Expatriates migrate outside of their country for work. They can command higher earnings than in their home country, often surpassing local employee incomes. Expatriates often need help dealing with legal or financial issues. Fortunately, financial firms like Ellinghams Tokyo Japan have global reach and experience.

Companies often provide expat employees relocation assistance and housing allowance benefits. An expatriate can take advantage of global mobility excitement and accelerated career growth potential, but it can also be challenging. It may be emotionally taxing to adapt to a different culture away from family and friends while adjusting to a new work and living environment.

Let us explore the top six countries that allow expats to build a great life based on the cost of living, lifestyle, culture, safety, healthcare, and other criteria:


Mexico is an expat haven due to the fusion of freedom, affordability and rich cultural heritage. The country offers diverse terrains, from beachfront idylls to tranquil mountain retreats. Mexican real estate costs less than other properties worldwide, and the government has streamlined its residency process.

Mexico claimed the Best Country for Expats top spot in the Expat Insider 2023 survey, consistently ranking in the top 5 since 2014. The country ranks 1st overall in the Ease of Settling In Index, boasting local friendliness and warm hospitality. The country’s culture is highly praised, with expats feeling both welcome and at home, making it an ideal destination for foreigners.

Mexico has a strong performance in the Expat Essentials Index, with ease of visa applications, accessible and affordable housing, and understandable language. The country ranked 2nd in the Personal Finance Index, with most expats satisfied with their financial situation and cost of living. Mexico excels in leisure options, ranking 1st for culinary experience and 3rd for culture and nightlife, all enjoyed in a beautiful climate. The proximity to the United States further enhances Mexico’s appeal, simplifying visits to family and embarking on novel explorations.


Thailand, the “Land of Smiles,” is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. The country has transformed key cities into digital and technological hubs, attracting investments and creating new job opportunities for expats. Cities like Bangkok cater to international banks and a growing startup scene, driving job demand for skilled professionals in digital marketing, finance, and big data analysis.

Thailand’s lower cost of living and quality international education options make it comparable to other Asian cities that welcome expats seeking professional opportunities and a comfortable lifestyle. Additionally, Thailand offers streamlined entry procedures for expat and employer visas for different stay durations.


Portugal holds a top spot for expat living and retirement with a 17th global safety and 6th most peaceful country ranking. Portugal’s residency programs for potential investors, workers, and residents appeal to expatriates. The excellent healthcare system has high-quality hospitals and affordable private health insurance to supplement the public system.

This European country is a top expatriate destination due to its diverse landscapes, bustling city life, tranquil scenery, splendid weather, world-renowned golf courses, and the freshest produce and seafood. It is an excellent place to work and retire due to its safety and welcoming attitude toward immigrants, with a lower cost of living compared to other countries in the continent.

According to Ellinghams Tokyo Japan review, Portugal caters to a spectrum of desires for retirement or adventure. Transitioning to an expat life in Portugal is seamless, with multiple visa options, an exemplary healthcare system, and streamlined banking protocols. 


South America’s largest country, Brazil, offers cultural diversity, beautiful landscapes, a thriving international community, and a vibrant and hospitable local culture. Brazil appeals to expats due to its remarkably affordable cost of living, like rental expenses, which are cheaper than those in the United Kingdom and the United States.

If you want to bring children, Brazil’s educational landscape is improving, with various options, including public, private, and international schools. The average net salary varies by profession but often generates a comfortable and satisfying lifestyle for many residents.


Uruguay stands out as a South American hidden jewel. The country’s pristine beaches, deep-seated family values, and the allure of barbecue traditions create a distinct expat experience. Uruguay has an advantageous tax system, a reasonable cost of living, especially housing and healthcare, and minimal entry constraints. Furthermore, it’s convenient to import household furnishings duty-free.

Uruguay’s multicultural heritage, influenced by Spanish and Italian immigrants, creates a diverse and welcoming society. Montevideo’s capital city offers a vibrant city life with cultural events, restaurants, and various cultures. Additionally, Uruguay’s coastal towns, like Punta del Este and Piriápolis, provide beautiful beachfront living options.


Panama’s low cost of living, abundant sunshine, and use of the United States dollar as its official currency make it ideal for expatriates. Panama caters to various preferences for coastal splendor, mountain retreats, or urban living. Panama offers seamless residency processes for investors and pensioners, with a notably favorable real estate market.

The country has a relatively affordable cost of living, especially in rural towns, but it can also cater to luxury. Panama City has modern amenities, cultural events, and restaurants for those who prefer the excitement of the metropolis.

Panama is considered safe, with a lower crime rate than many Central American countries. Additionally, Panama has a retiree-friendly program called the Pensionado Visa, which provides discounts and other benefits to retirees.

Expats Build Their Wealth Globally

The countries mentioned above allow expatriates to build a healthy financial future through a fulfilling lifestyle abroad with career growth opportunities, lower costs of living, and quality healthcare access. Expatriates can find welcoming communities and diverse cultural experiences, smoothing the transition to life abroad.

Expats should practice financial diligence, even in foreign countries. Conduct thorough research and financial planning before moving, including exploring options for residency and taxation. Working with reputable financial firms, like Ellinghams Tokyo Japan, can provide valuable guidance in managing finances while living as an expatriate.

Ultimately, where to live as an expatriate depends on individual preferences and goals. Whether you prioritize a warm climate, cultural richness, or financial stability, there is a destination that can help you achieve your expat dreams and build a healthy financial future.

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