Expat: Living Abroad

An essay of an American expat's experience in the European Union what I don't miss is the horrifying for-profit American medical system, the Tea Party and when I see a child play cops and robbers at a playground I don't worry about whether the police will come by and shoot and kill them because they're holding a plastic toy gun. I also don't see large numbers of people holding up cardboard signs often with family members) saying "Will work for food". These things are dramatically absent here

A trip to a pharmacy also yields an immediate, visually apparent difference, because little or no money ever seems to be exchanged compared to American pharmacies, which are regular retail enterprises because in Western Europe virtually any medication can be had no matter how expensive for a co-pay of a maximum of $25 US or usually less as a rough generality in most but not all cases. Most medications for chronic conditions in most Western European countries are traditionally completely free or again substantially available at reduced costs. Depending on the country in Western Europe for seniors and children, medications are provided at little or often no cost at all.

What I see in Western Europe is collective responsibility being practiced. Wherein everyone irrespective of income, irrespective of education or social background has basic access to medical and dental care to include prescription plans as a right of citizenship, therein covering nearly 100 percent of their populations in a way that provides for substantive cost control to govt, business and society, because health care is considered to be a public good available as a right of citizenship. What I've seen in American society is that our leaders in govt and business lie to the people basically telling them that they can have a free lunch by shifting the responsibility away from the collective to the individual.

American Expats in the UK
Americans in France
At Home Abroad published monthly with tips on living abroad
Country Briefings from the Economist
*Escape Artist restart your life overseas; has articles on living overseas; and a magazine
*Euro Expatriates for those living in Europe
Expat Communities worldwide directory with listings of useful resources, online forums, organizations, etc. for the expatriate
Expat Exchange extensive site
Expat Expert articles on how to
Expat Focus news, information, and advice, forums
Expat Forums online community
Expat Network has section on what to do with your money
Expat Weekly Telegraph
Expat World newsletter
Expatica useful resources for living and working in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, or Belgium
Expatriate Guide to Living in London
FirstGov: Americans Abroad gives info on the technicalities of living abroad; very useful
Focus living in the UK
French Entree property and living in France
How To Germany about living and working in Germany as a foreigner
International Living information on retiring abroad
Languedoc living in France
Living Abroad many articles on expat issues and retiring
Living and Working in France
Offshore Banking: HSBC International
Offshore Banking: Lloyds TSB
Offshore Banking: Royal Bank of Scotland
Offshore Banking: Barclays International
Overseas Digest good articles
Overseas Retirement Havens a lot of articles
Retire Like Royalty in a low-cost Paradise 5 cautions about moving abroad
Retiring Abroad--Why Not? article focusing on Mexico
Transitions Abroad

"Many expatriates, based in Europe have received alarming letters from their offshore bank or building society in recent weeks. Their basic message is that, from next month, they face a stark choice: either they must agree to "exchange of information" about their financial affairs between the bank's jurisdiction and the tax authorities in their country of residence, or they will suffer a 15% withholding or retention tax on the interest earned by their money.

"The changes mark the end of an era of gross interest accumulation that has served expatriates well... new EU savings directive (ESD) on July 1...

"...Steve Travis of the Fry Group, which offers tax advice to expatriates" (Faith Glasgow. "Don't let new EU rules bite you." Guardian Weekly, June 10, 2005: 31).

Colby Glass, MLIS