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The 5 Best Countries for Expats

Have you ever dreamed of leaving everything behind and starting from scratch in a place where no one knows your name?

Then your dream just might come true!

While it may feel very dreamy and intimidating simultaneously, starting anew in a different country isn’t a far-fetched ambition. In fact, according to Global Expatriates, there were almost 56.8 million expatriates or expats in the world!

In this guide, we’ll be listing the best 5 countries for expats to move to in 2020 along with basic cost estimates. So keep reading!

1.     United Arab Emirates

Known for its futuristic, wealthy and rustic landscape, the United Arab Emirates is the hub of expats from all around the world.  Ranging from recreational lifestyle to thriving work opportunities, the UAE has it all and it’s cutting-edge. It is all further pronounced by its Arabic heritage, which adds cultural richness making it a very attractive area for expats and digital nomads.

Average earnings

According to Arabian Business, UAE ranks as the 10th best country for expats, earning an average income of $155,180.

As far as costs are considered, most expenditures vary depending on the number of persons as well as the state where the person or family is living.

Cost breakdown

  • Dubai: For a single person, the cost of living in Dubai is around $2,500 whereas the cost for a family of four would be around $6,300
  • Abu Dhabi: For a single person, the cost would be around $2,200 whereas for a family of four, the cost would be $5,500
  • Ajman: For a single person, the cost would be around $2,700 whereas for a family of four, the cost would be $3,500

These costs do not include rent. For most expats the rent is covered by the employers but on average, the rent could cost you around $800-1200 for a studio apartment!

2.     Spain

Home to the Prado Museum, Alhambra Palace and golden-glazed beaches, Spain is one of the sweetest spots of Europe! Its lively culture, colorful architecture, and buzzing nightlife make it the perfect spot for expats to work and live in!

Average earnings

The average annual earning in Spain is $29,200 with a monthly minimum wage of $1,000. However, the earnings increase depending on your skill or profession.

Cost breakdown

A typical cost breakdown in Spain includes housing/rental, house help, entertainment, groceries, utilities, gym membership, health insurance and other personal costs.

  • Alicante: The monthly total cost of living for a couple is $2,409
  • Madrid: The monthly total cost of living for a single person is $1,875
  • Barcelona: The monthly total cost of living for a couple is $2,500

3.     Thailand

Thailand has everything you could dream of — natural beauty, excellent recreational activities, a thriving international community, affordable housing and more! The temples and the traditional food markets add a nostalgic vibe to the scene.

Average earnings

On average, expats may earn a minimum of $1,100-1,500 a month. Of course, the earnings can increase or decrease based on skills and profession.

Cost breakdown

*Cost breakdown includes rent, utilities, groceries, entertainment, transport and one-off purchases:

  • Bangkok: The monthly total cost of living for a single person $1,132

4.     Turkey

Known for its delicious treats and its vibrant culture, Turkey is garnering traffic from expats all around the world. Its modest yet western culture, friendly community and room-for-growth makes it an excellent spot for expats to live in!

Average earnings

While the earnings may vary between $270-4,784 per month, the average worker earns $1,574 per month. What makes this so attractive for expats is that housing and transport are included within the monthly earning! The average hourly rate is $9.01/hour.

Cost breakdown

Cost breakdown includes utilities, groceries, entertainment, public transport and etc.

  • Istanbul: Monthly cost of living for a single person is $429.25 and for a family of four is $1,504.68 (exclusive of rent)
  • Ankara: Monthly cost of living for a single person is $386.43 and for a family of four is $1,337.64
  • Izmir: Monthly cost of living for a single person is $379.80 and for a family of four is $1,324.20

5.     Switzerland

Switzerland offers more than you could imagine for a comfortable life. Known for its chocolates, watches, mountains and more,  this country ranks among the top countries as one of the safest and happiest ones. Guarantee yourself a stable life with top-notch healthcare, education, and lucrative work opportunities.

What makes it a top-spot for expats is its high income with comparatively lower tax rates, leaving expats with an ultimately high gross income!

Average earnings

In 2017, 57% of respondents reported a gross income of more than $100,000 per year while 14% reported more than $200,000 per year. Since the Federal taxes are between 1-11%, it typically leaves expats with a significant chunk of their income in hand!

Cost breakdown

The below cost breakdown excludes rent.

  • Zurich: Monthly cost of living for a single person is $1,700 and for a family of four, the cost is $6,200
  • Geneva: Monthly cost of living for a single person is $1,600 and for a family of four, the cost is $5,800

Conclusion

Wherever you want to start a life, whether it is with your spouse or a family, these countries offer stability, luxury, and growth in all aspects.

Which of these top 5 countries for expats would you move to?

Photo by Nubia Navarro

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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