Get Paid to Move to These 17 Amazing Places

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Believe it or not, you can actually get paid to move to some pretty amazing places. If you have the flexibility to work from home, there’s never been a better time to become a digital nomad.

This post will cover the coolest places in the U.S. and abroad where you can get paid to move. Whether it’s ocean breezes or history and culture that your heart desires, keep reading to learn about today’s most exciting relocation adventures.

  1. Emilia Romagna, Italy
  2. Vermont
  3. Croatia
  4. West Virginia
  5. Newton, Iowa
  6. Chile
  7. Maine
  8. The Shoals, Alabama
  9. Ireland
  10. Northwest Arkansas
  11. Natchez, Mississippi
  12. Florida
  13. Topeka, Kansas
  14. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  15. Ponga, Spain
  16. Savannah, Georgia
  17. Lincoln, Kansas

Top Places That Will Pay You to Relocate 

Here are the top places to get paid to move.

1. Emilia Romagna, Italy

The region of Emilia Romagna is famous for its thick, soft pasta, including tortellini, cappelletti, and ravioli. Its capital, Bologna, is also home to the world-famous Bolognese sauce. 

If you’re a foodie, this is where you want to go. To be sure, you might gain 40 pounds. But it will be worth every bite. 

You can make up to $35,000 to move to this scenic region. Families, couples, and singles under 40 are all welcome to apply. 

There are a few caveats: In order to take advantage of this deal, you have to buy or restore a house to secure funding. You also need to live or work in the region or have a family member who lives or works there.

My advice is to spend time in Italy before packing your bags. Simply put, Italy is a beautiful country, and visiting it can be a life-changing experience. 

That said, buying a house in another country is an awfully big commitment. Make sure you’re up for the challenge before making any fast decisions. You should also learn some basic Italian so you can converse in the local language. Va bene?

2. Vermont 

Looking for fresh maple syrup, local craft beer, and the best skiing on the East Coast? Vermont is the place to go. 

This quintessential New England destination is just a couple of hours from Boston sports and has a lively music scene and breathtaking scenery. The only problem is that people have been leaving the state for many years because they couldn’t find work.

As a result, the Vermont legislature is actively trying to attract new residents. Applications are now open for the New Relocating Worker Grant, which provides up to $7,500 if you move to the state and work for a Vermont employer. 

Vermont is also promoting a separate New Remote Worker Grant, offering up to $7,500 to professionals who perform most of their employment duties from a home office or co-working space. 

Word to the wise: Invest in a good pair of boots and a nice jacket — because Vermont gets cold. 

3. Croatia

Croatia sits directly across from Italy, nestled against the Adriatic sea. The country feels like something out of Game of Thrones, with stunning seaside vistas and a mix of Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. 

Croatia is now welcoming digital nomads with a special long-stay visa. This is specifically for non-EU residents who remotely work in communication technology.

Remote workers can apply for a one-year residence permit and avoid paying income tax during that period. That’s a pretty sweet deal, especially when considering how cheap it is to live in Croatia. For example, one digital nomad manages to live on $47 per day through this program.

The only stipulation is you can’t provide services to Croatian businesses. 

4. West Virginia 

West Virginia is a dream come true if you’re into outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and swimming. 

If that sounds appealing, you might be happy to learn that West Virginia may pay you $12,000 to secure a home in the Mountain State. And as a bonus, you’ll get a free year of outdoor gear rentals.  

This is possible through the Ascend WV program, which recently received a $25 million gift from former Intuit CEO Brad D. Smith. 

5. Newton, Iowa

Digital nomads are eying the Hawkeye State for its affordable cost of living. In fact, Iowa holds down the seventeenth spot in the U.S. News Most Affordable States list. Iowa also ranks number one for affordable housing.

If you’re thinking about moving to Iowa, check out Newton, which is a town of about 15,000 residents located roughly thirty miles east of Des Moines. 

Why Newton, you ask? 

Buy a new home in the town of Newton that’s worth at least $190,000, and you can receive $10,000 in cash along with a “Get to Know Newton” welcome package with a value of over $2,500. 

That’s enough cash to furnish your entire house and still have money left over for your rainy day fund

6. Chile

Chile is one of the most interesting destinations in Latin America and is generally very safe for foreigners.

The country also happens to have an enticing program for entrepreneurs. Start-Up Chile is a business accelerator program awarding equity-free funding for startups. It provides a year-long work visa for whole teams, including significant others. According to the organization, these visas are extendable. 

Move to Chile, and you can also receive up to $300,000 in exclusive perks through partnerships with companies like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), HubSpot, and more. 

If you’re running a startup and unafraid to try a new area, why not give Chile a shot? 

7. Maine

To be perfectly honest, Maine is one of my favorite places. It has incredible nature and boasts the most beautiful coastlines I’ve ever seen. 

Currently, Maine doesn’t provide any direct financial relocation incentives. However, there’s an income tax credit available to resident taxpayers who make eligible student loan payments

The Educational Opportunity Tax Credit is available to resident taxpayers who are making eligible loan payments. To qualify, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Have an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited Maine college or university between 2007 and 2016
  • Have an associates or bachelor’s degree from a Maine or non-Maine college after 2015
  • Have a graduate degree from an accredited Maine college after 2015

The amount of tax credits you can get depends on your student loan payments, how much you’re earning, and how high your tax obligation is. 

To get the specifics about your specific situation, I recommend contacting the Maine Department of Revenue directly at 1-207-626-8475 or via email at [email protected]

8. The Shoals, Alabama 

The Shoals is a remote area of northwestern Alabama that sits along the Tennessee River. You may have heard of it before if you’re a music buff due to the world-famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. The city of Muscle Shoals is also the birthplace of Hellen Keller.

Like many rural areas across the U.S., young people are moving away from this part of the country. To reverse that trend, the Remote Shoals program is paying $10,000 in cash to remote workers who relocate there.

To qualify, you have to make $52,000 or more per year and be either a full-time remote employee or self-employed independent contractor. You also must move to the area within six months of being accepted to the program. 

Don’t expect to get a $10,000 check upfront, though. Here’s how the funding works:

  • The first 25% is sent before you move to help with relocation expenses
  • The next 25% is sent after your first six months of residency
  • The remaining 50% is sent after the first full year

Considering that The Shoals also has a much lower cost of living than most other cities, this is a pretty sweet deal.

9. Ireland 

Ireland is emerging as a regional hotspot for startups due to its low corporate tax rate and well-educated, English-speaking workforce. The country also has a growing tech community. 

If you’re keen on Ireland, check out Enterprise Ireland, an organization that helps entrepreneurs move there and start a business. The program also helps existing businesses relocate. 

There are a few stipulations to consider before going this route. Here’s what it takes to qualify:

  • You must introduce a new or innovative product or service
  • The business must serve international markets
  • You must operate your business out of Ireland
  • The business must be in manufacturing, technology, or internationally traded services
  • The business must be capable of creating ten jobs within Ireland and generating over $1 million in annual revenue within the first three years 

As you can see, Enterprise Ireland is geared toward established businesses. But if you’re dying to move to the land of shamrocks and Guinness, it’s worth looking into.

10. Northwest Arkansas 

Northwest Arkansas is an up-and-coming area that encompasses Benton, Washington, and Madison counties. It has a growing culinary and arts scene and an abundance of outdoor activities in the surrounding Ozarks. 

The Northwest Arkansas Council is offering a $10,000 cash incentive to recruit young people to the area. You can also receive a free bike or annual membership to a local museum or arts center.

You could qualify for the program if:

  • You’re 24 years or older 
  • You have at least two years of work experience
  • You have a full-time job or be fully self-employed 
  • You currently live out of the state

If you receive the grant, you’ll have six months to relocate there. What you do with the money is entirely your choice. If you ask me, I recommend investing it in either real estate or the stock market.

11. Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi, is a quiet town located two and a half hours from New Orleans, with a population that hovers around 15,000 residents.

To bolster its low resident numbers and spur investment in the local real estate market, Natchez is paying people up to $8,500 to relocate to the area

To qualify, you have to work for an employer outside the Natchez region and have the ability to work remotely. In addition, you have to purchase a home valued at less than $150,000 and maintain ownership for at least a year.

Looking at the numbers, your money can go a very long way in Natchez if you have a steady job.

12. Florida 

Americans are flocking to Florida from all parts of the country. According to Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, about 900 people are moving to the state every day. Since the start of the pandemic, the state has gained more than 300,000 new residents.

It’s easy to see why people move to Florida. Aside from warm weather and world-class beaches, the state has very friendly tax policies. 

Florida doesn’t pay you to move there, per se, but if you live and pay taxes in Florida, you won’t owe state income tax. Depending on where you’re coming from, the savings can be significant. 

Suppose you live in Chicago and earn $80,000 per year. The Illinois state income tax is 4.95%, so you would owe approximately $3,960 to the state just for living there. 

If you earn the same salary in Florida, you’d be saving $3,960 each year. And that’s on top of enjoying a lower cost of living and paying much lower state sales tax rates.

13. Topeka, Kansas

Kansas may not seem like the most exciting place in the world to be a digital nomad. But part of being a digital nomad is throwing out your preconceptions about a place and diving in headfirst. 

Who knows? You just might fall in love with Topeka — especially if you’re considering starting a family and settling down. The city is safe, clean, and affordable. 

The Choose Topeka program will pay you up to $15,000 for moving to the Shawnee County area. To qualify, you have to move to Topeka for a full-time position and purchase or rent a home within a year of moving. 

To receive the full $15,000 amount, you’ll have to seek local, on-site employment and purchase a home in the area. Remote workers who buy a new home can receive up to $10,000. If you don’t want to buy a home just yet, on-site workers who prefer to rent can still get $10,000 while remote working renters can get $5,000.

Jimmy John’s is also adding a $1,000 bonus on top of the Choose Topeka payouts to those who relocate to its Topeka delivery zones. 

14. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma, is another top destination in the middle of America’s heartland. The area has a reputation for world-class barbeque and beautiful art deco architecture. 

If you’re interested in Oklahoma, you may be able to qualify for up to $10,000 from the Tulsa Remote program. You need to have full-time remote or self-employment status and be at least 18 years old to receive the award.  

15. Ponga, Spain

Imagine closing your laptop and taking a stroll to the local market in a remote mountain village in Spain. 

Ponga is an ancient village in Spain’s northwest Asturias region. It has a population of about 800 inhabitants, making it a perfect small-town getaway for digital nomads. 

Ponga is paying couples $3,500 to relocate to the area. You can also receive more money if you bring children. The only stipulation is that you have to live there for at least five years.

The details about how to qualify are a little unclear, so I recommend contacting the city directly if this is a trail you want to pursue. Also, considering Ponga’s remoteness — it’s six hours by car north of Madrid — you should have a basic understanding of the Spanish language before moving there. 

16. Savannah, Georgia 

Savannah has a little bit of everything: beautiful neighborhoods, beaches, job opportunities, and a warm climate. You should consider taking a trip just to experience this charming city along the coast. 

In May 2020, the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) launched the Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive that pays both workers and businesses to relocate to the area.

Individuals can receive up to $2,000 for relocating if they work remotely for a technology firm or are self-employed. In addition, established businesses can receive up to $100,000 in grants if they create new jobs that pay above the county’s average wage.

If you already had your sights set on moving south, Savannah’s relocation bonus might be the perfect excuse to pack your bags.

17. Lincoln, Kansas

The city of Lincoln is a remote town with around 1,300 residents. It’s located in central Kansas, roughly three hours west of Kansas City. 

If you’re looking for free land, check to see if there are still parcels available in Lincoln’s Free Home Site program.

You’ll still have to secure funding to build a house. But if you’re looking for a slice of small-town apple pie, you might find yourself right at home in Lincoln. 

The city promises broadband internet access, so you can work for yourself or any major corporation that lets you plug in from home.

Suffice it to say your money will go a lot further in Lincoln than it would in San Francisco.

Tips for Relocating

Here are the tips you need to know for relocating.

Try before you buy 

I’m generally suspicious of financial incentives — especially when it comes to buying property or moving to a distant place. I’m also a firm believer in the saying that tells us there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

In my opinion, it’s better to move to a place because you really want to be there — not just to chase a few grand. All the money in the world won’t make a difference if you’re not happy where you’re living.

Before taking any incentive packages, spend some time in your target area and make sure you like it. Then, scope out all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of each. There are countless destinations to explore and most people only get one shot at this type of adventure.

For more ideas on U.S.-based relocation opportunities, MakeMyMove is an excellent resource. 

The devil is in the details 

Make sure you have all the facts straight before diving in and making a deal. Otherwise, you could be in for a rude awakening.

For example, if you commit to restoring or building a home in exchange for a grant, you may find that the costs quickly get out of hand. The only way you can get ahead is by having a firm understanding of what your costs will look like.

This is especially true if you are considering buying property overseas. It would also be worthwhile to have some trusted contacts in the foreign land who can help you negotiate with local contractors and building inspectors and connect you with people in the community.

Last but not least, you need to make sure that there is a stable internet connection. It will be extremely challenging and frustrating to hold down a full-time remote job if there isn’t.

Learn the local language

I also recommend learning the language of any country you are moving to before you go. 

Even if you just know the basics (e.g., numbers, greetings, thank you, and how to ask for things nicely), you’ll be in a much better position than knowing nothing and assuming that everyone speaks English. 

The reality is that people don’t speak English in many of the world’s coolest, most remote places.

Learning the language will also help you form better relationships and discover more authentic local experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about getting paid to move.

What is the permanent fund dividend? 

Alaska residents can receive an annual payment from the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) after at least one year of residency in the state. The APF is an incentive to keep people in Alaska. 

I’m hearing that the average payout to Alaska residents is around $1,600 annually. This isn’t exactly enough money to inspire me to move there. But if it’s always been your dream to live in the Last Frontier, the AFP is definitely a nice-to-have.

How often should I move?

It all depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Some digital nomads get restless and change locations every few months. Others choose to settle down and stay in one place for a few years at a time.

Part of the allure of this lifestyle is having the freedom to choose where you want to live. That’s why you should be careful about taking binding financial incentives that require you to stay in one period for a specific amount of time. 

In some cases, it could make more sense to avoid an offer to stay flexible. For example, you might move to a new place and wind up hating it within the first year. If you already bought real estate, it’s going to be more difficult to leave.

Can you make a lot of money as a digital nomad?

It depends on your income stream. On one hand, yes, you can make a lot of money if you have low living expenses and steady money coming in. On the other hand, you can dig yourself into massive credit card debt if you aren’t bringing in enough money and are overspending on unnecessary lifestyle expenses.

Be smart about where you work, and make sure you have a reliable income stream before committing to anything serious. If you don’t have a reliable income stream, all hope isn’t lost. By relocating to a low-cost area (e.g., Southeast Asia) you won’t need as much income to make ends meet each month. 

The Bottom Line

In countless areas across the world, local governments are increasingly looking to boost their populations due to a lack of economic opportunity. If you don’t have any serious attachments, it could be the opportune time to get out there and explore. Not only will you get to enjoy new experiences, but you’ll also save a ton on living costs.

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