One of the most compelling reasons to move out of the Western world is to save massive amounts of cash by living in a new country where the quality of life is comparable to your home country, but where the cost of living is radically lower.

We Westerners often forget, or don’t realize, that the US, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia are some of the most expensive places on Earth to live. By the way, this is true even if you don’t count the high tax rates in those countries. When I say “cost of living,” I mean strictly that, your average monthly costs for things like housing, food, entertainment, transportation, healthcare and lifestyle, irrelevant of taxes. Taxes is an entirely different conversation (though the West is the highest taxed area to live in too, and yet another reason to get the hell out).

One of my favorite websites is Expatistan.com, where you can find all kinds of very cool cost of living calculators. You can input your home city, input any other city on Earth, and get a detailed comparison on just about every typical expense you can think of.

If you’re curious, here are the 10 most expensive cities in the world based on its datasets:

Zurich

Geneva

New York

San Francisco

Washington DC

London

Basel

Hong Kong

Lausanne

Nine out of ten are in the West. Yup. (And why the hell is Switzerland so expensive? Jesus you guys!)

It also has a good cost of living world map displayed at the top of this article, but you can use the interactive version here. As you can see, the cheapest places to live are, well, everywhere other than the West, including South America, Central America, Mexico, Russia, Africa, India, and some parts of SE Asia.

Eastern Europe is also very cheap, though as I’ve explained before, that’s still part of the West and thus headed for a socialist suicide. If you’re a younger guy (as in under the age of 35) and want to live in Eastern Europe for a few years to bang some hot babes, then go for it. But if you want to permanently move there to plant your final flag, you’re either delusional or need to do some more research.

I live in Washington State, but the closest major city to my home is Portland, Oregon. Using that for my basis, I compared the overall cost of living to the five cities on my short list of places to move to in 2025. Here are the figures:

Overall Cost of Living Change As Compared to Portland, Oregon

Hong Kong: +27%
Montevideo: -21%
Santiago: -34%
Buenos Aires: -45%
Asunción: -49%

Asunción, Paraguay looks to be the cheapest, but there was a warning on the site saying that this was based on sparse data (unlike the other cities which had a complete dataset). Asunción would be the most third world option in my top five cities, and I’m not sure I’d be happy living there 8-9 months a year. (On the other hand, if I traveled a lot, which I would, perhaps I’d like the peaceful break when I was home. Not sure. It’s a difficult decision.)

As expected, my beloved Hong Kong is ridiculously expensive, being one of the most expensive cities on Earth. I don’t live extravagantly but I’m still sure to take some kind of hit if I lived there permanently. Montevideo, Uruguay is also surprisingly expensive compared to the other southern South American cities I’m looking at, and it also has the highest crime rate (including murder rate) of these cities, by far. The more information I uncover, the less attractive Montevideo looks to me.

That leaves Santiago and Buenos Aires. Both very attractive, though I keep leaning more towards Buenos Aires. I haven’t made any decisions yet, since over the next few years I’m going to spend a lot of time in both cities.

One important note about your cost of living. Outside of debt, your average, projected monthly cost of living is going to rely mostly on one thing: your family and relationship situation.

If you’re married with two kids (or plan on getting married and having kids later in life), your cost of living, obviously, is going to be way higher than if you’re a single guy. But even you non-dads need to be careful. If you have no kids but have a wife, or even a serious or live-in girlfriend, again, your cost of living is going to be higher, at least a little bit. And no, it doesn’t matter if she has a job or her own income. Unless you’re dating a rich sugar momma who’s 20 years older than you, a female companion (wife, girlfriend, OLTR, whatever) costs money. Just trust me on this. (And the more money you make, the more likely this will be true.)

So if you plan on moving out of the country several years down the road like I do, you’ll need to guess if you’ll be in a pair-bonded relationship and/or if you’ll have kids at that time (or shortly after), and adjust the numbers accordingly. The odds are very high that I will have some kind of girlfriend/OLTR in 2025, so I’m budgeting accordingly. (You’ll also have to plan out international logistics like a 2nd passport for her.)

Take a good look at Expatistan.com and play around with it. It will offer hours of nerdy fun, as will other cost of living calculators.

29 thoughts on “Moving Out of the Country – Cost of Living

  1. Once the Palestianin situation is resolved, the best place to live would be
    Jersuslem Israel. Israel will be compelled to establish a Palestianin homeland.
    Hillary will twist their arms. Israel has lots of natural gas. It gets along with Turkey now,
    and will even get along with Iran. (Iran will also become a world power) Egypt too.

  2. I wouldn’t discard Uruguay, I never visited myself but I don’t think is much different than Argentina, plus they have more libertarian politics (legalization of marijuana and legal abortion until 12 weeks pregnancies), but yeah, the cost of living there is higher.

    Dont trust public stats (like INDEC) from Argentina unless they are from 2016 or later, the last goverment adultered every public data they could put their hands on.

  3. The taxes in Argentina and Chile are way to high. Both countries have a progressive income tax system that kicks in way faster than the US equivalent. They are higher than in the US depending on how you are structure. I can see living in them for a few years to pick up a high quality second passport but I don’t know why you would live in them over a number of other countries. I also think you are silly to treat all of eastern europe as one homogenous entity, especially a socialist one. Also have you aware that the current Chilean government is quite left leaning and the Argentinian government until last fall has been pretty left leaning as well. These countries are far more socialists than many Eastern European countries which offer low flat taxes and cheaper cost of living. Eastern Europeans remember how shit communism was and do not want to go back. Yes, there economy will slide if western EU goes into a recession but that should just mean that everything is on sale for the people who still have money.

  4. Dont trust public stats (like INDEC) from Argentina unless they are from 2016 or later, the last goverment adultered every public data they could put their hands on.

    I know. Stats from expatistan.com are not public.

    The taxes in Argentina and Chile are way to high.

    Every time I talk about moving somewhere, someone complains that that taxes will be too high there, requiring me to repeat, yet again, that I won’t be earning income there as an Argentinian citizen with an Argentinian business with Argentinian customers. Instead, I will be following the Five Flags model here.

    This means I’ll be earning income as a non-citizen from an internationally based business from international customers outside of that country. Thus I won’t be paying these high taxes you’re worried about. That’s the entire point here. This is why my Country A (the country I actually move to) can have even higher tax rates than my home country (which taxes international income), yet still pay less overall tax. (And if that country actually does tax non-citizen international income just as high as normal citizens, then don’t worry, I won’t move there.)

    Pretty much every country in the world has high taxes (more or less).

    Pretty much every country in the world has a progressive income tax system (more or less).

    Leftists have (pretty much) taken over the world. You can’t avoid this stuff. So complaining that X country has high taxes or a progressive income tax system doesn’t really mean anything. They all do! (Pretty much, yes, there are rare exceptions which may not be nice places to live.) The least bad option is to adopt the five flags model so you can pay the minimum taxes while residing in a high-taxed country.

    I also think you are silly to treat all of eastern europe as one homogenous entity, especially a socialist one.

    Okay great, then give me the names of specific countries in Eastern Europe who will prosper economically over the next 20-40 years, even when Europe crashes, and back up your assertions with economic and political facts and stats rather than opinions and emotion. I can’t wait for your answer.

    Yes, there economy will slide if western EU goes into a recession but that should just mean that everything is on sale for the people who still have money.

    Correct, but I can invest and/or buy low-cost stuff in Europe during or after the crash without physically living there in the middle of ground zero when the shit hits the fan. I’d prefer to buy those assets from very far away while getting a blowjob on a beach rather than looking for my shotgun (that will probably be illegal there) to defend myself against civil unrest (for example).

  5. What do you think of Costa Rica?

    In terms of Central America, Costa Rica and Panama are probably good options. They’re too warm for me though.

  6. Aside from political and climate aspects, would Taiwan be a decent option for long term residency in Asia?

    A lot of men complain that women in Taiwan are very conservative and that pickup and dating is difficult there, more so than China.

    So other than that AND the climate AND the possibility of war with China, yeah, Taiwan is great.

  7. My mentor, Im that venezuelan guy that wrote you a couple months ago, I have being gathering a lot of info to decide wich country to move. Even Im also uruguayan I finally decided for Argentina, is a big country with lots of options to move in, you neccesarilly don t need to live in Buenos Aires where the crime ratio is a bit high, you have more options in the provinces with smaller cities that also have good infraestructure and lower crime rates. Still Buenos Aires is a very safe city if you compared to more dangerous countries like Venezuela :(, Colombia or Brasil.
    Btw remember I told you back then I was considering Ecuador and Chile, well I discarded those 2 after recent earthquakes, it seems the earth is gonna move a lot more from now on in the pacific ring of fire area, so it seems to me like a high risk to settle your final flag in any of the countries located there.

  8. Caleb, check out http://www.nomadlist.com great site as well.

    I’m 36 and I’m living half of the time in Eastern Europe banging hot babes Tom Torero style and planning to keep doing that until 40+ so it’s possible for “older guys” as well 😉

    My current plan of the country to eventually live in is Buenos Aires, but as long as Europe is still a nice playground (for some years to come) I’ll be playing there. When that changes, I’m out.

  9. @Rick
    Where in Eastern Europe?

    I’m almost done with my paperwork to stay here permanently in Kiev, Ukraine. My job is online and location independant.

    Tons and tons of super hot women, everything is dirt cheap. I don’t do daygame or night game, but online dating works very good for me 🙂

  10. I’m 36 and I’m living half of the time in Eastern Europe banging hot babes Tom Torero style and planning to keep doing that until 40+ so it’s possible for “older guys” as well ?

    My current plan of the country to eventually live in is Buenos Aires, but as long as Europe is still a nice playground (for some years to come) I’ll be playing there. When that changes, I’m out.

    Now THAT’S a good plan. Use Eastern Europe as a temporary playground, and when it goes to shit, get out.

  11. @Haha! Warsaw, Prague and Budapest this year (in Holland now), but I’ll be visiting Kiev somewhere between may-aug next year. What online site do you use? I mainly do daygame @ the moment.

    The end of the year I’ll be in Lisbon, Valencia or Gran Canaria (Spain) until april. I love the vibe over there and the hot dirty Mediterranean girls 😉 and it’s pretty cheap to live over there now, all things I take advantage of. But when it’s a bit warmer in E.Europe… that’s where I am. Those Slovic genes, long blond hair… fuck.

    I hate very cold OR hot weather, so I mix it up. One of the many great things that location independent living gives you.

    Living as a digital nomad in this day and age is golden, absolute freedom has always been my deepest desire and we now live in an age that it’s possible, so all men who desire this should use this 10+ year window of opportunity to live the dream (until the West collapses, which it will). And avoid Western Europe as much as you can, it’s slowly becoming the Mordor of Europe. Plan on getting the fuck outta dodge if you’re still there.

  12. @Rick
    I use atfriends.ru and ukrainedate.com both are paid ones, and both have english interface, each 120 bucks a year I think it was. Totally worth it.

    post me your email so we can get together dude 🙂

  13. That’s a great plan @Rick and @haha!, wish I could live that nomad lifestyle and make E. Europe my playground too, but sadly my life have being harsh and my first goal now is to move out of Venezuela by all means possible. Can you guys give me some directions on what you guys do online for a living? There is so many stuff out there but I’m lost and haven’t found anything that makes good income yet. At the moment I’m filling surveys but I barely do 200 dollars monthly and working a lot, like 12 to 14 hours daily, but filling those surveys are leading me nowhere. Still doing em at the moment to complete the money for my fly ticket :/

  14. I would recomend Romania, as the cost of living there is so cheap and the quality of women is phenomenal. Also the climate is temperate and regarding taxes and money issues, basically the medium salay is around 350 euro/month. The issue i have with these countries is that the medical system is no bueno and the coruption is basically everywhere.
    But other than that, for a temporary relocation i think its a perfect option. I say it again: really hot women 😉

  15. I never understood the Uruguay thing and couldnt find the 2 year rule you were talking about – but Santiago and Buenos Aires are definitely on my radar as well – maybe Panama too if I can handle the heat.

    I would be VERY interested in hearing your experiences if you make it down that way sometime soon.

    Taxes shouldn’t matter if your income is from another country, and Argentina has a 2-year passport application (if you actuallly reside there) which is nice. The current Government is also — for once — on their way to making economic reforms and stability.

    My best friend growing up was from BA and he said for the first time in his life he is considering moving back part time (he is i his 40s) to escape some of the high cost of living in San Jose.

    Anyway, any further info on this is appreciated.

  16. @Julian: how difficult are the women ? And do they tend to be traditional/monogamous etc or are they more on the sex-positive side ?

  17. @Julian
    Romania might be nice, but I don’t speak Romanian, I do speak Russian and that works good in Kiev. Also Kiev is #1 city in the world of women to man ratio to my favor and that does miracles also.

  18. I would be VERY interested in hearing your experiences if you make it down that way sometime soon.

    I will spend significant time there over the next few years, and will be giving all of you a full report.

    Taxes shouldn’t matter if your income is from another country

    I know. That guy above was just knee-jerk defending Eastern Europe without any logic. I always get one or two of these angry Eastern Europe defenders whenever I talk about these topics.

  19. @Haha! Sounds good, you can reach me at digimadsway at gmail dot com.

    The first link looks good, the second one… I’m always a bit sceptical to English/International versions of such sites. You gotta be careful they don’t play the provider-game (why are they on an English speaking site?). Same goes for apps like Tinder.

    @Julian It’s on my 2017 list, any place in particular in Romania that’s really good? Any of you guys have experience with Croatia btw?

    @Jorge Caleb gives some good tips in his book The Alpha Male 2.0 on ways to get you started, highly recommended read.

    Cool blog btw Caleb, like it!

  20. @Gil Galad
    They can get quite bitchy but if you are from another country they are more open.The best aproach for this is Social Circle game (this strongly aplies if you are a local but depends on the cities). For a foreigner with basic english its great. Girls here love foreigners. They are mostly monogamous( i’d estimate 60%) because they love the emotional comfort but maaan do they cheat.
    @haha!
    You dont need to speak romanian. The wide majority of them speak english really really good.
    @Rick
    Good places : Cluj( my favorite), Oradea(bitchy girls and “bad boys “), Bucharest ( been there just once but heard its awesome)

    You can find really cheap rent by the way ..around 170- 200 euros / month.
    @Caleb
    Im really curious about your opinion about Romania (eastern europe).
    Thanks alot and great content btw 😉

  21. Im really curious about your opinion about Romania

    Can’t speak to that because I’ve never visited Romania. Super hot chicks I hear though. Romania would fall into my general Eastern European advice; go there to bang super hot chicks, but don’t live there permanently for the rest of your life.

    It’s on my list and I’ll probably get there in 2018.

  22. Another good site for cost of livinng is numbeo.com which gives you actual costs of individual goods and services from people who live there.

    Por ejemplo – from Panama City:
    Index Info
    Cost of Living Index (Excl.Rent): 60.76
    Rent Index: 36.80
    Groceries Index: 59.40
    Restaurants Index: 57.65
    Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: 49.50
    Local Purchasing Power: 39.34

    Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
    Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 5.77 $ 5.22-6.44
    Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.04 $ 1.54-2.72
    Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.86 $ 0.79-0.91
    Eggs (12) 2.03 $ 1.87-2.20
    Local Cheese (1 lb) 3.78 $ 3.00-4.54
    Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 3.84 $ 3.63-4.22
    Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 3.97 $ 3.63-4.31
    Apples (1 lb) 1.69 $ 1.13-2.04
    Banana (1 lb) 0.48 $

  23. There’s a reason N.A. and Western Europe generally have a high cost of living. Your capital is (relatively) safe there and the government is not likely to change unscheduled.

    My dad has clients for his business. One of his clients told him a story.. In Venezuela when she was growing up, the political party in power wanted to reaffirm support and look good to the public. There was a large, private-sector toy company that made bicycles and other stuff. The prime minister (or whatever, she was in charge) made the company give a bicycle to every family. She just took one for each family. The client recalled “her” bicycle to my father with such fondness.

    Another client he had grew up & lived most of his life in another South American country. His shop got broken into so he called the police. Instead of helping him, the police shook him down. Chief of police himself went, liked the wooden clock sitting on his desk. Told him “I like this clock”.

    The most expensive thing for most people around here where I live (Bay Area, California) is rent. If you can wrap your mind around communal living (Asian and South Asians do this a lot) you can save a LOT of money (and unintentionally fight wealth inequality at the same time). Another option, move to parts of the neighborhood with a little bit of crime. You can live CHEAP and if you have moderate street smarts and keep to yourself you’ll be fine. Not to mention reaping the superior standard of living of still being in the U.S.

  24. There’s a reason N.A. and Western Europe generally have a high cost of living.

    That is not the reason, and I’ve found people use that as an excuse. Having safe capital and a stable government does not require sky-high inflation, sky-high prices, or sky-high tax rates to fund a mutiltrillion dollar government that wastes most of its money.

    The US was the safest place for capital back in the 1950s too, yet cost of living and taxes back then weren’t nearly as high.

    Another option, move to parts of the neighborhood with a little bit of crime. You can live CHEAP and if you have moderate street smarts and keep to yourself you’ll be fine. Not to mention reaping the superior standard of living of still being in the U.S.

    It’s interesting; I seriously looked into that. I looked into moving into Detroit so I could buy a house for $10,000. For that cheap, I could build a concrete wall around the entire thing and get the best security system in the universe.

    I’d still be in the US though, so I skipped it.

  25. Not pretending to be a pain in the ass but it’s “Asunción”, not “AsunSción”.

    Great article! I’m trying to figure out how much your U$S 75,000 a year would be for someone living in Argentina.

  26. Not pretending to be a pain in the ass but it’s “Asunción”, not “AsunSción”

    Corrected. Thanks!

    I’m trying to figure out how much your U$S 75,000 a year would be for someone living in Argentina.

    Use that web site link above and figure it out!

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