5 Best Countries to Escape America’s Decline

Activist Post

Okay, you’re upset with the direction America is headed and you’ve been thinking of moving to another country. Perhaps you feel exhaustively cynical about the political, economic, or social situation in the U.S. and think it is beyond repair. You wouldn’t be alone. Many top economists and other trend forecasters are now openly predicting that a total economic, environmental, and social collapse may be imminent in America.

Americans, young professionals and baby boomers alike, are increasingly saying that their main desire for moving out of America is to seek “political asylum” of sorts.  In the past, this political discontent was typically drawn along party lines — under Bush’s 8 years the exodus mainly consisted of bitter Democrats, while as recently as March Rush Limbaugh declared, half-jokingly, that he’d move to Costa Rica if “Obamacare” became law.  However, these days, more Americans have grown cynical of the system itself and have given up on left-right politics.

Many believe that dropping out of the system as much as possible is the best form of protest. And now, because many people can telecommute through the Internet, it seems that living outside the U.S. is more do-able than ever. Furthermore, the lower cost of living in many other countries may actually increase the standard of living for some people.

Surely, America will rebound from its eventual collapse, much like Russia and Argentina have, but it might make for uncomfortable sacrifices in America during the next decade.  More Americans are looking to “ride out the storm” elsewhere, while others desire to become permanent nomads seeking foreign opportunity and adventure.

It should be noted that no country is perfect and you’ll face challenges no matter where you go. You’ll find that modernization and rampant consumerism is expanding into almost every corner of the world. Some view this as a good thing, as more American comforts can be found, while others view it as a cultural blight to foreign lands. Your expectations must be kept realistic in that you may not find paradise, but your expat adventure may ultimately lead to a more peaceful lifestyle.

The criteria for countries of safe haven include social stability, economic opportunity, freedom of self-expression, relative self-sufficiency, and an essential local community strength. These critical components are the foundation for living life with a greater sense of independence.

Here are our 5 best countries for Americans to escape the decline:

1. Uruguay

Whose official motto is “libertad o muerte (liberty or death),” is located in South America, southwest of Brazil and east of Argentina. Uruguay borders on the Atlantic Ocean and has developed infrastructure, a stable democracy, European flair, and rich culture that draws many expats to her borders. Uruguay is a constitutional democracy with one of the most developed economies in South America, possessing a high GDP per capita.

Between the years 2007 and 2009, Uruguay was the only country in the Americas which didn’t technically experience a recession, and now has the lowest Income Inequality and highest Quality of Life in Latin America, second only to Canada in all the Americas.  Uruguay is rated as the least corrupt country in Latin America with its political and labour conditions being among the freest on the continent.  In 2010, Uruguay became the first nation in Latin America to test hemp cultivation, while no drugs are illegal for personal consumption.  Located entirely in the temperate zone, Uruguay provides an excellent climate for growing.

Housing costs are much lower than the United States, as well as health care and food. Some consumer products such as cars and electronics can cost more, as well as Internet connection fees. Americans can buy real estate and own businesses, and they have an automatic 90-day visa to explore Uruguay.  Americans only need to have a proof-of-income of $500/mth to apply for residency.

2. Costa Rica

A peaceful country in Central America, often referred to as the “Switzerland” of the Latin America due to its stable economy, political stability, and quality health care. Costa Rica, blessed with two beautiful coast lines (Pacific and Caribbean), is roughly the size of West Virginia and home to around 4 million people. The Central Valley’s eternal springlike climate is said to be one of the best in the world allowing for a year-round growing season.  Costa Rica is consistently voted one of the “Happiest and Greenest” countries in the world with about 95% of its electric production coming from renewable sources.  AARP and others have ranked it one of the best foreign retirement locations, as it has all the same modern conveniences found in America and is only a 5-hour flight from New York.

Besides the price of real estate, which is comparable to the U.S., the cost of living is lower — especially property taxes, health insurance, and fresh food. Americans have an automatic 90-day visa which can be renewed by leaving the country for 3 days before re-entering.  Non-residents can own real estate and businesses, but are not allowed to work without a work visa.  Residency requirements vary based on category.  Current information is available here.

3. New Zealand

Might be the most isolated fully developed nation in the world. It shares no borders, sits relatively distant from any other nation, has no real national enemies, has a safe democracy and a diverse landscape with many remote places to hide away within. Located in the South Pacific with beautiful beaches, sunshine, friendly people, and stunning vistas, it has two main islands and several smaller islands like Chatham Island and the Cook Islands. New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons on many topics, including education, economic freedom, and lack of corruption.

New Zealand now ranks among the freest economies in the world with one of the least corrupt governments ranked #1 on the Global Peace Index in 2010 — second year in a row.  Its cities also consistently rank among the world’s most liveable.  The most commonly spoken language is English.

The cost of living is somewhat comparable to the United States.  Americans have an automatic 90-day visa to enter and explore the country.  Non-residents can apply for a 2-year work visa only in fields determined by immigration.

4. Iceland 

Has a free market economy that has historically been one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 2007, it was ranked as the most developed country in the world by the United Nations’ Human Development Index, and the fourth most productive country per capita economy.  In 2008, Iceland’s economy was devastated by the international bankers calling their foreign debt due.  However, because of pride and solidarity among the people, strong social services, a nearly self-reliant energy sector, and a manageable population (320,000), it is poised to recover once the foreign debt issues are settled.

Iceland has passed legislation to establish the country as a “free speech haven” to protect journalists and their sources. This law is a huge deal as most Western countries seem to be heading toward regulating the Internet, and it has the potential to jump-start the Icelandic economy in terms of offering censorship-free servers and other services to journalists and internet businesses.  Iceland is also a peaceful country with no standing army.

Iceland will be working it’s way back from financial collapse, while the U.S. still appears headed for the cliff.  Because of the shattered financial system, there are good opportunities to live on less income in Iceland now than during its peak, while all the signs seem poised for recovery. Residency has traditionally been difficult to get in Iceland and is usually done through vital employment needs, but the new push as a political safe-haven may open up the process a bit. Currently, American passports have an automatic 90-day visa to visit Iceland.

5. Argentina

Has bounced back from its financial collapse in 2002 when it defaulted on international debt causing massive inflation and high unemployment.  The people said “Nunca Mas,” the government has since paid off its debt to the IMF, and Argentina now has one of the world’s highest qualities of life.  Argentina is the second largest country in South America and the 8th largest in the world.  It is a fully-developed country with strong agricultural production as the second-largest exporter of corn in the world — not to mention good wines and beef too.

The capital of Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of Latin America” because it feels like a European city with rich architecture and numerous sidewalk cafes.  If the arts and ambiance with a low cost of living are your thing, then Argentina may be the best bang for your buck.

The cost of living is reportedly much lower than the United States for housing, food, travel, and health care.  Americans have an automatic passport visa of 90 days to Argentina as well. Pensioners will need to prove a $700 per month income to qualify for residency, while others can apply if they prove a steady income of $900 per month.

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  • wink

    you are one of the only people that I have noted as having any concern whatsoever for their children/grandchildren in the past decade (or more). i gave up on the human race years ago when i noticed that i was the only person who gave a damn about anything other than themselves and when my “friends” were more than willing to ignore what was going on in this country because it was “too hard” for them to deal with reality. everyone I tried to wake up only wanted to stay in the matrix, stupid, blind, dumb and a blissfully ignorant slave. my advice, get yourself away from the brainwashed masses before the killing starts.

  • Devin Rhode

    I mean, truthfully, the USA is for the most part a sound country.. until you look behind the curtain and understand that we are sheep and politicians are puppets for those involved with the Federal Reserve… and understand how big our military is.. and the fact that our police are becoming increasingly militarized (to help keep the current banking and political cartel in place)

  • WalterBannon

    every place run by “progressives” is a nazi like country

  • josh

    lol …. liberals ruined the country ….
    nice troll.

    • Obsolete American Worker

      You liberals are a bunch of degenerate, parasitic, passive/aggressive crybabies who refuse to grow up. You all act like 6-year-olds trying to get the adults to play along with your little fantasy world. You are dead set on destroying the moral fabric of this nation to accommodate your mental illnesses. You should be rounded up and put on trains to the closest border.

      • thebe59

        If you are not a billionaire you are a lost cause of stupid.

    • thebe59

      We are in a cold civil war with conservatives. Read their hate and misinformation they gather via right-wing propaganda. They know it, unfortunately too few progressives realize it.

      We need to rid these homegrown terrorist from our land.

      • darthangel

        Well at lest you’ve made it painfully obvious that it is not the billionaires that you leftists really hate.

  • yep

    don’t blame one side of the coin…all sides are of equal blame and at the root of it are the apathetic people who vote and don’t vote for the same problems that only have variance in the suit that clothes said problems.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been looking to our Neighbors to the north. Yes Canada. It has every we have in the United States,and it has Universal Health Care! When I am in Canada It fells like I could fit in there very well. One major downside is that Canada’s Economy is virtually tied to the the Economy of the United States. Most of our American Cars are actually Canadian! Most of the major banks in Canada do operate in some form in the USA. TD and,RBC are just a few I am familiar with. The economy seems to be booming up there. WIth now Hiring signs everyThey have a slightly higher standard of living with higher wages. It costs about 20%-30% more on average for goods and cost of living is a little more or less than living in any major city in the USA. It is cold but I am used to the climate living in Pennsylvania. I can see myself trying to immigrate their in the near future.I am not looking to become a millionaire anytime soon. But my American dream just my be a Canadian Dream!?a

  • Amigi

    You might want to rewrite that Argentina part….

  • Lance Stern

    if you are upset by the policies of this country you need to be anti-democrat as well. it’s the democrats who keep imposing more and more legislation and removing our rights one by one. i still remember how much better things were under reagan, inflated economy and all. it was miles ahead of where things are now. the decline began in earnest during the clinton years (when the entire housing industry started to head south big time) and inflation began to skyrocket. even during bush’s early years it was better and even then he was never able to implement changes he sought such as tort reform and privatization of social security, the second term he caved and gave into the real powers that be and it’s been on a serious decline since. and considering our current prez is democrat now for 6 years no more blaming the repubs for the current situation. that train has come and gone. i don’t support either party and neither should you.

    • SortingHat

      Well put! Anybody who still blames Bush *He did actually start it after all* needs to grill on Obama for continuing it. Those who still blame Bush are looking at the *ghost train* and by attacking it they fall onto the tracks hopefully hitting the third rail and glow. :)

  • alenajoy

    Anyone who studies Biblical endtime prophesy knows this is very true. Thank you for speaking it!

  • madethatway

    You mignt want to cut NZ out of that list, too, while you’re re-thinking Argentina.

    NZ has been working very hard to catch up with Australia’s ‘profit before people’ anthem and now the gap between rich and poor has risen sharply.

    As with Australia, NZ also now bows and scrapes to corporate interests.

  • WatchingFromOverThere

    I’m no fan of Obama, but anyone who thinks he’s a Communist or Marxist is too ignorant to live overseas and would be laughed out of any well educated country.

  • Ranger_Ric

    Which countries on this ist allow firearms ownership?

  • SortingHat

    Same deal with Rome. Everything that happened to Rome is happening here!

  • SortingHat

    And that is why people are fleeing America seeing the writing on the wall. I like the sound of Iceland despite the cold there I am pretty tough but I like how they have it a *censor free* zone but not sure how they will survive the NWO but whatever it is the effects will certainly be less felt then most other nations due to the ruralness and geo thermal whatever energy.

  • SortingHat

    Last I heard a year ago isn’t most of Australia under a moderate to severe drought slowly burning up?

  • Frank899

    Chile is an amazing country in so many ways. I’m surprised that it didn’t make the list.

    If you agree that the north is no place to plan your future, start investigating the rising star of South America. After you’ve reviewed all of the open access information on http://escapeartistchile.com and http://allaboutchile.com/contact, contact me through http://allaboutchile.com/consulting/consultations.

  • ian

    Chile should be #1. Keep in mind that asides it being the most prosperous & stable country in latin america, its abundant in natural and agricultural resources. Its sheltered by the Andes & Atacama desert to the north, the glacial to the south… and always within 2 hours of its super long coast line.

  • margova

    Republicans are just as much to blame. Ie. George W Bush.

  • Oren Gerlach

    Wonderful article here. It addresses just what it intended, i.e. alternatives to living in America. The author did not expound on politics, religion, terrorism, etc. etc., which makes his opinion that much more objective and sound, in my view.

    My own incentive for leaving is not so obvious. It is the insidious, unseen terrorism that is slowly, methodically poisoning (literally) those who live in America. It is the deliberate decision of the people to look away, to pretend they don’t see or notice what is happening. It is the collective wail of, “Conspiracy theorist!” or “Paranoia!” whenever questions are asked.

    Does no one ever look at the list of recalls, thousands of which relate to hospital equipment and pharmaceuticals? Take a look; go to the FDA recall list if you dare and, if you are not already overwhelmed by the food recalls (only a fraction list the true cause of the recall, instead opting for nebulous language meant to mislead the public), check the drug recalls and the recalls of hospital LIFE-SAVING equipment! You’ll wonder how many of these equipment defects and subsequent recalls stem from accidental, human “oversights” and how many of them are deliberately designed to harm and, yes, to kill. No need to wonder; the answers are obvious to those who allow themselves to think. Think one step further: If the FDA, a crooked organization at best, has listed these “errors” on a governmental, public website, how many have they purposely left OFF their recall lists? I won’t try to imagine.

    If my only concern were myself perhaps I could conveniently bypass these realities. Denial can be a wonderful tool in times of impending crisis. But I have children – and I have pets – whom I love. They do not have a voice – or a choice – in the midst of this rapid wasting of America.

    I could continue, but I think I’ve said enough. Thanks to the writer of the article for a well-researched piece. It will serve as my incentive for getting out of the American nightmare while I’m still able to do so.

  • Douglas

    liberals / regressives / communists / socialists / marxsits / et al
    NOTHING was said about party affiliation; Boehner = McCain = Obama = Reid = Pelosi = …

    • thebe59

      The only thing reassuring about your obvious confusion is that you are probably too young to vote.

      • Douglas

        what are you babbling about? I’ve been voting for decades…

  • thebe59

    Obama is the only reason that makes living in this country bearable. The whole Republican congress needs to go. Fascist conservatism is killing this country since Reagan. You live in fear because you feast on Fox News and hate radio misinformation and propaganda. Your views would not be popular in New Zealand, Uruguay, Costa Rica, or Iceland. You can forget about Europe also and Canada.

  • thebe59

    I wouldn’t advise it if your from South America or if you are middle eastern or if you are black. Lately the Republicans don’t like Asian immigrants either. It’s a hateful, angry cesspool created by right wing extremists who get away with murder and burning down buildings. There is 24/7 right wing propaganda constantly stirring up hate and anger in the conservative base.

  • thebe59

    President Obama has cleaned up most of the massive crap created by the Cheney/Bush Administration. We’re still trying to clean up Reagan’s mess but it’s near impossible with his brainwashed neo-cons.

    You are the people who have destroyed this country with your laziness and ignorance.

    The only anti-christ are the religious extremist who can’t seem to understand separation between church and state. The conservative working class is forever drowning their ignorance as they continue to vote against their own best interest.

  • DCHeatFan

    Damn liberals caring about people. Yeah, that’s what’s wrong with the country. Such nonsense.

    • Biff Stokely

      yeah helping people with food and what not instead of giving free money to companies so they can be in the black on their taxes and finance all those bonuses and golden parachutes.

      • darthangel

        Maybe you can tell us where those voluntary liberal soup kitchens, orphanages and schools are…

  • NoInfo ToShare

    So we’re supposed to be impressed at your military credentials? Just because you’ve been brainwashed into believing that crap of “American superiority and exceptionalism” doesn’t make you any more qualified to have an opinion — and certainly not one that’s better than others. In fact, your mentality is what’s made this country WORSE! Just about any country would prefer not to have people like you.

  • Biff Stokely

    why are you arguing about a t.v. shows imaginary violations of your rights?

  • Biff Stokely

    argentina? a actual crazy person is their president and they are fine with it…. the government is very very corrupt their economy sucks and tanks even more regularly and they always want to fight the british over the falklands well when the economy tanks or some other scandal needs to have attention drawn away from it.

  • Biff Stokely

    every place on the planet has ugly paranoid violent people …you must live in a cave by yourself in italy if you haven’t encountered it there.

  • Biff Stokely


  • Biff Stokely

    why???? the government of north korea has more in common with the lot you believe is on your side they just pander to your imaginary friend in the sky instead of that fat little adzehole with the stupid haircut.

  • Biff Stokely

    what are you doing??? are you binge watching breaking bad again?…..or that show about idiots with beards that live i think in louisiana

  • testoclocles

    Good luck settling in these countries, Americans. Iceland doesn’t want you. New Zealand doesn’t need more bloody foreign English speakers taking jobs from the locals. Costa Rica most assuredly doesn’t want you for pretty much the same reasons. Uruguay, like Costa Rica, requires PERMANENT RESIDENCY for employment, so good luck getting that. As for Aregntina, well most of you losers can teach English and make a few pesos there until poverty and/or starvation sends you fleeing back to your folk’s basement.

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