Benjamin Franklin said, "Where liberty is, there is my country." Neither the UAE nor the Phillipines is, according to the Heritage Foundation's rankings, freer than the US. However, I suspect the Heritage Foundation overrates the extent of freedom in the US.
The Heritage Foundation considers five countries as free:
1. Hong Kong 89.3
2. Singapore 88.0
3. Australia 82.6
4. New Zealand 81.4
5. Switzerland 81.1-0
In addition, the ranking lists 30 countries as mostly free:
|13||Estonia||75.3||+2.1||28||United Arab Emirates||71.1||+1.8|
|14||United Kingdom||74.8||+0.7||29||Czech Republic||70.9||+1.0|
|17||The Netherlands||73.5||+0.2||32||Saint Lucia||70.4||-0.9|
The freedom rankings are based on 10 measures of economic freedom (in parentheses) grouped in to four main headings:
- Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption);
- Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending);
- Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and
- Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).
In America, the median household wealth was $77,300 in 2010 and $126,400 in 2007, according to the New York Times. According to OECD data, which is probably a few years old:
Household net-adjusted disposable income is the amount of money that a household earns each year after tax. It represents the money available to a household for spending on goods or services. In (the) United States, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 38 001 USD a year, much higher than the OECD average of 23 047 USD.
Household financial wealth is the total value of a household’s financial worth. In the United States, the average household net financial wealth is estimated at 115 918 USD, much higher than the OECD average of 40 516 USD and the highest figure in the OECD. While the ideal measure of household wealth should include real assets (e.g. land and dwellings), such information is currently available for only a small number of OECD countries.
Much of Americans' wealth is in IRAs and retirement accounts. That money is taxed upon renunciation of US citizenship.
According to International Living the best places to retire are these:
|10. Costa Rica||95||76||62||60||78||60||95||79||75|
|14. New Zealand||96||55||58||59||86||70||100||84||73|
|24. Dom Rep||97||60||58||47||60||40||70||57||63|
The only country freer than the US that is also a desirable retirement destination is Chile. This makes a choice difficult. I am thinking of doing a systematic study of the top twenty countries on both lists to draw my own conclusions. I haven't traveled much, so this would be an enjoyable and useful project.