If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
thechoson
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:30 pm

If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?

Post by thechoson » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:59 pm

Actually considering the wealth of some of the people here I'm guessing you do have a choice.

But anyways, taking as many factors into account as possible (cost of living, climate, gov't stability, social equality, etc.) would the USA be your choice for country of residence or would you move somewhere overseas (and if so, where?)

Atilla
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Post by Atilla » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:05 pm

There is no country with greater opportunity for anyone who wants to make the best of it.

We may decide to retire elsewhere depending on taxes and the health care system we have 15 years or so from now.

livesoft
Posts: 60946
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:09 pm

I have lived overseas. I have lived in many places in the USA. I would prefer to live in the USA, but would not mind spending extended periods of time in foreign countries.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Midwest_Investor
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:44 pm

Post by Midwest_Investor » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:17 pm

having experienced emergency medical care elsewhere (Eye injury in Mexico), I feel I need to be very careful where I spend my time overseas based on the medical care available. This leaves many many places I'll consider living, but I no longer visit 3rd world countries with inferior emergency medical care facilities, and I certainly wouldn't live in a country without first rate medical facilities.

this is something we take for granted in the USA --- until you have a medical issue, which can happen any time and any place.
Last edited by Midwest_Investor on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

hsv_climber
Posts: 3969
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:56 pm

Post by hsv_climber » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:17 pm

N1. USA
N2. USA
N3. USA

:wink:

imagardener
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:39 am
Location: south of Sarasota FL

Post by imagardener » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:18 pm

We chose to retire in the US, perhaps because we had little foreign experience due to our self-employed US career. We have been traveling often since retirement but haven't seen any place better...yet.

I suspect people who travel abroad extensively would feel at home abroad after retirement, especially if they are bi-lingual. We've been to England, Italy and several Caribbean islands, never tempted to put roots down.

Weather made us choose SW Florida over other US locations but we loved visiting the Southwest US last summer and the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge the year before as well as New York State (gorgeous). Alaska is next.

If you can afford to live here the US is one fantastic country.

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 26977
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Isn't it Great to be an American!

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:27 pm

If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?
At the beginning of World War II, we renamed our boat, "Isn't it Great to be an American!"

Since then, I have circled the globe three times and I have never visited a country where I would rather live than right here in the USA where I was lucky to be born.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Ron
Posts: 6299
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Re: Isn't it Great to be an American!

Post by Ron » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:...I have never visited a country where I would rather live than right here in the USA where I was lucky to be born.
I agree. Thank goodness that my grandparents (all four) immigrated to this country.

While I have worked/traveled extensively in other countries, I have yet to find a place that I would rather call home.

- Ron

shoetrip
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:27 pm

Post by shoetrip » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:36 pm

I have lived abroad and I have enjoyed several places in my travels I would choose to live other than the USA if I had the means but I'm foing to well financially to take that risk now.
Has nothing to do with patriotism, waving the flag, which country is better nonsense. My choices would simply be based upon lifestyle. Also unlike many I probably don't have certain responsibilities that would influence me to stay in the USA such as a wife, children, extensive family ties or a house.

User avatar
LazyNihilist
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: 6.66% (xirr)
Contact:

Post by LazyNihilist » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:38 pm

There are many factors to consider here. Many bogleheads are probably American, so choosing USA would be a natural choice.

For me, USA is the best for Work Oppurtunities and has the brightest talent or attracts the brightest talent. Also I think it is the most INNOVATIVE place.

But with regards to other indicators I would prefer New Zealand. It is a small country with very less corruption. And has good health care and educational system, it is very environmentally friendly and socially very tolerant.

It has one of the best voting systems in the world and the government is very transparent.

--political comment deleted--
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]

Sidney
Posts: 6678
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:06 pm

Post by Sidney » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:44 pm

LazyNihilist wrote: --political quote deleted--.
Have you read this?

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=405
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Post by chaz » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:54 pm

hsv_climber wrote:N1. USA
N2. USA
N3. USA

:wink:
+1
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Valuethinker
Posts: 34871
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:15 pm

thechoson wrote:Actually considering the wealth of some of the people here I'm guessing you do have a choice.

But anyways, taking as many factors into account as possible (cost of living, climate, gov't stability, social equality, etc.) would the USA be your choice for country of residence or would you move somewhere overseas (and if so, where?)
Don't think that you would want to, or could, live in another country without trying it.

All countries have things very right and wrong with them.

France has great healthcare, great trains, nuclear electricity, fantastic food and scenery. The bureaucracy could drive you nuts though, and the 5pm culture (it's 5pm and the day's work is done, and sorry if you really need something to be done-- that does not happen). And a society where your entire career is determined by where you went to university (i think in the extreme they had 2 presidential candidates who were *in the same class* at Grandes Ecoles ie university ie 2 out of a class of 300).

Italy has fantastic food, beautiful women, wine, culture, but the place is completely dysfunctional, even for Italians.

Britain it rains all the time and people do nothing but grumble. The traffic and transport would drive you to suicide.

Grass is always greener....

investor
Posts: 1010
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:50 pm

Post by investor » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:22 pm

I think Warren Buffet said something like 'You have won the Lotto by being born in the USA'. like 1 in 100 or so people.

investor (lotto winner)

Valuethinker
Posts: 34871
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:25 pm

investor wrote:I think Warren Buffet said something like 'You have won the Lotto by being born in the USA'. like 1 in 100 or so people.

investor (lotto winner)
There are some caveats in that. There are many Americans who for personal reasons would have been better to have been born in Sweden, say, or Canada.

drewmo
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 4:05 am
Location: USA

Post by drewmo » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:30 pm

I have dual citizenship, French and American. I was raised in both countries as well as lived and worked in both countries as an adult.
My view point are going to be simply limited to those 2 countries, never having lived for a subsequent time anywhere else.

USA PRO:
I love the opportunity in higher education (the level, the flexibility: you can go back to college when you are 70 yrs old for god sake!)

and in jobs - you work hard, you get promoted, the increase in pay usually follows the increase in responsibility.

flexibilty in the high school system: you choose your level of math, english ect... every school system as its problems, France, US included but I really do appreciate the flexibility the US system offers even if the level of education is lower than in France.


USA CON:
Health care. Expensive, inefficient and unfair.

Child care. Expensive, many mothers must quit work because childcare is so expensive....somehow it just feels like we're going a bit backwards on that one....

FRANCE PRO:
Awesome health care, great prevention care and follow up. Its cheap, comprehensive (never any surprise bills) and you don't go unto bankrupcy for being sick. Nor do you ever not go to the doctor because you can't afford it.

Awesome child care: you have garderies (short term day care) that keep your child just a few hrs a day to help out and charge about 4bucks/hr. Creches (full time day care) that keep the kids all day for the same price and assistante maternelle, women who keep 4 kids at their homes, that you pay 8bucks/hr and get a tax break on.

Should I mention the food?? the cheese, the wine, the paté ....yum :D'

FRANCE CON:
Very little flexibilty job wise and education wise. you must choose your path of study at age 14 and god forbid it's not what you wanted to do...
Universities organisation is archaic at best.

High and stable unemployment. less opportunity to move up, get raises ect....

Taxes are higher on employers (not as much for the employee) which doesn't encourage small businesses.

We're living in France currently and I'm sooo glad to have given birth here and to benefit from the health care system here. I also appreciate the child care options (can I talk about the food?)

BUT, we are planning on moving back to the US - why? Jobs for us and eventual school education for the kids. It may not be the same level than in France but parents have more say in their children's education.

I'm very worried about health care in the US, the cost, the lack of follow up and the child care costs will mean that I'll most likely be a housewife for a few yrs..... But the trade off (better jobs, better prospects, eventually more say in our kids education) makes the move worth while.

User avatar
englishgirl
Posts: 2470
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: FL

Post by englishgirl » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:33 pm

I do have a choice. And I choose to live in the US. There are so many advantages and personal freedoms here.

That's not to say that I'm ever going to give up my UK citizenship and right to live and work anywhere in Europe. Just in case. ;) I could envisage certain situations where I might want to move back.
Sarah

Lumpr
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:23 pm

Post by Lumpr » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:38 pm

I know this wasn't really the quesiton OP posed (and apologies for any derail). But whenever I think about all the things in this country that are not favorable, I think about Warren Buffet's ovarian lottery example: Buffet Q&A with MBAs (starts around 3:10, the really germane part is around 5:50)

User avatar
wbond
Posts: 1073
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:55 pm

Post by wbond » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:43 pm

The world votes with its feet.

beardsworth
Posts: 2057
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Post by beardsworth » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:46 pm

For me, it's virtually impossible to respond to the original post in any detail without talking about political things (and I don't mean "political" in the sense of parties and candidates but, rather, the grand sense of how societies function––or fail to function––and are organized) that we're not allowed to talk about on this forum. :(

Marc

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18162
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:48 pm

LazyNihilist wrote:There are many factors to consider here. Many bogleheads are probably American, so choosing USA would be a natural choice.

For me, USA is the best for Work Oppurtunities and has the brightest talent or attracts the brightest talent. Also I think it is the most INNOVATIVE place.

But with regards to other indicators I would prefer New Zealand. It is a small country with very less corruption. And has good health care and educational system, it is very environmentally friendly and socially very tolerant.

It has one of the best voting systems in the world and the government is very transparent.

--political comment deleted--
I see that you have joined the Bogleheads Forum yesterday. Don't be put off by the deletion of your comment. Please continue posting.

I have not been to New Zealand, but I will visit it one day. The thing that bothers me about New Zealand and Australia is their remoteness. I met a fair number of Australians who have left their country to travel for several years straight. It seems an "Australian" thing to do, because going back and forth is too time- and money-consuming.

And so I am afraid that living there could be too confining.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

epilnk
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:50 pm

We think about it. In science the US was the place to be for many years but most people I know feel the momentum has been shifting for a while. Some of our friends have moved abroad to follow opportunity and their experiences have been positive. Culturally, though, we are americans and it is certainly easier to raise our children here. Economically, we've made it into the tier that's doing well. And we live in a climate we like and near great natural beauty. The countries we'd be most comfortable moving to are not necessarily better choices for scientific research. So unless the right situation presents itself in the right country we'll stay put. While I can't quite buy into the "greatest country on earth" mindset, it is still a pretty good one and we're lucky to be here.

oragne lovre
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:34 pm

Re: If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?

Post by oragne lovre » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:12 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
thechoson wrote:
Italy has fantastic food, beautiful women, wine, culture, but the place is completely dysfunctional, even for Italians.
I didn't know that "beautiful women" is one of criteria for one to consider a retirement place :)

Anyway, I happen to know quite a few foreign millionaires (in US dollar) who have bought houses in US and sent their kids to US colleges. Some have become US citizens.

dgdevil
Posts: 938
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:42 pm

Post by dgdevil » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:43 pm

VictoriaF wrote: I have not been to New Zealand, but I will visit it one day. The thing that bothers me about New Zealand and Australia is their remoteness. I met a fair number of Australians who have left their country to travel for several years straight. It seems an "Australian" thing to do, because going back and forth is too time- and money-consuming.

And so I am afraid that living there could be too confining.

Victoria
You got that right! I was born in NZ, great place to grow up in, but all young adults want to spread their wings, and NZ/Australia are just too far away. Mind you, I'm in L.A. now, which is pretty remote, as well, from Asia and Europe. I haven't been back to NZ in 15 years - it's terribly over-rated. Australia is 10x better, really is "the lucky country" - apart from the occasional meterological tempests.

User avatar
fundtalker123
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:18 am

Post by fundtalker123 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:00 pm

Yeah, where else does every town have a mcdonalds, taco bell, walmart, walgreens, home depot, and exxon station. Nice to know you can always get everything you need.

halfnine
Posts: 856
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Post by halfnine » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:07 pm

Since I no longer live in the USA, I think my answer is pretty obvious. But it's like I always tell people....... there is no perfect country but there maybe a perfect country for you. It all comes down to what is important to you and what isn't and finding a place (even within a country) where that matches.

That said most people are just going to end up happier living in their home country because they are familiar with it (and its specific bureaucracy) and that is likely where most of their friends and family are.

There is one thing I'll say about the USA. For being self-employed it's definitely one of the best around. Now if you're an employee, there are certainly better places to be born into for quality of life (< 40 hour weeks, free health care, etc).

User avatar
LazyNihilist
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: 6.66% (xirr)
Contact:

Post by LazyNihilist » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:07 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
LazyNihilist wrote:There are many factors to consider here. Many bogleheads are probably American, so choosing USA would be a natural choice.

For me, USA is the best for Work Oppurtunities and has the brightest talent or attracts the brightest talent. Also I think it is the most INNOVATIVE place.

But with regards to other indicators I would prefer New Zealand. It is a small country with very less corruption. And has good health care and educational system, it is very environmentally friendly and socially very tolerant.

It has one of the best voting systems in the world and the government is very transparent.

--political comment deleted--
I see that you have joined the Bogleheads Forum yesterday. Don't be put off by the deletion of your comment. Please continue posting.

I have not been to New Zealand, but I will visit it one day. The thing that bothers me about New Zealand and Australia is their remoteness. I met a fair number of Australians who have left their country to travel for several years straight. It seems an "Australian" thing to do, because going back and forth is too time- and money-consuming.

And so I am afraid that living there could be too confining.

Victoria
Thanks for the encouragement. :) This forum has a great amount of well thought out posts and is of really high quality.
I am starting to learn about how to invest and got lucky to find the bogleheads. All my knowledge about investing so far has been from here or related indexinvesting topics. And I am sold on it. :)
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]

User avatar
LazyNihilist
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: 6.66% (xirr)
Contact:

Post by LazyNihilist » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:10 pm

dgdevil wrote:You got that right! I was born in NZ, great place to grow up in, but all young adults want to spread their wings, and NZ/Australia are just too far away. Mind you, I'm in L.A. now, which is pretty remote, as well, from Asia and Europe. I haven't been back to NZ in 15 years - it's terribly over-rated. Australia is 10x better, really is "the lucky country" - apart from the occasional meterological tempests.
I was born in India and moved to NZ later and then to US. May be that's the reason I'm biased towards NZ. :)
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]

User avatar
LazyNihilist
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: 6.66% (xirr)
Contact:

Post by LazyNihilist » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:13 pm

fundtalker123 wrote:Yeah, where else does every town have a mcdonalds, taco bell, walmart, walgreens, home depot, and exxon station. Nice to know you can always get everything you need.
That's very true. I was initially of the opinion all developed countries will have almost the 'same' amount of consumer choices, but US beats the rest of the developed world by some margin.

But I think the internet is now making it a more level playing field for atleast non-perishable goods.
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]

AlohaJoe
Posts: 3313
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:26 pm

I am an American who does not live in America, so my answer is pretty obvious. But like Valuethinker says, all countries come with tradeoffs. Sometimes they add up in a way you like (or at least can live with), sometimes they don't.

But it is a somewhat silly question. Home country bias is huge. All you have to do is read the news to see constant stories about successful expats who, of their own volition, return to home countries in places most of us have no desire to even spend a long weekend in.

I think it is striking that the things you DON'T list are usually far more important. For most people things like "close to family" or "speak my mother language" or "comfort food is what I grew up with" trump things like "government stability" or "social equality" by a wide margin.

Those social factors are the same kinds of things that keep people from moving out of Detroit or Cleveland or whatever in search of better opportunities. If they can prevent intra-national movement, imagine what they do for inter-national movement.

And then once you've made that decision, humans are remarkably adept at coming up with a plethora of post-hoc rationalizations for why their decision is right, logical, inevitable even. Hell, I can come up with lots of Obvious & Logical Reasons for why my current home of choice is superior, too :)
Atilla wrote:There is no country with greater opportunity for anyone who wants to make the best of it.
You know that there is actual empirical evidence that shows this isn't the case, right?

bluto
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:54 pm

Post by bluto » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:44 pm

fundtalker123 wrote:Yeah, where else does every town have a mcdonalds, taco bell, walmart, walgreens, home depot, and exxon station. Nice to know you can always get everything you need.
Indeed, convenient. But ugh, really bland. I've been overseas for years, and this certainly isn't what I miss.

It's almost like you were trying to explain why 70% of the population is obese?

bluto
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:54 pm

Post by bluto » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:47 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Atilla wrote:There is no country with greater opportunity for anyone who wants to make the best of it.
You know that there is actual empirical evidence that shows this isn't the case, right?
Joe, I wouldn't bother. You'll probably just upset this guy, and his name suggests he could probably kick you a&&.

User avatar
LazyNihilist
Posts: 865
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:56 pm
Location: 6.66% (xirr)
Contact:

Post by LazyNihilist » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:54 pm

AlohaJoe wrote: And then once you've made that decision, humans are remarkably adept at coming up with a plethora of post-hoc rationalizations for why their decision is right, logical, inevitable even. Hell, I can come up with lots of Obvious & Logical Reasons for why my current home of choice is superior, too :)
Excellent observation. Agree 100%.
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]

lawman3966
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:09 pm
Location: Tacoma WA

Re: If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?

Post by lawman3966 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:18 pm

thechoson wrote:Actually considering the wealth of some of the people here I'm guessing you do have a choice.

But anyways, taking as many factors into account as possible (cost of living, climate, gov't stability, social equality, etc.) would the USA be your choice for country of residence or would you move somewhere overseas (and if so, where?)
From my brief research on the web, it appears that about four million Americans live overseas, and about 500,000 Americans receive Social Security checks outside the U.S. Since these people know life in the U.S. and where they now live, living abroad appears to agree with some people.

Most people so far have compared living and working in the U.S. to doing so in other first world nations. Instead, my slant on this issue relates to retirement. I would definitely consider retiring overseas. My reasons include experiencing different scenery, different cultures, doing and seeing things not available to me during an office-bound existence in the U.S.

Moreover, the cost of living can be 1/2 or less in SE Asia and other developing regions than it is here. No doubt, access to good medical care is a concern. But, it's far from clear that that issue cuts in favor of living in the U.S. The ageing of the Boomers could place massive strain on already busy medical resources in the U.S. The U.S. undoubtedly has a high quality of medical care. But, affordability and access to the care will become challenging issues here in the coming decades. Canada has this problem as well.

Medical tourism to India and Thailand is already well under way. The quality of care in the "tourist" medical facilities appears to equal that of the U.S., and in many cases, with less time pressure to leave the hospital once surgery or other procedures have been completed. Other countries are likely to follow suit and start competing for those valuable medical dollars.

Depending on your priorities, retirement abroad could provide opportunies in terms of climate, standard of living, and cultural experience that would not be available at home. And, medical care, like other technology, should proliferate to the developing world.

NYerinLondon
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:15 pm

Post by NYerinLondon » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:18 pm

livesoft wrote:I have lived overseas. I have lived in many places in the USA. I would prefer to live in the USA, but would not mind spending extended periods of time in foreign countries.
This. Or to put it another way, there's no place like home.

That being said, were my home somewhere else, I imagine I'd long for it just as much were I away.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 35877
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Post by nisiprius » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:19 pm

To quote the wisdom of Zippy the Pinhead: Griffy and Zippy are sitting in a diner, and Griffy asks Zippy "If you could be any place in the world, where would you want to be?" Zippy replies "Albany!" Griffy replies "Why?" Zippy replies "Because we're in Albany!"

I'd say the U. S. is good-to-great by every objective measure I can think of, and I have intensely strong emotional attachments. It's home, period. As a "satisficer," not an "optimizer," short of having to flee to escape some "black swan" disaster of some kind, I can't imagine leaving.

However, I am uncomfortably aware that the U. S. is slipping down to ranks like 21st, 33rd, 36th on all sorts of lists (literacy, infant mortality, longevity) on which, based on both the reality of the 1950s and our natural boosterism, I'd have expected us to be near the top, and think we should be near the top. I do not accept the notion that it's OK because the averages are being dragged down by "them" (i.e. some other socioeconomic group than "us").

But comparisons can be tricky. I was posting something about this a while ago and pointing out how Iceland has outstripped the United States. But I think anyone who emigrated from the United States to Iceland in 2007 or so would probably feel they had done a bad job of market timing.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
rustymutt
Posts: 3723
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Post by rustymutt » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:27 pm

BORN IN THE USA, I WAS, BORN IN THE USAAAA!
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

AndroAsc
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:39 am

Post by AndroAsc » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:35 pm

I think there is lot of home bias on this post. I will agree that the US is a great place to live and retire compared to many countries (especially the developing nations), but if we were to do a comparison to developed nations (i.e. Europe and Canada), it is obvious that there are flaws in the system.

Personally, I think the US is a great place with the major caveat of the fiscal sustainability of the major retirement benefits system - healthcare (medicare), pensions (SS) and long-term care.

Without going into political comment, an unbiased analysis would find that the current state is not fiscally sustainable and it is dismal that nothing is being done about it, and eventually it will blow up in everyone's face. Ignoring the problem doesn't make the problem go away. Perhaps for those who are near retirement age, this is a non-issue, but what about those who just started work?

User avatar
Bulldawg
Posts: 513
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:30 am
Location: Hotlanta

Re: Isn't it Great to be an American!

Post by Bulldawg » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:58 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?
At the beginning of World War II, we renamed our boat, "Isn't it Great to be an American!"

Since then, I have circled the globe three times and I have never visited a country where I would rather live than right here in the USA where I was lucky to be born.

+ 1 !
" IN GOD WE TRUST " ( official motto of the United States )

richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:18 pm

nisiprius wrote:I'd say the U. S. is good-to-great by every objective measure I can think of, and I have intensely strong emotional attachments. It's home, period. As a "satisficer," not an "optimizer," short of having to flee to escape some "black swan" disaster of some kind, I can't imagine leaving.
It's a great country. It's home.
nisiprius wrote:However, I am uncomfortably aware that the U. S. is slipping down to ranks like 21st, 33rd, 36th on all sorts of lists (literacy, infant mortality, longevity) on which, based on both the reality of the 1950s and our natural boosterism, I'd have expected us to be near the top, and think we should be near the top. I do not accept the notion that it's OK because the averages are being dragged down by "them" (i.e. some other socioeconomic group than "us").
In addition to those, the statistics I find the most troubling are income mobility. The U.S. displays unusually low levels of income mobility across generations for a developed country. In other words, a parent's income is a better predictor of a child's income in the US than a lot of other developed countries, such as France, Spain, Germany and Canada.

richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:19 pm

rustymutt wrote:BORN IN THE USA, I WAS, BORN IN THE USAAAA!
In my experience, almost no one who chants that song pays any attention to the lyrics. It's far from a pro-USA song.

richard
Posts: 7961
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:38 pm
Contact:

Post by richard » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:24 pm

AndroAsc wrote:Personally, I think the US is a great place with the major caveat of the fiscal sustainability of the major retirement benefits system - healthcare (medicare), pensions (SS) and long-term care.
The real problem is healthcare costs. If US healthcare costs could be brought down to the level of the second most expensive country we'd be in great shape. They're the only serious issue for fiscal sustainability and dwarf any other issue. Lumping other issues in with healthcare costs is misleading, IMO.

SP-diceman
Posts: 3968
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:17 am

Post by SP-diceman » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:26 pm

I’ve always consider the rest of the world somewhat “weak”.

It tells you something when their great tourist attractions are
what’s known as “ruins”.



Thanks
SP-diceman

User avatar
BostonBoy
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:10 pm
Location: New Smyrna Beach

Post by BostonBoy » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:40 pm

Pure luck to be born here but my decision to stay. Best country in the world! IMHO!

epilnk
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:44 pm

richard wrote:
rustymutt wrote:BORN IN THE USA, I WAS, BORN IN THE USAAAA!
In my experience, almost no one who chants that song pays any attention to the lyrics. It's far from a pro-USA song.
You got that right:
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

shoetrip
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:27 pm

Post by shoetrip » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Given that only 37% of Americans have a passport I would say 90% of that number used their passprt to go to Mexico/Canada/Carribean, high school trip to France or 1 week business trip to Europe/Asia or honeymoon, you are going to find Americans don't spend alot of time in other countries or traveling abroad.
The fact is we have a huge land mass that touches to oceans, multiple geographic conditions,with almost every livable climate within our borders.

There really isn't much of a reason for the average American to frequently travel abroad the way Europeans do.
Also most American can only take 2weeks vacation during a calendar year unlike many of our counterparts in developed countries that get more time off. Very difficult to do international travel in such a limited amount of time

An consistent response in this thread is "work" and there will come a time when some will cease to want to work.

When I retire I will choose to live abroad for various social and lifestyle reasons. Many immigrants do the same thing, they come to the USA, make their money and then return to their native countries to live a very comfortable life.
Last edited by shoetrip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

yobria
Posts: 5978
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: SF CA USA

Post by yobria » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:53 pm

Depends on what you like. Fortunately the US is so big and diverse that you can get most of the pleasures of life here, and the salaries aint bad.

The main thing you can't get is culture. I've lived in Spain - no comparison.

I wouldn't be happy in 95% of America, fortunately I can just move to the other 5%.

Nick

happytrades
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:44 pm

Post by happytrades » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 pm

We shall not cease from our exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot

User avatar
dmcmahon
Posts: 1870
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:29 pm

Re: Isn't it Great to be an American!

Post by dmcmahon » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
If you had a choice, would you still live in the USA?
At the beginning of World War II, we renamed our boat, "Isn't it Great to be an American!"

Since then, I have circled the globe three times and I have never visited a country where I would rather live than right here in the USA where I was lucky to be born.
Amen, Taylor.

traineeinvestor
Posts: 497
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:52 am
Location: Hong Kong
Contact:

Post by traineeinvestor » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:18 pm

dgdevil wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: I have not been to New Zealand, but I will visit it one day. The thing that bothers me about New Zealand and Australia is their remoteness. I met a fair number of Australians who have left their country to travel for several years straight. It seems an "Australian" thing to do, because going back and forth is too time- and money-consuming.

And so I am afraid that living there could be too confining.

Victoria
You got that right! I was born in NZ, great place to grow up in, but all young adults want to spread their wings, and NZ/Australia are just too far away. Mind you, I'm in L.A. now, which is pretty remote, as well, from Asia and Europe. I haven't been back to NZ in 15 years - it's terribly over-rated. Australia is 10x better, really is "the lucky country" - apart from the occasional meterological tempests.
As another NZ expat, you are overstating things somewhat. NZ offers a very pleasant and relaxing lifestyle. The health care and education systems are good - excellent. The negatives are the small size of the economy (limited opportunities), high taxes and the excessive political correctness.

In comparison, Austrlia offers a higher standard of living and better opportunities. Better? Yes. 10x better? Definitely not.

I'm quite happy living in Hong Kong. It has a lot of positives - low taxes, simple tax system (a typical salary tax return can be completed in less than 20 minutes with no need for professional advice), excellent health system, good to excellent education, excellent low cost public transport (cars are unnecessary), plenty of public amenities within easy reach and it's an excellent hub for travelling. The negatives are the small apartments to live in and the very awful air pollution.

Locked