Freelancer at coffee shop
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Where to Relocate If You’re Working Remote Full-Time

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Freelancer at coffee shop
Jelena Danilovic/istockphoto

Work/Life Rebalance

The trend toward working from home was evident before the COVID-19 crisis forced companies across the world to unshackle even more employees from their cubicles. One of the greatest things about working from home is that home can be wherever a telecommuter wants it to be — and relocating could potentially save you money. The following cities, regions, states, and countries are using housing incentives, grants, special visas, and cold, hard cash to lure remote workers to settle there now that they have the luxury of geographical choice. Some of the overseas locations profiled here are offering one-year visas, but most of those can be renewed. It’s important to check that Americans are still welcome as the United States continues to reign as the king of coronavirus.

Related: Our Team Has Worked From Home for Years: Here's How We Do it

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Tulsa, Oklahoma

Historically, cities have focused on trying to attract businesses to boost their economies, but in 2018, Tulsa became one of the first major American cities to dangle financial relocation incentives for individual remote workers. The highly competitive Tulsa Remote program offers $10,000 paid in installments over the course of a year to telecommuters willing to relocate to Tulsa, an affordable, vibrant, affordable, and all-around underrated American destination city. The program will provide the cash grant, free desk space in a shared office/lounge, and other perks to 250 remote workers in 2020 alone.

Related: The Best and Worst Cities in America for Making Ends Meet

The Shoals, Alabama
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The Shoals, Alabama

The four towns in Northwest Alabama known collectively as the Shoals is one of the state’s best-kept secrets despite being famous worldwide as a mecca for American music. The Shoals, perched on the banks of the Tennessee River, is a quaint and historic area, but also modern, trendy, culturally significant, and affordable — the median home value there is less than $139,000. Like Tulsa, the Shoals offers $10,000 and other perks specifically to remote workers who can move there within six months through the Remote Shoals initiative.


Topeka, Kansas
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Topeka, Kansas

Topeka is similar to Tulsa in that it’s an underrated U.S. city. Also like Tulsa, it’s a significant urban center with the charm of a much smaller town. It’s vibrant and diverse, with impressive culture, arts, music and entertainment scenes, great restaurants and nightlife, good schools, and a hot but affordable real estate market — the average single-family home there costs just $125,000. The city is offering up to $15,000 and several potentially big bonuses to qualified professionals, including telecommuters, to relocate there through the Choose Topeka program. 

Baltimore Row Houses
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Baltimore

Baltimore is more than crab cakes, more than the aquarium, and more than “The Wire.” Situated immediately next to the nation’s capital, about two hours’ drive from Philly and just over three hours from New York City, Baltimore is the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region and one of the East Coast’s oldest and most important cities. Remote workers looking to settle in a big city made up of tight-knit and diverse small neighborhoods might be eligible for the Buying Into Baltimore program. The initiative offers prospective homebuyers $5,000 toward a down payment, help with closing costs, and a five-year forgivable loan. Even telecommuters who aren’t first-time homebuyers can get in on the incentives.

Kayaking
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Harmony, Minnesota

If big or even small cities are not where you want to start fresh now that you’ve broken the chains of the cubicle, small-town America is never far away. Consider Harmony, an enclave of less than 1,000 people who live in a quaint town known for outdoor recreation and wildlife, beautiful gardening and agriculture, a network of caves, good local eateries, and a historic Amish community. Remote workers looking to grow deep roots in a small town might be eligible for between $5,000 and $12,000, which the city is offering to newcomers who want to build a home there.

Related: 22 of the Smallest Towns in America

Savannah, Georgia
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Savannah, Georgia

Vibrant, quaint, historic, and hip, Savannah is working to establish itself as a tech hub, and it’s not only offering relocation incentives to tech companies, but also to tech telecommuters. The beautiful coastal city, known for its rich cultural heritage and towering oaks covered in Spanish moss, launched the Creative Technologies Incentives program, which covers moving expenses up to $2,000 for qualified tech workers, including those who work remotely for companies located elsewhere, as well as for self-employed remote tech workers.

Niagara Falls, New York
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Niagara Falls, New York

If your telecommuting job hasn’t yet allowed you to pay off all your student loans, you might want to consider Niagara Falls. Famous for the giant waterfall that bears its name, the city is much more than just the oldest state park in America, which also bears its name. An outdoor paradise in New York’s wine country, Niagara Falls is offering so-called “urban pioneers,” including remote workers, up to $6,984 in student loan help for renters and homebuyers willing to commit to living in designated neighborhoods for at least two years.

Related: Go Beyond Niagara and Find Waterfalls in All 50 States

Anchorage, Alaska
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Alaska

Bold and independent Americans have been reinventing themselves in Alaska for generations, many of them in pursuit of lucrative jobs in the energy industry. That industry, and the massive profits it pulls out of the state, is the source of the Alaska Permanent Fund, which has been paying Alaska’s rugged residents to live there for nearly 45 years — since 1976. The $65 billion pot pays dividends to virtually every Alaskan in the form of about $1,000 to $2,000 per person per year, or $4,000 to $8,000 per family of four. For remote workers looking for something truly remote, the sometimes wild outpost that is America’s largest state is filled with natural beauty, economic opportunity, unique culture, and plenty of space. 

Beach hammock
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Barbados

Perhaps even Alaska isn’t far enough away or exotic enough for some remote workers itching to pull up stakes. When people across the world can’t take another moment of the stress of life and work, they take vacations in places such as Barbados in the East Caribbean. Not sure why? Just type “Barbados” into Google Images. In an effort to lure COVID-weary Americans (and their comparatively high salaries) the island nation launched the Work From Paradise initiative, which includes the 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp, a special visa available to families and singles. Available for remote workers who want to live the dream of pecking away at their laptops — hopefully from a hammock — in one of the most beautiful tourist destinations on Earth, the program could literally make life a beach.

Related: 26 Jobs That Give You the Best Chance to Travel

Bermuda
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Bermuda

Bermuda is far north of the Caribbean Sea, but the island chain is often associated with the Caribbean because of its Gulf Stream climate, world-renowned golf courses, and crushed coral pink sand beaches. Just like Barbados to the south, this British territory is offering U.S. citizens the opportunity to work while living in paradise — at least for a year. As of Aug. 1, the government there is issuing one-year work/residence visas that remote employees can take advantage of provided they first test negative for COVID-19. If you fall in love, the visa is renewable.

Estonia
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Estonia

If even the Caribbean is too familiar, telecommuters craving a truly unique experience can settle into the small and exotic Northern European Baltic nation of Estonia. Nestled across the Baltic Sea from Finland, Estonia on Aug. 1 launched a program called the Digital Nomad Visa, which offers residency to remote workers who want to earn their salaries while living in one of Europe’s most underrated gems for up to one year.

Related: What You’d Be Paying in Taxes in 34 Other Countries

Tbilisi at sunset, Georgia country
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Georgia

Far to the south on the opposite side of the continent from Estonia is Georgia, perched between the Black and Caspian seas where Asia meets Europe. Like Estonia, it’s frequently overlooked by tourists from the United States, to their detriment — the ancient and culturally rich country is considered to be one of Europe’s most underrated destinations. Georgia is now allowing remote workers to relocate there for one year. And despite the COVID crisis, Americans are still welcome.