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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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