Andy writes, "I have had a wonderful time in the United States since coming here to study. I received excellent education, worked in good jobs, and became a better person, but recently I was laid off and have struggled to find employment. I have been legal all the time and am crime-free, so I should have no problem naturalizing. I am now eligible to apply but am wondering if it is worthwhile for me to go through the process considering I have no family ties here. Everyone is back in Europe and recently my girlfriend of three years broke up with me. My big dilemma if I should become a citizen and leave (my country allows dual citizenship) or just leave. Please help."
One of the biggest complaints that Americans living overseas have is that they have to file taxes in the United States on their global income. In some cases it means that they might owe something to the IRS but generally speaking if you are paying taxes overseas, you will not need to pay anything but you will still be doing all the paperwork. It is not surprising; most Americans hate taxes and even more, actually doing taxes, because our laws are so complex that even people like me who do my own taxes using TurboTax still find it painful.
You may want to remember, though, that American citizenship has its privileges. I don't know which European country you are talking about, but Americans are entitled to all sorts of benefits (particularly during old age with programs like Social Security and Medicare) paid for by taxpayers. Also, typically US Government does its best in helping Americans in difficult circumstances overseas. My advice would be that if you are a middle class individual, taxes will not be a problem for you. It is the super wealthy who face more problems. So having US citizenship will give you options in case you ever want to come back for whatever reason (medical care, jobs in an improving economy, or just to retire). Most people who naturalize are citizens of poor countries like Russia, Brazil, China, India, The Philippines, Mexico, Central America, etc. because they find American life to be much better than in these corrupt, hopeless countries. Western Europeans naturalize only if they have strong ties to America.