9 Reasons Why Millennials Are Choosing To Become Expats
As it seems, more and more millennials or Gen Ys (born between 1980 and 1994) are loving the idea of moving abroad, mainly because of alluring job prospects, a better quality of life, and a hefty paycheck. Undoubtedly, moving abroad can be a rewarding experience. Add in the fact that this is a digitally-driven world, being an expat is not only alluring but also convenient.
But Before We Start, Let’s Define What An Expat Is
An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home country, either independently or sent abroad by their employers, which can be companies, universities, governments, or non-governmental organizations. However, the term ‘expatriate’ is also used for retirees and others who have chosen to live outside their native country.
Now that we understand what an Expat is, we will have a closer look at the top 9 reasons why millennials are choosing to become expats.
1. Reduced Cost of Living
As it goes, certain US states, like California, Hawaii, and New York are extremely expensive to live in, which degrades the quality of living. Other countries, like Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Spain, or Panama offer better life prospects and are far cheaper than most U.S cities.
You might find it hard to believe but you can easily buy a condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms overseas for the same price as you would have paid for buying a studio apartment in the U.S.
In Panama City, Panama, you can rent a nice 3 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms, a nice view, close to all the amenities for about $800/month. Depending on the area you pick, your hydro can be as little as $100 per month. Your food costs are considerably cheaper and you don’t need to own your own vehicle as an Uber is anywhere from $2.50 – $5.00. You can still buy a car, but considering the purchase price, license and government fees, gas consumption, parking costs, and insurance, it can be overwhelming. My suggestion would be to rent a car when you want to travel outside of Panama City, to let’s say, David or Coronado.
You will find Thailand is similar, comparing Bangkok to Chaing Mai. Rent is very reasonable, lots to do, and see and the weather is outstanding. Transportation is reasonable, food costs are cheap and wifi is almost always great.
2. Attractive Job Prospects
70% of millennials agreed that the main reason why they travel frequently is for work, as revealed by a frequent survey from FlexJobs. Undoubtedly, Gen Y loves to switch jobs, which makes them move from one country to another for financial benefits.
Many companies are hiring digital nomads today as it’s a win/win for both the employee and the owner of the company. You must be self-motivated, however, or your job can be gone in an instant.
Check with companies that are in your current area to see if they are hiring overseas. Maybe you can have an interview and snag the perfect job and lifestyle that you have been dreaming of.
3. Better Work-Life Balance
Millennial’s, unlike the older generations, prefer work-life balance. Fortunately, there are various countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain which are known to strike the right balance between work and life, which is not the case with the U.S.
This is one of the reasons why the younger generation from the U.S is planning to move abroad to enjoy a better quality of life.
No matter where you start or finish, a better work-life balance is important. Working as a digital nomad you can work 3 days a week and really put your head down, do a fantastic job and then relax for 4 days and see the sites of your new city or country.
4. For Political Reasons
Let’s admit that the political situation in the U.S is currently a nightmare. However, not all countries are in political turmoil or discuss politics in every waking moment.
Before you make the leap to live overseas, do your homework. Make sure that the country you have chosen to work in is politically stable as you don’t want to find yourself being ousted just as you’ve settled into your new home.
Make sure that the country you are leaving from, whether it be the US or Australia, does not require you to apply for a visa. It can still work; however, choosing a country that does not require a visa, is far easier to enter and you really want to start your new life in your new country to be hassle-free.
The other thing you must look at is how long you can stay in the country with a ‘Visitors Visa’. Some countries, like the UAE, will only allow Americans and Canadians to stay for 30 days. They then must exit the UAE but are allowed to turn around and re-enter immediately. The cost is about $100 and must be done every 30 days.
On the other hand, a country like Thailand only allows a 30-day visa, with no re-entry available for 30 days. And it is extremely hard to get a residency visa for Thailand. You can still make it work, like marrying a Thai, but if you don’t see that in your plans, even tho Thailand is amazing, it might not be for you.
5. Easier To Own A Property
As mentioned above, owning a property is comparatively easier in various countries rather than in the U.S. Millennial’s have been struggling economically for the past few years, and flocking overseas not only helps them in improving their quality of life but also helps them in owning a house which costs a fortune in the U.S.
In the UK it is easy to purchase a property for you and your family to live in. Costs are relative to the USA.
In Panama, there are no restrictions for foreigners that want to buy a property. There are rules that must be followed, and finding yourself a really great real estate agent will most definitely help in the buying process.
6. Flair For Travelling
Who doesn’t love travelling? Gen Y loves it more! They have a desire to see the world, and thus, they are more prone to settle down in different countries.
Further, the advent of social media networks like Facebook and Instagram have made it easier for them to click amazing photos and share it with their friends and family which also serves as a major inspiration why millennials do not like to settle and love travelling from one country to another.
If travelling is what you love, then being a digital nomad could be for you. If you love working from your laptop and are dedicated to working 8-10 hours 5 days a week, you should be looking for something overseas. Picking a central location, like Panama for instance, you can travel to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Argentina, and more.
If you pick the UAE, you can visit Oman, Bahrain, and Turkey are not that far from a plane ride. You can also do what is called, Flag Theory.
7. Improved Quality Of Living
In most cases, millennials generally move to different countries to improve their quality of living. There are various countries like Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Norway wherein the health insurance is covered by the state which is not the case with the U.S.
In addition to being able to afford basic healthcare, the overall experience in various countries is pleasant. This is one of the reasons why millennial’s are flocking to different countries than the U.S. for a better quality of living.
Make sure when you do choose a country you feel you could call home, that they have a great health care system. Each country runs its health care system differently. Some have a coed share, others have free with high taxes, others have to pay yourself, and no taxes. In the end, the cost is always the same, whether you pay it with your taxes or you pay it to the doctors.
I know that in the UAE, there were no taxes; however, we had all private health care which is a cost you must consider. In Panama, they have insurance packages that help to offset the costs of health care, but for a top-notched private hospital in Punta Pacifica, you can deliver your baby for $2600. That’s pretty good. In Canada, that same cost is about $15,000 but is covered in your high taxes.
8. Greater Probability Of Getting Hired
Doesn’t matter how you perceive it, but the individuals who move abroad are often seen as more daring, bold, and intelligent. In most cases, this is what a probable employer or university thinks too.
As a result, most companies and organizations are willing to hire international workers. Similarly, even the university recruiting counsellors are more likely to favour the international students who have proved themselves by leaving behind their home country and settling at a different place altogether.
9. To Work Remotely
One of the reasons why millennial’s love to move abroad is because they have remote jobs wherein they can work from any corner of the world. All they need is an active internet connection and a computer.
Remote jobs allow them to work at their own hours and have become common nowadays. There are various cities that offer great flexibility while working and some of these include Bengaluru, Berlin, Lisbon, Vancouver, Panama City, and others.
These were a few reasons why millennials take the challenge and move to a different country, as they know that they have brighter prospects outside than back at home. I hope you enjoyed this article on 9 Reasons Why Millennials Are Choosing To Become Expats.
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About The Author
Mikkel Thorup is the Director at EscapeArtist.com the oldest and largest offshore website in the world and hosts The Expat Money Show podcast. He is also the author of #1 Best-Selling book Expat Secrets on Amazon. Mikkel has spent over 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran. His goal is to help people just like you to generate additional streams of income, legally eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. Follow Mikkel Thorup on Twitter @ThorupMikkel
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