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Old 05-15-2019, 11:19 PM
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What would be the best country for a fed-up American to move to?


Trump. Trade war. Supreme Court. Do-nothing Congress. Health care. Rampant guns. Alabama. All kinds of attendant BS.

I'm close to being fed up and starting to think about where else I could go. What countries would be good candidates for a retired American with a decent pension to consider?
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:31 PM
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Afghanistan, actually on a more serious note, isn't there a sizeable expatriate community of Americans in Mexico lol, like Jesse Ventura?
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:38 PM
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Costa Rica.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:49 PM
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I did a year of study at Cambridge University back in the 90s. I loved the UK. I liked the people, the history, the culture, the excitement of London. Even the climate suited me. And the pubs are awesome. I don't have any plans to leave the US, because it's home and I want to be close to my family, but if I were going to bail out, I'd look seriously at the UK. I'd probably wait to see how Brexit shakes out, though.

I've only spent a week in Ireland, but I also loved it. It's just unreasonably beautiful, and the culture is amazing. I'd give it some thought as well.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:30 AM
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The answer to that question depends on a lot of variables; there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some things to consider:
  • How much money do you have? Do you need to retire somewhere where the cost of living is modest, or can you afford to spend a ton of money every year until you die?
  • What is important to you in terms of your daily life? Do you want continuous access to most everything you can find in an American grocery store, or are you willing to do without (random examples follow) Campbell's condensed soups, Quaker old fashioned oats, barbeque sauce, frozen pizza, unsalted butter, cottage cheese, and so on?
  • How is your health, your health insurance, and what are your expectations for quality care if you become ill? Are you willing to accept limited diagnostic and treatment options if you get, say, cancer? Or do you expect high standards of care?
  • How much of a like-minded community do you need around you? Are you okay with going for days at a time without speaking to anyone who is from a similar cultural background?
  • What is your linguistic facility like? Are you willing to learn a new language? Or do you want to live somewhere where a language you are already fluent in is commonly spoken?
  • Do you have a significant other who is interested in moving with you? Or will you be alone/looking for a new partner in your new country?
  • Will you want to return to the US regularly to visit family - perhaps you have children who may graduate from school, marry, have children; or you have siblings who may become ill or just want to visit with you once or twice a year?
  • How patient are you? Can you put up with astonishing levels of bureacracy? Are you willing to sort through complexities of getting visas, obtaining a driver license, signing a rental agreement or buying property, paying taxes, etc. from outside the US?
  • Do you care if the country you choose to live in also has, shall we say, imperfections of a political nature?

...and so on. Those are just examples of the kind of questions you should be thinking about when contemplating a permanent move to a foreign country. You also need to think about whether that country will have a visa program that works for you; just as the US is closing its borders to immigrants, so do a lot of other countries not make it easy for foreigners to reside permanently within their boundaries.

(I lived outside the US for 28 years between 1986 and 2018, so I know what I'm talking about.)


.
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Last edited by CairoCarol; 05-16-2019 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:56 AM
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Costa Rica.
Pura vida.

Ehr, sorry, Pavlovian reflex. But yeah, it's a great country for American expats unless you happen to hate bad roads and hot weather (with your choice of "wet", "dry" and "variable"). Getting residency is pretty easy with even a relatively low pension (low by US standards), lots of amazing places, the nicest people in the world, most speak at least some English... you can go to a gated community where everybody is American if you want, too (not my piece of cake but other people evidently prefer it). It's relatively close to the US, with multiple daily flights from the capital to several US airports, and decent medical care is available at costs Americans find unbelievable.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:21 AM
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As a UK-based US expat, I would recommend the UK if it weren't for the fact that the government and country are similarly engaged in various forms of destructive BS.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:00 AM
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If you go someplace with blinders and ignore local governments and politics, then there are lots of suitable places. I've lived in Germany, Mexico, Canada, and China, as well as in several states here in the USA.

They all have their awesome points, as long as you don't care about their politics. I can find something rage inducing about every place I've ever lived. There is no Garden of Eden, not even in Canada.

For many years, I'd considered retiring in Mexico, and not in an expat enclave. Maybe I'll consider it again. I love the people, the culture, and the general atmosphere, and foreigners are forbidden by the constitution from interfering in their politics. I'm well versed in its national level politics. My choice would be to live there despite those politics, because it's someplace I legitimately wanted to be.

But as long as you're moving solely to ignore politics, then there's no reason to leave the USA. Make your choice based on something to do with lifestyle.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:25 AM
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Trump. Trade war. Supreme Court. Do-nothing Congress. Health care. Rampant guns. Alabama. All kinds of attendant BS.

I'm close to being fed up and starting to think about where else I could go. What countries would be good candidates for a retired American with a decent pension to consider?
Thailand. That's where I'm going.

In 8 years.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:31 AM
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First question, is the country interested in having you.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:35 AM
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I'd go to Italy - I mean, their politics is nuts, but it has always been thus, and the food, culture, history, wine, landscape, weather and people more than make up for it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:42 AM
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First question, is the country interested in having you.
Ask not when you can leave your country. Ask when your country can leave you.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:48 AM
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I'd go to Italy - I mean, their politics is nuts, but it has always been thus, and the food, culture, history, wine, landscape, weather and people more than make up for it.
Not so easy to immigrate though, for a US citizen with no close Italian ancestry. If the OP has an Italian grandparent then it becomes much easier.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:51 AM
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Oh Canada! That’d be my choice.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:54 AM
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The single best thing I have ever done in my entire life was to (literally) buy a one-way ticket from Salt Lake City to Frankfurt, then spend the next few months drinking my merry way around the Bier Belt of Centeral and Eastern Europe before randomly ending up in beautiful, peaceful, historic, safe, affordable, open and welcoming Krakow, Poland (just to sightsee in general, and more specifically to pay my respects at Auschwitz) for a supposed one week visit.

That was nearly 4 years ago, and since that time my life has changed in nearly every possible way, all 110% for the better.

Each and everyday I wake up and read the news from America and I Thank God anew that I am blessedly away from the hateful, poisonous, corrosive venom that has taken over that once truly great nation, a sick, caustic worldview from both Trump and his band of deluded, rabid followers, as well as from my "Own People", specifically today's so-called Liberals (who are clearly the vast majority right here among the "Smartest, Hippest") far too many of whom are every bit as bigoted, narrow-minded and intolerant of any viewpoint other than their own as the most vile, brainwashed Klansman you could find.

In these past 4 years, I have spent time in over 15 different countries, (none of them English speaking) and have felt almost nothing but sincere, welcoming friendship from the locals I have met along the way.

Life away from 2019's America has been magical for me.

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Old 05-16-2019, 08:05 AM
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But as long as you're moving solely to ignore politics, then there's no reason to leave the USA. Make your choice based on something to do with lifestyle.
That, a lot. Alternatively I do have a coworker with a home on the beach in Costa Rica. He loves it.

USA. You have 50 shades of crazy to choose from between Talibama and The Peoples Republic of California. If you can't find something you like in there, you're probably not going to be able to run from the sorts of troubles that are haunting you.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:08 AM
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I guess one would go to a country that doesn't have the things with which you are fed up. That can vary greatly just like our political and social ideologies vary greatly.

Being a socially minded liberal who values human rights and inclusiveness, I'd love a place like Sweden. People like Pence and the Alabama state legislature would probably feel right at home in North Korea.

Last edited by Jasmine; 05-16-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:51 AM
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In these past 4 years, I have spent time in over 15 different countries, (none of them English speaking) and have felt almost nothing but sincere, welcoming friendship from the locals I have met along the way.
I assume that, due to language differences, you're not able to read or watch the local newspapers or TV news? If so, you may be insulated from whatever bullshit is going on locally. I suspect that a foreigner living in the US may similarly feel relief.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:56 AM
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First question, is the country interested in having you.
This. Many Americans assume that emigrating abroad is as easy as......picking which nation to emigrate to. The EU, Aussies, etc. don't just let people in because they want to be in.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:56 AM
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I assume that, due to language differences, you're not able to read or watch the local newspapers or TV news? If so, you may be insulated from whatever bullshit is going on locally. I suspect that a foreigner living in the US may similarly feel relief.
A fair point, but after nearly 4 wonderful years in Poland (although a significant portion of that time saw me travelling in other various countries) I have a working grasp of Polish politics, and there are local newspapers for English speakers living here.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:01 AM
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I strongly recommend this article:

https://www.cracked.com/article_1936...-work-out.html
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:05 AM
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Oh Canada! That’d be my choice.


If the goal is to get away from regular exposure to the US political and social climate, then Canada is probably the single worst place he could choose. Not only are our news and entertainment systems dominated by the US, we have a significant minority of our own Trump-like idiots who think that what the US is doing is just great, and want Canada to follow suit.


But we do have better football, at least.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:12 AM
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But we do have better football, at least.
I never did get Canadian humo(u)r.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:24 AM
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If the goal is to get away from regular exposure to the US political and social climate, then Canada is probably the single worst place he could choose. Not only are our news and entertainment systems dominated by the US, we have a significant minority of our own Trump-like idiots who think that what the US is doing is just great, and want Canada to follow suit.
True, that. I’m looking at it from a ‘where can I go where my life would be very similar to what it is now’ viewpoint.

Quote:
But we do have better football, at least.
Not true, that.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:26 AM
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This. Many Americans assume that emigrating abroad is as easy as......picking which nation to emigrate to. The EU, Aussies, etc. don't just let people in because they want to be in.
I believe Portugal encourages immigration from the UK and US. I'm considering it if Trump wins reelection.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:38 AM
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FTR, that article links to a list of race riots in Wikipedia where the ones they list in Spain include three that I have no fucking idea what they're talking about and one which was a fight between two different groups of immigrants selling fakes on the street (yes, they happened to have different skin tones, but "skin color" wasn't the issue).
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:07 AM
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I guess one would go to a country that doesn't have the things with which you are fed up. That can vary greatly just like our political and social ideologies vary greatly.

Being a socially minded liberal who values human rights and inclusiveness, I'd love a place like Sweden. People like Pence and the Alabama state legislature would probably feel right at home in North Korea.
The Scandinavian countries are perfect on paper, but every time I've lived in Finland, I've gone into severe depressions. I remember that every time I think about moving there. (I could get permanent residency easily, based on ancestry.)

Is there a cite for Portugal encouraging immigration?
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:13 AM
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The countries whose politics would probably most appeal to you (Sweden, e.g.) are also not likely to let you in as a permanent resident, unless you've got an ancestry connection or a lot of dough. And even Sweden's politics has an ugly side.

And, if you are unhappy with America's politics, why not stay here and try to change what you don't like?
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM
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The Scandinavian countries are perfect on paper, but every time I've lived in Finland, I've gone into severe depressions. I remember that every time I think about moving there. (I could get permanent residency easily, based on ancestry.)

Is there a cite for Portugal encouraging immigration?
Here's one.

Quote:
4. Portugal welcomes foreigners. The government has made encouraging travelers, retirees, expats, investors and entrepreneurs from around the world a priority. New visa and tax programs are some of the best available in the region. You can qualify for permanent residency in Portugal simply by showing a reliable minimum income of at least 1,100 euros per month. This program is not intended specifically for retirees and is open to anyone. You can apply and qualify at any age, and the income you show can be earned or passive.
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs...re-in-portugal
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:06 AM
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We are looking at Ireland. Beautiful place, wonderful people. Easy to get back to the US, and just a hop over to the continent. No language issues, part of the EU.

We don't have any family ties to the place, so we don't qualify for any descendant categories. Otherwise, they require a level of retirement income and chunk of change in the bank, which we can cover.

https://xyuandbeyond.com/how-to-retire-to-ireland/

As for local politics? Well, every place has politics. But at least their Prime Minister is gay, and the people overwhelmingly voted last year in favor of a referendum to allow abortions, so they seem to be heading in the proper direction.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:12 AM
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If one went to North Korea, one would be looked upon as a god!

Oh, sorry, dog. Western imperialist dog.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:29 AM
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Could you really survive in Portugal for 13,200 euros per year? That really seems like a low number to me. If so it may get added to my list of potential retirement locations.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:53 AM
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Trump. Trade war. Supreme Court. Do-nothing Congress. Health care. Rampant guns. Alabama. All kinds of attendant BS.
I will repost what I said in a previous similar thread:

The only reason to leave is if it affects you and your family personally. Otherwise leaving doesn't help anyone.

So you will leave, which will ensure that you can't do anything, because you are now in another country. In the meantime, the causes you believe in will not have changed one bit.

Do the "bad things" stop if you leave? Do they even cease being on the news?

Be sure you can clearly articulate why your life will be better in that other country.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:46 PM
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So you will leave, which will ensure that you can't do anything, because you are now in another country. In the meantime, the causes you believe in will not have changed one bit.
Oh, they'll change alright.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:48 PM
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I will repost what I said in a previous similar thread:

The only reason to leave is if it affects you and your family personally. Otherwise leaving doesn't help anyone.

So you will leave, which will ensure that you can't do anything, because you are now in another country. In the meantime, the causes you believe in will not have changed one bit.

Do the "bad things" stop if you leave? Do they even cease being on the news?

Be sure you can clearly articulate why your life will be better in that other country.
I don't wish to be part of a country where the voters twice elect someone like Trump. I'm not doing it to "help anyone." I'm resigned to giving up and checking out. I'll be at retirement age anyway.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:57 PM
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I don't wish to be part of a country where the voters twice elect someone like Trump. I'm not doing it to "help anyone." I'm resigned to giving up and checking out. I'll be at retirement age anyway.
So to be clear, it's not what Trump threatens that bothers you--it's just Trump, and your inability to come to some kind of agreement with close to half of your countrymen about which end of a shit sandwich to eat first?

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 05-16-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:09 PM
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If I didn't have to worry about actually getting approved for permanent residency anywhere, of the places I've been, the Netherlands would be at the top of the list, followed by the UK, Italy, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Hungary and Mexico.

I haven't been to Canada yet, but based on the Canadians I've known, I think I'd probably like it there a lot.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:11 PM
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The Scandinavian countries are perfect on paper, but every time I've lived in Finland, I've gone into severe depressions.
It could be light deprivation. There have been several studies done that indicate it is a valid phenomenon.

How Light Deprivation Causes Depression
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:59 PM
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A subsection attached to but not totally linked to a major nation. Think Gibraltar or the Ionian Islands. For me probably the Ionians.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:21 PM
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So to be clear, it's not what Trump threatens that bothers you--it's just Trump, and your inability to come to some kind of agreement with close to half of your countrymen about which end of a shit sandwich to eat first?
Well, I'm not exactly sure what the second half of this question means. But, yes, Trump doesn't threaten me personally. I'm a rich white guy with a good job. However, I do not want to live in a country where there are enough deplorables to elect such an incompetent obscenity a second time (after seeing what a shitstorm his election has wrought). As others have said, Trump is a symptom, not the problem. If my countrymen elect him again, the problem is severe and probably hopeless. The people of Ireland and Portugal may have their faults, but I don't think I'll care quite as much as I do watching the country I love fall to pieces.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:57 PM
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I just meant that I find it extremely likely that, among voters, only 25% on either side actually felt like Hillary or Don were a good choice; and that the middle half--and everyone else who just didn't vote--saw the choice as a matter of which sort of corruption you prefer. The shit sandwich. I really think a large handful, but by no means a majority, of people think Trump is just what we need. I think the actual problem is half of us are disengaged from the election process, whether through hopelessness or inability to feel relevant in something as massive as a national election. But every state had enough nonvoters to crush either candidate had they simply been motivated.

I agree 100% that he is a symptom, and that he serves as a pretty good indicator of what we need to do to improve ourselves as a country. My less generous side wants to look at your situation and deride your propensity to enjoy it here while things were relatively good, and now that madness seems to reign supreme you'd take your winnings and leave the table. But I think that may not be fair, so I'm trying not to be a dick. By some standards I'm a rich white guy (rich, meaning I could probably miss three whole paychecks before being completely fucked--and just forget about retiring) and I'm also not directly targeted by Trump. But I have a problem with what I see as abandoning my targeted countrymen when they are at their most vulnerable. Just because the attack is coming to people who are not me doesn't mean my standards and dreams are not being attacked.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:22 PM
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I don't wish to be part of a country where the voters twice elect someone like Trump. I'm not doing it to "help anyone." I'm resigned to giving up and checking out. I'll be at retirement age anyway.
Lets take two different situations:

Situation #1: You live in US. You move to a more liberal area. Don't turn on the news. But you are still in same country as Jim Bob (2000 miles away) who voted for Trump.

Situation #2: Go through all the trouble of moving overseas. Don't turn on the news (Trump is still on). But now you are in different country and Jim Bob is 4000 miles away.


Maybe I am overthinking it, but I don't understand why Situation #2 makes your life drastically better than situation #1. Maybe it can't be rationalized.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:25 PM
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I agree 100% that he is a symptom, and that he serves as a pretty good indicator of what we need to do to improve ourselves as a country. My less generous side wants to look at your situation and deride your propensity to enjoy it here while things were relatively good, and now that madness seems to reign supreme you'd take your winnings and leave the table. But I think that may not be fair, so I'm trying not to be a dick. By some standards I'm a rich white guy (rich, meaning I could probably miss three whole paychecks before being completely fucked--and just forget about retiring) and I'm also not directly targeted by Trump. But I have a problem with what I see as abandoning my targeted countrymen when they are at their most vulnerable. Just because the attack is coming to people who are not me doesn't mean my standards and dreams are not being attacked.
That's a fair view. I do struggle with the idea of walking away and leaving others behind. But for fucks sake, if we can't beat Trump by a huge margin in 2020, is there really any chance we can fix this? I'm willing to overlook 2016 as a perfect storm of a variety of complex factors, but if it happens again I really can't fathom what to do about it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:44 PM
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I honestly think Trump will not run in 2020 IF he can get a blanket non-prosecution deal for himself and his family. I can't believe he's having anything like a good time and sleeping easily these days.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:45 PM
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I made my choice after the election not to move back to the US, but stay in Canada. Now I've bought a retirement condo which I plan to leave feet-first. But I don't think it is very easy to retire here, for a number of reasons, taxes included. But it is generally a nice place to live and you don't have to listen to the news. And the medicare is awesome. But that is part of the reason they don't encourage retirement immigrants.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:51 PM
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I'm impressed with how the people of New Zealand responded after the recent mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch. From what I've heard about overall that would be a good place to consider.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:20 AM
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Being a socially minded liberal who values human rights and inclusiveness, I'd love a place like Sweden.
Ermmm....
The Swedish dream was always too good to be true. And now the far right is back
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:20 AM
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The Scandinavian countries are perfect on paper, but every time I've lived in Finland, I've gone into severe depressions.
There's a saying that Finnish introverts look at their shoes when they're talking to you.

And Finnish extroverts look at your shoes.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:05 AM
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As others, like CairoCarol, point out, there are a variety of things to consider. Do you live alone? How strongly do you interact with friends and relatives and will you miss them?

Are you hoping for a lower cost of living? You'll lose Medicare, I guess; that and periodic visits back to U.S.A. may eat up much of the savings from the lower living cost.

Do you see major change of culture as an exciting opportunity? Or as a nuisance? (I'd love to move to France or Portugal, not because I think they're "better" than USA, but for the novelty.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebert View Post
Trump. Trade war. Supreme Court. Do-nothing Congress. Health care. Rampant guns. Alabama. All kinds of attendant BS.
With all its faults, the USA is still superior in important ways to most countries. The political issues you speak of argue against my return to USA, but that's because I've become peculiarly obsessed with, and disturbed by, American politics. Wean yourself away from Rachel Maddow, and keep conversations to the weather(*), and USA might be OK!
(* - Hint: "changing climate" is OK to say, but not "climate change.")

Thailand has its own political problems, but the people have a happier attitude about them. And I've needed to interact with many dozens of government workers and, despite that the rules are often stupid, the bureaucrats almost always bend over backwards to help. Interacting with American bureaucracy is major annoyance IIRC.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:25 AM
Royal Nonesutch is offline
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As others, like CairoCarol, point out, there are a variety of things to consider. Do you live alone? How strongly do you interact with friends and relatives and will you miss them?

Are you hoping for a lower cost of living? You'll lose Medicare, I guess; that and periodic visits back to U.S.A. may eat up much of the savings from the lower living cost.
Good points, but as far as medical care goes, it might not be so bad, as at least here in Poland it is incredibly, almost impossibly affordable; a year or so ago, after I had been here a couple of years, I had a pretty severe gout flare-up and my fiancee (now wife) made an appointment for me with an internist/rheumatologist who spoke perfect English, and she gave me a full physical, complete with labratory bloodwork, (to check uric acid levels) talked to me about my general health and asked if there was anything else I needed from her, and a Rx for 3 months worth of medicine, for a total cost of $25, including the cost of the prescription.

Shortly after that, my fiancee found out that she could add me to her health insurance for free, as a "Domestic Partner", (this was before our marriage) so I recieved full coverage thru her work at no cost to either of us.

Granted, Polish health care generally isn't cutting edge, and there can be long, long waits for specialist care (supposedly a year for an MRI, for example) but for the basics, even for the unemployed/uninsured/homeless it is head and shoulders above what many Americans pay a small fortune for.

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 05-17-2019 at 07:27 AM.
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