Want to save money living abroad? Here are three destinations for

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These countries offer a low cost of living which can be attractive for teleworkers

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Inflation has been a huge concern in recent months and as more and more people move remote work after the pandemic, many are exploring the possibility of living and working abroad.

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Not only can this digital nomad lifestyle be an amazing life experience, but it can also help you increase your income if you choose a place with a lower cost of living.

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Many destinations offer short-term working holiday visas. For those looking for affordable destinations that offer long term opportunitieshere are three countries to consider.

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Portugal

For people who want a well-connected European base, Portugal is a top choice. The affordable cost of living, warm climate and proximity to North America are all great assets. There are also several ways to obtain residency, which is a very attractive factor for people who want to stay long term.

A T2 in the city center on average at around $940 per month, a monthly pass costs around $52 and you can find local beer for $2.20. Keep in mind that this is a national average and larger cities, such as Lisbon, will be more expensive. It should also be noted that the cost of electricity and fuel is higher in Portugal than in many other European countries. So while some living costs may seem cheap, others will likely cost more than you’re used to.

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Other downsides to living in Portugal include over-tourism which can be very apparent in cities like Lisbon and Porto, especially during the summer months. Significant import fees for anything from outside the EU, slow life and language difference. Although English is widely spoken, learning Portuguese is essential if you plan to stay long-term, especially to navigate bureaucratic processes such as visa applications.

Brittany Kulick has been in Lisbon for over a year now preparing for her residency. She loves the variety the country offers.

“Portugal has it all, from beaches to cities to quaint medieval villages, there’s so much to explore,” she says.

However, a word of advice for the self-employed, the tax situation can be tricky to manage. Citizens of Canada and the United States and staying up to 90 days in Portugal with a tourist visa. But if you wish to become a resident, several options are available to you, in particular the Golden visa program where you invest in Portugal or in a Visa D7which allows you to apply for residency after five years.

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Costa Rica

Central America is a popular location for travelers and digital nomads thanks to its low costs, stunning scenery, and opportunities for adventure. Longer term stays here have also become easier thanks to Costa Rica rentier visa for digital nomads.

If you are self-employed and can prove that you earn a fixed income of at least USD 2,500 per month, this visa will allow you to open a business or freelance in the country. The rentista visa is valid for two years and can be renewed as long as you continue to meet the requirements. Once you have lived in Costa Rica with a residence permit (issued through the visa rentista), you can apply for permanent residency.

So, what is the cost of living in Costa Rica? A one-bedroom apartment in a central area will cost, on average, around $635/month, public transport for a month will cost about $46, and a local beer will cost about $3. While that might sound very affordable, digital nomad Sky Fisher warns that Costa Rica is only cheap if you’re willing to live like the locals. For people coming to Costa Rica who want to live in a gated condo community and follow their North American lifestyle, it will be hard to save money.

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That being said, if you’re looking for a laid-back “Pura Vida” (simple life), then Costa Rica is the place to go. From beaches to volcanoes, cloud forests and more, Costa Rica has an island feel that keeps digital nomads, like Sky, wanting to stay a little longer.

Georgia

Georgia has recently become a popular destination for digital nomads. Mountains, historic towns and wine regions make it an attractive destination, but perhaps Georgia’s biggest draw is the relative low cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment in the heart of downtown Tbilisi can cost as little as $700 a month, a monthly public transport pass will only get you around $18, and a local beer costs around $2, $50.

Although Georgia can be an affordable place to live, you should also keep in mind that the post-Soviet country has some disadvantages. More specifically, the the infrastructure is dated and the quality of apartments and accommodation options is lower than most North Americans are used to. While Georgia has universal health care, health care is a recent development, as of 2013. Many expats opt for private insurance.

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It should also be noted that while Georgia directly prohibits discrimination against all LGBTQ people, it is a very religious country and may be less culturally tolerant. Another important thing to know is that due to its location, the war in ukraine led to a massive influx of refugees into Georgia. This has put a strain on housing in major cities like Tbilisi and Kutaisi.

Richelle Gamlam has lived in Tbilisi, Georgia for over two years and now runs her online coaching business.

“If you want to live abroad long-term, Georgia has the easiest one-year visa process of any country I’ve seen,” she says.

While Richelle admits the time zone from Eastern Europe to North America can be difficult at times, she enjoys the lifestyle and doesn’t see herself leaving Georgia anytime soon.

So, is it easy to stay in Georgia? A free tourist visa allows you to stay for up to a year. Once this year is over, you can leave the country and come back to start another year. The government isn’t worried about digital nomads working remotely, but if you stay longer than six months, you’ll have to pay taxes.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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