4 Ways Living Abroad Can Give You More Freedom
By The Daily Bell Staff - February 18, 2018

There’s a vast world outside of the U.S. waiting for you to discover it. You know that but aren’t sure about leaving what’s familiar to you.

There are many ways you can get around the overreaching laws and regulations, the political manipulation, and the social pressure. You can change your domestic lifestyle, work toward a freer life in the U.S.

But if you have the itch to go global, there are nearly 200 countries out there and a multitude of alternative routes leading to personal freedom.

1. Cheap Healthcare

When you leave the U.S., you don’t leave “first world” healthcare behind. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the U.S. healthcare system a lackluster 37th worldwide. Compare that to 22nd ranked Columbia, where copays average about $3 for people who possess a national ID card and monthly premiums range from $70 to $85.

There’s quality care in many countries. In 2016, Malaysia had more than 1 million medical tourists. Most doctors there speak English and were trained in institutions in the U.S., Australia, or the U.K. It also costs a fraction of the care in the U.S.

In India, healthcare facilities and hospitals in major cities attract hundreds of thousands of people per year.

Every major city in Mexico has at least one high-quality hospital and insurance costs around $350 to $450 dollars a year.

2. Lower Taxes

Depending on your work situation abroad, you can legally avoid some or all state and federal taxes.

Whether you are an employee of a foreign firm with a residence permit or are self-employed with a travel or business visa, you still need to file with the IRS.

But if you work and live abroad, you will be eligible for the U.S. Foreign Income Tax Exclusion, which, as of 2017, applies to incomes of up to $102,100. Even if you work online for a U.S. business or have U.S. based customers, you can still avoid paying taxes on the first $102,000 you earn. And then there is a housing exemption on top of that.

Depending on where you go, taxes may be very low or non-existent. Territories like the Caymans, Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands don’t tax, but might be too expensive for those who can’t afford to plop down hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bank account or on a property.

Costa Rica and Anguila, a lesser known British territory, are much more affordable, tax-free destinations. None of these five beautiful destinations tax foreign-sourced income, so you can continue to work remotely and worry-free.

Georgia, Guatemala, and Paraguay are all low national-tax options (10% or less) and don’t tax foreign-sourced income. For those not averse to living in the often politically volatile Middle East, a slew of countries including Oman, the UAE, and Qatar, have no national income tax.

3. Lower Cost of Living and Transportation

As of 2018, the U.S. ranks 25th out of 115 countries in Cost of Living Index. That means at least 90 countries are cheaper to live in compared to the United States.

In the U.S. people spend a lot on their transportation–registration and inspection laws, excise taxes, car loan/insurance payments, and maintenance and gas expenses.

Plan your move abroad based on a city with cheap public transportation.

Purchasing prepaid subway, bus, and taxi cards frees you from the litany of arbitrary, revenue-hungry regulations, and saves thousands of dollars per year.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is one of the cheapest cities for transport. It’s close to Singapore, but without low cost of living. Panama City, Panama is another worth looking into.

And you get a bonus on top of the savings: no more petty, competitive urges to “keep up with the Joneses.” These distract you with temporary comforts while ensnaring you to liabilities dependent on future payments.

4. Perspective, and freedom from social pressure

Freedom isn’t all about shrewd financial maneuvering. It’s also about the mind. Six months, 12 months, two years or longer — how long you live abroad depends on how deep you want the experience to be. You will have the opportunity to step back and see your native country objectively.

U.S. citizens have less confidence in their government than ever before.

If you were to become used to a different kind of freedom in a foreign country, you could become a dual citizen of get a second passport.

Learning a new language and enjoying another culture is a fool-proof way to gain a wider perspective, increase your self-reliance, and meet interesting people.

Missing a U.S. election cycle or two could facilitate your independent, outsider perspective by sparing you exposure — especially in the heat of campaign seasons — to the shrill, divisive political conversation centered around the corrupt, two-party system.

Finally, pursuing your own happiness by living in another country entails something harsh but beneficial: Leaving a lot of familiar people behind. Unless you go with friends or have a partner, spouse and/or children, you will be on your own. Even as a team or family, expatriate life requires self-starting and perseverance because you no longer have the local community you always counted on at home.

If you go alone, you will be your own motivator, problem solver, and emotional stabilizer. You will have the chance to expand your people skills and build up your self-reliance.

Perhaps the biggest potential benefit would be getting away from the influence of people who don’t value freedom the way you do. Sometimes your peers can hold you back. Taking off to a new country for a while can give you some breathing room without permanently severing ties.

Are you tired of the financial, political and social obstacles in your life? Living abroad may be the answer. It doesn’t have to be a “forever” commitment, it only takes months to prepare for, and the social and material benefits can serve you for the rest of your life.

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  • Sunshine Kid

    Getting a second citizenship is not an option for US born citizens. If you gain a citizenship in another country, believe it or not, you lose your right to the American passport. Dual citizenship is only available to you if you are not a natural-born citizen of the USA. I’m currently living in a foreign country, am a natural born USA citizen, and I have researched dual citizenship here. If I got it, I’d lose my USA passport, military retirement and social security benefits, so it’s not an option for me.

    • GMS

      Since you are not giving up your income or U.S. citizenship are you moving around every 3 months? The way I understand it most countries will only let you stay with a passport for up to 90 days. I have been considering living in Europe for 6 months to a year and just moving from one country to another with the 90 day limit in mind. I am retired but not sure how I would take care of medical needs.

      • Bombaste Von Hohenheim

        I think the Czech Republic gives resident status to American fairly easily. Once you get your resident card it’s easier to go and stay in any country as you will

      • Sunshine Kid

        No, I don’t have to leave every three months. Being married to a local native gives me the privilege of residing here by paying a small yearly fee – far less than a plane ticket. However, I am aware of others who have been in country for years, leaving for one day every year in order to “reset” their passports and tourist visa.

        As for medical needs, that is a problem. Generally, it is a cash only program here, but costs are pretty low. A visit to a hospital for a week’s stay, doctor and medicine would set you back about $500 to $1,000, depending on what the cause was being treated.

        • aj54

          500-1000 is less than many people pay stateside for a single month’s premium

          • Sunshine Kid

            True. That’s why I’m here.

      • Surprising how uninformed people are here.

        Visa stays vary from country to country, there is no “90 day” universal stay – it depends on where you are. The only way to avoid this is to marry a national or pay out the nose for a “retirement visa,” which usually requires a massive frozen deposit in a national bank with the host country benefitting from the interest.

        It’s no picnic, and articles like this are completely irresponsible in making it look easy or even possible for the rank and file unless you are very determined and willing to risk everything to attain your goal of living in a foreign country on a permanent basis.

    • NobodysaysBOO

      sneek back and get better benefits as an alien,always have 2 passports.
      lots of foreigners get social security checks every month and survivor checks for their kids.

      • Sunshine Kid

        I refuse to act like a criminal. Sneaking and profiteering is what criminals do.

        • NobodysaysBOO

          they are the WINNERS in the USA.

          • Sunshine Kid

            Until they are deported or wind up in jail. They are losers just waiting to get caught, only temporarily ahead.

          • NobodysaysBOO

            millions more coming.

    • dauden

      Not accurate. Citizenship can be had by the child of one parent having dual citizenship. Simply apply for it.

      • Sunshine Kid

        Cannot be had by a child of two natural born USA citizens. What you suggest does not work for me.

  • naterko1

    @ Sunshine Kid – Paid dissenter?

  • NobodysaysBOO

    you also get a real surprise watching the evening news if you never where outside the US before,you will think it is FAKE news or lies for a time at first,don’t’ panic.

  • Robert S. Finnegan

    This is a dangerous, uninformed article implying that it is easy for Americans to move abroad, as it is most certainly not easy nor cheap. The section on healthcare is particularly misleading as third world medicine in ASEAN is decidedly substandard in most countries with a few exceptions.

    The doors are already slamming shut for U.S. citizens in many countries, and undertaking a move overseas with intent to live – minus marrying into the country – is now almost impossible unless you have a LOT of money and a guaranteed retirement income.

    Always leave the backdoor open if you decide to jump, NEVER give up your American citizenship under any circumstances and do your own research.

    Robert S. Finnegan
    Jakarta, Indonesia

    • Jetstar

      Your mother wears army boots.

      • Now that’s original. Best stay in your little cardboard box safe-space, you would never make it in the real world.

        • T9R

          For those unaware, Robert S. Finnegan fled the US for some unknown reason. The bizarre rant they have is not backed up by any facts.

        • Bud

          These votes are a parting give from me.

          I buy detergent in cardboard boxes to reduce plastics from washing up on my beach, My parents where hippies from the sixties, I own guns and take a coarse each year to certify, And finally I live in the first landfall of hurricane Harvey and own my own business in the construction industry, which is my trade.
          So I may not have a lot of time give you the attention you so rightly deserve…

          Thanks kindly for our contributions to Disqus Underground, and good luck

          • As if I need or desire meaningless “votes.” Deleting my responses once more sealed the deal. Here is my parting gift to you and your cohorts:

            “Disqus Underground” – A Bogus Commentary Site To Avoid:


            Is earlier stated, this will be but a pinprick but it will be an ongoing effort. We will cost you readers and money in the future.

            You made a fatal mistake in your ignorance and hubris – failing to check me out before deleting my comments and allowing your brain-dead millennial dirtbags to delete my commentary after INVITING ME TO PARTICIPATE.

            In addition I fully intend to obtain your real identity and then inform your construction business clients of exactly who and what you are and the seditious treason your site spews. It will take a little time and money on my part but I consider it money well spent and indeed I have the resources and contacts in CONUS to do so.

            Hope you thought it was worth it.

          • Bud

            Thank you and have a wonderful day,

            I live in the first town hit by hurricane Harvey just to narrow it down some for ya.

            Come volunteer and help us out, It could do ya good

          • No intimidation necessary, just a promise to expose you that will be followed through. My CONUS colleagues will get an ID and locate without the assist. Exposure will not do well with your clients, even if I cost you a dollar I will consider it time and money well spent. We are all old investigators with plenty of time on our hands for an undertaking such as this.

            We already have philanthropic projects here in Indonesia, far and away more important to humanity than rebuilding homes in America. My guess is you are unaware that there even is an outside world and other countries, I would suggest you buy a globe and take a trip outside of CONUS and your sheltered, pampered life of self-indulgence. Come on down here to Indonesia and I will introduce you to real-world poverty, pestilence and human misery. You couldn’t take it.

          • Bud

            What ever

            I hope you have a wonderful life my friend.

            You words are meaningless to me

          • Let’s see if you still feel the same way in a few weeks.

            Rockport, eh?

            We will have a physical locate and ID on you shortly. Then I will expose you and your sedition to your business clients, friends and neighbours. Never been there but I understand Texans are pretty much down on traitors. Either way, the people in your town deserve to know who you are and the treason you traffic in. The exposure will be very public and local. Interesting how you have all this time to devote to online activities, being a business owner in the construction industry after Harvey.

            The MSM coup that you have participated in against the President and his administration has already failed, and those that participated – including small fry – will all swing following trial and conviction before a drumhead military court.

          • Bud

            You still don’t scare me at all, because ..

            I really don’t care about you or anything that you do.

            WORDS that’s all you have… WORDS

          • No need to fear me. You will however have to deal with your fellow citizens who will no doubt take exception to having a closet seditionist in their midst following your very public exposure. No more pinpricks, the next time around I will open up a vein.

          • Bud


          • iford+


          • Glad i dont live i a trailer

            Look here A fella with yer big words, you must be one a them sofistykatid fellas, just shakin in ma boots wit fear

          • The difference between getting a GED in 1975 and now.

            I am guessing you are aware the pederast you are promoting is running a child prostitution ring off the “Underground” site. Perhaps you are one of his “clients,” illiterate sodomite.

          • Celebrating ignorance and illiteracy, and you wonder why you can’t get a job even at burger-flipping level. Indonesian third graders smoke you in grammar and reading comprehension.

          • 60Something

            WOW you’re really a jerk, It seems like this guy is being nice.

          • 60Something

            WOW, just read your blog, did they just have a big sale on hashish where you live?

            You do realize that, that place you wrote about isn’t the only site on disqus? RIGHT?

            You think that place is bad try posting on Media Matters.

          • Dope is illegal here, as are geriatric homosexual pedos such as yourself and your mindless butt-buddy sycophants here. Two reasons why this is a good place to live, in addition to the diving. Sounds as if your caretaker has mistakenly plugged your catheter into your IV line, pissing off the spirochetes inhabiting your brain-bucket, A mega-dose of Albendazole will fix that little problem ASAP.

          • Steven

            Did you even read the terms of service?
            Oh wait you’re an investigative reporter, my bad

            Disqus is a networked community platform used by hundreds of thousands of sites all over the web. With Disqus, your website gains a feature-rich comment system complete with social network integration, advanced administration and moderation options, and other extensive community functions

            Here’s a link maybe you could look it over?


          • Note the headline specifying “Disgus UNDERGROUND,” not Disgus as an entity. You are obviously yet another graphic product and example of our failed public education system, bozo. Lay off the Tide Pods.

            “Disqus Underground” – A Bogus Commentary Site To Avoid:


          • gs 232

            Well u are a special kind of stupid
            Disqus underground never heard of it but it kind sounds cool but u are really uncool

          • Banned again

            Haha, sounds like someone’s butt hurt over getting banned
            Awww did your little feelings get hurt, and now you’re mad and having a tantrum?
            Cry a river, no one cares about your butt hurt feelings

          • You need have that translated legible into English, and I would gather that your obsession with sphincters is “deep seated.” Hilarious.

            Enjoy your public restroom trolling while you still can, it will soon be coming to an abrupt and “terminal” end across the board and America as a whole or in your case “hole.”

            MAGA. Come on down to Indonesia, we have a permanent cure for your particular disease.

          • Sam

            You’re a real a$$hole

          • Marium


          • 253 mjm

            People have always hated you all your life huh?

    • 867-5390

      Sounds like you know a lot about running away from your problems.

      Must be because you’re are a narcissistic Jerkwad that nobody likes.

      • Nope, I have zero problems thanks to living the life of a carefree – “free” being the operative word – retired USMC expat. I now live in a FREE country, unlike you spineless, nutless, gutless slave living with a jackboot on your neck in a cardboard box on the street. But perhaps that’s the way you like it.

        Misery loves company, eh slave? Your mindless, pathetic drivel reeks of jealousy and cowardice.

  • Gundolier

    I am an American who has lived and worked in Hungary since 1999. If you really want to live outside the USSA, it is extremely easy to do and usually quite reasonable regarding expenses. Of course, cost of living is SO MUCH LESS than the US; I am now retired and live extremely well on my government pension and small private pension. Lots of reasons: no income tax (my pensions are less than the required amount to even file my US taxes); no car (public transport is efficient and cheap – buses, metro and trams; low COL – rent for a 40 sqm fully furnished flat in the middle of the city is around $300 US per month, with utilities adding anywhere from $50US (summer) to $100 US (winter), so my monthly retirement income of about $2200 US per month works out just fine; health and dental care a fraction of US costs (details upon request); amazing lifestyle meeting locals and other expats; ability to travel extensively on money saved (I have now been to 72 countries worldwide!). Naturally, this lifestyle is not for everyone, but for those who cherish their freedom, it really can’t be beat by the US, especially these days. I keep my American citizenship, but do not plan to ever move back to the states – life in Europe is just so much fun!

  • rex

    Much of this advise is good, but like what Robert Finnegan has mentioned, the doors are being slammed shut on Americans. That is mostly because the horrible way the U.S. has conducted itself abroad in foreign affairs over the last 50 years, more than anything else. Americans are perceived as a militaristic nation with aggressive ambitions, and arrogant behavior, and that is the way many other countries see us. We have a notorious history of trampling on the rights of a lot of other countries, or interfering in their politics too. So, of course, they don’t want Americans around, much the same as nobody wanted the Russians around back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. So, if you go to any other country, make sure you don’t wear the U.S. logo on your forehead, or you might get hustled out, or someone keeping tabs on you all the time. You only go there to whichever country to do as the natives do, and respect their way of life. If you do that, and you will go along there, and maybe benefit America on the diplomatic scene, by making change their perceptions of Americans.

  • robt

    There may be almost 200 countries out there, but only a small percentage would be candidates for resettlement, unless you like being harassed by beggars all day, like being hated because you’re not a native, if you buy local property (itself a nightmare) and wish to hire private ‘security’ to protect your property from squatters if you venture off it for a short while (security is in scare quotes because they could very well just let it happen anyway) because squatters have more rights than ex-pats. Western European countries are off-limits unless you’re loaded (or want to live in a village in the middle of nowhere with locals you will never really form a relationship with) because expenses and taxes are enormously high compared to the States (there’s key money and or a 20 to 40 year waiting list for apartments in Sweden depending on who supplies the statistics and other socialist paradises are similar), Europeans are consistently arrogant and dismissive toward those from America, other countries in the hotter climes are intolerably corrupt and bureaucratic and you are viewed as a patsy, and if you’re advanced in age, language and the learning of it could be a problem, and in a lot of places you’ll be ignored or ridiculed for trying.
    I did the ’round the world thing some years ago, and was really happy to get back, for all the reasons mentioned above.
    One easy solution for being unhappy in America is to turn off the ‘news’ or develop the ability to fluff it off, not worry about everywhere else’s crises everywhere else, and just focus local – it works wonders, and everything looks great again.

    • Right on the money. No matter how long you live in another country, you will always be viewed as a walking ATM, to be fleeced over and over again. It has been 17 years and I cannot and will not ever be able to go shopping without being ripped off, my wife does it all. Even if you learn the language you will never be accepted and are on your own. It is not for the faint-hearted.

      Thanks, what you have written is the absolute truth.