way to learn about a new, fascinating culture is to experience it firsthand by living abroad.
While living in your new country, spend time indulging in foreign cuisine at fine restaurants and roadside haunts, learn about the history of its people through museum visits and getting to know the residents in your community, and by exploring the country’s major cities and the roads less traveled out in the countryside.
Moving abroad might also give you a new appreciation or at least a new perspective about your home country. Immersing yourself in a new culture is truly a mind-altering experience that can dramatically expand your worldview.
#8 Move Abroad to Get Inspired with Fresh New Ideas
Part of the allure of living in a foreign country is that the colors, smells, sights, and sounds are all different than those you have experienced while living at home. All these new sensory experiences can inspire you with fresh new ideas and dreams.
Seize the opportunity of living in a vibrant place to come up with new plans for the present and future. Have you ever wanted to write a book, learn a new craft, or embark on a new career journey? Moving abroad has the power to help you change your perspective and turn your dreams into a reality.
You’re also likely to notice that day-to-day life is much different in other countries than what you have experienced living in the United States and other developed nations. In many parts of the world, big corporations and retail chains do not rule commerce like in America. Small, family owned and operated businesses are still the norm, which means there is also a lower barrier of entry for entrepreneurs.
You might even be inspired to return home and start a new business based on the fresh new ideas you have while living abroad.
#9 Move Abroad to Learn A New Language
Living abroad offers the perfect opportunity to learn a new language, which is great mental exercise to keep your brain active and pliable as you age.
Engage in activities like reading road signs and local newspapers/blogs so you are exposed to, and immersed in, the new language as you go about your day.
Instead of trying to work through a language learning program, get out and practice the language of your new country with the locals. To quote Xavier Montezuma, an Ecuadorian friend who is fully fluent in English, “Language is meant to be spoken; not studied.”
You will also find locals who are more than happy to help you learn their language. Do not be ashamed if you struggle at first—most people will be flattered that you are attempting to adapt to their culture.
#10 Move Abroad to Meet Someone Special
Whether you are looking for a new best friend or a romantic partner to spend your life with, moving to a new country provides you with the opportunity to meet someone special.
It is often much easier to meet new people when you move to a new place because you are less wrapped up in your daily routine and are more open to new experiences.
When you first move to a new country, you will have more free time available, especially if you make a solo journey to the country without your friends or family.
You might meet a fellow expat with common interests, or maybe even a local. Once you “carpe diem” and start living life to the fullest, you suddenly become a lot more attractive to other people!
#11 Move Abroad for a Gap Year
If you’re trying to decide what you want to study while in college, or whether college is even right for you, consider taking a gap year and moving abroad to open your educational horizons.
Experiential learning through immersing yourself in a new culture will provide a much more impactful educational experience than reading about world affairs in textbooks. Learning through experience better prepares you to tackle real world issues once you return to school or enter the workforce.
Are You Ready to Move Abroad Yet?
Whether you are young and want to take an adventure before settling down into a career, are considering early retirement, need to reduce your cost of living, or would just like to broaden your horizon and experience living in a different culture, moving abroad may be the perfect solution for you.
The beauty of moving abroad is that it doesn’t have to be forever, but it can change your life forever!
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