5 Best Countries to Escape America’s Decline


Okay, you’re upset with the direction America is headed and you’ve been thinking of moving to another country. Perhaps you feel exhaustedly 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 is 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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10 Responses

  1. Karmen Nava says:

    Uruguay sounds great. I know Argentina well, and personally even with the narco-traficante groups in Mexico, incidentally drug cartels or mafia exist in almost all the countries of the world, there are towns in Mexico that are safer than even Argentina. We visited Argentina recently because we have relatives there and live in Mexico part time, but we saw Mexico as a stronger country in a lot of areas. Many South Americans work and live in Mexico also because there are good opportunities for the Latinos who speak Spanish. Somehow Mexico has been chosen to be the country to lay the blame for the drug distribution–it is only one among many. Looks like the world governments are one big theater and certain countries are chosen to be the bad guys. The person who complimented and esteems the Philippines, I believe he is correct in their observations. I am sure that even the Philippines has nice towns and even greater family values than what is occurring in the USA.

  2. Philippines. It's not the third world, it's the NEW WORLD. Family values still exist, no feminism shit here. It's a real sane world for both single men and family men alike. Everything to build. You can do anything you want here. Real freedom. People are wonderful. I am here to build my future and the future of my kids but I also love to contribute to the community with orphanage, schools, etc. And yes, I started a real estate agency so that I can make money while helping SANE westerns to get the f..k out of those destroyed countries. I am italian. I consider my generation the last one that had the chance to learn family values. NWO is about to happen. Get out now!

  3. Abaddon says:

    Out of the frying pan into the fire, goes that old saying. Is there anywhere safe on this planet to hide from the coming storm? The situation during the 1930’s was very similiar to what we are experiencing now. As one man seeing big trouble was coming moved to an Island in the South Pacific believing he could see out in peace the coming troubles that he foresaw coming upon the world, and which proved to be correct. That Island was Guadacanal, where one of the biggest battles of the South Pacific campaign of world war two took place. As pointed out in another comment here, for those living in a tent in the USA, it would be better to live in Mexico in that same tent. Mexico is just about a failed state, with drug gangs running most of the country and the border with the US is in a state of siege, crime ridden, and virtually a war zone atmosphere is spreading along its whole length.
    Who would of thought that living in a poor little village in Pakistan could be dangerous? or Afghanistan? or Egypt, or, or, is your village next?
    The reality is there is no where to go, even our own hometown is open to violent change if circumstances turn into life and death situations because of internal or external instability which makes basic essentials of life impossible to attain. As one man said, “We are nine meals from anarchy.” Supposing we are rich and have our ready made bunker, with 12 months of ready made meals to see out the storm, we come out of our bunker to what? Radiation! Disease! Lawless gangs! Even for the rich who survive, what good then is their gold and silver?
    Everybody no matter where they live are concerned as to what is coming, proving in itself that where they live they feel insecure, which means everywhere is experiencing the same fears, yet everybody wants to be somewhere else. Try Guadacanal, could lightning possibly strike the same place twice?

  4. Nomad says:

    I lived in the US for 6 long years. But happily left in 2008. I went back in late 2010 for a visit. It was shocking to see so many empty homes and business’s. The two housing developments in the small town where I’d lived hadn’t moved any further forward than when Id left 20 months before. And the amount of homeless and transient people!!!!! After two weeks I was emotionally destroyed after seeing all that disappear.
    If you can get out, please do so. Why live in a tent in the US? Hitch a ride to the Mexican Border and live in Mexico in a tent. You’d be safer and better off.

  5. 989 says:

    no one should take them, they are responsible for their politicians and now things go worst , this ppl have to suffer their own made horror i´m against any american emigrant and i hope that each country will reject them .

  6. Karmen Nava says:

    Mexico was real comfortable also until about six years ago,except for certain borders before Plan Mexico went into effect. Suddenly in 2005 the International real estate signs began to sprout up such as Coldwell Bankers, Century 21, etc., increasing the prices of properties–making them comparable to US standards. Whose idea was that?

    Wal-Mart stores, Burger Kings and all the fast food restaurants from the US have dotted the scenery throughout the country and are still being constructed. Now the greatest threat are these regiments of paramilitaries trained elsewhere which supposedly deviated from their original goals. These well trained murderers are creating this present unstableness in government. and effecting the security of the country. Plan Mexico´s goal from the experts point of view is to tun it into another Colombia. Anyone can find this information by doing a search.

    Mexico was and used to be a country where anyone from any country could live comfortably having all of the facilities found in any first world country–and this is a fact. I am told by those who have lived in first world countries such as Israel, etc., that in Israel for example, you cannot not find the every day necessities needed for your daily living like you can in Mexico. In Mexico you have access to all utilities including wireless services and all modern services in almost every part of the nation and the utilities are installed quickly and efficiently.

    Now with all this well-planned chaos occurring, the tourists are not even attempting to come into Mexico and the perpetrators are disrupting the economy of a potentially prosperous country. These internationally trained thugs are bent in destroying the economy and Mexico´s livelihood. Hopefully the five best countries will not be assaulted for another four years. But yet in Mexico you can still see extremely wealthy international people buying properties. Now why would some extremely wealthy people want to continue buying property in Mexico despite all of the chaos?

    At present in secure Costa Rica 20,000 American troops have landed there making the US and Costa Rican natives restless and insecure. Can anyone in any country really feel secure when suddenly without warning a country becomes invaded?

  7. Kevin says:

    Dear sirs,

    Some of these countries that you a list as a haven from the coming storm, may at first glance appear to be desirable destinations but people wanting to move there should do some in-depth investigations about these places before making the final committment.
    For instance, Iceland might seem like the ideal destination for some because I believe it has one of the highest standards of living in the world but just recently became insolvent. Declared bankruptcy.
    New Zealand was always my personal travel or even living destination but recently alcohol there has become less expensive than bottled water which might want me to question the wisdom of the prevailing government pushing through such irresponsible policies. Caveat emptor. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Take a long, good look before you make that final leap.
    I agree with the other post. Central American countries might not be the most desirable destinations for the reasons given and much more. Mexico is a little too close with its ongoing drug wars and I’m sure that central America is a very convenient drug funnel to the northern part of North America. Not to mention the uncertain weather down there.
    Most of the Soth American countries have a very tragic history of erratic and unstable government histories. Do your due diligence before you decide to move anywhere.

    • Nomad says:

      New Zealand!! Alcohol? Cheaper than water? Are you kidding me? Yes, I agree with you Kevin. People should be very cautious about moving to THAT country!! I think I should move there immediately though, to enjoy the fishing and relaxed way of life and cheap booze!!! Huh, I’m not anal retentive enough to stay living in a Police State because the other option to move to has cheap booze!!!!

  8. I am agree but you got to replace Argentina with Colombia and Costa Rica with Peru/Chile while we take US-dollar net influences AND the climate decline into account. Colombia will do the biggest development and that might be interesting for people having to sort out income and business. Write to lawyers & economists at anunvelas@gmail.com and lets take care that pakalert readers community got the right info and service at least.

    Costa Rica hitted by carrebean storms all the time, hitted by drug lords and wars is the worst on your list. Uruguay is getting up again but due to be overrunned by argentinean capitalists and a very small place of productivity and stability for the rich. Send people to New Zealand where you got 320 days per year of rain and misreable weather conditions like Argentina, due to south pole changes, but may it be the most civilised country on your list.

    There is no better place to be than the anden mountain region countries: Colombia, Peru inland only, Ecuador inland only and part of northern Chile inland as well. The last 4 avoid coast line of about 150 miles because of vulcanic chain reaction, only Colombia avoid carrebean coast line (best places Medellin, Bucaramanga, Perreira)

    Hope you take it serious because this is the essence of 5 years of investigation and preparings. The entire northern hemisphere is under extreme risk of wars, climate and civil wars. Top south hemisphere extreme climate danger, so chose mid south african places or those southamerican suggested. Sheltering mountains and easy underground shelters 1000 feet above sea level will do while fertile ground and easy agriculture must be priority issue within.

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