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Is This the Best Place in the World to Be an ExPat?

PigsDad

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In the late 90's my wife and I were expats in the #1 location from that article: Singapore. This was pre-kids, and when the opportunity was offered to us, we took all of about 30 seconds to say "yes". I had been there on business a couple years earlier and loved the city/state. We were footloose and fancy free so off we went. It was definitely an experience we would not trade for anything.

Kurt
 

hotellier

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Love the article, thank you.


Anyone on here experienced or experiencing life as an ex-pat?


It's always been fascinating to me. Safety is always a concern though.
I don't think I would ever consider Central or South America due to fear of crime. I once took a trip to Belize and my luggage was stolen right under my nose (I am very attentive most of the time).
 

SMHarman

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An Englishman in NY for the last decade (almost)
Don't feel very expat now. With two America kids in the school system I'm pretty integrated.

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VacationForever

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An Englishman in NY for the last decade (almost)
Don't feel very expat now. With two America kids in the school system I'm pretty integrated.

Sent from my LT26i using Tapatalk

The question is whether it was an expat deal, i.e., fully paid housing, car (or car allowance), cost of living adjustment, hardship (no hardship presumably in NY) allowance. Often folks who come to the US are only given a relocation deal (moving costs and temporary housing for 30 to 90 days, sometimes up to a year) instead of an expat deal.

I was on an expat deal to Beijing, China for 2 years and I thought I would not enjoy it but I did.
 

DaveNV

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Love the article, thank you.


Anyone on here experienced or experiencing life as an ex-pat?


It's always been fascinating to me. Safety is always a concern though.
I don't think I would ever consider Central or South America due to fear of crime. I once took a trip to Belize and my luggage was stolen right under my nose (I am very attentive most of the time).


I have an unmarried friend who retired early (about ten years ago) after a major lawsuit settlement from Verizon, his employer at the time. He had been vacationing in Puerto Vallarta frequently enough before that to have purchased a vacation condo there, which he was renting out to cover expenses during the time he wasn't there. After his settlement, he went there more often and stayed longer, until one day he decided it was time to move there.

His home here was paid for, so he put it up for rent, managed by a local real estate company, and he headed south. He says he'll come back when he's ready, but he hasn't been home in about eight years. He lives comfortably on his income in Mexico, and says he feels very safe and welcomed there. I think he's pretty happy with his decision.

Dave
 

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Our son, daughter-in-law and 2year old granddaughter are living in Ho Chi Minh. He has a teaching position with the American International School there. Previously, he was teaching at a women's university in Seoul, where his wife is from. We have had the opportunity to visit them 4 times in South Korea. We were there for their beautiful traditional Korean wedding and for the birth of our beautiful grand baby.

Next week, we are off to Vietnam to spend 2weeks with them.

His new job will create new experiences for all of us!

Dori
 

SMHarman

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The question is whether it was an expat deal, i.e., fully paid housing, car (or car allowance), cost of living adjustment, hardship (no hardship presumably in NY) allowance. Often folks who come to the US are only given a relocation deal (moving costs and temporary housing for 30 to 90 days, sometimes up to a year) instead of an expat deal.

I was on an expat deal to Beijing, China for 2 years and I thought I would not enjoy it but I did.
Such things rarely exist anymore. Balance sheet packages as they were called.

London is more expensive than NY so my pay COLA (Cost of living adjustment) was downward. 30 days to find a place of my own to rent. One 40ft container of stuff shipped door to door. Visa and subsequent green card sponsorship.

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VacationForever

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Such things rarely exist anymore. Balance sheet packages as they were called.

London is more expensive than NY so my pay COLA (Cost of living adjustment) was downward. 30 days to find a place of my own to rent. One 40ft container of stuff shipped door to door. Visa and subsequent green card sponsorship.

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I had full expat package going to China from Singapore (moving, storage for my home stuff while I was away, cost of living, hardship allowance, car with driver 24x7, full service apartment, international school for my kid, twice a year travel - air-tickets and accommodation back to home country, tax equalization, CPA). When the company then moved me to the US, I had relocation service - school and house hunting, moving cost, CPA support, intra-company mgr visa.
 

SMHarman

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What year? I'm talking 2006. My employer did away with such things between Europe and the US after the dot com crash.

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VacationForever

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What year? I'm talking 2006. My employer did away with such things between Europe and the US after the dot com crash.

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I believe it has to do with the country. Hard to find a true expat deal to the US. Expat deals still exist to many of countries of lower standard of living.
 

SMHarman

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I believe it has to do with the country. Hard to find a true expat deal to the US. Expat deals still exist to many of countries of lower standard of living.
Our India deals are not even that great. 20% hardship. One flight in economy. No driver no housing no paying your US housing.
I've got a buddy down in Brazil and he bought his armoured car and driver on his own dime.

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PigsDad

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What year? I'm talking 2006. My employer did away with such things between Europe and the US after the dot com crash.

I don't know details of what my company currently offers, but I have heard it is quite a bit less than when we went to Singapore in the late 90's. Our package included a service apartment (maid service 6 days/week!), shipping to/from (limited, due to being provided a fully-furnished service apartment), daily stipend for both the employee and spouse, CPA and relocation assistance, business-class tickets to/from, and rental car or cash equivalent (we chose the cash, as there was no need for a personal car in Singapore).

In the end, we lived off of our stipend and car allowance for all our expenses in Singapore (food, entertainment, etc.). Salary continued to pay for mortgage back home, but allowed us to rack up some great savings during that time since we didn't have hardly any other expenses.

Kurt
 

CatLovers

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Anyone on here experienced or experiencing life as an ex-pat?

Grew up as an expat kid -- lived in three (vastly) different countries (Nigeria, UK and Singapore) before I turned 18. As an expat kid it was a sweet deal -- my dad had lots of travel and other perks and it opened our minds (and hearts) in ways that only worldwide travel can. If there was one downside as a kid it was that when we were in our early teens, we went off to boarding school for 9 months of the year so as to keep our level and continuity of education up. It was always tough to leave my parents but I got over it once I met my friends back in school :D. I know it was a LOT harder on my parents than it was on us. But in hindsight, I wouldn't trade it because it was exactly this lifestyle that planted the travel bug that exists in me today. I am now at well over 30 countries (last time I counted) and my husband has caught the bug from me so he is doing his best to keep up ;). World travel continues to be an incredible source of education and open-mindedness for us. In fact, I saw a very appropriate quote from Saint Augustine in the subway tunnel in Hong Kong just this past week -- The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page -- for us, words to live by.

Expat assignments are a way for us to accomplish this. As for safety, we have always taken reasonable (for the area) precautions and fortunately for us, all has been well. As adults, we have taken expat assignments on a few occasions and never regretted them. Mind you, they always came with significant perks -- housing, security, travel, and salary -- so it wasn't a painful decision by any stretch.
 
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