In many ways, Canada is a joke. I grew up and went to school there. Pretty much my entire family is bankers, some at very high levels.
Canada is 2 things: commodities, and money laundering. Banks have been trying to diversify themselves by playing in other markets, but the soundness of their banks still relies on those 2 things.
As the US economy goes, so goes the Canadian commodity economy.
Above all, Canada is exceedingly boring, provincial, passive-aggressive, and superioristic. Their banks aren’t as great as they would have you believe, and their dollar is subject to great fuctuations. Canada sells to the US, and buys from China.
There are livable places in Canada, for sure. The latest place I was in was Vancouver, where I was for 5 years. I don’t recommend it unless you are a fungus. We have thought of places like Gananoque, or even just north of Watertown NY, places that are close (relatively) to Montreal, and even better, NYC, where I have interests.
Oui, nous sommes bilingues.
Staying in the northern US or Canada during winter has gotten old, I am ready to retreat somewhere warm for a month or two. We just about bought a place in Nice, until we found there was a Mosque around the corner. We are still looking, but at current prices, renting is an attractive option because we know people and can rent well.
A friend is over in Portugal at the moment, doing research. You can buy into Portugal pretty easily, and get all the benefits immediately, but then you are subject to EU regs. Plus, Portugal has gotten hip as the Brits have moved in.
An overlooked place is Turkey. Turkey used to be great, and then started to slide toward authoritarianism again...but it looks like they may recover some sanity. Turkey is the big pivot in the region, and has incredible strategic importance. If Turkey could guarantee anything, I would be there in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, they can’t. And my wife might have some trouble there, she is pretty “liberated”, shall we say, in some ways.
The Visegrad group also has its appeal, but historically is between a rock and a hard place with Russia on one side and the rest of Europe on the other. Beautiful places and you can still buy a nice castle for a fair sum, and there is some sense of home there...but it’s dicey, too. The Amalfi coast is nice, but property values have been skyrocketing as speculators have bought things up and are developing, and the character of the area is being lost...rapidly. It’s ridiculous.
Liechtenstein has its appeal, as does Andorra. I could see us there in a few years, just as insular as everybody else, but within easy striking distance of “great european capitals” and also of good weather in places like Morocco.
Africa is interesting, with its growth potential. Many say that’s where the action will be in the next 50 years, but to do it right you have to be willing to act with an iron fist, which is why the Chinese are there and succeeding (somewhat). But in the relatively little time I have left on earth, for me Africa holds no special appeal as a place to live.
My 2 cents, disguised as $3.50