What’s the point of U.S. citizenship and is it worth it?
Just this morning, in fact, FLG asked Mrs. FLG if she could countenance the idea of overseas retirement. But FLG has actually been thinking about expatriation issues on and off since the Obamacare debate.
Don't get FLG wrong, it was not really Obamacare exactly. It's just since then FLG has wondered about what it would take for him to leave the country.
FLG doesn't think of himself as a highly-skilled person, but he guesses that on paper he could be considered one. In any case, he's confident that he could live and find work in any number of places around the globe, as could Mrs. FLG. Neither are tied to any particular place, although English as the dominant language would certainly be helpful but not a deal breaker.
FLG has strong emotional, cultural, and political ties to the United States, but given the long run fiscal and demographic factors at play here in the United States, it might become very appealing from a strictly economic and financial perspective to relocate and renounce American citizenship. If the government, for example, introduces a VAT, jacks up income taxes, and introduces single payer health insurance to try deal with the rising costs of health care, then FLG would seriously consider moving out.
But FLG you cannot just leave because you don't agree tax rates and economic policy! Why not? At some point, it's not just economic and financial, but the very character of the nation that has changed. If FLG feels that the country itself no longer reflects his values, has a dim future, and is entirely beyond his ability to ameliorate that situation in the least, then it's a free country and he should be able to leave.
FLG doesn't know where the point of no return for himself is exactly. It's certainly not even the fullest manifestation of the goals of the Obama Administration, but there's a point at which FLG could see himself leaving. And FLG doesn't think he's alone.
The question then arises, where would FLG go that's better than the United States? Well, let's be clear, FLG isn't talking about the United States as it stands now, but some hypothetical future United States. At that point, some other country might begin to look very attractive.