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3 Reasons Why Life is Better for Americans Abroad

3 Reasons Why Life is Better for Americans Abroad

Each day, more Americans believe that life may be better abroad. With the recent presidential election, many people have stated their intention of moving to Canada as a better alternative.

What if we removed the Trump equation? Would people be so anxious to live abroad if Hillary Clinton won the election?

There are many reasons Americans decide to live abroad: 35% of American expats are looking for an adventure, while 31% simply enjoy living abroad. As an expat entrepreneur, I have lived abroad for almost 3 years in multiple countries. I enjoy the adventures and daily life.

Many Americans do not realize that they can experience a higher quality of life abroad. According to last year’s InterNations statistics,[1] 81% of American expats are generally satisfied with their expat life. Almost one-third (32%) of them stated that they would consider staying in their new country forever.

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Here are three reasons why life is better for Americans abroad.

1. Education Opportunities

The cost of higher education has continued to rise in the United States. As a result, college enrollment rates have decreased in the last four years.[2]

So, there is no doubt that rising tuition rates are keeping students away from obtaining a college degree. However, there are better alternatives abroad:

  • Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, and offers free tuition at public universities for foreigners. There are 1,000+ college programs that are taught in English.
  • Norway is one of the Scandinavian countries where Americans can get free tuition at their state universities.
  • Czech Republic is another European country that allows anyone to study for free in Czech (their native language).

There are some other countries that offer free tuition to foreigners, including (but not limited to) Argentina, Finland, and Brazil.

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2. Healthcare Opportunities

I have been amazed at the quality of health care in so-called developing countries. In Mexico, I was able to get a dental cleaning for $26, and a full thyroid blood panel test for $50. You can get surgery, blood tests, and other health procedures done for 40-60% off prices in the United States.

But Mexico is not the only example. You can find high quality health care in other countries, including (but not limited to) Panama and South Africa.

3. Housing Opportunities

Do you prefer to live in an apartment or house? Both options are cheaper and more plentiful in most countries abroad.

In Spain, I paid 15% less than the average monthly rental price in the United States. In Mexico, bargain deals are not hard to find at all. In San Miguel De Allende, it is not uncommon to find houses to rent for $400 a month, outside of the downtown area. Most of these $400/month houses are not furnished, but I was fortunate to find a furnished one.

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These amazing deals are not limited to Mexico and Spain. You can find great deals in countries, including (but not limited to) Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, South Africa, and China.

The Final Word

You probably noticed a common thing in these three reasons. Low prices! They are significantly lower than prices in the United States.

Why pay more when you can pay less? Many American expats are retirees who find that their retirement checks buy more abroad than in America. Whether you are a retiree or not, living abroad offers a higher quality of life with a low cost of living. Many Americans aspire to be wealthy. If Americans could live a luxurious life abroad for less than $100,000 a year, I do not think most people would care about earning a six-figure salary anymore.

The expat population is growing. There are 8 million Americans abroad.[3] If the American expat population was one state, it would be America’s 13th most populous state.

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Perhaps it is time that you join the club!

Featured photo credit: Alex Mihis via pexels.com

Reference

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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