Top 5 Reasons to Move To Europe

In 2013 the Social Security Administration of the United States sent over 610,000 retirement benefits payments to Americans not living in the United States, which is more than twice the amount of payments being sent in 2002. Also last year, three times as many Americans gave up their citizenship (just over 3000) than in 2012.

So what exactly are the reasons for this increase in emigration to other countries, and Europe in general? Actually there are quite a few, and most of them are pretty good reasons. If you’re keen on heading overseas to live or possibly retire, we put together the Top 5 Reasons that people move to Europe so that you can get an idea of what they are before you make the decision to “cross the pond”. Enjoy.

Reason 1: It’s much easier, and cheaper, to travel to other European countries when you live in a European country. Imagine for a moment that you decided to go to Paris this weekend. Unless you’re extremely wealthy, it’s probably out of the question. On the other hand, if you live in London, Düsseldorf, Brussels or Rome, you can get to Paris in less than two hours for less than $200 round trip. Airfares in Europe are much lower than here in the United States, and they have an incredible rail system that can connect you to over a dozen different countries. If seeing all the great cities of Europe is a dream of yours, living in one of them and visiting the others is definitely possible if you live in Europe.

Reason 2: Well-organized national healthcare. When the Commonwealth Fund on global healthcare released their 2014 report, they ranked Britain as the number one country for healthcare in Europe, followed closely by Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and France. At the bottom of the list for industrialized nations was, you guessed it, the United States.

Reason 3: More vacation time. Did you know that our country is one of the few in the world that doesn’t require companies to give their employees paid vacation time? When you compare that to the average of 30 days of vacation time per year in France and 28 in the UK, and the fact that people in most European countries actually use their vacation time to take a vacation, you can get an idea of why the average European citizen is so much more laid back than we are. Add that to the fact that Europeans are much more casual and relaxed at work, and wear jeans almost as often as Americans where a suit and tie, and the appeal of living in Europe becomes more clear.

Reason 4: Cheaper prices on property and rentals. In countries like Slovenia, Cyprus and Croatia, property prices have fallen 6% or more in the last year. It’s also much cheaper to rent an apartment or a home in most major European cities, by far, then in most major metropolitan areas of the United States.

Reason 5: More maternity leave. In Finland a new mother gets 105 days of paid maternity leave and that country also gives 158 days of shared parental leave, something that’s practically unheard of here in the United States. In the United Kingdom a woman gets a full 280 days of both maternity and paternity leave, all paid. Of course if you’re going to Europe to retire this doesn’t really make a difference but, for younger couples looking to start a family, that’s one heck of a perk.

This blog isn’t to say that America doesn’t have its pluses, because it certainly does. On the other hand, depending on which European country you choose, some of the perks there are quite impressive and definitely unavailable here in the good old US of A.


  1. I have to admit I thought this would be a strange article when I read the title, but the first few sentences explained it all. A journey across the pond would be quite the tall order for a working family with children in school, but once the kids are off to college this would be a great idea. 50 is the new 20 for backpacking around Europe!

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