Let's say I want to move to a different country. Any recommendations?

Here’s the general parameters:

  1. English as a communication language. I wouldn’t mind having to learn another language, but I’d want to be able to communicate right away in my new home.

  2. Job prospects. Can someone like me, from the US with a Master’s degree, find employment easily in a job I’m qualified for, or are work permits difficult to get in most other countries? (Let’s say, Australia for example).

  3. What would be the best place to go to make my American dollars last the longest?

  4. How about property rights? If I purchase a house in England, odds are I can keep it as long as I can pay for it, just like the US. But if I rolled the dice and moved to a more unstable area, could the government take my house/property and kick me out of the country if there was a revolution/uprising?

Just looking for opinions on places you live, have lived, or have visited that you really liked. I mention Australia because everyone I’ve ever met from Australia is always happy, friendly and less stressed than anyone else in the group. But most that I meet also want to stay and work in the US and have no desire to return to Australia to work.

I understand there’s a lot of picturesque wildlife in Australia. :wink:

On a serious note, have you considered Belize? It’s the only English-speaking country in Central America.

The UK has a points based system that makes it possible for highly educated/skilled workers to get a visa without a sponsor. You need at least an MA and a salary of 20,000 pounds (they make adjustments based on the equivalent in your home country - it’s not a simple currency conversion), and you get more points if you are under 31, I think.

I love Canada, and I moved here from the US. It’s a lot like the US, with some crucial difference, namely gun control, socialized medicine, less rugged individualism and a less aggressive foreign policy. I really can’t imagine living in the US anymore.

I have whole books on this and there are plenty of people that really do it. Belize is a good bet because they speak English but you wouldn’t have much problem in Costa Rica either even though it is a technically a Spanish speaking country and the same is true to a lesser extent of Honduras, Panama, and parts of Mexico. Costa Rica is stable, pretty, American friendly, safe, most people speak some English, and has good medical care for example. I don’t know about job prospects but it doesn’t take that much to live well even though it is much more expensive than it used to be but still very affordable.

There are a whole bunch of small Caribbean countries that are gorgeous but job prospects might be limited. Even parts of the Middle East like the United Arab Emirates can’t be ruled out. The potential list is very long even if you don’t speak a foreign fluently. English is the closest thing there is to a universal language these days and you could get by in lots of places and learn as you go.

It depends on how much you weigh your individual factors and your tolerance for adventure. There are some Dopers that just packed up and left for everywhere from Thailand to Egypt. If you want something that is just idyllic and cheap, the choices are more limited but still out there. One of the books that I have is called “Hide Your Assets and Disappear” and covers countries one by one. You can get it on Amazon.com if you are serious.

What do you mean about making your American dollars last? Do you mean how long you can live on your savings? The cost of living in Canada is almost the same as the US - the Canadian dollar is slightly lower than the US dollar (and I do mean slightly - about 96 cents on the dollar), rents/groceries/utilities/consumer goods are slightly more expensive, gas is slightly more expensive, wages are about the same, but we don’t pay tens of thousands for healthcare insurance every year (or healthcare), so in my opinion, it pretty much balances out. The cost of housing will vary A LOT depending on where you live, just like in the US.

I don’t know how easy Masters level work permits are to get - I know that Canada is very open to immigration (we are the world leader in immigration, in fact). Things aren’t as tight job-wise in Calgary as they sound in the US, I do know that - I don’t know how it is in other Canadian cities.

Bahrain was recently named the world’s friendliest country, although, to be fair, it was originally titled the most hospital to expats. Good state of development, low cost of living, good health care, English very common, lots of expats already there. It’s only a hop away from Qater and the UAE (including Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Israel, and (a little further out) India and Europe, so it’s not a bad place to be in the business world.

Friendly to men or women? As a woman, I’d be very cautious about moving to any Middle Eastern country simply because of the likelihood of losing some of my freedom there. I can’t imagine that a country that had no political rights for women before 2002 is going to treat women the same as my home, Canada. I had a co-worker who spent some time in Dubai with her husband, and she said living in the ex-pat quarter was fine, but leaving the quarter meant adopting the customs of the country she was in, whether she agreed with them or not. She didn’t care for it.

If you live in Texas, almost anywhere you might move to would be an improvement. If you live anywhere other than Texas, don’t move to Texas whatever you do.

Says the guy who lives in Florida!

ETA: “Texas, it’s like a Whole Other Country!” is our tourist board’s slogan. We are in the USA. Despite anything Governor Good Hair says, we’re likely to stay here…

I’m actually considering Costa Rica myself. A couple more years until I can collect social security. I can live on that there. :smiley:

I think this deserves a caveat of “per capita.”

I almost moved to Belize a few years ago (I decided to get married instead - go figure).

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Depending on where you live your $$ will go further or not. You can live in a rustic shack very cheaply or you can live in a US style mansion for more $$ - your choice.

  2. Depending on your age they may not want you. The Belizean govt is keen if you’re over 45 and have a pension/independent wealth, etc to live on, if you plan on opening a business and hiring some locals or if you’re studying. They’re NOT interested if you plan on trying to get a job to support yourself.

  3. Land ownership is tricky - non-citizens can purchase land; however, the govt can annex it pretty well whenever they want - something that locals are not subject to. Generally ex-pats that report the most positive experiences are those that rent a modest place and amuse themselves on the beach or by running a small business.

These kind of contradictory, in that you’re probably not really interested in both simultaneously, right? If you have to work a professional-level job, then you’re not interested in making your dollars “last” in the retirement sense. You’d also be earning money in local currency (Panama is a US dollar country). You’d also be making prevailing wages. (Sure, there are exceptions. Soccer coaches and players in Mexico are well-paid in US dollars.) Keep in mind that places that have a lower cost of living generally have a lower prevailing wage, and so it’s important for you to decide whether you’re be principally living on your income or on your savings. That will influence any areas that anyone can recommend.

There’s another way, like a test drive: Get a job with an American company that pays American salaries, that also has huge foreign operations in low cost countries, that require home office expertise. Earn lots of dollars, and spend only a few pesos (as in my current case). (The downside is that sometimes you get sent to expensive places in horrible areas like the greater Toronto area [nice people though]).

What ex-pat quarter? I have been in Dubai since 2004 and there is no ex-pat “compound” like in Saudi Arabia. You can live where ever you like in Dubai although of course there are nice areas and not-as-nice ones like everywhere else.

Dubai would be (and is) my pick. English, good standard of living, close to lots of great travel places, stable country. No problem for women here, you can dress as you like, drive, and do anything you’d do at home… though being outdoors in summer is probably not a good plan.

Dunno how accurate these stats are, but here’s net migration and net migration per capita. On the other hand, here’s new citizenships and new citizenships per capita.

I dunno; she was recounting her experiences from at least a couple of years ago. Maybe quarter isn’t the right word? Maybe compound? Like townhouses or something?

And therefore substantiates my caveat. Thanks.

I don’t understand the appeal of Dubai. From everything I’ve seen of it, there are a lot of amazing, ritzy buildings and glitzy houses and clubs and stuff, but it’s all very artificial and surrounded by bleak desert in the hot, baking sun. There seems to be no diversity of scenery or terrain. I could never live in a place like that.

I would want somewhere with hills, lakes, mountainous areas, forest areas, metropolitan cities as well as quiet, small towns and villages, and a large diversity of ecological life.

Move to Canada, AT, I’ll write you a note.