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"If Donald Trump becomes president, I am sooooo moving out of the country." We hear this threat, time and again, from Americans (especially Democrats) who live in fear the results in an election year. It's particularly prevalent this year.
Sure, these are relatively idle threats. But who knows, some families (who have a choice) may actually make the big move, opting for to live where the top job isn't filled by someone calling for bigger and stronger walls along the Mexican border, zero Muslims at immigration, and "brash and bold" proposals for foreign relations (think nukes and more war).
Following March's Super Tuesday, Google searches for "how can I move to Canada?" were up 350 percent. At leasts some of those asking were parents. But Canada isn't the only option, though it's the top choice. Here are six family-friendly countries to consider:
Canada is the go-to country to threaten to move to. It's close by, they speak English and, culturally, it's similar enough to the US (but with less crime and more poutine). Canada is known for having very open immigration policy, and they'll rush the process for skilled workers. They also seem to welcome expats with open arms (plus Justin Trudeau—their Prime Minister—is not just dishy. He's a smartypants, too). Cape Breton, an island in Nova Scotia, has even created an whole campaign to welcome Americans if Trump wins
In Sweden, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, 60 of which are reserved for the father. Not too shabby. They also offer a monthly allowance to parents (per child), and they give parents the option to reduce their working hours until their children turn 8, in order to spend more time with them during these formative years. You can apply to immigrate to Sweden online, but you need to have a job in order to get a work visa. You can hang out for a couple of months without a visa, while you look for a gig.
While there are more sheep in New Zealand than humans (about six to one), there is much for us to enjoy in this beautiful country (especially if you're a "Lord of the Rings" fan). Thankfully, they make it easy to move there. The government has a webpage dedicated to Americans "looking for a relaxed pace of life, in an unspoiled country where people are friendly and look out for each other." They tout their family friendliness stating, "Nearly 70 percent of expats say their children are more confident and well-rounded from their time spent living in New Zealand."
Bonus: Healthcare is free (or almost free) for residents and those with 2-year work visas.
The centrally located country of Switzerland has clean air, epic mountains and picturesque lakes . This is a fab place for parents who want to give their kids a taste of Europe with France, Germany and Italy being a short train ride away. While Switzerland may be a very expensive country to live in, one-fourth of expats who live there earn more than $200,000 a year.
Bonus: Chocolate. And cheese.
Apparently, Germany ranks as one of the top places in the world for expats to raise kids. It's safe, has a strong economy and has plenty of opportunities—but it is expensive. Parents in Germany "place a high value on independence and responsibility," says Sara Zaske in Time. "Berlin doesn't need a 'free-range parenting' movement because free range is the norm."
Bonus: They make it easy to make the move for professionals, not just with their website but with their own Make It In Germany app.
Singapore is a career-driven society. While it doesn't do well for work-life balance, it gets high scores for raising kids thanks to great healthcare and education. Worklife and wealth are prominent topics there with the world's most millionaires by population (17 percent of all households).
Bonus: A survey by HSBC ranked the country as the second best place for expats to raise their children.