I think because of the internet, 24/7 news feeds, the many travel programs and the marketing by countries around the world. We all have heard the stories of people and families leaving the U.S. and settling in some foreign country. Of course, most of the stories we hear all have a happy and prosperous conclusion.
The world has changed. The world has been at peace for the better part of 50 years and most countries have prospered and improved greatly. During the war years, most countries around the world suffered losses and destruction to their infrastructure, while the west did not. However, over the decades those countries have been busy rebuilding, improving their technology, infrastructure, and services. The result is many countries are surpassing the U.S. in those areas. These changes are not going unnoticed to the aging population of the U.S.
Other countries are now inviting U.S. citizens and their dollars to come live in their country. The visions most Americans were given and had of backward counties who lagged behind in modern conveniences are no longer true. By many standards the U.S. ranks as low as sixth to the rest of other industrialized nations in health care. Although most people believe the U.S. is highest in quality of life and standard of living, that is not true.
While still high on the scale compared to other countries, The U.S. is slipping lower every year because of contributing factors including safety, cost of living, declining healthcare, and declining education. The aging population is being hit the hardest because of fixed incomes that have been devastated from poor investment policies and decisions in the U.S. Older people cannot keep up with the rising costs, forcing them to make hard decisions. Living cheaper usually means a lower quality of life and that means a shorter life.
Instead of living their later life years enjoying some travel and leisure, many older Americans are forced to sit at home and entertain themselves watching television that is no longer free. For those old enough to think back forty years, who can remember any advertising about reverse mortgages? An instrument invented to supplement the wealth of middle America lost in investments and to allow some form of income no longer available to retirees.
Yet the costs of living are still increasing? How is that possible?
So, for many the answer is becoming a choice of finding another solution. They are not interested in the political bickering of one party versus another. They are interested in surviving and living the rest of their lives with some dignity, and their days are becoming numbered.
So, are expatriates a myth? The answer is No! They are real and the numbers are growing.
As more American discover they do not need to totally abandon the U.S. but can gently move it aside, they are testing the waters of international living.
There are rules, and some countries are more welcoming than others. However, there are many more choices today than were available a few years ago. Social security, health care, quality of life, investment, are included in a long list of reasons Americans are moving. I'll have more on this later. I have to pack.