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Best Countries for Australian Expats to Live and Move To

(This article was last updated on Jan. 24, 2023.)

Here is a list of some of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to.

If you need a financial planner and want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Introduction

The list is also for present global nomads who have already relocated to another country.

If you have been considering relocating to another country for a few years, then this will be your year to realize your travel dreams and live in a new country to become an Australian expat living the dream.

Your preparations have now resumed as a result of economic and territorial reopenings after the COVID-19 virus’ unusual arrival and the ensuing limitations. While different nations still have certain restrictions in place since the COVID pandemic is not really over yet, you are now able to move more freely than about two years ago.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #10 New Zealand

The exchange of Australian expats relocating to New Zealand and vice versa has always existed due to proximity. New Zealand has several advantages: it’s only across the pond; they speak your language; it has beautiful scenery; it has a low crime rate; and it has a high quality of life.

In terms of safety, New Zealand ranked as the second safest country in the world in 2023 out of 163 nations.

The ranking was determined using the 2022 Global Peace Index, which is a yearly report compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). This report takes into consideration a number of different factors in order to determine which countries are the safest in the world, including perceived crime rates, levels of militarization, and levels of societal criminality.

On top of that, according to the Happiness Score from the available World Happiness Report in 2022, New Zealand ranked as the 10th happiest country in the world.

How much do you need for living costs in New Zealand?

If you compared the cost of living in Canberra, the capital of Australia, to that of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, you would find that living in Wellington would be more affordable.

To put this into perspective, cost of living data aggregator Numbeo estimated that the equivalent amount of money needed in Wellington would be approximately A$8,200.7 (Australian dollars) to maintain the same standard of living with A$9,400 in Canberra. These calculations are based on the assumption that you are renting a place to live in these cities.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of New Zealand is NZ$1,796 (New Zealand dollars) per month, while the cost of renting the same apartment outside of that area is NZ$1,505 per month. The costs of purchasing an apartment in the city center can reach up to NZ$9,444 per square meter, while the costs of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center can reach up to NZ$7,234 per square meter.

In New Zealand, the average cost of a meal at a less expensive restaurant is estimated to be NZ$24.25, while a three-course meal for two at a restaurant of a more moderate price point can cost up to NZ$120.

The expense of living in the country for a four-person family can reach an estimated monthly average of about NZ$5,462, while one person can survive on roughly NZ$1,510 per month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats new zealand
Hobbit house in New Zealand. Image by Bence Kondor

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #9 Mexico

Mexico City is quickly becoming a favorite destination for digital nomads. More and more co-working spaces are springing up to serve the growing number of online employees who want fast internet and a comfortable atmosphere in which to work and socialize with other businesses.

Mexico, being one of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to, offers a low cost of living, delicious cuisine, and a never-ending metropolis. COVID has had its toll, but Mexico City has recovered and is now a hot destination. Mexico’s healthcare system is also sufficient and advanced.

While many retirees choose coastal destinations such as Playa del Carmen, there is a vibrant ex-pat community in San Miguel de Allende, a historic town with Instagram-worthy architecture that was previously named the ‘greatest little town in the world’.

In terms of safety, Mexico ranked as the 137th safest country in the world in 2023, based on the Global Peace Index. Meanwhile, the country was named in the 2022 World Happiness Report as the 46th happiest country.

How much do you need to live in Mexico?

If you rent in both Mexico City and Canberra, then you will need approximately $4,144.8 Australian dollars in Mexico City to maintain the same standard of living as if you lived in Canberra. This is assuming that you will be paying rent in both cities.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Mexico is approximately 9,359 Mexican pesos per month, while the cost of the same apartment outside of that area is approximately 5,667 pesos. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as 25,388 pesos per square meter, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately 17,801.5 pesos for purchase.

It is estimated that a meal at a low-priced restaurant in Mexico will cost 150 pesos, while a meal for two at a restaurant in the middle price range can cost as much as 600 pesos.

For a family of four, the overall cost of living in the country can reach an average of about 36,135 pesos per month, while one person can survive on roughly 9,985 pesos per month, assuming that rent is not included in either figure.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #8 France

Many people’s retirement ambition has been to live in a cottage in a charming French town, and many Australian expats have done exactly that, that is why France is one of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to.

Enjoying provincial rural life, farmers’ markets, wines, cheeses, and a perfect base from which to travel to Europe. Retiring to France is a fantastic option for Australian expats looking to retire while keeping a little enchantment in their lives.

In fact, the country took the 20th place in US News and World Report’s 2022 Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement.

The Global Peace Index placed France as the 65th safest country in 2023. In terms of happiness, on the other hand, the country was named as the 20th happiest country in the world.

How much is the current cost of living in France?

You must have about A$7,969.5 in the French capital of Paris to sustain the same standard of living in Canberra, assuming that you are renting in both cities.

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of France costs 732 euros per month to rent, while renting the same apartment outside of that area costs only 588 euros. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as 6,108 euros per square meter for purchase, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately 4,450 euros.

A meal at a cheap restaurant in France will set you back 15 euros, while a meal for two at a medium-priced restaurant can cost up to 60 euros.

In general, a four-member family needs about 3,129 euros per month on average to cover expenses in the country, while an individual can live off of roughly 872.5 euros a month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #7 Spain

Spain has long piqued the interest of Australian expats as one of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to due to its vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning architecture – not to mention its delicious cuisine.

While retirees flock to the Costas for the year-round weather and the chance to buy a property at a reasonable price, the seductive quality of life attracts younger expats to the cities.

There are lots of English teaching positions available, and despite COVID’s crushing impact on the country, students understand that they need English in order to find work.

Spain ranks as the 29th safest and happiest country. In terms of the comfortable retirement rankings, the country took the third spot.

How much is the cost of living in Spain?

The equivalent amount of money needed in the Spanish capital of Madrid would be about A$5,617 to maintain the same standard of living with A$9,400 in Canberra. These calculations are based on the assumption that you are renting a place to live in these cities.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Spain is 747 euros per month, while the cost of renting the same apartment outside of that area is 609 euros per month. The costs of purchasing an apartment in the city center can reach up to 3,242 euros per square meter, while the costs of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center can reach up 1,990 euros per square meter.

In Spain, the average cost of a meal at a less expensive restaurant is estimated to be 12 euros, while a three-course meal for two at a restaurant of a more moderate price point can cost up to 50 euros.

The expense of living in the country for a four-person family can reach an estimated monthly average of about 2,303.5 euros, while one person can survive on roughly 652 euros per month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #6 Portugal

Australian expats like Europe, and when it comes to a welcoming country that is quickly becoming a popular destination for digital nomads and retirees, Portugal is hard to beat.

Life in Portugal is leisurely, healthy, and inexpensive. With high-speed internet and a plethora of lovely coffee shops and co-working spaces where one can connect with other digital nomads, Lisbon and Porto are quickly becoming popular locations for the digital nomad.

Retirees are drawn to Algarve’s beautiful environment, low property costs, and rich and colorful culture. It comes as no surprise that Portugal ranked 4th in the comfortable retirement rankings, according to US News.

While the majority of retirees in Portugal are Americans and British, an increasing number of Australian expats are crossing the world to reside in this wonderful nation.

Portugal also placed within the top 10 safest country in the world as it took the sixth spot based on the Global Peace Index. In terms of happiness, it ranked 56th globally.

How much do you need for living costs in Portugal?

If you rent in both Portuguese capital Lisbon and Canberra, then you will need approximately A$5,639.2 in the former to maintain the same standard of living as if you lived in Canberra. This is assuming that you will be paying rent in both cities.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Portugal is approximately 742 euros per month, while the cost of the same apartment outside of that area is approximately 5587 euros. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as 2,960 euros per square meter, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately 2,037 euros for purchase.

It is estimated that a meal at a low-priced restaurant in Portugal will cost 8.50 euros, while a meal for two at a restaurant in the middle price range can cost as much as 40 euros.

For a family of four, the overall cost of living in the country can reach an average of about 2,021.5 euros per month, while one person can survive on roughly 574 euros per month, assuming that rent is not included in either figure.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #5 Indonesia

Indonesia has long been a favorite among Australian tourists, retirees, and digital nomads as one of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to. Bali, a provincial island in the country is particularly a favorite.

Indonesia provides a pleasant temperature, a low cost of living, amazing scenery, delectable cuisine, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of healthful activities such as yoga, mountain biking, snorkeling, and creative writing and painting classes. It has a lot to offer the Australian expat, and it’s not too far away.

Indonesia is the 47th safest country and the 87th happiest in the world.

How much do you need to live in Indonesia?

You must have about A$3,441.8 in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to sustain the same standard of living in Canberra, assuming that you are renting in both cities.

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Indonesia costs 4.2 million Indonesian rupiah per month to rent, while renting the same apartment outside of that area costs only 2.6 million rupiah. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as 24.9 million rupiah per square meter for purchase, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately 12.8 million rupiah.

A meal at a cheap restaurant in Indonesia will set you back 25,000 rupiah, while a meal for two at a medium-priced restaurant can cost up to 250,000 rupiah.

In general, a four-member family needs about 23 million rupiah per month on average to cover expenses in the country, while an individual can live off of roughly 6.6 million rupiah a month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats indonesia
A dock in Girisubo, Jogja, Indonesia. Image by ahmad syahrir

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #4 Thailand

Thailand has always been a center for folks who make their living entirely online. Chiang Mai, in particular, has become a favorite destination for digital nomads seeking an economical lifestyle while earning in their own currency. Chiang Mai offers excellent internet access and a strong support network for young businesses.

If you enjoy working in cafés, coffee shops, and co-working spaces, Thailand is a terrific option that is not too far away from home.

Another popular option available to people desiring to live and work in Thailand is teaching at an international school or language academy.

Thailand has proven to be an ideal retirement option for Australians, earning it a spot in the list of the best countries for Australian expats to live and move to. It has a pleasant environment, low living costs, and excellent medical care. Furthermore, seeing the family isn’t too far away.

The country made it to the top 20 countries for a comfortable retirement, snatching the 19th spot. Meanwhile, it placed 103rd in terms of safety and 61st in terms of the happiness ranking.

How much is the current cost of living in Thailand?

The equivalent amount of money needed in Thai capital Bangkok would be about A$4,940.1 to maintain the same standard of living in Canberra.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Thailand is 13,430.5 Thai baht per month, while the cost of renting the same apartment outside of that area is 7,412 baht per month. The costs of purchasing an apartment in the city center can reach up to 117,500 baht per square meter, while the costs of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center can reach up to 64,243.5 baht per square meter.

In Thailand, the average cost of a meal at a less expensive restaurant is estimated to be 70 baht, while a three-course meal for two at a restaurant of a more moderate price point can cost up to 800 baht.

The expense of living in the country for a four-person family can reach an estimated monthly average of about 66,832 baht, while one person can survive on roughly 18,512 baht a month per month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #3 Singapore

Singapore continues to recruit professional Australian expats in business and finance, despite its high cost of living.

Singapore has a huge expatriate community and a fast-paced lifestyle. This entails a large network of fellow expats who are going through similar difficulties. Singapore is an excellent alternative for Australian expats due to its high income, cheap taxes, and delectable cuisine.

Singapore is the ninth safest country in the world this year and is the 27th happiest.

How much is the living cost in Singapore?

Living in Singapore City, the capital of Singapore, will set you back A$11,325.8 which is more than the A$9,400 you need in Canberra.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Singapore is approximately S$4,000 (Singapore dollars) per month, while the cost of the same apartment outside of that area is approximately S$2,891. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as S$26,825.5 per square meter, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately S$13,463.5 for purchase.

It is estimated that a meal at a low-priced restaurant in Singapore will cost S$13.5, while a meal for two at a restaurant in the middle price range can cost as much as S$90.

For a family of four, the overall cost of living in the country can reach an average of about S$5,201 per month, while one person can survive on roughly S$1,431.5 pesos per month, assuming that rent is not included in either figure.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #2 The United States of America

The United States, too, is a favorite location for Australian expats due to a shared language and culture. Many ambitious engineers have been drawn to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to pursue professions in the world’s most technologically advanced region. They have access to possibilities and pay that they would never have had in Australia.

Finance and investment professionals have found their ideal jobs in the major cities on the east coast, including New York and Boston. America remains the “country of opportunity.”

The US is named as the 16th happiest country in the world, according to the 2022 World Happiness Report. The country took the 30th position in the comfortable retirement rankings. However, it’s far down the list of safest countries at 129th place.

How much do you need to afford living costs in the US?

You must have A$10,015.1 in Washington, D.C. and A$12,807.1 in New York so as to maintain the same standard of life in Canberra and Sydney, respectively.

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of the US costs US$1,708 per month to rent, while renting the same apartment outside of that area costs only US$1,378.5. An apartment in the city center can cost as much as US$4,483 per square meter for purchase, while an apartment outside of the city center per square meter can cost approximately US$3,027.

A meal at a cheap restaurant in the US will set you back US$17, while a meal for two at a medium-priced restaurant can cost up to US$70.

In general, a four-member family needs about US$3,663 per month on average to cover expenses in the country, while an individual can live off of roughly US$1,027 a month, excluding rent in both cases.

Best Countries for Australian Expats: #1 The United Kingdom

A lot of Australian expats reside in the United Kingdom, particularly in London. England has long been a popular destination for Australian expats wishing to further their careers and money, or to use as a base for a European vacation. Because of the comparable culture and language, the transfer is quite simple.

The United Kingdom is a fantastic beginning place for people in business and finance.

The country is named as the 17th happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report. Meanwhile, it placed 24th and 22nd in terms of safety and comfortable retirement rankings, respectively.

How much do you need for living costs in the UK?

The equivalent amount of money needed in UK capital London would be about A$9,280 to maintain the same standard of living in Canberra.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of the UK is 904 pounds per month, while the cost of renting the same apartment outside of that area is 686.5 pounds per month. The costs of purchasing an apartment in the city center can reach up to 4,363.5 pounds per square meter, while the costs of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center can reach up to 3,243 pounds per square meter.

In the UK, the average cost of a meal at a less expensive restaurant is estimated to be 15 pounds, while a three-course meal for two at a restaurant of a more moderate price point can cost up to 55 pounds.

The expense of living in the country for a four-person family can reach an estimated monthly average of about 2,409 pounds, while one person can survive on roughly 699 pounds per month, excluding rent in both cases.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 739.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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