Author Topic: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?  (Read 5377 times)

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« on: October 22, 2016, 08:50:27 PM »
A fun site I was just playing with:

https://www.theearthawaits.com/

Put in your monthly budget and some other factors, and it tells you where, all over the world.  I was surprised at some of the results, like Heidelberg Germany and Trento Italy being cheap for low crime, low pollution, and  high quality of life.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 09:43:55 PM »
Interesting! Site doesn't seem big on Asia... maybe my budget was too high. I left all other factors stock.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 11:42:26 PM »
Interesting! Site doesn't seem big on Asia... maybe my budget was too high. I left all other factors stock.

117 cities in Asia at the moment, so it's in third place after Europe (228) and North America (173). I think there's pretty good coverage for most of the major cities in Asia, though it's a fair bet that I'm missing a number of Chinese cities. If I can get good enough data for them, I can add them.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 11:52:55 PM »
Interesting! Site doesn't seem big on Asia... maybe my budget was too high. I left all other factors stock.

117 cities in Asia at the moment, so it's in third place after Europe (228) and North America (173). I think there's pretty good coverage for most of the major cities in Asia, though it's a fair bet that I'm missing a number of Chinese cities. If I can get good enough data for them, I can add them.

Ahhh.. I just isolated Asia, and it looks like they may have been pushed to the bottom of the rankings due to relatively higher scores on pollution and/or crime. Thanks.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 09:20:34 AM »
No problem-- remember also to max out the budget if you want to see all the cities in a continent (or if you use the text filter for a country) since that's still a constraint too. Have fun with it!

GreenEggs

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 09:50:23 AM »
It's funny which American cities were recommended for $3000 & 2 people, ample setting.  None of them really appealed to me, so I have to wonder which of the foreign cities recommended would appeal to me.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 09:51:57 AM »
A fun site I was just playing with:

https://www.theearthawaits.com/

Put in your monthly budget and some other factors, and it tells you where, all over the world.  I was surprised at some of the results, like Heidelberg Germany and Trento Italy being cheap for low crime, low pollution, and  high quality of life.

Yep, awesome website! Made by one of our very own mustachians. (If you couldn't tell from iamlindoro's comments, it was him).

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2016, 09:54:07 AM »
It's funny which American cities were recommended for $3000 & 2 people, ample setting.  None of them really appealed to me, so I have to wonder which of the foreign cities recommended would appeal to me.

This is a common interpretation, I think, but remember that the site isn't a recommendation engine- it takes your inputs, throws out the things you tell it to filter on, builds budgets on the rest, and then throws out the remaining items that don't fit the input budget range. By default, the output cities are in order of Quality of Life, so in that sense you might say that by default the "best" cities are at the top, but ultimately the output is a function of the input.

It's a tool of discovery. In the end, you need to decide where you belong :)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 10:00:07 AM by iamlindoro »

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2016, 09:55:07 AM »
Yep, awesome website! Made by one of our very own mustachians. (If you couldn't tell from iamlindoro's comments, it was him).

Guilty :) In fact, the very first bump I got was a tweet from MMM himself. I've done my best to capitalize on the opportunity that brought to bring in more visitors (Today's random appearance of the site is in Barcelona's #1 newspaper), but it all started here :)

TomTX

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2016, 10:03:21 AM »
Interesting! Site doesn't seem big on Asia... maybe my budget was too high. I left all other factors stock.

117 cities in Asia at the moment, so it's in third place after Europe (228) and North America (173). I think there's pretty good coverage for most of the major cities in Asia, though it's a fair bet that I'm missing a number of Chinese cities. If I can get good enough data for them, I can add them.

Ahhh.. I just isolated Asia, and it looks like they may have been pushed to the bottom of the rankings due to relatively higher scores on pollution and/or crime. Thanks.
Europe actually has some pretty horrible levels of particulate pollution due to all the diesels.

geekette

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2016, 10:10:06 AM »
Funny, I got a couple in NZ (I'd love to visit) and...where we live now. 

Immigration laws are keeping us in the US.  Nobody wants a couple retirees without millions!

Nemesis.

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2016, 11:26:55 AM »
I was wondering why my current city wasn't coming up and then I realized I had the crime and pollution settings too low. o.O
Definitely a down-side to where i am now.
Great tool to finding places you might not have thought of before! :)

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2016, 12:19:17 PM »
Yep, awesome website! Made by one of our very own mustachians. (If you couldn't tell from iamlindoro's comments, it was him).

Nice work, and nicely designed too!

Zikoris

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2016, 12:54:03 PM »
Love this site. I've found it to be very therapeutic - if I'm pissed off at work I sometimes pull up a list of beautiful European cities where we could retire comfortably on whatever our current SWR is - and it seems that our current $750/month goes a long way in the eastern countries (Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Poland).

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 01:03:51 PM »
Love this site. I've found it to be very therapeutic - if I'm pissed off at work I sometimes pull up a list of beautiful European cities where we could retire comfortably on whatever our current SWR is - and it seems that our current $750/month goes a long way in the eastern countries (Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Poland).

Thanks all for the kindness. This is really a big part of it for us, too, even though I wrote it. Just being able to look at the current SWR and say "You know what, I'd be okay. I'd even be happy." It's such an empowering and calming feeling.

SnackDog

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2016, 01:12:35 PM »
It seemed to offer me a lot of places with cold winters, a foreign language or nothing to do. Fancy, though.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2016, 01:37:37 PM »
It seemed to offer me a lot of places with cold winters, a foreign language or nothing to do. Fancy, though.

Seems like you're not a big fan of international travel! Lol.

Zikoris

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 03:03:31 PM »
I might be a dolt, but I can't figure out how to look up a specific city - just a group of cities that meet criteria. Is there a way to do that?

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2016, 03:16:10 PM »
I might be a dolt, but I can't figure out how to look up a specific city - just a group of cities that meet criteria. Is there a way to do that?

Right now, the easiest way to do this is to expand the budget to a large amount and then put the city name (or a part of it) in the include filter under advanced. That said, I finally have a pretty good sense of how I want to do a "browse all cities" mode (obviously I could do a simple list but I am aiming a little higher), so look for that hopefully sometime in the next month or so.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2016, 03:17:15 PM »
It seemed to offer me a lot of places with cold winters, a foreign language or nothing to do. Fancy, though.

You can filter on both primary language and temperature under advanced, if it helps :)

SnackDog

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2016, 03:32:37 PM »
It does help. Thanks! It still wants to send me to Adelaide and Canberra and the southern US, places I have been and hate, but Tucson ranks pretty high which delights me as that is my current favorite as well.   International is fine but we've been overseas about 15 years and ready to live in the US again (we think).  We are not big fans of the taxes in the UK and Australia, either.  The other problem with being an expat is that you never actually fit into the community - always an outsider or part of an expat clique.  Ok for working but not ideal.

gaja

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2016, 04:36:28 PM »
Where are your crime rate data from? Troms° in northern Norway registers as "medium", and it is one of the safer places I've been.

Cassie

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2016, 04:51:23 PM »
WE were thinking about spending a year in Poland by renting an apartment and then using that as our base to visit other countries. My son said the pollution is terrible in the winter and I looked it up. Sure enough the pollution is 2.5x's what is considered healthy and I have asthma. It showed pics where it looks like night but it is daytime. Ugh!  They burn coal and other nasty stuff.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2016, 04:54:24 PM »
Where are your crime rate data from? Troms° in northern Norway registers as "medium", and it is one of the safer places I've been.

Tromso is on the very low end of moderate (within 6 points of being a "low"), which really is pretty good. Note that the word is Moderate, not Medium, which is basically average (or in this case, average but pretty close to low). Crime index is based on Numbeo's survey of locals about a number of crime-related topics such as:

Level of crime
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
Worries home broken and things stolen
Worries being mugged or robbed
Worries car stolen
Worries things from car stolen
Worries being attacked
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or religion
Problem people using or dealing drugs
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
Problem corruption and bribery

Compared to many of the other cities in the database (and indeed, considering your statistical likelihood of being a victim of crime in even the most crime-affected places in the world) I think it would be perfectly fair to call Tromso a safe place.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2016, 04:55:51 PM »
WE were thinking about spending a year in Poland by renting an apartment and then using that as our base to visit other countries. My son said the pollution is terrible in the winter and I looked it up. Sure enough the pollution is 2.5x's what is considered healthy and I have asthma. It showed pics where it looks like night but it is daytime. Ugh!  They burn coal and other nasty stuff.

Unrelated (I haven't spent a winter in Poland, so can't speak to the pollution, but I completely believe that coal is the primary heating/energy source), I would love to spend some serious time there myself. I love Krakow soooooo much.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2016, 05:02:03 PM »
WE were thinking about spending a year in Poland by renting an apartment and then using that as our base to visit other countries. My son said the pollution is terrible in the winter and I looked it up. Sure enough the pollution is 2.5x's what is considered healthy and I have asthma. It showed pics where it looks like night but it is daytime. Ugh!  They burn coal and other nasty stuff.

In the USA, at least, some of the heaviest coal burning states have some of the cleanest air (as ranked by the American Lung Association).  Interesting. Maybe their scrubber standards are different.

http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/cleanest-cities.html

Cassie

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2016, 05:03:40 PM »
We have been to Poland twice and love it. It is also very cheap so your $ goes far. My DIL is from there. Krakow is one of my favorite cities. The Poles are very friendly and like Americans.

Dexterous

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2016, 08:53:39 PM »
Love this site. I've found it to be very therapeutic - if I'm pissed off at work I sometimes pull up a list of beautiful European cities where we could retire comfortably on whatever our current SWR is - and it seems that our current $750/month goes a long way in the eastern countries (Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Poland).

We're going to live in Romania when not on our boat. That country wasn't discussed much on this forum, but now that this site is available I've got a feeling it will be more well known eventually.  It tends to top the lists for low costs, pollution, and crime.  However, I think the corruption stats are off for there... because the corruption is absolutely terrible.  You can't see a doctor and get good treatment without paying doctors cash under the table, one can get out of nearly any crimes/fines with $$, or cross the border with illegal stuff for a little money, etc.

Aside from corruption, the infrastructure... particularly roads, are terrible there.  Most of the main roads crossing the country are two-lane roads with potholes, minimal lighting, and lots of traffic. 

The smaller towns in Hungary have similar prices as Romania, but much better roadways and a better international airport in Budapest.

FYI -- I just got back from both of those countries (10th time visiting) and my wife is Romanian.  So if anybody wants some info let me know.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 09:00:05 PM by Dexterous »

Dexterous

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2016, 08:55:33 PM »
We have been to Poland twice and love it. It is also very cheap so your $ goes far. My DIL is from there. Krakow is one of my favorite cities. The Poles are very friendly and like Americans.

I met a guy in Amsterdam earlier this month that has travelled to about 100 countries, and he said Krakow was his favorite city.  I want to check it out now.  :)

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2016, 09:26:37 PM »
We're going to live in Romania when not on our boat. That country wasn't discussed much on this forum, but now that this site is available I've got a feeling it will be more well known eventually.  It tends to top the lists for low costs, pollution, and crime.  However, I think the corruption stats are off for there... because the corruption is absolutely terrible.  You can't see a doctor and get good treatment without paying doctors cash under the table, one can get out of nearly any crimes/fines with $$, or cross the border with illegal stuff for a little money, etc.

It's possible I should name the bands a little bit differently.  Romania is actually only six points away from what I term "high" corruption (as in, it's in my "average" band by a fairly narrow margin).  It's a 46/100, where higher is less corrupt- Transparency International (where I get this info) ranks it 58/168 countries in corruption (lower numbers are better).

I tend to use 5 20-point bands when a score is out of 100, but in this particular case it may make sense to call high corruption somewhere sooner.  I'll re-check the Transparency International and see if they give any better guidance-- they use a color gradient in their map of rankings, so it's not too much help :)

Dexterous

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2016, 09:41:37 PM »
I'm sorry iamlindoro, I should have been very clear with my statement about the corruption stats seeming to be off for there.  I meant the reported stats from the organizations who track it, such as your source -- not you!  I know you're only as good as the info you get and essentially the messenger.  :D  We love your site.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2016, 09:55:03 PM »
I'm sorry iamlindoro, I should have been very clear with my statement about the corruption stats seeming to be off for there.  I meant the reported stats from the organizations who track it, such as your source -- not you!  I know you're only as good as the info you get and essentially the messenger.  :D  We love your site.

Oh no worries, I didn't take any offense at all-- I am just always open to the fact that I might be interpreting or reinterpreting the data incorrectly, so always looking for ways to make it better and more accurate. It can't hurt to look again :)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2016, 06:10:23 AM »
This is really interesting! I was pretty fussy with my inputs and got Osijek, Croatia and Szczecin, Poland. The Croation city is MUCH smaller in terms of population, which I like. I think I blocked out a lot of cheap Asian cities by refusing to go anywhere too hot. Not looking to retire abroad, but maybe a holiday is in order...!

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2016, 07:32:02 AM »
Damn... QuÚbec City was near the top for my budget and filtering by quality of life. And I was hoping for a motivation to move somewhere different and exciting.

gaja

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2016, 09:00:36 AM »
Where are your crime rate data from? Troms° in northern Norway registers as "medium", and it is one of the safer places I've been.

Tromso is on the very low end of moderate (within 6 points of being a "low"), which really is pretty good. Note that the word is Moderate, not Medium, which is basically average (or in this case, average but pretty close to low). Crime index is based on Numbeo's survey of locals about a number of crime-related topics such as:

Level of crime
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
Worries home broken and things stolen
Worries being mugged or robbed
Worries car stolen
Worries things from car stolen
Worries being attacked
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or religion
Problem people using or dealing drugs
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
Problem corruption and bribery

Compared to many of the other cities in the database (and indeed, considering your statistical likelihood of being a victim of crime in even the most crime-affected places in the world) I think it would be perfectly fair to call Tromso a safe place.
I suspected you were using Numbeo. I use Norwegian towns as my example, because these are the ones I know. But when they very clearly are wrong, I don't trust the data for the other countries either. If you look at the data sample for Troms°, it is based on how safe 20 inhabitants *feel* their city is. I understand that it can be difficult to get better data, but you should probably do some sort of adjustment of the Numbeo data, maybe based on overall numbers for the country? Those are often available from trusted sources, and are based on comparable quantitative crime statistics.

A lot of the inhabitants of Troms° come from tiny neighbouring villages. For them, any town where people lock their doors without leaving the key out for their neighbours, would seem like an unsafe place. The former island dwellers have never worried about car theft before, because someone would notice the thief trying to bring the car onto the ferry. For them, Troms° feels terribly unsafe. Last year, according to the police, one (1) house was broken into in Troms°. I can promise you that the numbers for Trondheim are far worse than that, but it scores better in the Numbeo index because the people that have answered are not so scared. Of course, part of the reason the northern towns have bad score, are drunk fishermen that get into fights. I do not know if that should be an issue to consider for most people who are considering visiting or moving to northern Norway.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2016, 09:12:35 AM »
I suspected you were using Numbeo. I use Norwegian towns as my example, because these are the ones I know. But when they very clearly are wrong, I don't trust the data for the other countries either. If you look at the data sample for Troms°, it is based on how safe 20 inhabitants *feel* their city is. I understand that it can be difficult to get better data, but you should probably do some sort of adjustment of the Numbeo data, maybe based on overall numbers for the country? Those are often available from trusted sources, and are based on comparable quantitative crime statistics.

A lot of the inhabitants of Troms° come from tiny neighbouring villages. For them, any town where people lock their doors without leaving the key out for their neighbours, would seem like an unsafe place. The former island dwellers have never worried about car theft before, because someone would notice the thief trying to bring the car onto the ferry. For them, Troms° feels terribly unsafe. Last year, according to the police, one (1) house was broken into in Troms°. I can promise you that the numbers for Trondheim are far worse than that, but it scores better in the Numbeo index because the people that have answered are not so scared. Of course, part of the reason the northern towns have bad score, are drunk fishermen that get into fights. I do not know if that should be an issue to consider for most people who are considering visiting or moving to northern Norway.

I understand your objection to the survey-based crime rating, and I agree that a quantitative analysis would be better. That said, at this time, it's not plausible to do a country-by-country parsing of ~120 different sources of crime data , even if all of them aggregated in the same exact fashion (they don't) and on a city level (they don't). I am hopeful that in the future, if the site were to make a little money, that I might be able to address this and other issues in a better way-- there are few problems that can't be solved by throwing enough money at them :) For the moment, though, the Numbeo crime index is the only available option that is available at the city level, with a uniform methodology, and with global coverage.

gaja

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2016, 09:44:18 AM »
I suspected you were using Numbeo. I use Norwegian towns as my example, because these are the ones I know. But when they very clearly are wrong, I don't trust the data for the other countries either. If you look at the data sample for Troms°, it is based on how safe 20 inhabitants *feel* their city is. I understand that it can be difficult to get better data, but you should probably do some sort of adjustment of the Numbeo data, maybe based on overall numbers for the country? Those are often available from trusted sources, and are based on comparable quantitative crime statistics.

A lot of the inhabitants of Troms° come from tiny neighbouring villages. For them, any town where people lock their doors without leaving the key out for their neighbours, would seem like an unsafe place. The former island dwellers have never worried about car theft before, because someone would notice the thief trying to bring the car onto the ferry. For them, Troms° feels terribly unsafe. Last year, according to the police, one (1) house was broken into in Troms°. I can promise you that the numbers for Trondheim are far worse than that, but it scores better in the Numbeo index because the people that have answered are not so scared. Of course, part of the reason the northern towns have bad score, are drunk fishermen that get into fights. I do not know if that should be an issue to consider for most people who are considering visiting or moving to northern Norway.

I understand your objection to the survey-based crime rating, and I agree that a quantitative analysis would be better. That said, at this time, it's not plausible to do a country-by-country parsing of ~120 different sources of crime data , even if all of them aggregated in the same exact fashion (they don't) and on a city level (they don't). I am hopeful that in the future, if the site were to make a little money, that I might be able to address this and other issues in a better way-- there are few problems that can't be solved by throwing enough money at them :) For the moment, though, the Numbeo crime index is the only available option that is available at the city level, with a uniform methodology, and with global coverage.

If you want people to use your tool, not only glance at it and ignore it, you need to do something to improve the data. One simple suggestion could be to use the statistics at Nation Master (or any other sources) for homicides/capita, as these are numbers that can be trusted in most countries, and adjust the Numbeo index with them (all cities in each country are corrected with the same number). It wouldn't be perfect, but it would lower the complainypants factor for comparing neighbouring countries like Denmark (Numbeo 22, murder rate 1.01) and Sweden (Numbeo 46, murder rate 0.89). Look at the map for Copenhagen and Malm÷; you don't magically increase the crime rate by a factor of 3 just because you cross a bridge. But you can easily increase the complainypants factor by a lot by crossing from Denmark to Sweden.

I attached numbers from Numbeo and NationMaster, and a suggestion for an adjusted crime rate based on the Numbeo index and homicide numbers, compared to the highest murder rate in the sample.

iamlindoro

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2016, 09:48:20 AM »
I attached numbers from Numbeo and NationMaster, and a suggestion for an adjusted crime rate based on the Numbeo index and homicide numbers, compared to the highest murder rate in the sample.

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. I'll bear it in mind the next time I'm looking at the crime data/crime data parsing.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Where on Earth can you afford to live, given a certain budget?
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2016, 11:41:55 AM »
If you want people to use your tool, not only glance at it and ignore it, you need to do something to improve the data.

Bit of a tone failure here, methinks. I'm sure what you meant to say was "Thanks so much for making such a cool and interesting tool, but I can see a few improvements in your data that you might make to make it even more useful and awesome!"