What's the best place in the world to live?

I am in a situation where I can live virtually anywhere in the world I want. So far, I’ve lived in S. Korea, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.

What I’m looking for:

  1. Low tax rate
  2. Low cost of living
  3. Not extreme weather
  4. Relatively safe
  5. Cheap real estate (Decent house in decent neighborhood for 50k or less)
  6. High speed internet is readily available
  7. Doesn’t need to be high tech, but running water and electricity are good.

What I want to avoid (probably an instant “no” on any of these):

  1. Sewage/corpses in the streets.
  2. Extremely hot weather.
  3. Onerous taxes (maybe maximum 30% or so?)
  4. Corruption
  5. Islands
  6. Socialized crime
  7. Lack of variety in food

Thanks in advance.

You’ve lived in Hawaii, so you’ve already lived in the best place in the world.

What is “socialized crime”? And that sure is some cheap real estate you are after!

Not NJ. We only have:

  1. Not extreme weather
  2. Relatively safe
  3. High speed internet is readily available
  4. Doesn’t need to be high tech, but running water and electricity are good.

and great food. I mean really great food. The pizza near me makes anything you’ve tasted by Dominos / Papa Johns / Pizza hut taste like literal dog food. I mean tomatoes and fresh cheese and the perfect crust and handmade sausage. I drool just thinking about it. We have three freaking dim sum palaces within easy driving distance. As in like oh my god I cannot believe roast pork / fried shrimp / Chinese broccoli tastes that good (just ask Kolga!).

We also have fabulous Vietnamese (because you need pho in your life!), authentic Korean barbeque, multiple Chinese buffets with stuff that you don’t know what it is but damn does it taste GOOD!, Indian buffets with a similar vibe, bakeries with bread that I assume must be what god meant by manna, multiple Trader Joes, every fast food joint known to mankind and Italian like you can get in Italy – including these lemon cookies that are the best damned cookies I’ve ever eaten. We even have a huge ShopRite nearby with a large kosher selection and an in-store restaurant good enough for a great lunch before shopping.

And that’s just off the top of my head. That’s not even getting into Manhattan or Brooklyn which really are the culinary paradises of America.

So I suppose it all evens out.

He doesn’t like islands…

Australia’s out on low tax rate, low cost of living and extreme weather. NZ’s out for cost of living and islands (?) - also cost of housing for both. Unless you want to live in the wop wops, $50K would buy you very little - if anything - national median for Australia is AU$540K, NZ$430K for NZ. Your island rule rules out any of the Pacific Islands as well - although after Hawaii you might not be wanting that.

Depending on what you meant by lack of variety in food SE Asia might be out - obviously there are western style restaurants in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam but the norm is local cuisine.

May I suggest some other things to look for, for the long haul?

  1. Reliable source of drinking water that won’t get seriously stressed by drought.
  2. Located in an area that won’t be seriously damaged by rising ocean levels.
  3. Potential for vegetable garden/raising small animals such as chickens or rabbits for food.

I’m not personally into disaster-preparation, but I think all of these issues will become much more important within 20 years than they are today. And if you find the perfect place to live, you don’t want to have to move because there’s no drinking water or something like that.

STILL the best place. Can’t help it if he’s so picky.

He doesn’t like islands anyway.

Is this a typo or are you serious? There is no place in the world that has ideal living conditions and houses that cost less than 50K. You can get some impressive houses in Detroit for that much these days but it probably doesn’t qualify based on your other criteria. Even decent houses in the 3rd world cost much more than that even for basic, acceptable but modest housing.

That said, you may like Costa Rica. I just got back from there looking at properties but didn’t buy any yet. It is gorgeous once you get away from San Jose and it is very American friendly. The whole country is set up basically as an eco-tourism theme park and there are always other Americans around. It is officially Spanish speaking but most people speak some English and almost all people in the hospitality industry speak excellent English.

They have great and cheap health care (medical tourism from the U.S. is a big thing there) and it is peaceful. They don’t even have a military. The only things you make not like are the infrastructure can be mediocre to 'Oh my God!". We are talking about unpaved major roads with rivers that flow across them when it rains (frequently). You need a 4wd vehicle to even attempt to get to large areas of the country. They do have high-speed intenet access in places but good luck getting it installed. It may happen sometime between next week and never. Costa Rica isn’t quite the epitome of a 3rd world country (it is much better than Mexico for example) but it still retains a few characteristics of one.

Belize and parts of Honduras are other popular choices. You probably could get a somewhat nice house in Honduras for 50K but it is significantly more dangerous and a true 3rd world country. Looking further abroad, I have heard good experiences from ex-pats in Malaysia but I don’t know that much about it.

I would think it was doable in parts of Kentucky, W. Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee. Reasonably mild climates, low housing costs outside of the biggest cities in each state (maybe in them) while still with modern utilities. Pick a town with a college or university in it in those states and it should be pretty decent.

**What’s the best place in the world to live? **

Lake Tahoe. Nevada side.

Like Mexico or the Philippines where crime is considered a normal part of daily life and the average person not only accepts it but participates as well. I was thinking of the Philippines when I mentioned corruption too.

I should start a “ask a guy who hates hawaii” thread.

Reno is actually at the 30-40k mark. One acre of land is $1k. Parts of Texas are also in this range. Virtually every city I looked at except Hawaii has houses in this range, not condos. When I say “decent neighborhood” I don’t care about schools so it’s a lot bigger range than most people. Actually, I wouldn’t even mind just empty land with a trailer home on it. Trailer homes are illegal in most of hawaii, fyi.

Reno was my first choice actually, but when I went there in January the economy looks like it’s collapsing.

I guess I should also add to my “don’t want” list: Widespread depression. That’s probably why I’m not going to stay in vegas, there’s just too many sad people all over the place. If you’ve ever seen a gambling addict, there’s look people get on their faces like, “Where did everything go so wrong?”

Can’t tell you how much I hate islands.

I hope an industrialized country would have most of these. :smiley:

I probably wouldn’t live in Indiana on principle, since it’s the birthplace of the Klan. The other places sound interesting. I’m a little leery of going south of the mississippi though because I’m allergic to rednecks. :smiley: College towns might have fewer rednecks though?

This island Earth? :eek:

House under $50k?? You can’t even buy a suburban** block of land** for under $200k in Australia.

Apart from that though, it’s a pretty grouse place to live!


Yeah, that’s what I want to avoid. I’ve noticed that if you want expensive, there’s no cap. But on the low end, there’s usually a minimum limit.

You don’t want Universal Health Care?! :eek:

Check out southern Missouri. I know someone who moved there from Texas and brags all the time about the low cost of living. He says real estate is 1/3 what it is here.

Because it’s, ya’ know, Missouri.

If I tell you, will you all stop posting the wrong answers?