With the U.S. presidential elections looming, Amy Schumer said she'd move to Spain -- Bryan Cranston said he'd move to Canada -- Jon Stewart said he'd move to another planet -- and at last count, 23 celebrities have claimed they'll leave the country if they don't like the election results next week.
No matter who becomes the next U.S. President--Clinton or Trump--a contingent of disaffected voters is likely to look overseas for better options. According to a new report from the editors of International Living, they'll find many that offer excellent-value, warm-weather and proximity to home. These are places where not only is the cost of living lower and the weather better, but where it's a lot easier to tune out the political noise back home, too.
Here are International Living's picks for the top five places to escape to if politics is getting you down.
Mexico is the only place in the world where U.S. citizens can enjoy an affordable overseas retirement, live right on the beach at affordable prices, yet remain within minutes of the U.S. by car.
Plus, right now with the current exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the deflated peso, Mexico is a huge bargain.
With its moon-lit fiestas, languid white-sand beaches, ancient colonial towns set in the rugged Sierras, and Mayan pyramids rising from the misty Yucatan jungle, it's no wonder so many people are starting new lives in Mexico.
With rapidly rising fuel, healthcare, food, and travel costs back home, it's nice to know that there are still places where it's possible to live well without burning through retirement savings. Mexico is one such place.
Tropical beaches, First-World infrastructure, high-quality healthcare, welcoming people...there are many things to love about Panama.
Retirees are drawn here by the Pensionado program, one of the best retiree benefits programs in the world. Younger adults...some with children in tow...are moving here in increasing numbers to take advantage of the ease of doing business and the hip, international vibe.
For many, the low cost of living is a major factor in choosing Panama, as is the fact that Panama uses the U.S. dollar. Expats living here have seen their costs drop substantially.
Costa Rica...the name alone conjures up visions of lush tropical rain forests and crashing surf on long stretches of white-sand beaches.
Costa Rica inspires these visions for two reasons. Number one, they're true. Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse and beautiful spots on earth, with Pacific and Atlantic coastlines that are the stuff of legend.
The second reason that the idea of Costa Rica can instantly create pictures of tropical splendor is that it has been one of the most popular destinations for expats and second-home owners for decades.
One place that has been very popular over the years is Costa Rica's Central Valley...a spot that cradles the country's thriving capital of San José yet also offers rustic and rural pleasure in abundance, as well as a mild, spring-like climate year-round. The Arenal region, with its centerpiece 33-square-mile lake, is also increasingly popular. It is three hours northwest of San José...a region of farmland, pasture, virgin forest, and unspoiled lake views.
Ecuador really does have everything...from the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon basin and the Andes Mountains, from big, modern cities to small, quaint villages. And up until now, one particular area of Ecuador has been overlooked--and that's its 937 miles of Pacific coastline and its beautiful mainland beaches.
Ecuador draws a wide range of foreigners: entrepreneurs, travelers, humanitarian workers, foreign officials, diplomats, business people of all stripes, and retirees looking to stretch their budget and experience a different way of life. Many expats are attracted by the country's less-intrusive government and the tranquility of being removed from the terrorist and antiterrorist campaigns that make headlines in other parts of the world.
Generally speaking, the expats who have settled in Ecuador are those who tend to blend into society rather than live together in expat-oriented communities. Nonetheless, a bit of time in any town of significant size in Ecuador is all it takes to find the gringo haunts and watering holes.
Colombia is no longer just a place for adventurers, speculators and risk-takers. It's a country that's hitting its full stride as an expat destination this year as the numbers of expat couples, younger people with portable careers, and single men and women who've found the ideal place to live or retire increase. And many of the preconceptions about Colombia being dangerous are at least a decade out of date.
Located at the northern tip of South America, Colombia is where the Pacific and the Caribbean collide with the Andes and the Amazon. It's a country that is more beautiful, dramatic, and diverse than nearly any other. It offers sparkling colonial cities and world-famous resorts along the Caribbean.
Just three hours from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Colombia welcomes nonstop flights into Bogotá, Medellin, Armenia, Barranquilla, and Cali.
In cities and towns in Colombia, expats find a perfect climate that's neither too hot nor too cool (60 F to 80 F all year); amazing natural surroundings; plenty of cultural events; history-filled cities; superb healthcare; friendly people; and a welcoming country...all with a fantastically low cost of living--figure $1,500 a month for a couple, all in.