5 reasons to live in Austria

Written by Andrew Henderson

Dateline: Vienna, Austria

Who said the life of a nomad is supposed to be hard?

Perhaps the thrill of living in rough cities adds the extra kick of excitement. But for others, an easy-going, well organized and stable environment will do the trick.

Austria is the country with one of the best qualities of life in the world, with its capital, Vienna, rated consistently in the top 10 of Mercer’s most livable cities in the past decade.

In addition, there exist benefits for those looking for safe banking options, viable property deals and beautiful views to top it all off. For the well-traveled, nothing feels better than coming back to civilization, especially when it offers benefits to put you in a more financially secure situation.

Here are the top five reasons Austria offers a great quality of life:

1. Highly satisfied residents

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reports that Austria rates higher than any other member country in satisfaction with their lives.

To put it in numbers, 82 percent of people said they feel more positive experiences (success, rest, enjoyment etc.) in a single day than negative ones (pain, unhappiness, depression, boredom, etc.) in comparison to the 76 percent average of all members.

Among Austria’s highest OECD ratings is a 9.7 out of 10 in the area of community. Nearly every respondent on a quality of life survey say they know at least one person they can count on if they need help.

It is fair to say that the fresh mountain air, cultural richness and diversity of its people also play a part in this statistic.

2. Europe’s capital cities nearby

Austria finds itself smack in the middle of continental Europe.

From Italy to the Czech Republic to Hungary, you can run yourself wild with the possibilities of travel from your home base in Vienna.

Don’t feel like driving on dizzying mountain paths? No reason to fret, as Austria is crisscrossed with high-speed railways conveniently (and comfortably) getting you where you need to be.

The dazzling capital cities of Prague, Geneva and Rome are a short trip away.

3. Perpetual resort lifestyle

Everybody needs to break the routine once in a while, and Austria offers just that with its changing seasons and diversity of opportunity.

Living an eternal resort-style life can easily be done here, with just as many mountain activities in the summer as in winter. Austria stands out an affordable resort destination for French, Germans and Italians seeking luxury lifestyles year-round.

4. Low-cost luxury property

We’ve all heard of the cheap-as-dirt housing prices across less fortunate parts of America following the housing crisis.

But what comes with that? Some cheaply made home that will have to be completely remodeled in a span of five years? Why pay distressed housing prices for low-quality homes?

Investing in higher-worth property will pay off in the end, even if you have to bite the bullet now.

Austria is an example of a place for high-quality real estate at a much lower price than its competitors. And it’s incredibly stable, especially in mountain towns such as Zell am See.

Buying that luxury chalet you’ve lusted over in ski magazines has never been cheaper.

5. Secure banking

Austria’s banking model is suitably modeled off of the Swiss model, but lacks the stigma that often comes with owning Swiss numerated accounts.

The HSBC leaks of accounts that are knowingly evading taxes are no surprise at all, and the continued exposure of illegal activity is bad press, for you and your company.

So why bank internationally in Austria?

Asset protection is a key reason, and Austria’s system offered one of the most private banking institutions until 2009 when the system opened up under OECD pressure.

Nevertheless, Austria won’t be in the position anytime soon to grab your money and run like the government of Cyprus pulled off in 2012 and 2013. In any case we’re dealing with customer satisfaction here and your capital, whether cash or gold, will be in the right place.

There’s a catch

Are you curious about making the move to Austria?

To put it plainly, you must have more than five years of temporary residency in the country to earn yourself a permanent residency.

Add another ten years of permanent residency (four years if you’re an EU citizen) and you will qualify yourself for a passport, granted that you’ve picked up a little German along the way.

I say qualified, as there is no guarantee you’ll get it.

The Austrian government handpicks who gets it and who does not.

In reflection, to become a lasting part of Austria is a privilege and a pretty good one at that.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Jun 5, 2020 at 7:59AM

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  1. dd

    I thought Austria has a quasi secret citizenship by investment scheme. Is it true? Does it allow dual citizenship?

    • Nomad Capitalist

      Austria does not allow dual citizenship. Not all countries that allow citizenship by some form of investment do, although Austria’s program is so stringent that it shouldn’t really be considered alongside anything else known as “CBI”.

      • Lisa

        Austria does have Dual Citizenship because I know a person personally who has Dual Citizenship. Also Arnold Schwarzenegger has Dual Citizenship with Austria and the United States.

  2. Azeez

    I will like to relocate to Austria from Nigeria. Where do I start from?

      • karl krenn

        i have lived in Austria it honestly is amazing especially if one came from south Africa ,life is just luxurious perfect transport, food crazy good and everywhere available, hygiene perfect and staff members of shops are willing ,helpful friendly and professional, see south Africa staff members they believe they do you a favor for giving them a job or when one goes shopping, oooh, medical hospitals are really NR 1

  3. John

    Very informative post.

  4. Artwin

    Actually thinking about moving to Austria, and this article helped me greatly, thanks a lot!

  5. Mike

    Austria has many wonderful qualities indeed. You hardly ever see anyone stressed, or hurried, or worried, which is patently amazing. Incredibly clean, perhaps the best public transit system in Europe, beautiful architecture. I love that shops close at 3pm on Saturday for the weekend so people can – gasp – spend time with their families & relax.

    However, as someone who moved from the US to Vienna with my family (& German speaking wife) with the intent of possibly staying there forever, Vienna was definitely not for me and we returned after 8 months.

    Austrians admit they are rude (to everyone, even each other): normal US politeness and customer service doesn’t exist here, so that was a big adjustment. Most people weren’t overly welcoming, nor did they care to know much about me, my story, my family: each conversation was 90% me adjusting to their world, and 10% pleasantries.

    I felt isolated, esp. as I barely knew much German, yet the locals are all essentially fluent in English: they could always understand me but I couldn’t always understand them! (reminds me of the silly US academic system which waits until kids are past the age when they can pickup languages quickly, and then at that moment decides to teach them a foreign language).

    In most white-collar fields, it is difficult to find work if you are an expat of any type. Other comfort factors were tough to adjust to: gobs of smoking (including in bars), food primarily high-carb or high-sausage (!). Vienna would be wonderful for many people, just not for me.

  6. Steve

    I understand it’s a lottery to pick the applicants by Austria govt but there are many immigration agents are promoting their 100% successful rate, any risk or hidden legal issue at the back?

  7. Sonja

    A man from Graz austria was so mean and ugly and told me I cried ugly and he was a piece of work – cold as ice !!

  8. Jeremiah Overturff

    Can I move there


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