Retirement often means an increasing number of people relocating abroad. The cost of living, quality of life, and cultural accessibility of a country often reflect how appealing it is to settle down later in life. Retirement interest in any one country reflects the global perception of that country.
For people 45 years and older who are looking to retire abroad, major factors to consider include affordability, a favorable tax environment, friendliness, a pleasant climate, respect for property rights, and a well-developed public health system.
On the other hand, parents who want to give their children the best possible start in life are seeking an ideal balance of income maximization, education quality and costs, childcare options, and overall family well-being.
When it comes to expat parents, especially those who are mobile, relocating to a country that provides the best family life is a priority.
Meanwhile, individuals who seek to bring their entire families abroad choose between the incredible lifestyle a country offers and the financial and career-development opportunities that would support their entire family.
We have compiled a list of the best countries that balance one’s income and lifestyle needs in perfect harmony— especially for retirees, parents, or even young professionals.
Finland comes in first place, with excellent ratings from children-raising expats. The Finnish are proud of how their society takes care of families by offering various types of support and benefits to make their lives easier.
With Finland’s reputation as one of the world’s leaders in educational systems, it’s no surprise that the country ranks so high in this category. Expat children in Finland benefit from short school days and a variety of school-sponsored educational activities.
2. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is ranked second on the list by expat parents based on the availability and costs of childcare and education. Although the majority of expats agree that education is affordable in the country, the quality of education is not as highly regarded.
The literacy rate in the country is high, reaching up to 99%. The capital city of Prague is home to prestigious universities and art schools, as well as several private international schools that offer accredited educational programs in different languages such as English, French, and German.
Israel is ranked third, with 81% of expat parents giving the country high scores in childcare and education. Even though the country is viewed negatively for children’s safety and family life in general, Israel has the expats’ approval when it comes to children’s health.
Situated between Europe and the U.S., professional expats are mostly drawn to urban Canada. Canada’s urban communities are extremely diverse, welcoming, and tolerant. Its live-and-let-live lifestyle is very appealing to many expats.
Sweden is known for its unparalleled childcare, which makes it a favorite for families. Expats rank Sweden first in both childcare quality and overall child costs. It has also been named the best family destination.
You will also benefit from an excellent work-life balance, solid job security, good health, and high overall quality of life. Sweden is a family-oriented culture, making it ideal for advancing your career while raising children.
Drawbacks? Don’t expect to be able to save much for retirement, have a sizable disposable income, or see impressive wage growth. That will not happen.
Sweden is a very socially conscious country that strives to strike a balance between financial stability and the well-being of its citizens. High-quality social security, healthcare, education, and welfare are well-developed; however, they are all paid for out of the pockets of Swedish citizens.
Singapore has long been a top destination for expats due to its disposable income, wage growth, savings, and career advancement. Expats rate its finance, safety, and healthcare as excellent. School quality is the best in the world, with childcare quality being another of its strengths.
Although Singapore has a lot to offer professional expats from all over the world, it’s not cheap. Raising children in Singapore can be expensive, and the work-life balance could be better. In this regard, Singapore may be compared to Dubai, albeit at a higher cost.
7. New Zealand
When it comes to expats’ lives and experiences, this small, remote country offers a simple, healthy, and family-oriented life.
Family, environment, nature, and health are valued more highly in New Zealand than wealth or status. As a result, the disparity between the rich and the poor is much narrower than in other countries.
Living and working in New Zealand means having a good work-life balance, fantastic entrepreneurial opportunities, good finance and healthcare, and high standards of living.
Mexicans are pleasant people. Expats believe it is simple to adapt to the local culture. In fact, expats don’t seem to stick together in Mexico because it’s easy to make local friends here. The friendliness of the town’s people and the low tax rate in Mexico are the best part of life, according to expats.
9. Costa Rica
Many expats relocate to Costa Rica in search of a better quality of life and because they feel drawn to the welcoming locals with their friendly attitude toward foreign residents. It’s easy to feel, well, at ease in the local culture. According to many expats, the beauty of the country, the friendliness of the Ticos, and the low expat tax in Costa Rica are some of the best things about living on this side of the world.
Expats enjoy the food, weather, and favorable income taxes in Colombia. Most expats also believe that settling down in Colombia is simple, and so is making friends with the locals.
When you decide to relocate abroad, whether with the support of your employer or on your initiative, one of your first thoughts may be: where is the best place to raise a family? How does it feel to live there? How will this affect my family life? What advantages will my children gain? Here, you must research the benefits of becoming an expatriate in a particular foreign location.
However, benefits can vary depending on the opportunities available in the country of your choice, and it just boils down to what matters most to you. In the end, wherever you or your family decide to move abroad, what’s important is that you feel like you’ve never really left home.
Randall Brody is the founder and CEO of Peace Of Mind Tax Help and Tax Samaritan. Randall has also been a serial entrepreneur, a former banker, an NTPI Fellow, and an IRS Enrolled Agent. When he isn’t busy rescuing taxpayers from the IRS and state tax authorities, Randall enjoys skiing and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.