1. North America becoming too expensive for pension – We recently heard from two different expats the reason they want to move to Ecuador is so they can be in the middle class again. Many folks do not want to give up standard of living. Unfortunately, the way foreigners go about it almost assures their costs abroad will be much higher than they anticipated.
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2. Dissatisfaction with the culture of North America – Many find that although they left a culture they wanted to leave behind, their adopted culture isn't necessarily one they would choose either. The knee jerk reaction is they try and make changes that suit them, but the long-time people who live in Ecuador have adjusted just fine and do not want a little N. America.
3. Dissatisfaction with health care/medical system/costs - Health care is sometimes better and less expensive in South and Central America. However, that's not all there is to know. It is possible to have better health anywhere in the world, yes even in your own country. We didn't come for the health care and mostly don't use it.
4. Wanting to leave extreme weather conditions - Expats have told us too much snow, ice, freezing temps or humidity and hot temperatures. This is probably not a good reason to leave where you were planted. Its easy enough to just take a winter sojourn to Florida or similar.
5. Dissatisfaction with politics – Moving abroad for this reason will surely not last long and you’ll be moving back home soon. This reason goes well with number 2.
6. Change and adventure – If this is the reason you are moving abroad then once you get the change and adventure out of your system, most people will be ready to move back home. Did you read our article called, After the Honeymoon? You'll get a kick out of it.
7. Married to a foreigner – Lots of immigrants who expatriated to N. America and married a North American now want to move back to their home country. Some of the returning Ecuadorians may be bringing N. American wives and or husbands back to Ecuador with them.
8. Curiosity of what it’s like to live abroad - Who knows you might just love it, or you might just move back where you came from.
9. Think it will make them happier or improve their marriage - If your marriage is not already healthy, moving abroad will not improve your marriage. On the other hand, if you both are dedicated and believe marriage to be a life-long commitment, getting out of the rat race and moving abroad can make your marriage stronger. How can Retiring abroad make your marriage stronger?
10. Want to get children out of the decaying environment of N. America - South America still retains (some of) its family values.
11. Want to eat healthier / fresher food - There's an abundance of fresh produce at reasonable prices in South America.
These top 11 reasons why North Americans move abroad are not in any particular order. If you retired or moved abroad for another reason not listed here, please let us know in the comments section of this blog post.
Until we write again…
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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!