The Asian economy is moving up quickly, and the European may be limping along, but Americans abroad say there are some other reasons why they are choosing these overseas locations as their new homes.
According to The Social Security Administration, more Americans are moving abroad. The federal government is sending 613,650 retirement checks outside the U.S., more than double the 242,128 benefit payments sent overseas in 2002.
The number of Americans who actually gave up their citizenship rose to 3,000 in 2013, three times as many as in 2012. Some Americans leave for a quieter life. They says there is no reason to worry about shootings and gun violence.
Older people, in particular, seem to fare well in Asia and Europe, which is a potential draw for America’s aging boomers. Norway is the best place to live for over-60s, according to the “Global AgeWatch Index,” released this week by HelpAge International, a London-based nonprofit group. Norway replaced Sweden as the No. 1 place to live, as measured by four key issues: income security, health, personal capability and an enabling environment. Sweden was No. 2, followed by Switzerland, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Iceland. The U.S. came in at No. 7. Japan, New Zealand and the U.K. completed the Top 10.
There’s also a brisk business in helping Americans prepare for the big move. Fluent City, a language school with offices across the U.S., is hosting an event, “How to Move Abroad,” on Oct. 14 in Brooklyn, N.Y., on learning a language, looking for work and applying for a visa.
Europe is trailing the U.S. economically and the cost of living is particularly high in northern European countries. Unemployment in the 18-member eurozone countries was 11.5% in August, down just 0.5% from a year earlier, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. Greece had the highest unemployment rate (27%) of the eurozone, followed by Spain (24%) and Croatia (16.5%). Austria and Germany had the lowest with 4.7% and 4.9%, respectively. In September, U.S. unemployment fell to 5.9% from 6.1% in August, the lowest level since July 2008.