Geographic arbitrage: Save money by leaving the country

Let's start with the obvious: Costs aren't the same everywhere.

You may already be aware of this on some level, but until you've traveled extensively, it isn't something you really understand. The cost of living in major cities can vary by as much as 500% or 1000%, depending on how you want to live. I've found that it's almost impossible to reduce your living expenses as much as you can by living overseas.

Leaving the U.S. and choosing to live abroad (assuming you live in the right place) is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce the amount of money you spend. Period. Yes, it requires changes and sacrifices in other areas of your life, but if you're looking for adventure and to radically cut your costs, nothing can beat living overseas.

The cost savings don't just come from living in a cheap place, however; the very act of living abroad will bring changes to your lifestyle, which will produce additional savings.

Cost of Living

Every year, Mercer Resource Consulting issues a list of the most expensive places for American expatriates to live. What the list doesn't capture is the magnitude in the difference in the cost of living between cities.

Take New York, for example. The smallest, dirtiest place you could find in Manhattan will probably cost you $1,500/month at the low end. This would be an unfurnished studio in one of the less trendy parts of town. This would, of course, probably be without an internet connection.

A nice, furnished, single-bedroom apartment in Bangkok can go for $400/month with internet included. I know people who rent less impressive apartments for $200/month. Bangkok is a vibrant city with all the stores you'd find in most major North American or European cities. The internet infrastructure is good, and there's large community of expats and bloggers.

Food can easily be purchased from local street vendors for $1-2 per meal, so you'd never have to cook if you didn't want to. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also be bought from street vendors at a much lower price than you'd find in a store.

While Southeast Asia is a popular destination for westerners, you can find places with lower living costs all over the world in cities like:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Istanbul
  • Panama City
  • Bogota
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cape Town

Even Eastern European cities can provide a lower cost of living than what you will find in the US or Western Europe.

J.D.'s note: I'm editing this article from Cape Town, just two days before flying back to Portland. I can vouch first-hand that the cost of living here is much lower than back home (because incomes are much lower, too): $6 for a t-shirt, fifty cents for a can of soda, three bucks for a glass of wine. Most things seem to be about half the cost I'd expect to pay in the U.S.
Cape Town fast food
Sometimes lower costs are tied to lower incomes, but that doesn't mean geographic arbitrage is wrong. Your money still helps the local economy. [Photo by Joan Rhodes]

Renting and Subletting

If you do own or rent, one easy way to earn money while you're overseas is to simply rent your place to someone else. Depending on where you live (and where you move), the income earned from renting could easily cover all or most the costs of living in a foreign country.

If you're looking to start an online business, the freedom and capital provided by moving and renting might be enough to get you started.

Getting Rid of Your Stuff

Aside from the benefits to living in a city with a lower cost of living, the very act of moving overseas will save you money. You can't move to the other side of the world as easily as you can move to the other side of the country. You'll be forced to pare down your possessions to something you can easily transport.

Most people who move overseas take only a few suitcases full of possessions: clothing and small personal effects. Larger items, like furniture, have to be put in storage, given away, or sold.

While you certainly don't have to leave the country to reduce the amount of Stuff you own, it does force you to deal with your possessions in a way that you otherwise wouldn't have to.

Also, when your life is in a suitcase, you'll pay much closer attention to what you buy because you incur the additional cost of having to carry it around.

Taxes

I'm not a tax professional, tax attorney, or accountant so please take what I say with a grain of salt and contact a professional before taking any action on your taxes.

If you're living outside the United States, you're not using many of the services that your taxes go towards. As such, there's a significant tax benefit to living overseas.The first $80,000 on income for U.S. citizens isn't taxed if you spend 300 consecutive days outside the country. For citizens of other countries, you usually don't have to pay any income tax if you live outside of your country.

This alone may be enough to economically justify a move for many people, and might even make an otherwise unaffordable city (like London or Paris) affordable. For some, the reduced tax burden could increase their income from 30-50%, depending on where they live and what tax bracket they're in.

Another strategy I've learned from American expats: Before you move overseas, change your residence to a state like Florida or Texas that has no income tax.

Cars

Last summer, I had to return to the U.S. because my father was in the hospital. I stayed at my parents' house for several months, and I noticed I was spending more money in the United States than I was in Bangkok even though I didn't have to pay for rent or food. This was almost entirely due to the cost of operating a car.

Gas, maintenance, parking, and insurance cost an enormous amount of money. If you move to a major city somewhere else, you can completely eliminate this expense by just taking public transportation. Even taxis in a city like Bangkok will cost no more than $2-5 for almost any trip you can take.

Conclusion

Probably 95% of the people reading this either have no desire to relocate to another country or conditions in their life simply don't allow it. Mortgages, family, children and careers make this something that's only an option for a small group of people. Leaving the country isn't for everyone. I understand that.

Nonetheless, it's something you should keep in the back of your mind. Even if it's something you don't find appealing at the moment, circumstances in your life could change in the future such that it might be possible and necessary to move. Many people I've met traveling have retired overseas and live a much higher standard of living than they otherwise would live at home on their pension.

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LifeAndMyFinances
LifeAndMyFinances
9 years ago

My wife and I have toyed with the idea of traveling overseas, and now that the U.S. economy is still a little rocky, we’ve been talking about it a little more.

I my business and my wife’s business takes off, I think it might be a great adventure for us! 🙂

Katy
Katy
9 years ago

Great article. There can be compromises though, such as working for the U.S. Government abroad. Working for the Department of State can have many benefits. You’re still able to work in an American environment, but you have all of the advantages and adventures of living abroad. It’s also been a financial boon for me in many ways.

If you do move abroad please be sure to register with your local American Embassy! It’s important even when you are traveling for short periods, too. Travel.state.gov is an important website to use when either traveling or living abroad.

http://www.travel.state.gov/

Money Maker
Money Maker
9 years ago

As an American expat currently living in the Middle East, and who travels extensively all over the planet, I find the cost savings of living outside the states to be somewhat exaggerated. First of all, practically all manufactured goods are cheaper, often substantially, in the states than almost anywhere abroad. Everything from toothpaste to tablet computers to automobiles costs much more in most countries than in the states. The reason is simple: usually it is imported, and US has lowest import duties anywhere on the planet. US is where people from all over the planet come to shop cheap. Almost… Read more »

jd
jd
8 years ago
Reply to  Money Maker

I’m sorry, but that last post is so misrepresentative of the facts. I worked in Saudi as well and virtually everything is cheaper except frivolous things more representative of an extravagent western lifestyle. This person must be living the high life. I have been in Saudi and South Korea and it was slightly cheaper if not greatly so. And as this site says, public trans eliminates the huge expense of a private automobile. And then there’s Thailand and Prague-MUCH CHEAPER. So don’t let this last post discourage you.

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

@2, Moneymaker

Technically that’s not correct, the US has the BEST medical care of anyplace on the planet. It has the WORST access to it, unless you have money (and great insurance). (And it does tend to overuse intensive care, especially in areas like childbirth.) Conditional on having insurance, US health outcomes are top flight. On average, outcomes are not very good for the developed world, but that is mainly because we don’t insure everyone.

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago

I live in a clean, modern city in Asia, pop. about 1.5 million. My monthly income is around US$2,800. My basic monthly expenses, including rent, all utilities, insurance, and groceries, are around $800. That leaves me with $2,000 of play money every month! Fortunately I’m very frugal, and save most of that money. And even more fortunately, I am working in the kind of job (teaching English at the university level) that I can do for the rest of my life, because there is always going to be a demand for it in this land. The downside? I’m really lonely… Read more »

Leah
Leah
8 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Hi Jasmine! Happy New Year to you.

I was reading your blog response and I find it interesting, as I am currently wrestling with the idea of relocating overseas, and I find it refreshing to learn of your experience living in Asia. May I ask you what made you decide to leave the states and move overseas. I want to teach in an academic setting, but have had no success in finding anything here in the states. Was it, if at all, difficult to find an opportunity in Asia?

LW

Daryl
Daryl
9 years ago

As someone who spent three years living abroad, I’ll say that it really isn’t easy. Living abroad for just economic reasons can turn out to be a very expensive mistake is you can’t hack it. Culture shock can be a very stressful reality when you’ve settled in one place for an extended period of time. My suggestion would be to explore a country’s culture before deciding on going. Choosing a culture you’re at least partially comfortable with (not just familiar) can increase your chances of being able to stick it out for the long term. Finding a country with a… Read more »

Pamela
Pamela
9 years ago

@MoneyMaker’s comment shows that geographic arbitrage can be different to different people. When I think of traveling, I think of living simply and altering my choices to be more in tune with the people of the country I visit. Someone who travels for business is probably taking their usual American habits with them and paying more for the privilege. I hope that travel changes me so I can’t imagine wanting to buy a car, or anything with a Gucci or other designer label on it. Of course, I don’t buy that stuff at home, either. As Gary said, “… the… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
9 years ago

@LifeAndMyFinances:

You’re doing it again. STOP IT.

Nobody likes a comment-whore.

Curtis
Curtis
9 years ago

@Money Maker Your observations largely match my own after having lived 3 years in Costa Rica. How about spending $70 for a larger plastic ice chest that would cost a fraction of that here. Anything imported is much more expensive. Also, you must be very aware of the two-tiered pricing structure for most local services (taxi, farmer’s market,etc.). The local, native price vs. the gringo price. If you don’t speak the language, many will take advantage of the ignorance. Rent, phone, water, electricity etc were all cheaper. Medical costs are often 1/5 to 1/2 the costs of the U.S. This… Read more »

Tom Garrard
Tom Garrard
9 years ago

Well, I’ve been beaten to it. I was going to try to submit an article to grs along similar lines. I have just moved to India (only for a year) I have a bigger apartment than in the UK yet am able to save a lot and still pay off the last of my debts due to limited housing / transport / food costs. My partner was very supportive of this move – giving up her job and moving, this now means she is a lady of leisure. This also means I support her (until we return to the UK).… Read more »

Health Care Geek
Health Care Geek
9 years ago

@ Nicole: Those are some really broad generalizations. It depends on how you define “outcomes” and which medical condition you’re looking at (among many other things). For example, it has been recognized for some time that the US lags in infant mortality rate and life expectancy when compared to other industrialized countries, despite leading (by a huge margin) when it comes to spending. Of course, high per capita spending might be indicative of the huge inequalities that you pointed out, so you really have to look at the outcomes for people who are receiving medical care. When you do this,… Read more »

Kate
Kate
9 years ago

I’ve lived in the US, Canada, France, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Israel, and Afghanistan. I find this article to be something of a surprise, because I think of everything in the USA, with the notable exception of health care, to be exceptionally expensive. It’s where we go to stock up on cheap stuff! Cheap clothes with a huge variety. Cheap gas and cars. Way cheaper food. I think that the main reason people see living overseas as cheaper is because so many of your build-in costs appear to out the window, especially if you’re travelling through for a few… Read more »

TK
TK
9 years ago

@Nicole:

“The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds.”

“Using five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states, it finds that France provides the best overall health care followed among major countries by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.”

http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

@5 Kevin… who made you the comment police? I personally don’t like reading negative comments like yours first thing in the morning. It’s very jarring. And then it forces me to make a negative comment myself (like this one) which makes me feel dirty. The bad kind of dirty.

@1 Life and my finances… Keep sharing your personal experiences!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

For me, the issue is not how to live abroad (piece of cake, I came from “abroad”), but how to earn in dollars while living abroad. Anybody got tips?

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

I lived comfortably on a $6000 annual salary in 2003 in a small country in SE Asia. I rented a 2-bedroom house for $190/month. The food was ridiculously cheap and healthy, but I made a point of de-worming every few months and took doxycycline daily as an antimalarial prophylaxis. Internet ranged from $20-100/month. My work fortunately included medical insurance, including the option of evacuation flights (e.g., in case I was bitten by a potentially rabid dog and had to get rabies shots, which the local hospital did not keep on hand). It made me very conscious of the lousy options… Read more »

sarah
sarah
9 years ago

While the cost of living is certainly lower in some countries, I think in a lot of these examples you’re just tricking yourself into living differently by living somewhere that you aren’t tempted to spend. For example, you can live in the US without a car. True you have to choose where you live, but the same is true in Thailand or elsewhere. And I doubt your $400 Bangkok apartment is in the trendiest area of the city, whereas you specify “Manhattan” (where you can certainly find a dank studio for far less than $1500, even in the east village… Read more »

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago

My husband and I thought about the lower costs of living elsewhere, but we decided we were in that 95% of the population that just couldn’t ever bring themselves to leave the place that we are happy in right now. Moving to a cheaper country is a nice backup plan for us though in case our early retirement dreams are just not possible here in 25 years. 🙂

Kevin
Kevin
9 years ago

@Nicole: LifeAndMyFinances has been reprimanded for this before. He doesn’t even read the article, he just waits for a new one to be posted, then immediately jumps in with a brief, fluffy comment that doesn’t actually add any substance, just so he can pimp a link back to his own “me-too” finance blog. As I said, he’s been reprimanded for it before. If he were actually adding anything to the conversation, nobody would mind. But his entire purpose for posting is to get a comment as close to the top as possible, for maximum exposure. It’s disingenuous self-promotion, and it’s… Read more »

retirebyforty
retirebyforty
9 years ago

My parents moved to Thailand 10 years ago and their cost of living is very low compare to living here in the US. You can get a nice condo in Chiangmai for $50k. What can you get for 50k here in the US? Food is cheap, Health care is public, what more do you need?
Well, they are from Thailand so they enjoy it too.
It could be expensive it you want to eat like you eat in the US (steak, pasta, etc.) , but if you eat local food and live like local people, it’s cheap.

Andrea
Andrea
9 years ago

I would love to take off and live overseas for a year or two.I would get to eat good food that is not only cheap,but I wouldn’t have to cook.

Also staying in a furnished apartment for a month and pay less than $500 my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go!

Anne
Anne
9 years ago

Thanks Curtis for your more realistic perspective. I had a friend who lived in South America for work. I wish I could have visited. But I didn’t envy him because he wasn’t bent on convincing everyone that his life was super awesome (for the purposes of selling said lifestyle online to willing dupes like some bizarre lifestyle pyramid scheme). There were good things and bad things. I’m sick of reading about the cyber-hobo lifestyle. Locals don’t think Bankok is exotic or cheap. The most interesting thing I learned when I lived overseas is how beautiful North America is and how… Read more »

Adam
Adam
9 years ago

I did this when I was 25. I dropped my job at Deloitte & Touche as a tax senior and moved to sunny Bermuda for 2 years. Tax free pay check, my spacious studio was $1100 a month furnished, across the street from the beach, and I learned the insurance accounting industry enough to start a new job outside of public accounting while there.

Best of all, I sent money home every month and in the 2 years saved about 5 times as much as I was saving living in cold/snowy Toronto!

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

@13 Kevin I’m afraid that I find your explanation even more obnoxious. His comment fits in, is perfectly fine, and yours is mean, picky, distracting, and annoying. If you don’t like his posts, then just read don’t read them. Seriously. And I don’t care if you have reprimanded him before. (And if you’re talking about what I’m thinking about, JD gently suggested that folks not put their bloglink in each post proper, unless they had a post that directly added to the discussion. Which, Lifeandmyfinances did not do.) Stop trying to silence people. Dang it, now I feel like I’m… Read more »

Clare
Clare
9 years ago

@retirebyforty:
You can also get a condo in the US for less than $50k, you just have to live in specific areas of the country. Just one example: http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cfm?mlnum=90685719&portalid=ZL

In regards to reducing your US income tax, wouldn’t you have to pay income tax in the country you move to if you’re working there? I would assume working in Paris would come with a pretty high tax rate.

Laura in Cancun
Laura in Cancun
9 years ago

Great article! I’ve been living abroad (Mexico) for almost 6 years now. Things that are more expensive in Mexico: electronics, furniture, imported items at the grocery store Things that cost the same in Mexico: clothes, cars, most foods, phone bills, restaurants Things that are cheaper in Mexico: housing (by A LOT, although interest rates are ridiculous), transportation (taxis cost $1 – $3 anywhere in the city I want to go, and there are tons of taxis available), cable, internet, electric, water, fun activities, health care I earn a Mexican salary, so my lifestyle is probably similar to people my age… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago

You can do almost as cheaply in a rural or small US city. But this article makes some good points. At least they aren’t recommending that Americans go live in some impoverished 3rd world nation where electricity isn’t common and malaria runs rampant.

Meghan
Meghan
9 years ago

Good article. For me this is not possible right now. I don’t have the type of job that I could do from elsewhere, but if I wanted to take a year off and freelance I would consider something like this.

I’m wondering what type of visa you would need to live in some of these places.

clammy hands
clammy hands
9 years ago

This article reminds me of the old joke..

A: I know a way you can lose 20 pounds in a hurry?
B: How?
C: Chop off your head.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

I like it here in California. I have job opportunities at the biggest names in my industry and my kids will be able to know their grandparents.

Jeremy Burlingame
Jeremy Burlingame
9 years ago

I’d say this is a better option for retirement. Not many people make enough money off of their blogs or work for a company that lets them work from home and doesnt care where home is.

yw
yw
9 years ago

I’ve been in Canada and away from home for about 9 years. Last month I finally went back home to Indonesia for my brother’s wedding and I couldn’t believe what I’ve been missing out! Everything was so cheap – from food, clothes, even electronics. For most items you can haggle the price, but this works best with locally made goods rather than imported stuff (Gucci and the like) – those probably cost the same wherever you go. It’s true that maybe the prices are only cheap because I’m earning money in dollars and spending in the local currency. So that… Read more »

Amy!
Amy!
9 years ago

I agree with @El Nerdo; how the heck are you earning money while living abroad? Are you working in the local office of a US company? Not everyone can earn the big bucks through their blog or have several years worth of living expenses saved up. My boyfriend, who is from Cape Town, has said that yes, some stuff is cheaper there, not all is, like books and other imported items, but everything seems really expensive to locals because no one makes that much money. His standard of living is much better in the states than it was in Cape… Read more »

Amy!
Amy!
9 years ago

*Or the UK, not the US. They pay shit in London for the same work he does here.

Lindsay
Lindsay
9 years ago

@ Anne- I don’t think that this blog (or this post) is meant to make one feel that one’s lifestyle is sub-par. I think that it is refreshing to read about different takes on frugality. To learn about all of the options available. Of course, not all options will be suitable for everyone. What is your story? How did you attain a frugal lifestyle? I’m serious! Maybe you could do a guest post. I’m young (25) and I’m trying to learn how to be a financially responsible and practical person. I’m very interested in living-abroad for a year at some… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
9 years ago

I agree with others that it’s possible to live very cheaply in the United States, but I don’t think that is a valid criticism of this article. This article isn’t really saying the “only” way to live cheaply is to move out of the U.S. The definitive language of the second paragraph isn’t supported by the rest of the article. What *is* supported is that if you have a degree of personal and financial mobility, living abroad is a valid option and shouldn’t be dismissed out of fear. Also … cheap living in the U.S. is all about supply and… Read more »

secret asian man
secret asian man
9 years ago

Sure, you can save a lot of money moving to Bangkok.

You could also save a lot of money moving to Detroit.

The reason Americans aren’t doing either is that it’s hard for us to find jobs in Bangkok or Detroit.

Remember, for every American that wants to move to Thailand, there are a thousand Thais that want to move to America.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

I think Anne has a point in that these “lifestyle gurus” (i.e. Timothy Ferris et. al.) do make a business of promoting their own lifestyle as desirable and that’s where their money comes from. They manufacture desire like so many other businesses out there. I do think however that taking that business promotion as somehow reflecting poorly on yourself is more of an internal issue that the person has to deal with. I can watch commercials and read magazines and go to the mall and I do not feel threatened in the least– actually I think looking at all that… Read more »

Suzanne
Suzanne
9 years ago

I’m sure this is good for people who are adventurous and enjoy the experience of living in a different culture. Clearly there is a huge drawback in leaving friends and family (for those who like their friends and family) but I think especially for very young people it could be an interesting idea.

Julie
Julie
9 years ago

@retireatforty Just for the record, health care in Thailand is not “public”, if by that you mean paid for by the government. That being said, health care is very inexpensive in Thailand compared with the U.S. For a consultation with a doctor and a prescription in a Bangkok hospital I was charged about $15. My Thai friend just had major surgery and a hospital stay and the bill totaled only $4,000 (although since she has private insurance, she paid only a $10 copay.) This is far lower than what the U.S. cost would be. In fact, I think it’s safe… Read more »

Ru
Ru
9 years ago

Recently, I’ve heard more and more Americans talking about leaving and for good reasons too- political disagreements, healthcare, poor education etc. It makes me laugh though, because I’m trying to get in! The USA to me seems very cheap. I am from the South of England and everything here is much more expensive and you get much less for your cash in many areas (the one that springs to mind is housing, we all live in shoeboxes for twice the price of the US). My last boyfriend was from Seattle, and quite often I’d check out property prices online. Did… Read more »

Suba
Suba
9 years ago

Excellent article! As someone who was born and brought up in India, I have definitely considered retiring in India. But here is the shocker – I can’t afford it anymore. The cost of living has sky rocketed. I left ~10 years ago and India has changed beyond dreams. A lot for better and some for worse. There are malls everywhere, there are BMW show rooms, everyone has a car and the real estate is no longer affordable for anyone other than software engineers. In these last 10 years, I visited India thrice. The first time in 2004, when I came… Read more »

Pat S.
Pat S.
9 years ago

Definitely a give and take. I recently read an article about how many American retirees are moving to Costa Rica, Panama and other Central American nations, which are currently stable economically and have a much lower cost of living and in many cases, excellent medical care at much lower costs. I don’t know if I could do it, but it’s certainly an option.
Pat
http://compoundingreturns.blogspot.com

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

One more comment on this article. Here’s a picture I took in India:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5254/5476573017_3aa2513a06.jpg

It’s a cow, sleeping in a giant pile of trash left in the street in the middle of a major city. Sure, you may live in the fancy apartments in the neighborhood where all the foreign expats stay, but when you venture out, you’re going to notice where you are, and you’re eventually going to realize why the cost of living is so much lower there.

retirebyforty
retirebyforty
9 years ago

@ Julie
Hmmm.. My parents are Thai citizen so they can go see doctors for about $1 per visit. If they need serious medical attention like surgery, then I’m sure it’s more expensive and we probably go with private hospital at that point. But for general health care like keeping down my dad’s blood pressure and eye check up, public doctors are good for that.

Jacq
Jacq
9 years ago

I practiced geo-arbitrage by moving from Canada to the US to work for a couple of years a number of years ago. We had “loads of adventures and radically cut our costs…” 😉 This advice: “For citizens of other countries, you usually don’t have to pay any income tax if you live outside of your country” – is not correct – for Canadians anyway. Even though I changed residency while I was gone, I still got dinged when I moved home. I’d love to go live for a 6 month stretch or two in a couple of different foreign countries… Read more »

ExpatEngineer
ExpatEngineer
9 years ago

I just returned to the US after 4 years in the UK. I realize that this article is mostly referring to living in third world countries, but the reference to potential tax savings in London or Paris really threw me for a loop. #19 is right – you may not be paying US taxes on your first $80k of income, but you will most likely be paying foreign taxes on it. The income tax rates in the UK are 20% and 40%… once you earn over about $55k you are in the 40% tax bracket. Ouch. Also, once you earn… Read more »

Andy Hough
Andy Hough
9 years ago

I actually wrote an article last year about how you could live in the U.S. as cheaply as abroad. Not many of the comments agreed with me though. From my living in Central America I’d say other than the cost of health care you can live just as cheap in the U.S.

Here is the article if anyone wants to read it.

Retire in the U.S. as Cheaply as Abroad.

PigPennies
PigPennies
9 years ago

Ru – I’m not sure where you’re looking, but it’s definitely not accurate! I live in the Seattle area and work in real estate, and I can promise you there is literally no house in King County for $30k. You could buy a house in Washington State for $30k, but it would be in the sticks (nowhere near King County) where job opportunities are limited to non-existent. Maybe you mean 30 in pounds, but even then any opportunity you see at that price point in King County is going to be either on the extreme outskirts (and not the outskirts… Read more »

khadijah
khadijah
9 years ago

Saying to live “overseas” is quite a general statement, its obviously different from place to place. Obvious choices are like Southeast Asia, but most cities in SEA don’t have as good public transport as european/western metropolis. You may think you don’t need a car in Kuala Lumpur, but when it rains and monsoons and its 95 degrees outside with 80% humidity, come back and tell me you don’t need a car. One thing I think is worth mentioning is the price of alcohol/beer in KL. Be prepared to change your lifestyle. I believe drinking is really cheaper in the US… Read more »

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