fearlessrick - 3:43 pm on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)
OK, I just have to respond to this and recommend upstate New York, anything West of Albany. I personally live in Rochester, on the North shore of Lake Ontario. South of me is the Finger Lakes region which many believe to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, plus there are numerous vineyards which produce some of the best wines on the planet.
Cost of living is very reasonable, except property taxes in the bigger cities. A nice three-bedroom home here can be found for under $150,000, often well under that, as low as $85,000 in some of the suburbs. Taxes run about $4000 a year on a $100,000 home, less in rural areas (depends on the school district). The city itself is a rat-hole with pretty good-sized slums and high crime rate, but if you live in the 'burbs, you never have to venture there.
The weather is OK, though the winters can be a bit harsh and cold, but summers are outstanding, as are Srping and Fall. No earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, etc. An occasional snowstorm of over a foot (once or twice a year) is usually about the most severe weather event.
Great fishing and hunting if that's your thing, ski resorts nearby in winter. Beer is cheap. A case of Labatt's goes for about $20, though the real deal this summer is $4.49 for a six pack of 16 ouncers.
I grew up here, and, to be honest, hated the place, always complaining that it was too boring. Now older, boring is GOOD. Nice, quiet nights on the patio, a vodka tonic, baseball on the tube... another day in paradise.
Hey, the US isn't for everybody, but it does have advantages. Plus, home prices are way down and going lower. The general economic downturn, which should be prolonged by another 3-5 years thanks to our inept politicians, hasn't had much effect on online business.
The one drawback to NY is the tax structure. The people inAlbany want to tax everything, but as any businessman knows, there are ways around them, legal ones, i.e., deductions, etc.
Other options in the US are anywhere south of Maryland, like the Carolinas or Florida, but there are drawbacks. Carolinas are full of uneducated hicks and Florida is home to many scam artists and criminals, plus they have weather, social and economic issues about which I won't go into detail.
Just one last thought: Leaving one's home country often sounds like a good idea, but weighing the relative advantages of what you already know and are familiar with makes sense too.