The Fifth Box: The Moving Box. Exercise Your Rights

Here’s a popular quote among gun owners & 2nd Amendment activists:

There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.source

I just discovered this quote not 10 minutes ago. For me, it’s got a magical touch, rattling off four items, related only in being boxes. But the message is powerful. But then I asked where am I? Where is Expat Yourself’s place in that series? Answer: it isn’t.

My answer isn’t in these four boxes, so I’m adding the fifth box: the Moving Box.

time to pack

For me, my answer is choosing not to dig in and defend, but to pack up and push on. Perhaps to others, it’s the ‘easy way’ out, even unpatriotic. But it’s a choice I’ll defend to any who question it. What’s your choice?

 

Best Destination for a UK Expat

 

There are many reasons for wanting to up-sticks and leave the UK, better weather, a new job, a fresh start or perhaps economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Whatever it might be, your new home needs to be somewhere that makes your life better whether you’re going it alone or taking your family too. So, as experts in this area, we put our collective heads together and did the research using information from reputable intergovernmental organisations such as the UN, World Bank and OCED, to name a few, to give us the most accurate findings and help see which nations are indeed the best for those looking to make the move and become expats.

What we Did

In order to find the best list of destinations, we had to decide on a data set. This covered a variety of different variables and aspects that could affect the day-to-day living of the typical expatriate and to explore what can really lead to an improved quality of life.

We felt that a full assessment of popular nations around the world was the best way to go about this; so, we selected 18 countries from around the world, those you’d typically associate with UK expats such as: Spain, Australia and the USA, as well as other locations like Mexico, Brazil and India.

We looked at 11 different data sets in total for the 18 countries, including: GDP per capita, income tax levels, average net incomes, real wages, education ranking, property price to income ratio, crime and unemployment levels, healthcare efficiency, food costs and English proficiency, which measures the level of written and spoken English in each given country. These stats gave us strong indications on a wide range of factors that affect quality of life such as how much disposable income you’d have but also how good social provisions are abroad.

After gathering the data, we then got down into the nitty-gritty of analysing all the stats and seeing which countries stood out and in which areas they performed strongest. We took what we found and compared it against the UK to see what the similarities and differences are between our nation and those overseas, to ultimately find the ideal location for potential UK expats to relocate to, by showing in which areas particular countries would offer a better quality of life than what is experienced in the UK.

Finally, with a combination of these numbers and figures and our thorough research from sources including the OECD, United Nations, World Bank, Bloomberg and more, we ranked the data by the most favourable results to get an overall table. We found some rather interesting outcomes, which show just which country is ideal for prospective UK expats, based on the socioeconomic factors we examined.

What we Uncovered

Before we reveal which country hit the top spot, some of the wider notable information we discovered includes how:

The USA has the lowest property price to income ratio, making US real estate much more affordable than that of the UK, which has one the highest ratios.

India’s food is the cheapest, it has the lowest cost of food per head in the average weekly shop throughout the 18 other nations, which equates to £86.62* for a family of four, compared to £174.74 in the UK

Singapore has the most efficient healthcare and the best education, meaning less waiting times and higher grades than in UK schools

Norway has the highest GDP per capita and the highest level of English proficiency out of the countries which don’t list English as an official language, with 68% of the population able to effectively read, write and hold a conversation in English

Ireland overall shares the most similarities to the UK, with similar income, temperature, healthcare and education rankings

The Results

Overall, Singapore was found to be the best option for UK expats, with the lowest crime rankings and most efficient healthcare. In last place was India, with low income and high crime.

  1. Singapore
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. United Arab Emirates
  5. USA
  6. Norway
  7. Ireland
  8. Germany
  9. New Zealand
  10. Japan
  11. France
  12. Spain
  13. Russia
  14. China
  15. Brazil
  16. South Africa
  17. India

Note from Jeff: This is a guest post from Jim Limerick of 1st Move International, an international removals company based in the UK. Jeff’s worked with 1st Move International in the past, and feels comfortable endorsing them.

 

Still Stunned & Still Overwhelmed

It’s been one month since Trump, the POTUS, took office. I’m still shocked, stunned and amazed.

Disclaimer: this post is shallow, political, and self-promoting. If you want real advice, then just write me or get with the program (“Gin1Year”).

Still Stunned

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton. Bernie should’ve been the party pick. But all that aside, in the final race, HRC was the lesser of two evils. She was the clear choice over Trump.

 

Still Overwhelmed

Right up to about midnight on election night, I knew Hillary would become the next president. “surprise!” My mouth has been gaped open ever after.

Every day since, I watch the news. I watch it more than I ever did, like some addiction. Do others do the same?

Still Reading?

Look, I’m not here to say America is fucked. I’m not crying “you’re all doomed!” But…

Please know your situation in the US today, and over the next 4 years, is likely far worse than what you could have in a country more like you.

Lots of websites say “GO” but no one says “how”. I’m here to show you how.

Get with the program.

18 Excellent Tips from Expert Expats

I wrote to 18 people whom I consider expert expats.

Some make a living by travelling, others traveled to go make a living.

I asked them all 1 question: What is your advice to an expat?

Here are their replies:

Continue reading 18 Excellent Tips from Expert Expats

Why Are People Leaving the US, Part 5

Reason 5: Retirement

This is sort of a blend of #1 (Frustration) & #3 (Seeking Improved Life).  Retirees are both frustrated by healthcare costs and the cost of living on their incomes AND seeking an improved life with the means they have the (world’s) disposal.

But there’s definitely something special about this idea….of a person born, educated & employed their whole life in one country – only to retire and say “I’m done, and I’m moving to greener pastures.Continue reading Why Are People Leaving the US, Part 5

What is Canada’s electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

It’s official now….

Canada Requires Authorization to Visit

It used to be, to visit Canada, you just “fly in and visit.” Not any more. Authorization is needed from everyone. Continue reading What is Canada’s electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

What’s Special About the United States?

You must know the TV show “The Newsroom”? The news production parody from Aaron Sorkin (same guy behind the shows West Wing & Sports Night).

First minutes of the pilot episode have news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) ranting on about what makes the United States the greatest country in the world (spoiler: “it’s not, but it can be”). If you haven’t seen it, google his rant later.

Will McAvoy

Before you balk, no – I am NOT supporting Trump (a.k.a. Mr. “Make America Great Again”). No, not in a million years. Nor am I supporting Hillary Clinton. No, not in a million years.

Sure, America could be great again. But I hold no hope, in either candidate.

Hold your breath for 4 years? No, better still, go away for 4 years.

Whatever happens this November, America in 2020 might just be a place to return to. (Or it might not.)

But no doubt, now is a great time to become an expat yourself.

— Which begs the question, what are you still doing there? Start on your plan, today.

gonein1year-overview

Student Loans Deferred Longer in Canada

Student loans grow out of control during those 4+ years of university. Then you’re expected to repay loans, starting the day after graduation. But with what?

Student-loan-debt1The result? Newly graduated, bottom-rung workers get themselves into serious financial strain.

Sure, some students get lucky with a job offer in their first year. But I think the majority (what, like 80-90%?) of students don’t walk into their first big job right after graduation. [if definitely over 80%, tell me; I’d love to know.] Instead, students take whatever job they can, to scrap by however they can. The first paycheck is not as big as they wanted, but the loan is still demanding payment.

Student Loans Deferred – Until You Can Pay

A new law just passed: students here in Canada can wait to pay back government loans until they are in a good position to do so. Instead of payments starting after graduation, loan repayment starts after you make the minimum salary. Starting November 1st, that minimum is $25,000. That might not seem like much, but it is an income. For most students, just having an income is a big deal.

If you read the article, you’ll see other benefits from this law, namely increased loan amounts. This is good, provided you need it.

Is There a Catch?

It’s not free deferment. There always seems to be a catch, right? The catch here is, interest continues to accumulate. You probably could have guessed that.

So, you don’t want to defer your loans forever.

Then again, you also don’t want to earn under $25,000 forever.

How to Take Advantage of This?

If you’re considering moving to a foreign country to have lower student loans, then Canada just rose in the ranks, didn’t it? I can help you move here. Either through the “Gone In One Year” program, or by phone consultation.

Do these work? Yes, very well. There are several of my clients now living, working abroad as a result.

Yes, I know… “my case is special”? Each one is, that’s where I’m most capable. I think outside the box, come up with the right way ‘out’ for you. Give me a call. Or check out the monthly program to be out in a year.

Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat

Well, it’s official. We sold our flat in Prague! (“Kafkaesque Paperwork” post coming)

Last month, I said we flew to Prague to sign papers to sell our flat. We did, we have, and it’s done. Yes, we no longer own property in the Czech Republic. (Yeah!)

Owning foreign property these past 9 years has been a good adventure for us. And selling it was a great move for us. To best understand why the timing was good, read the end of the last post.

The Problem: What To Do With This Money?

We now have a new “problem.” Lots of money in Czech Koruna. And this money sits in a bank account in Prague. But we want that money in the form of Canadian dollars, in our local (Canadian) bank account. How to get it there?

Continue reading Moving Money Between Countries as an Expat