Living Abroad

Best Countries To Move to From USA: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 10 November 2021

You may be considering relocating to a cheaper or safer country as a US citizen. Then comes the question of “What is the best country to move to from the US?” Fortunately, there are some alternatives to the United States that provide a higher standard of living. They also promise a lower cost of living than the United States.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best and easiest countries to move to from the USA. For each country, we’ve also added information on the cost of living, language barrier, and useful tips.

Quick links to best countries for American expats

Portugal
Spain
Greece
Malta
Montenegro
Thailand

Best Countries for American Expats

Portugal

Portugal is one of the greatest countries for Americans to relocate to because it is a relatively inexpensive European country. According to the 2021 Global Peace Index, it is the fourth safest country in the world. It has a well-developed healthcare system that performed admirably during the pandemic. Aside from that, the cost of living is rather low in comparison to many European countries. This includes the cost of food, lodging, and other day-to-day expenses. In addition, the cost of living in Portugal is almost 30% lower than in the United States.

Relocation to the country is easy thanks to the D7 Visa scheme and Portugal Golden Visa program. Also, tax-free crypto regulations in Portugal are making the country more popular among crypto traders from the US.

Portugal Golden Visa:
The Ultimate Guide Click to Read >

There are numerous international schools in Portugal, teaching British or American curriculum. So, if you’re moving to the country with your family, you can rest assured that your children’s education will continue without interruption.

English Speakers

English is commonly spoken in large cities and tourist spots such as Lisbon and the Algarve, so Americans living in Portugal have no trouble getting around. The prevalence of English speakers may be lower in other, more rural places with fewer expats, therefore some Portuguese may be useful.

Benefits

The climate, low cost of living, and favorable tax regime (NHR) are the major elements that attract expats. 

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 29.96 percent lower than in the United States (without rent)
  • Consumer prices including rent are 36.84 percent lower than in the United States
  • Rent prices are 49.95 percent lower than in the United States
  • Restaurant prices are 41.53 percent lower than in the United States
  • Groceries prices are 43.19 percent lower than in the United States

Spain

Spain, as a neighbor to Portugal, has a pleasant climate, too. Barcelona might be considered a worldwide tech and fashion hotspot. The Canary Islands are one of the better possibilities for more holiday-like destinations. Spain is also an excellent place for retirees because it has beautiful coastal cities with relaxing lifestyles and activities for seniors.

Spain, like Portugal, offers a Golden Visa scheme. To obtain a Spain Golden Visa, a variety of investment choices are available. You can also seek permanent residency and citizenship if you meet specific criteria. In this aspect, Spain is a possible alternative because it has one of the world’s strongest passports, allowing visa-free travel to 190 countries.

Spain Golden Visa:
The Ultimate Guide Click to read >

English Speakers

According to a recent study, 60 percent of Spanish citizens don’t speak English. However, this percentage is expected to fall as the young generation is learning English at school now. But, you’re going to be fine in Barcelona or many other tourist spots.

Benefits

The climate, laid-back lifestyle, and great food are great reasons for moving to Spain from the US. A quality healthcare system is another advantage too.

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 22.29 percent lower than in the United States (without rent)
  • Consumer Prices including rent are 31.33 percent lower than in the United States
  • Rent prices are 48.54 percent lower than in the United States
  • Restaurant prices are 23.63 percent lower than in the United States
  • Groceries prices are 34.04 percent lower than in the United States

Greece

Another Mediterranean country where expats from the US seek to settle is Greece. Greece has a low cost of living in comparison to most other European countries. There are beautiful beaches and crystal blue water to be discovered. In Greece, the weather is pleasant regardless of the season. If you’re looking to live in a big city you can choose Athens or Thessaloniki. Rural locations, both on the islands and on the mainland, might be more appealing if you’re looking for more privacy. 

There are several American international schools in Greece, most of which are in Athens.

Another incentive for Americans to move to Greece is the Greece Golden Visa program if you’re interested in obtaining residency through investment. Greece has a relatively real estate acquisition investment threshold. To be eligible for the program, you must spend at least €250,000 on a real estate property. You can also add family members to your residency permit.

Greece Golden Visa
The Ultimate Guide Click to read >

English Speakers

Anyone under the age of 40 will be able to communicate in English, and anyone working in the tourism business will nearly always be able to communicate in English.

Benefits

Greece is quite affordable, particularly in comparison to North America and much of the rest of Europe. The food is great and the weather is very pleasant throughout the year.

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 18.16 percent lower than in United States (without rent)
  • Consumer prices including rent are 35.81% lower than in United States
  • Rent prices are 69.42% lower than in United States
  • Restaurant prices are 23.47% lower than in United States
  • Groceries prices are 35.21% lower than in United States

Malta

Malta is a small island located south of Sicily, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea’s stunning blue waters. For centuries, Malta has served as an important crossroads in European history, and now it is a rich EU member and a magnet for expats seeking year-round sunshine.

Malta is a lovely island with a breathtaking shoreline, tasty cuisine, architectural and historical landmarks, and much more. The efficient healthcare system is another reason why Malta is one the best places for American expats.

If you’re looking to move to Malta and have sufficient funds, you may choose to go with Malta Golden Visa which grants you residency on the island. If you’re after citizenship, Malta citizenship by investment is a quicker and direct route.

Malta Citizenship by Investment:
The Ultimate Guide Click to read >

English Speakers

According to a recent study, 60 percent of the Spanish citizens don’t speak English. However, this percentage is expected to fall as the young generation is learning English at school now. But, you’re going to be fine in Barcelona or many other tourist spots.

Benefits

The climate, laid-back lifestyle, and great food attract expats. Quality healthcare system is another advantage too.

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 22.29 percent lower than in the United States (without rent)
  • Consumer Prices including rent are 31.33 percent lower than in the United States
  • Rent prices are 48.54 percent lower than in the United States
  • Restaurant prices are 23.63 percent lower than in the United States
  • Groceries prices are 34.04 percent lower than in the United States

Montenegro

Montenegro, located in the Balkans, is one of the most beautiful countries in the region. Montenegro, like much of the Balkan region, is a mix of Eastern and Western influences. Its architecture and aesthetic styles have Italian inspirations, but its cuisine has Turkish and Greek elements. In short, if you enjoy numerous European traditions, Montenegro is a great place to live. It’s a small country, yet it is rich in nature and geography. The country boasts a beautiful Adriatic Sea shoreline and the famous Bay of Kotor has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are many nice beaches around the country. So, if you’re a history lover who loves to enjoy the beach at the same time, Montenegro might be ideal for you.

The cost of living in Montenegro is lower than in the United States. English is spoken by almost 40 percent of the population, although it’s more common in tourist areas. As Montenegro is centrally located, you can access other Balkan countries easily.

English Speakers

If you’re going to live in Kotor, Budva, or Tivat, you’ll notice that English is widely spoken. However, if you prefer to live in more rural areas, you’d better learn some Montenegrin.

Benefits

Life is more affordable in Montenegro. Plus, depending on your residence status, you can enjoy the tax benefits the country offers.

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 44.04 percent lower than in the United States (without rent)
  • Consumer prices including rent are 53.55 percent lower than in United States
  • Rent prices are 71.64 percent lower than in United States
  • Restaurant prices are 51.83 percent lower than in United States
  • Groceries prices are 54.95 percent lower than in United States

Thailand

Thailand is a popular destination for prospective retirees, business owners, or digital nomads.  Thailand, like the majority of the countries we’ve listed above, is known for its affordability and climate. Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is now a hub for expats with many international companies, while also maintaining its local and traditional feel. Check out Phuket, Koh Samui, or Koh Phangan if you want to be close to the beach.

English is spoken in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, because of tourism and the influence of expat populations. Thailand has a well-developed rain network, allowing you to quickly travel from one location to another and thoroughly appreciate the country. Also, note that if you meet the criteria, you can apply for Thailand 10-Year Visa scheme, which allows you to live in the country without any bureaucratic restrain.

The weather is very good in the country, except for the monsoon season. If you’re living on one of the islands, you can enjoy the beach and the sunshine for most of the year.

English Speakers

If you’re going to live in major tourist destinations, you can depend on English. However, note that the proficiency is low. Learning some Thai, or at least some basic phrases and words, it’s going to be useful.

Benefits

Thai food is very delicious and you can find it in every corner. So, if you’re fond of new tastes, Thailand is a perfect place. The affordable pricing is another advantage.

Cost of Living

  • Consumer prices are 39.16% lower than in the United States (without rent)
  • Consumer prices are 48.56% lower than in the United States
  • Rent prices are 66.46% lower than in the United States
  • Restaurant prices are 68.75% lower than in the United States
  • Groceries prices are 36.55% lower than in the United States

Conclusion on the Best Country for Americans To Move to

If you’re planning to move out of the US, you have many options as we’ve listed above. Before you start your relocation, it’s recommended that you speak with professionals to ensure that the transition is smooth. 

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