15 Countries an American Can Move to and Save Money

America’s cost of living is high. Let’s just get that out of the way. This country ranks 12th for the highest cost of living in the world, according to Numbeo.

Depending on your goals or current financial situation, you may be considering relocating abroad in exchange for more affordable living arrangements.

We’ve gathered some of the best options based on factors like affordable housing, healthcare, education, utilities, food, and retirement benefits. If you’re considering switching to a country where you can save more money, we’ve got you covered.

1. Mexico

Greater Mexico City, Mexico
Image Credit: Nan Palmero – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Mexico is a fantastic option for Americans who want to save money while enjoying a high quality of life. With its lower cost of living, especially in smaller cities and towns, your dollars can stretch much farther than in the United States.

Mexico also offers affordable healthcare, making it an attractive option for retirees or those needing frequent medical services. Additionally, with attractive retirement communities and expat-friendly areas, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle at a fraction of the cost compared to similar options in the U.S.

2. Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam Main gate of Imperial palace in Hue
Image Credit: Uwe Aranas – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Vietnam is a hidden gem for Americans seeking to save money while immersing themselves in a vibrant culture. Cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are perfect if you’re looking to get by on about $500-$1000 per month.

It’s also a popular option to try your hand at teaching English, delving into the tech industry, or exploring opportunities in tourism. Vietnam has plenty of options. Moreover, Vietnam’s booming economy presents promising business prospects for entrepreneurs and investors, thanks to lower overhead costs and labor expenses compared to the U.S.

3. Portugal

S. Vicente de Fora, Lisboa - Portugal
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Portugal continues to shine as a top destination for Americans who want to save while enjoying a high standard of living. Outside bustling cities like Lisbon and Porto, the cost of living remains relatively low, allowing expatriates to make the most of their budgets.

Portugal offers countless opportunities for remote work. Factor in the favorable currency exchange rates for Americans, and Portugal becomes an even more appealing option for those looking to stretch their retirement savings or income.

4. Czech Republic

Lesser Town tower of Charles Bridge in Prague Czech Republic
Image Credit: A. Savin, Own Work – FAL/Wiki Commons.

Interested in exploring the charm of Europe? Look into cities like Prague, where the cost of living is notably lower than its Western European counterparts.

The country’s public healthcare system provides reasonably-priced medical care, with private options at much lower rates than U.S. costs. Families benefit from lower education expenses, including schools and universities, which adds to the allure for those seeking a more budget-friendly yet culturally enriching lifestyle abroad.

5. Thailand

Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan, Thailand
Image Credit: Nawit Science, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Thailand offers a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle in places such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok. The country’s unique cultural experiences, impeccable beaches, upbeat cities, and welcoming atmosphere make it even more appealing. The ability to save is the icing on the cake.

Local transportation is pretty cheap, produce and non-Western eateries are relatively inexpensive, and overall living expenses are easier on the wallet.

6. Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Costa Rica is a haven for English speakers seeking abundant job opportunities in various sectors. With positions in tourism, hospitality, and working from home, expatriates will be spoiled by all the choices.

If you need any other reasons to move there, the tropical climate is delightful and also leads to savings on heating and cooling expenses. Furthermore, Costa Rica’s well-regarded healthcare system offers quality medical care, providing peace of mind and affordability for expatriates.

7. Ecuador

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Ecuador is a lovely country that allows Americans to get more bang for their buck. In Quito and Cuenca specifically, the cost of living is remarkably low, making them ideal prospects. Real estate opportunities abound, with property prices significantly lower than in the U.S., offering expats the chance to invest for much less.

When it comes to getting around, cost-effective public transportation, including buses and taxis, can save you big on transportation costs if the price of gas in America is driving you crazy.

8. Spain

Barcelona, Spain
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Spain’s Social Security agreements with the U.S. ensure expats can preserve benefits and seamlessly access healthcare coverage. Families benefit from excellent education options, so Spain is ideal for those with children, or who want to continue learning.

Additionally, many people feel like the cost of groceries is backbreaking in the United States. You’ll be happy to know that groceries are about $200 less per month for one person in Spain. Another huge expense, like daycare, is about $400 a month in Spain compared to approximately $1400 a month in the U.S.

9. Malaysia

Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Image Credit: James Kerwin – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

In Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, Americans can enjoy a comfy standard of living because the costs for major items such as produce, local transportation, dining out, and healthcare are significantly less expensive than in the U.S.

Moreover, Malaysia offers tax benefits through programs like Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H), which provides financial incentives for retirees and investors. As if that weren’t enough, real estate opportunities are plentiful, with property prices lower than in the U.S.

10. Poland

Grzybowski Square in the central district of Warsaw
Image Credit: CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Poland is an excellent destination for Americans seeking a cost-effective European lifestyle. One of the most appealing factors is that renting an apartment in a Polish city can cost between $400 to $800 monthly, which is much more doable than the prices in major U.S. cities.

Groceries and restaurant meals are similarly budget-friendly, allowing for savings without sacrificing quality or variety. The financial benefits are clear, with an average monthly living cost for Americans of about $1,500, depending on lifestyle and location.

11. Taiwan

Shifen Waterfall, Taipei County ,Taiwan
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

There are many reasons to move to Taiwan, outside of the country’s beauty and unique culture. According to those who have moved there from America, Taiwan’s healthcare system stands out globally for its exceptional quality, affordability, and efficiency.

Offering comprehensive coverage for routine and specialized care, including colonoscopies and MRIs, the system ensures accessibility for all citizens at remarkably low costs. With routine medical expenses often less than $15 and additional services like dental checkups for less than $10, Taiwan’s healthcare exemplifies excellence in skill, value, and simplicity.

12. Colombia

Bogota, Colombia
Image Credit: Pedro Szekely – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Colombia is an underrated destination for Americans interested in saving more cash. A single person’s monthly expenses, excluding rent, average about $523. Rent is affordable, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city center ranging from $256 to $533 monthly.

The average monthly salary in Colombia is about $1,029, corresponding to the lower cost of living. Overall, these factors make Colombia a financially advantageous choice you should consider if you want to get ahead financially.

13. Greece

Rio–Antirrio bridge, Greece
Image Credit: Eusebius – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Greece is a gem for those looking to live well without splurging. It’s about 54% less expensive to live in Greece than in the U.S. Imagine renting a nice home for just $484 per month or feeding yourself without selling an organ. In Greece, you’re looking at an average of about $370 each month. That’s a steal compared to U.S. prices.

A simple lunch menu in Greece costs about $11.80, while you’d pay $16.60 stateside. So, Greece may be the place to go if you’re after a life where you don’t feel like you’re starting to hemorrhage money.

14. Uruguay

Miguelete stream in the Prado Park, Uruguay
Image Credit: Meteora Lu, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Uruguay boasts a stable economy and political environment, ensuring a safe, enticing destination for Americans. Plus, it’s roughly 12.9% cheaper to live there. Dining out? You’ll pay about 2.2% less at local restaurants. Groceries? They’re 19.9% less expensive on average.

Housing costs are a whopping 53.8% less, and childcare costs are 62% lower. You might spend more on transportation, but you’re getting more bang for your buck overall.

15. Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest
Image Credit: Jorge Franganillo – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Hungary offers a compelling case for those considering a move from the U.S. The cost of living is about 51% cheaper, but it’s not just about the basics. Hungary’s healthcare system is both high-quality and more accessible, with lower out-of-pocket costs.

Additionally, public transportation is 60% cheaper, well-organized, and extensive, covering even the most remote areas. Universities in Hungary offer a range of programs at a decently lower cost than you’d pay at American colleges. Add to that the warm hospitality of the locals, and you have a recipe for success.

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