How To Choose the Best Country for Your Next Move

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( — August 17, 2022) — Millions of Americans have considered moving abroad, whether it’s to migrate to a place with a different culture and political landscape or to take advantage of promising new economic opportunities. But if you’re interested in moving, how do you choose the country that’s best for your needs?

Decide Why You Want to Move

Before you do anything else, take a moment to figure out why you want to move. There are good and bad reasons to move to a different country. If you’re just temporarily dissatisfied with your current living situation and you think moving to another country is going to solve all your problems, you should take a step back and reconsider.

Strong reasons to move to another country include wanting to experience another culture, looking for specific opportunities in other countries, or leaving your current country because it no longer satisfies specific personal needs.

But what kind of culture do you want to experience? What kinds of opportunities are you looking for? And which of your needs aren’t being satisfied?

Analyze Your Comfort Zone

Next, think about your comfort zone. Some countries are going to offer a much smoother transition than others. Depending on your goals, you may want to favor countries that offer a smoother, more natural transition.

Think about:

  • Language. Do you speak another language? Is your language closely related to other languages spoken in other countries? Is it possible to choose a country that speaks your native language?
  • Culture. Certain cultures can be jarring if you’re not used to them, making transitions difficult. As an American, it’s much easier to move to Europe than it is to move to Subsaharan Africa or the Middle East.
  • Proximity. How far are you willing to move? Would you feel comforted by a quicker trip home if you wanted to visit friends and family members?

Look for Special Programs

Traveling to another country can be difficult, and moving there on a permanent or semi-permanent basis can be even more challenging. Accordingly, you should look for countries with special programs that make it easier to relocate.

For example, if you’re looking to get a visa for Italy, you mayqualify for a visa as an investor. Under this program, if you’re interested in investing in Italian startups, companies, bonds, or charities, and you fully qualify for travel, you may be granted a visa very quickly.

Consider Climate

It’s also important to consider the climate of your chosen country. If you’re moving closer to the equator, you might have to deal with heat waves. If you’re moving closer to the poles, you might have to deal with longer, harsher winters. Are these changes something you can accommodate?

Consider the Political Landscape

Don’t neglect the political landscape. Are you moving to a country with ample personal freedoms or one with the restrictive authoritarian rule? Does this country have robust social programs to offer you support or are you pretty much on your own? Are there any existing or potential future military conflicts you should be concerned about?

Calculate the Cost of Living

Different countries offer different costs of living. For example, it’s much cheaper to live in most South American countries than it is to live in the United States or Western Europe. Assuming your income remains more or less the same, you might benefit from a much more luxurious lifestyle by moving to a cheaper area.

Start Saving Money

The cost of your move will depend on which country you ultimately choose. But no matter what, you’re going to need some savings. Ideally months (or even years) before you plan your move, you should start squirreling away extra cash with each paycheck.

Take a Trial Trip

One of the last steps you’ll want to take is undergoing a trial trip to the country that interests you the most, or possibly multiple countries that interest you. On this journey, you’ll get to see the sights, interact with the locals, and decide for sure whether this is the right country for you. You can read about countries and watch videos about them all you want, but the actual experience of living there could be quite different; it’s important to get your feet on the ground and determine whether this is the right fit for you.

At the end of these steps, you’ll have a much better idea of whether moving to a different country is the right move for your happiness – and if so, which country is the best fit for your needs.

It’s not a short or simple process, but it’s worth taking if you’re ready for a change of pace.