Do you want to explore the world as an expat? If YES, here are 20 best countries with lots of opportunities for expats to live, work or retire in 2020.

One of the reasons why expats migrate is because they want an easy life for themselves and their family members. Retirement is one aspect of life that is certain no matter the kind of business, job or profession that you are involved in.

Come to think of it, no individual has the capacity to discharge the same energy at different age range of their life. A 60- or 70-year-old man cannot compete with a 30- or 40-year-old man as far as physical and mental energy is concerned. This goes to show that energy level drops as one progresses in age hence the saying ‘Make hay while the sun shines’.

Due to the search for better life as it relates to job opportunities, salary considerations, quality of life, safety, and childcare, people tend to migrate from one country of the world to another. Be that as it may, it is better to look at countries that require your skills as an expert and countries that has migration program for your profession.

If you decide to migrate to a country for the purpose of working, living and retiring to a good life, then you should be able to eliminate potential challenges and make your choice based on the friendliness of locals, the ability to find friends, feeling welcome, and the ability to settle in without having to learn the local language, etc. Having said that, here are the 20 best countries for expats to live, work and retire;

20 Best Countries for Expats to Live, Work or Retire in 2020

  1. Singapore

One of the leading countries for expats to work, live and retire is Singapore. People migrate to countries with good economy and the economy of Singapore is a highly developed free-market economy.

As a matter of fact, Singapore’s economy has been ranked as the most open in the world, 7th least corrupt most pro-business, with low tax rates (14.2% of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) and has the third highest per-capita GDP in the world in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). APEC is headquartered in Singapore.

If you are a core professional especially in the field of technology and finance, you will be able to do pretty well in Singapore.

  1. New Zealand

If you are looking for a peaceful country to live, work and retire, a country that is close to nature and a country that you can easily connect with locals, improve your life and that of your family, then you should be on your way to New Zealand. New Zealand has the second lowest crime-rate in the world, according to the 2017 Global Peace Index, and is tied for the least corrupt country in the world.

The economy of New Zealand is the 53rd-largest national economy in the world when measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 68th-largest in the world when measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

It might interest you to note that New Zealand has one of the most globalized economies and depends greatly on international trade – mainly with Australia, the European Union, the united states, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada. New Zealand’s Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia means that the economy aligns closely with that of Australia.

The government of New Zealand’s have a program that encourages expats immigrant to apply, live, work and perhaps retire in New Zealand.

  1. Germany

If social life and high cost of living is not part of what is driving you to migrate for the purpose of work and retirement but concerns about quality life for your kids, less working hours and excellent work-life-balance, then you should consider Germany. As a matter of fact, Germany is an extremely safe place to live with a very stable political system and low crime.

Research shows that Germany is the fifth-best place in the world for expats to raise kids. The country also benefits from having the lowest average working hours around the world (26 hours a week), leading more than 70 percent of expats to say moving improved their work-life balance.

Aside from that, the economy of Germany is a highly developed social market economy. It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP (PPP). In 2017, the country accounted for 28 percent of the euro area economy according to the IMF. Germany is a founding member of the European Union and the Eurozone.

In 2016, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth $310 billion, making it the biggest capital exporter globally. Germany is the third largest exporter in the world with 1.21 trillion euros ($1.27 trillion) in goods and services exported in 2016.

  1. Canada

If you are looking for a culturally diverse country, a country that welcomes people from all across the globe and a country that has good infrastructure to take care of children and women alike, then you should consider Canada as your destination to live, work and retire.

Interestingly, the economy of Canada is a highly developed mixed economy with 10th largest GDP by nominal and 16th largest GDP by PPP in the world. As with other developed nations, the country’s economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians.

Canada has the fourth highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$33.2 trillion in 2016. It has the world’s third largest proven petroleum reserves and is the fourth largest exporter of petroleum. It is also the fourth largest exporter of natural gas. Canada is considered an “energy superpower” due to its abundant natural resources and small population.

As a matter of fact, the government of Canada has a target to attract 1 million expats to live and work there by 2020. Canada is indeed a welcoming country, but you must be skilled and educated to be able to live comfortable in Canada.

  1. Bahrain

If you are interested in building a career in the banking sector or tourism sector, then you should consider moving to Bahrain to live, work and retire. Interestingly, Bahrain is a welcoming country and if you are a Muslim, it is pretty easier for you to integrate into any community you find yourself.

It might interest you to note that Bahrain has an open economy. The Bahraini currency is the second-highest-valued currency unit in the world. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has heavily invested in the banking and tourism sectors.

The country’s capital, Manama is home to many large financial structures. Bahrain’s finance industry is very successful. In 2008, Bahrain was named the world’s fastest growing financial center by the City of London’s Global Financial Centers Index.

  1. Australia

The weather, the economy, the quality of life, the people, the opportunities and the immigration policy are part of what is attracting expats to live, work and retire in Australia.

The fact that the economy of Australia is a large mixed-market economy, with a GDP of A$1.69 trillion as of 2017 makes it a desirable destination for expats. In 2018 Australia became the country with the largest median wealth per adult. Australia’s total wealth was AUD$8.9 trillion as of June 2016.

In 2016, Australia was the 14th-largest national economy by nominal GDP, 20th-largest by PPP-adjusted GDP and was the 25th-largest goods exporter and 20th-largest goods importer. Australia took the record for the longest run of uninterrupted GDP growth in the developed world with the March 2017 financial quarter, the 103rd quarter and marked 26 years since the country had a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of negative growth).

  1. Sweden

If you want job security, excellent environment to raise your children, quality education for your children and excellent work – life – balance, then Sweden should be your destination. This is so because Sweden has the best work-life balance in the world and the second highest rating for job security. The country also ranks as the best place in the world to raise children, thanks to low cost to raise children and the high quality of childcare.

The economy of Sweden is a developed export-oriented economy aided by timber, hydropower, and iron ore. These constitute the resource base of an economy oriented toward foreign trade. The main industries include motor vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, industrial machines, precision equipment, chemical goods, home goods and appliances, forestry, iron, and steel.

Traditionally a modern agricultural economy that employed over half the domestic workforce, today Sweden further develops engineering, mine, steel, and pulp industries that are competitive internationally, as evidenced by companies like Ericsson, ASEA/ABB, SKF, Alfa Laval, AGA, and Dyno Nobel.

  1. Switzerland

Aside from the good economy and easy access to other European countries, Switzerland seems to be one of the countries that pays one of the highest salaries (the average income for expats is a whopping $144,748). If good education and network is part of what you crave for, then you should head to Switzerland.

The economy of Switzerland is one of the world’s most advanced free market economies. The service sector has come to play a significant economic role, particularly the Swiss banking industry and tourism. The economy of Switzerland ranks first in the world in the 2015 Global Innovation Index and the 2017 Global Competitiveness Report.

According to United Nations data for 2016, Switzerland is the third richest landlocked country in the world after Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, with a GDP per capita above US$70,000 that are neither island nations nor ministates.

Although, Switzerland is an expensive country; everything is more expensive, including groceries, healthcare, accommodation, accommodation, and going out, it is still a good destination to live, work and retire.

  1. Taiwan

If you looking for a country to live work and retire, then one of your options is to head to Taiwan. Most especially if you have experience in the line of electronics, communications and information technology products, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals.

Despite the fact that salaries aren’t remarkably high, Taiwan has a low cost-of-living which means more disposable income, investments, and less debt. Nearly half of expats to Taiwan say moving helped build up their wealth. If you want to migrate to Taiwan to live, work and retire, you should endeavor to learn Mandarin or Cantonese. About 60 percent of expats say they speak one of those languages in addition to English.

  1. United Arab Emirates

If you are young and you are looking for a wealthy country that provides good working environments, great accommodations, and options for raising children plus world-famous hotels and shopping malls; then you should consider moving to the United Arab Emirates.

The economy of the United Arab Emirates is the second largest in the Middle East (after Saudi Arabia), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $403.2 billion (AED 1.46 trillion) in 2014. The Emirates have been successfully diversifying their economy.

Although the UAE has the most diversified economy in the GCC, its economy remains extremely reliant on petroleum (oil). With the exception of Dubai, most of the UAE is dependent on oil revenues. If you coming from the Western country, then you should note that the culture is dramatically different from the West. Due to their Islamic traditions and ideals, the country very conservative, with strict rules for public conduct.

  1. France

If you above 50 and you are looking for a country to live, wrap up the remaining of your working years and to retire, then you should consider France. France is a great place to raise a family. Expats report school and childcare being easy and cheap, as well as being of high quality. 64 percent of expats say their children’s health and well-being is better than where they left.

France has the world’s 6th largest economy by 2018 nominal figures and the 10th largest economy by PPP figures. It has the 3rd largest economy in the European Union after Germany and united kingdom.

France can boast of a diversified economy. The chemical industry is a key sector for France, helping to develop other manufacturing activities and contributing to economic growth. France’s tourism industry is a major component of the economy, as France is the most visited destination in the world.

  1. Malta

Malta is another great destination for expats, especially those who are nearing the age of retirement. If you are looking for a country that offers a relaxed and peaceful way of live in fabulous surroundings with a pleasant climate; then you should consider Malta.

Malta is a country where people find it easy to settle and is good location to connect with locals. As a matter of fact, it is 2nd in terms of settling in and 6th position for feeling at home. Malta is also 9th for getting used to the local culture.

In Malta, you will enjoy a lower cost of living, the country is lower than average in terms of the cost of living as it is 22nd on the list and in 21st position for personal finance. Malta is a fairly good country to consider for families as it is in 18th position overall. It ranks so high due to the availability of childcare and education and also the low cost of these. Malta is in fifth position for working abroad as it ranks highly in each of the sub-categories.

  1. Indonesia

If part of your motive of migrating to a country to live, work and retire is a country that have regards for expats and a country that is deeply rooted in traditions coupled with a country with a good economy, and easy process of migrating and settling down, then you should consider heading towards Indonesia.

Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the emerging market economies of the world. The country is also a member of G20 and classified as a newly industrialized country. It is the 16th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 7th largest in terms of GDP (PPP). Its GDP per capita, however, ranks below the world average. While Indonesia doesn’t rankly highly on economics, it does excel in one area: entrepreneurship.

  1. Spain

Studies shows that 75 percent of expats that migrated to Spain have lived in the country for at least five years and most of them say that they have stayed in the country because of the quality of life they enjoy. Spain ranks second in the world for experience, first for quality of life, and fourth for family. Plus, its fantastic weather and tapas have their benefits.

It might interest you to note that the economy of Spain is the world’s thirteenth-largest by nominal GDP, and it is also one of the largest in the world by purchasing power parity. The country is a member of the European Union, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Trade Organization. Spain has a capitalist mixed economy.

The Spanish economy is the fifth-largest in Europe behind Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and France; and the fourth-largest in the Euro zone, based on nominal GDP statistics. In 2012, Spain was the twelfth-largest exporter in the world and the sixteenth-largest importer.

As Spain has spent the better part of the past decade or so flirting with financial crisis, it should be little surprise the country ranks low on the economic totem pole. Expats moving to Spain report earning $58,000 less than the average expat.

  1. Malaysia

Malaysia is another good destination to live, work and retire if you want to connect to a rich culture, and a country that has respect for expats. Studies conducted shows that Malaysia is very affordable, ranking 11th for disposable income and savings. Nearly two-thirds of expats say they have more disposable income due to the lower cost of living and lower taxes. Education is decent but expensive, and the quality of childcare and school is okay but not great.

The economy of Malaysia is the 3rd largest in Southeast Asia, and is the 35th largest economy in the world. Malaysian labor productivity is significantly higher than neighboring Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines or Vietnam due to a high density of knowledge-based industries and adoption of cutting-edge technology for manufacturing and digital economy. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the Malaysian economy is the 25th most competitive country in the world in the period of 2018–19.

  1. Mexico

If you want to live, work and retire in a country that will afford you the opportunity to save, go on vacation and build your own business or leverage on your skills and education background to secure a good job, then you should consider Mexico.

The economy of Mexico is the 15th largest in the world in nominal terms and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity, according to the International Monetary Fund. Since the 1994 crisis, administrations have improved the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals. Mexico was not significantly influenced by the 2002 South American crisis, and maintained positive, although low, rates of growth after a brief period of stagnation in 2001.

  1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong might be an expensive country to live in, but you can be rest assured to earn big if you are an expat especially if you have experiences in the finance and banking sector.

As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation, almost free port trade and well established international financial market. Its currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is legally issued by three major international commercial banks, and pegged to the US dollar.

Interest rates are determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure they are market driven. There is no officially recognized central banking system, although the Hong Kong Monetary Authority functions as a financial regulatory authority.

According to the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has had the highest degree of economic freedom in the world since the inception of the index in 1995. Hong Kong is fairly independent from mainland China and maintains its own currency and set of laws.

  1. Republic of Ireland

If you have growing children and you want the best for them, then one of the countries you should migrate to to live, work and retire is Republic of Ireland. Studies shows that when it comes to family life; Ireland ranks first for quality of life, third for schooling, and fourth for integration.

The economy of Ireland is a knowledge economy, focused on services into high-tech, life sciences and financial services industries. Ireland is an open economy (6th on the Index of Economic Freedom), and ranks first for high-value foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. In the global GDP per capita tables, Ireland ranks 5th of 187 in the IMF table and 6th of 175 in the World Bank ranking.

  1. Vietnam

If you are looking for a country that is less expensive to live, work and retire, a country where you can spend less in food, transport, entertainment, and easy access to cheap labor most especially if you want to open a factory, then you should consider Vietnam. Studies shows that Vietnam ranks sixth in culture and third in making local friends.

The socialist-oriented market economy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 47th-largest economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 35th-largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). The country is a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the World Trade Organization.

  1. Luxembourg

Luxembourg though a small country, but another great destination for expats who are looking for a country to live, work and retire. Studies shows that Luxembourg ranks in the top spot for job security, so it is a great choice of country for those who are not yet at retirement age.

Luxembourg is in the top 20 for job and career opportunities. It may only rank in 60th position for cost of living, but it is the 17th best country to live. It ranks 4th overall for working abroad. Luxembourg also scores above average for family life and is ranked in 20th position on the overall list.

Luxembourg is in 17th place for family well-being and 22nd place for quality of education. However, it ranks well for availability of childcare and education, landing in 27th position. It is also let down by the cost of childcare and education as it is only in 24th position on the list.

Joy Nwokoro