How I’m Developing Paraguay As My Fully-Configured Backup Home

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In the last 6-8 months I’ve made some big decisions about how I will spend the rest of my life, many of which I’ve discussed in past articles here at this blog and other places.

One of the biggest components of this is my concern that I think the collapse of the Western world might be coming a little faster than I had planned. This is on top of the mass chaos that society is going to endure as AI takes over the economy and millions of people lose their jobs and businesses, something that will take 10-15 years to correct.

This makes my second home of Paraguay all the more attractive. As I’ve said many times, if the USA collapsed tomorrow morning, people in Paraguay wouldn’t even notice a difference due to its geographic and physical isolation from Western economies.

Also, if/when AI changes society for the worse, Paraguay is so backwater and remote that it will be one of the last places on Earth to be affected by it, if ever.

Paraguay isn’t the only country in the world that will be protected like this. Several other little third/second-world countries in South America, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, and a few little island nations will also be okay. It’s just that Paraguay is my favorite. (You can join us there in July if you want, depending on when you read this; click here for the Get To Know Paraguay service and here for the Get Residency service.)

While I’m going to remain living in Dubai for most of the year, keeping my near-0% tax status (and I love Dubai), I’m now going to create a fully realized, 100% complete home for myself in Paraguay and increase the amount of time I spend there from 1-2 months per year to 4-5 months per year, maybe even more.

This means that I need literally everything I utilize daily, weekly, and monthly in my home in Dubai duplicated in Paraguay. So this isn’t just an issue of me getting a year-round apartment in Paraguay and getting some furniture. It goes way beyond that.

So in this article, I will describe exactly what I’m doing to set all of this up. It’s been kinda fun.

First, I made a list of all the logistics I need in Paraguay to live there and have a smooth experience. Most of these things I already have, some I’m still working on. They are:

  • Legal, permanent residency in the country (got it)
  • Cedula (this is Paraguay’s national ID card, got it)
  • Solid business and legal contacts there who speak English (got it)
  • On the ground personal assistant there (just hired him)
  • Women in my personal life (got a lot of that, but that’s a topic for my other blog)
  • Checking accounts in their local currency (guaraní) in at least two of their banks (working on it, will have it soon)
  • A corporation there (still working on it, will have it soon)
  • A year-round apartment there (I’ll have it by August)
  • Farmland there (longer-term project/investment, will have it in the next 1-3 years)

The next thing I’m working on now is to purchase everything I will need in my fully configured home. Most things I need I can buy there in Asunción (the city in Paraguay where I live), but Paraguay being an emerging market country, a few things are not available there, meaning I will have to purchase them in Dubai or the USA and bring down with me (or ship them there).

Examples of stuff I can purchase in Asunción would be things like:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Bathroom items
  • Basic computer stuff (monitors, computer speakers, power strips, ring light, etc)
  • Water filter

Examples of things that aren’t available there and that I’ll have to bring myself would be things like:

  • My favorite air purifier (Alen Breathesmart 500)
  • My testosterone pharmaceuticals
  • Certain vitamins I take
  • Sleep aids (nose strips, mouth tape, earplugs)
  • Non-basic computer stuff (like my favorite docking station, my favorite laptop stand, etc)

On my next big international trip, starting in about 3 weeks, I will be in the UK for 3 weeks, the USA for about 2 weeks, then down to Paraguay for about three months. This means that anything I need that I already have I will bring with me from Dubai, and then anything that needs to be purchased in the USA I will do so beforehand before heading down to Asunción.

I made a gigantic spreadsheet and filled it out with everything I regularly use in my life combined with my usual travel checklist. Then I made several columns:

  • Whether or not it’s available for purchase in Paraguay
  • Whether or not I already have it in my storage unit down there
  • If I need to purchase it in the USA on my way down there in July
  • If I already have it here in Dubai and need to pack it for my next trip
  • If I need to purchase it in Paraguay (or have my assistant do so)

It took me about two hours to go through everything I need/want for my happy home life and fill out all of the columns of where these items need to be.

Now, I have a convenient list of A) all the stuff I need to pack and B) a complete shopping list of everything I need to purchase in the USA while I’m there.

Unfortunately, when I get all of this crap in the USA, it won’t fit into my one-bag Tortuga backpack, so I’ll have to check a bag on my flights from Scottsdale, Arizona down to Asunción. I have two layovers on that trip, one in Cancún and one in Bogotá. This means I’ll have to fuck around with lugging an extra big bag or two (just the air purifier will be an entire bag on its own), but it’s a one-time thing so I’ll deal with it.

I already have an AirBnB rented for my entire three-month stay, meaning I can take my time in finding my new year-round apartment without having to be rushed once I’m. This apartment will be a long-term thing for me so I want to take my time and find a place that’s just right. Since Paraguay is so cheap, it will be one of the top three nicest neighborhoods in the country. I have a real estate agent lined up for this already.

By the time I leave Asunción in late September or early October, I will have:

  • My new year-round apartment, fully configured for everything I need to live my life in Paraguay
  • My new Paraguay checking accounts
  • My new Paraguayan corporation
  • A specific battle plan to expand my economic footprint in Paraguay over the next few years (I have big plans)

Then, starting next year in 2025, I will spend at least four months a year, ideally five months a year in Paraguay as a “real” place I live. This will be in addition to the 6-7 months I spend in Dubai plus around one month traveling. Perfect. A true-blue two-home model in two countries that are both booming economically and both protected from the coming Collapse and AI revolution in their own individual ways. 

Fortunately, most of you won’t need to be this complex when planning your own international backup plan or international plan. Living in one flag and having a second flag where you have legal residency is all most people need. But if you want to take things further than that, this is how I’m doing it.

If you were curious, eventually, I might set up a third home in a third country, but that will be down the road, and only if I feel it’s needed. Candidates for that country are Cambodia, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Mexico, or Vietnam. Three homes sounds pretty complicated to me and I’m trying to simplify my life as best I can, so I’m leaning away from doing this, but I’m leaving my options open. We’ll see.



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Question of The Week

Should I Get The Mexican Passport?

J.J. Writes:

Hey Caleb! I hope you’re doing great! I’m currently living in Canada, have Canadian citizenship, and I’ve got permanent residency in Mexico thanks to your advice. As you probably know, once you have permanent residency in Mexico you can qualify for a Mexican passport if you live there for 6 months a year for 3 years straight.

You mentioned you might do this yourself. I’m seriously considering it since the passport is a good one and wanted to ask if you could list the benefits and drawbacks of this decision, both for yourself and for others.

Thanks a lot!

Yup, you are correct on all counts. Once you get permanent residency in Mexico (which is super easy unless you’re poor) if you stay in Mexico for six months three years in a row you can get a passport there, and it’s a fantastic passport.

And yes, I’ve strongly considered doing this. I could get a passport in Paraguay if I stayed there nine months a year for three years, but staying in Paraguay for that long would be tough because of Paraguay’s second-world logistics and isolated/distant geographic location. But staying in Mexico for six months would be EASY… you can get everything there, the travel is easy, and it’s super close to the USA. And places like Guadalajara are awesome as hell.

So those are all the pluses. Here are the negatives:

  • You’ve got to actually do it. You’ve got to spend six months there, three years in a row. That’s still pretty tough unless you plan on living there anyway (which I don’t; I’m sticking with Dubai and Paraguay for my living flags). That would put a decent dent in my other five flags plans.
  • I’m not 100% sure about this, but I’m pretty confident you’d have to pay taxes to Mexico for those six months since going over 182 days per year in the country makes you liable for their taxes. Mexican tax rates aren’t horrible as compared to the Collapsing West, but it is still a lot more than the near-zero taxes I’m currently paying. That being said, if you’re from Canada, you’ll probably SAVE money on taxes by paying Mexican taxes for 6 months instead of Canadian ones (as always, check with a good accountant in Canada with international experience). In most cases, you will not get double-taxed; you’ll pay six months of Mexican taxes and six months of your home country’s taxes.

That’s it! Those are the only two negatives I can think of. In your scenario, I think you should go for it!

~Caleb

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2 Comments
  • Harvey Polanski
    Posted at 01:48 am, 16th May 2024

    I’m curious to see how this change will affect your relationship with PF given that she doesn’t want to live in Paraguay. Unless that has changed. Also, how are you planning on dealing with the provisioning of healthcare. I believe you said that you give blood every 3 months or so to keep your RBC count down. Are you going to give blood in Paraguay (can you trust them to do that safely), fly to Panama, or do something else?

  • Solomon Moto
    Posted at 04:09 am, 16th May 2024

    My plan is exactly like this, but I’m doing it with Romania and Brazil. 7 months Romania, 3 in Brazil and 2 months of travelling.
    Do you think this is a decent plan? (I know you said Europe is collapsing, but Eastern Europe combined with Latin America are my 2 favourite regions on the planet).

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