Reason 3: Seeking Better Quality of Life
We already covered two reasons for leaving the USA already: Frustration and Seeking Adventure. Now, we talk about those of us just wanting a better life. And that about covers everyone.
“Hey, Jeff, that’s vague, what exactly is “a better life’?” How about a better standard of living.
Does that mean better healthcare? More personal liberties? Lower cost of living? YES, all the above.
So, I mean health, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Problem to Fix: Healthcare
I’ll make this short. Healthcare will not improve in the US for your or your kids’ lifetime. Sorry it’s a short, sad conclusion. If this is important to you, move.
Okay, I’ll give my disclaimer. I don’t know the future, but I do know it would take a revolution to undo the death grip on the healthcare system by the private healthcare industry. The affordable care act (ACA) is definitely a start, but it will take more than that. They won’t let go for as long as there’s money to be made (and shared with legislators and lobbyists). Doctors understand this, but they have no say in how it’s run. And as baby boomers come of old age, health care providers are providing less health and more bills. Prepare to pay more, or move.
Need an example? Look no further than the notorious Johnny B Truant. Johnny’s a Type 1 diabetic and has blogged about it several times, how he overcomes it with great health (though it hindered his 30-day no-carb diet trial). Healthy lifestyle or not, his insurance premium keeps skyrocketing. Well, that changed – Johnny quit his health insurance! Johnny said, and I quote, “Fuck this. I’m jumping over the walls to get that carrot.” (you have to read his cute story to get the carrot bit) I applaud the guy – he broke the rule of “Everyone NEEDS insurance.” and is now saving himself a grand a month. Nice work JBT.
Problem to Fix: Personal Liberties
Are you a Ron Paul fan? Keep up with the (ever fun but educational) blog of the Lugwig von Mises Institute? If so, label yourself a Libertarian. But you knew that already.
Why do I bring up Ron Paul? I was at a meetup just last Wednesday. The organizer casually gave his view on government: “I believe we need only two laws: Protect our own property and protect our liberties.” I smiled and asked if he’s a Ron Paul fan. He smiled back. The organizer echoed the classic tenets that define libertarianism.
Are people leaving the US because of eroding personal liberties? I doubt it’s the sole or even their main reason. But I do agree that personal liberties as a whole are eroding away at a faster clip than ever before. And that pushes more people to think about leaving.
[Here is where my wife steps in and says “Well, don’t just mope about it – do something!“]
If you’re pessimistic like me that things will change for the better, then it might be time for you to leave the US. Find a country that provides stronger liberties. Find a country that offers better income equality. And find a country that offers free healthcare (because you’re just entitled to that as a tax-paying citizen).
For all those, the top countries are:
- Sweden (why am I not surprised?)
- New Zealand
The US came in between the UK and Estonia. (Yes, not even close to the top 10) Here is my source table. For my list, I used their scoring, plus a bit of my own bias to reformat as a numbered list.
Some last words about personal or civil liberties. Some liberties may be more important than others. For you, it may your right to practice a religion, women’s rights, or racial equality. For me, I focus more on personal privacy of information. I don’t mind someone looking up my phone number, but I do mind when someone (without my consent) listens to a phone conversation or predetermines my chance for a disease. But that’s me… how do you feel about it? Leave a comment.
Problem to Fix: Cost of Living
Relying on a pension isn’t what it used to be. And today, does anyone stay with a company long enough to earn a pension?
Thankfully, a mediocre pension cheque in the United States isn’t so mediocre in many other countries. Same goes for that meagre social security if you’re a senior, or the humble rent profit if you’re a landlord, or the dividends if you’re an investor, or even a passive income from some online business. In all cases, the amount goes farther if you spend it in a country that costs less. (The better case is if you’re earning in that country, rather than exchanging from the declining dollar, but that’s another story.)
Thinking of leaving the country because of your taxable portfolio? Well, leave now while the going’s good, because there’s likely to be legislation that may follow you abroad.
Next Up: Patriotism
Stay tuned for the next (#4 – “Patriotism“) reason why people leave the United States. There are over 5 million of us abroad – why not you?
Until then, I ask you just one favour. If you like this post or the others, hit the Facebook Like button below and share it with your friends.
Final Word / Final Offer
Yes, this is where I write a plug for myself. If you are getting serious about leaving the US, I can help. Hire me as your expat consultant – the price is overly fair (for now).