In December 2010 I moved permanently to Latvia. Now I am the lucky owner of a very nice house and garden just outside Riga for 1/5 of the price compared to Oslo (where I moved from), and I can enjoy the very nice summers in the garden or in Jurmala. (I admit that the winters are better in Norway, though). Why did I end up in a tiny country with a declining population and financial crisis?
For one simple reason: because my fiancee is Latvian and she works in Riga. However, I had been thinking about moving a long time before that, but family and friends held me back. Looking back, I should have moved earlier. Therefore my advice to independent traders with a well-funded bank account: go out and explore the world! There are so many advantages and things to learn.
I always wonder why not more traders move to Eastern Europe (EE) from Western Europe (WE). Of course, one can just as well move to Asia or South America, but EE is just 1-3 hours away on a plane.
For example, to spend some years in a cheap country, EE is perfect for someone trying to learn how to trade. Daytrading requires a lot of experience, and if you are willing to spend 2-3 years learning with no estimated income and live where most things are cheaper, I recommend EE. There are so many advantages:
- To make for example 3000 USD in Norway you will have a comparatively low salary compared to the average. Do you have that salary in Latvia or Ukraine for example, you are way above the average. Let’s face it: It is a lot easier to make 3000 USD than 10 000 USD. The possibility of survival is higher. The clue is to get past the learning stage
- To spend some years abroad and go traveling in the weekends. A great way to learn the culture.
- The cost of living is perhaps 1/4 of Norway, perhaps even lower.
- Taxation is also substantially lower (my experience is that EE traders don’t pay taxes at all. By all means, I declare all my income in Latvia and Norway). This topic might be tricky and I will cover it in another article later.
- Learn another language
- Good and cheap flight connection to Western Europe
- Not as unsafe as you read in the papers. My experience is that Riga is a lot safer than Oslo, for example, based on my own experiences, not hard facts
- Interesting other business opportunities
- Norway, for example, has a very good reputation in Latvia. It is a good asset to hold a Norwegian passport in EE
- More sunshine and less rain than Norway. Even Latvia has 12% more sunshine and 15% less rain than Oslo, according to Wikipedia.
- If you need to hire someone for programming, assistance etc, the costs are 1/7 compared to Norway (perhaps even lower).
- If you trade prop you can get someone to trade your capital, the cut off to the hired can be lower than i WE.
The negatives are:
- Away from friends and family
- Corruption is widespread
- Less rule of law. That can also be an advantage. Personally, I feel much more “free” in Latvia than in Norway. I am not an anarchist but the government has a lot less influence here.
- In case you need a job, prepare for low income…..
- Most likely worse healthcare system
I guess others have other suggestions and/or commentaries? Please post in the comments section.