Where in the world have you moved to AND achieved a better standard of living?

(86 Posts)
suebfg Mon 24-Dec-12 22:17:16

DH and I would love to move abroad for a while, have an adventure and a nicer way of life. Where have you achieved this?

Thanks and Merry Christmas to you all.

somanymiles Mon 24-Dec-12 23:00:47

We live in Canada - we can afford a much bigger house and get to spend our weekends hiking, kayaking etc if we choose. It's quieter than the UK and that's a mixed blessing - less diversity and culture but pleasant to walk and bike around. There are orcas, bears and cougars here. TBH I would swap it all to be near family and friends. I suppose it would be fun to have an adventure for a couple of years but it's easy to get stuck abroad...

Mosman Tue 25-Dec-12 08:22:52

Are you married to or Canadian ? Just wondering how one gets into Canada these days ?

fussychica Tue 25-Dec-12 18:22:48

We moved to Spain and had a better standard of living for 8 years - didn't work, had a bigger house, pool, relaxed lifestyle, great weather but recently moved back for various reasons.

Unfortunately, the economic crisis in Spain means it's not a place I would recommend in the short to medium term, especially if you have kids.

We moved to the UK ... I would say it may not be equal in quality to what we could/did have, but at least it is affordable ...

mosman we moved to Canada with a company that hired us as expats. We've managed to stay 4.5yrs so far. We should be able to get perm residency quite easily due to DH profession and having a child born here. But if we were paying local taxes we'd find it terribly expensive. Travel is pricey and as everything is so far apart we can't just get in the car and pop somewhere for the day or weekend. I don't find the lifestyle better than the UK although we live in a much nicer area. We do enjoy the snow though and summers are lovely and hot.

ripsishere Tue 25-Dec-12 23:36:21

We lived in Bangkok for four years. Had a pretty good standard of living. DHs employers paid for our flat, health insurance and visas.
Switzerland was ridiculously expensive and we had no life.
Antwerp was much better.
Kuala Lumpur is so so.

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 00:03:39

We are in Australia on a 457 and it's extremely expensive, I am used to having about £1,000 left after bills so $1600 and that was even in the GFC. Every cent goes on either bills or food here and I genuinely do not know what we'll do when the kids need new school shoes in Feb.
However to look on the bright side DH is working here which he wasn't in the UK, we just need to tweak a few things around my job or find another job which will sort us out and then I do think we will have a better standard of living. It just might take a while.

NotMoreFootball Wed 26-Dec-12 01:09:22

We are in the Southern USA and the standard of living and quality of life is much nicer than other places in Europe we have lived. You have all the shops / restaurants / amenities of modern life but with warm summers, mild winters, mountains, lakes and beaches within easy reach. The cost of property is so much cheaper than the UK that it is normal to live in a huge house with a pool, tax and health insurance is complicated but we have still found that we are substantially better off financially even after that is taken into account. The locals are very friendly and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to live here.

ViperInTheManger Wed 26-Dec-12 01:15:39

Just move up north! We have a better house, more disposable income and an area that is good for bringing up children shit shops and weather though

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 01:25:36

We lived up North in the UK, can't say i'd be going back there any time soon.

kissmyheathenass Wed 26-Dec-12 01:29:15

Viper,where abouts are you? We are considering moving north. Is the weather really awful?

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 01:41:01

Anywhere lovely up north has house prices equal to London, however the job situation isn't as good. The weather is irrelevant tbh if we ever moved back to the UK it would be to the midlands on a train line to London.

I live in Switzerland and have a great standard of living. It's one of the best countries in the world for living standards.

Great schools, low tax, housing standards are excellent.

I shop over the border in Germany and France so have the best of both worlds.

The country is beautiful and you can be in the Black Forest in minutes from here, and Italy in 2 hours.

The downside is you need a job to get a decent permit, so can't really move on a whim, and buying a house requires a 20% deposit.

suburbophobe Wed 26-Dec-12 01:57:24

NoMore, sounds good, but what about the guns everywhere?

Couldn't live like that....

Me? Am in Europe, and too cold most of the year, but yea, where to go?...

Am in the "sandwich generation" anyway right now (aging mum, LP. DS at uni).

Maybe one day grin

we moved to NJ, USA. It's expensive compared to most of the USA but we have a better standard of life than we would on equivalent money ($50k) almost anywhere in the UK.

It's a shame in some ways as I would like to be a lot closer to family, but DH would take a paycut of over ten thousand pounds if we came back, and we wouldn't ever be able to live as we do (relatively modestly but we aren't scrimping the way many friends in England are). I am job hunting right now, and in a year or two we may be in a better position to come home.
Childcare and rent is ludicrously cheaper here. Ditto fuel, food, kid's shoes etc. we talk about moving back home when the DCs are in school. Health insurance is quite frightening- hard to know what's covered and what anything will cost, and you worry that one car crash or sick child will bankrupt you. For that alone I want to move home. I would miss how lovely the people are, though. We are very happy here and it is nice not to struggle.

thelittlestkiwi Wed 26-Dec-12 01:58:00

Depends what you mean by standard of living. In NZ we have less stuff, housing is expensive and we run out of money every month. But we have sun (normally, not this week!), sea and more importantly time. DH spends 15 mins commuting and life is easier. Stuff is easy to book- e.g we decided we wanted to go to Waiheke, an island off Auckland, on a Thursday. Booked the 5.30pm ferry on the Friday which takes 15 mins and were in a holiday apartment by 6.30pm. We've seen Billy Connolly, Kylie, Flight of the Conchords and other stuff we'd just not be able to get tickets for in the UK. I also expect people to be nice.

So our quality of life is much better. Although we are skint all the time.

NatashaBee Wed 26-Dec-12 02:03:05

We moved to Michigan. House about 4 times the size of the one in England, more money left at the end of the month, good school district (although the one in the UK was good too). I miss home though and m&s food. And the weather is crap.

ViperInTheManger Wed 26-Dec-12 02:03:20

We are on the Fylde coast, our nearest town is Blackpool which has tacky and horrid parts but has some good points but there are some nice, quiet-ish seaside towns and countryside within easy distance.

Have family who live north of Preston and there are some lovely villages and small towns in that area (like Garstang, Longridge and surrounding areas)

We moved north when DCs were young and have never regretted it.

Pudgy2011 Wed 26-Dec-12 02:12:34

I moved to the Cayman Islands 5 years ago, met my husband, got married, bought a house and had a baby.

Life here is much easier than in the UK, we earn excellent tax free salaries, our employers pay for health insurance, we live 5 minutes from work and the beach and full time day care costs the equivalent of £300 a month.

Of course there are down sides, we live 4000 miles from our families, it is very expensive here and we have to fly off island to do a decent clothes shop.

I love our life here though, it's Christmas Day and we've just come back from the beach.

GoodKingWenSOLOslas Wed 26-Dec-12 02:15:02

I'd love to move or emigrate, but Ds says he wont go. I would probably want to wait until he has got through secondary ed anyway, but even then he wont go with me which I find slightly unacceptable. He's 14. Dd is 6 (today) and it wouldn't affect her as much I don't think.

Mosman Wed 26-Dec-12 03:15:14

My DD aged 12 was far from keen but it's a case of knowing what is right for them and taking them kicking and screaming if necessary.
They can always go back to the UK

SavoyCabbage Wed 26-Dec-12 03:21:07

I've got a walk in wardrobe but no family to clap for my dd's school play so it depends what you think of as being a better standard of living.

runningforme Wed 26-Dec-12 04:28:39

We live in Canada, and although it is much more expensive where we are for food, rent, mobile phones, cable, kids clothes etc, it is a much better standard of living and the summers are wonderfully long and hot. We live in a great area, the kids enjoy free swimming at outdoor pools all summer and free outdoor skating all winter. Kids activities and classes are quite reasonable, and my son has recently started at a school where he has half of his day in French. But banking is 10 years behind the UK and it is expensive to travel anywhere.

We are planning on moving home in time for DS to start secondary school, as we are really missing our families. If It wasn't so expensive to fly home, then I might be tempted to stay.....
savoyCabbage says it best

ClaudiaSchiffer Wed 26-Dec-12 04:35:14

I'm in Adelaide (well just outside), South Australia.

We have a bigger house here than in the UK (but a bigger mortgage too).

The weather is heaps better.

It is much quieter and much more relaxed than the UK, dh is less stressed, and rather than commuting from Brighton to London he can now drive or cycle to work. The kids are in a lovely school (but I know there are lovely schools in the UK).

We live in a really beautiful area, 5 mins from world class wineries and 20 mins from the city centre.

Generally things are good, but there is a lot that I miss. Adelaide is very pleasant but culturally pretty dull, I miss the vibrancy and life of a bigger city. You can drive for hours here and see fuck all.

So, er, to answer your question, we have achieved a better standard of living in material terms, but as dh says, every place in the world has trade offs.

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