Inflation is undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of our time.
It’s a story of abject failure — of how the ‘experts’ who have been entrusted to pull the giant levers of the economy were asleep at the wheel.
The ‘experts’ failed to anticipate how their irresponsible spree of spending and monetary expansion would create inflation. They failed to notice it. They failed to do anything about it in a timely manner.
And now that central bankers have switched to this new HAIR ON FIRE, ULTRA-PANICKY monetary policy, they’re failing to instill even a modicum of confidence in the future.
These people don’t have any real solutions. The central bankers themselves have admitted publicly that their maniacal interest rate hikes will have zero impact on bringing down food prices, gasoline prices, or fixing supply chain challenges.
Meanwhile the politicians who helped light this inflation blaze by dumping trillions of dollars into the economy want to ‘fix’ the problem by… dumping more money into the economy. It’s genius!
Certainly a lot of people are holding out hope that today’s election results will help arrest the destruction.
And hope is great. But it’s not a Plan B, let alone a Plan A.
Another way, at least for people who have the ability to do so, is living in a place where your money goes much, much further than back in your home country.
And today I asked my team to outline a few picks — cities that are still bargains in terms of cost of living and have the added benefit of being major global travel hubs. This works great for digital nomads, or semi-retirees who are still on the go.
Mexico City, Mexico
Juarez International Airport (MEX) is the most connected airport in the world outside of the US in 2022, according to OAG, a global travel data firm.
It offers direct flights as far away as Seoul, Korea, and Tokyo, Japan. In Europe, it offers flights directly to London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Munich.
And of course it offers direct flights to destinations all across the United States, and into South America, including Santiago, Chile, São Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mexico City is becoming popular among digital nomads and remote workers because it offers all the amenities of the world-class mega-city it is, for a fraction of the cost of Paris, Tokyo, or New York City.
Mexico has not seen the same supply chain problems as most of the rest of the world. It didn’t destroy its economy during COVID, and the Mexican peso has remained relatively strong.
Still, Mexico is a very inexpensive place to live. Even in Mexico City, one of the most expensive places in Mexico, a single person could live comfortably on about $1,900 per month (for everything — rent, food, entertainment, etc.).
And once you visit Mexico City, you realize what incredible value it offers. It is beautiful, bursting with parks, and overflowing with cultural attractions, museums, and events.
In Polanco, one of the nicest neighborhoods that is also popular with expats, there is free public WiFi throughout the entire community.
The median download internet speed in Mexico City is about 60 Mbps, according to speedtest.net. That speed can easily handle streaming and online gaming.
BUT Mexico City is huge, and this median speed doesn’t tell the whole story…
For example, Sovereign Research CEO Viktorija, who lives in Mexico City, reports download speeds of 1000 Mbps on fiber optic internet. But she pays close to $80 per month (including phone/TV too), which is considered expensive for Mexico City.
Mexico City in general has an easy-going, laid back vibe. You won’t find rabid, woke mobsters accosting you outside of restaurants here.
Mexico also has an easy residency process. You only have to earn about $2,500 per month, OR have about $35,000 in savings to show sufficient financial independence for temporary residency.
Retirees can skip right to permanent residency, which is truly permanent; it never has to be renewed.
They must show investments or bank balances of about $145,000 OR a pension equivalent to about $3,600 per month.
Cancun also deserves an honorable mention.
Its international airport (CUN) offers flights direct to more US and European cities than MEX, and can take you directly as far as Istanbul.
Cancun is not just for tourists. It is an incredibly affordable place to live on amazing beaches.
Very nice rentals start at about $2,000 per month for houses, and about $1,500 for spacious condos.
For example, one 2-bedroom 3-bathroom waterfront condo near the desirable Hotel Zone is asking just $1,650 per month.
Istanbul International Airport (IST) offers direct flights to over 300 cities around the globe.
Istanbul, in many ways, is truly at the center of the world. From there you can fly direct to any continent except Australia and Antarctica.
This includes destinations as far away as Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo, Tokyo, and Singapore.
And of course, Turkey is extremely well connected to Europe.
Istanbul is even less expensive than Mexico City. A single person could live comfortably on $1,200 per month.
But in addition, the dollar is currently very strong against the rapidly inflating Turkish lira. That means you can get even more for your money.
Istanbul’s median internet download speed is around 37 Mbps, and the city provides free WiFi hotspots in certain areas.
Another major benefit of Turkey is its economic citizenship program. You can buy citizenship and a second passport for a $400,000 investment in real estate.
For the right person, this is quite compelling. While other citizenship by investment programs require you to buy specific real estate which is generally overpriced, ANY property over $400,000 in Turkey qualifies.
That could, for example, land you a 3-bed 2-bath private villa with a pool and ocean views less than an hour from the airport. Or a sleek, modern 3-bed 2-bath condo in the city center.
Istanbul could become your base of operation to travel the world. And when you aren’t there, you could rent out your real estate to generate income.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on the outskirts of Bangkok offers direct flights to 108 destinations.
You won’t find many direct flights to the Americas. But its a great option to connect directly to Asia, Australia, and most of Europe.
Bangkok’s internet is excellent, with median download speeds around 218 Mbps.
While Bangkok is a bit more expensive than Mexico City and Istanbul, a single person could still live well on less than $2,200 per month.
And in addition to the low cost of living, Bangkok offers access to high quality inexpensive healthcare.
Any medical process you could want is available in Thailand, from an executive exam checkup to heart bypass surgery (which generally costs about one fifth of the $100,000 US price tag).
Bumrungrad International Hospital feels more like going to a luxury hotel than a hospital. Plus the majority of its doctors have received training in the US.
These are some of the best connected global travel hubs with a low cost of living. But that doesn’t mean they are your only options to stay connected.
Are you willing to endure one more leg to Lisbon, for example, in order to have the benefits of Portugal?
That is for you to decide. You can explore all your options, with various criteria, in one place with our Global Explorer map.