This is an update of exactly where I stand with all the countries I’m working with on my five flags plan to permanently move out of the United States, save myself a shitload of money on taxes, increase my freedom, and increase my income.
As always, this plan is still in fruition and I modify details based on new information I acquire. Therefore, details of this plan can, and probably will change over the next year or two. This is just where I am today.
I have just sold my house in the US, liquidating my last American asset, and Pink Firefly and I are moving into a nice home as a rental right after Christmas. I have signed a two year lease on this house, and once the lease is up, PF and I are moving the hell out of the USA for good.
That means my final exit date from the US is January 2021. My initial plan was to wait until 2025 to move away, but as I’ve indicated in the past, I just can’t stand living in the US anymore as its government and voters become increasingly insane, and I’m making a lot more money these days which means my tax burdens have really increased. Both of these factors have caused me to happily move up my timetable on my five flags plan.
At that time (January 2021), my current plan is to have a primary home either in Australia or New Zealand, stay there less than six months per year and own zero assets there (so those countries can’t tax me), then spend three months in Hong Kong during the non-summer months while expanding my businesses into Asia and taking advantage of the Rising East, and then spend three months back in the US to visit family and friends to maintain those connections. Then simply repeat, and do that every year.
Advantages of this living plan:
- I can dramatically lower my taxes (combining everything above with everything else I’m about to describe in this article).
- I won’t have to live full-time in the Collapsing USA which will make me very happy since my financial future will no longer be linked to a slowly collapsing empire that has lost its mind.
- I can take advantage of Hong Kong, my favorite city in the world, and thus the rest of Asia, while avoiding most of Asia’s heat, pollution, and humidity.
- I will always be somewhere with nice weather pretty much 12 months out of the year.
- I will experience a rich and vibrant travel experience regularly.
Disadvantages of this living plan:
- Some logistics of “living” in three different places will be a serious pain in the ass.
- Because I will be spending more than 35 days per year in the USA, I will eliminate much or all of my FEIE (foreign earned income exclusion) where the USA exempts the first $104,000 of income from most taxes if you spend most of the year outside of the US. However, there are a few ways around this, and over time I will reduce the amount of time I spend in the US.
- It will be somewhat expensive, so I have to make very sure my tax savings and increased business and investment income more than offset the expense of plane tickets, rent, and so on. That being said, some expenses will decrease, which will help this. (For example, I will no longer own a car.)
I have not decided exactly where in the US we will be staying when we visit. It could be the Portland area or it might be the Scottsdale area. If the former, we would spend our American time in the summer (June-Aug). If the latter, we would spend it during the winter here (Nov-Jan). We would have to move around our New Zealand / Australia time based on this, which is fine.
I have also not yet decided specifically where our Australia/New Zealand home will be. Pink Firefly and I are spending some time in Gold Coast, Australia in February to evaluate that as a possible location. If we both love it, we will go back there later in the year and spend 3-4 weeks there to make sure. If we hate it, we will re-evaluate Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand is quiet, beautiful, and has a decent climate, but it has a dreadful 15% sales tax, almost zero attractive women, and traveling there is less convenient than Australia. Australia is much more convenient and entertaining, but is much more expensive and is more in-your-face with its left-wing political culture.
I’m attempting to gain three passports in addition to my current USA passport: Panama, Paraguay, and Italy. With Panama and Paraguay, I’m doing via their residency programs and I have already begun this process. I will be visiting these countries regularly for the next several years for this reason. For Italy, I will be using their ancestry program since I have Italian family members. I have not begun this process yet but will in early 2019. I may also consider an Antigua and/or a Comoros passport in the future using their citizen-by-investment programs (essentially just buying a passport) depending on how these first three go.
All of these processes take several years, so by about 2022 or 2023 I will have my second passport, and likely a third one a few years after that. My goal is to have two passports outside of my US passport by 2026, an achievable goal considering I’m targeting five.
I have not yet decided which country or countries to base my legal business entities, but frankly, that’s the easiest of these decisions (you just go there, open a bank account, and fill out paperwork, and you’re done), so I’ll wait until late 2020 before I tackle that.
I will be investing in several different countries but I can’t give you any detail on that other than to say I will be focusing primarily on SE Asia which is pretty much the only region in the world that has high odds of doing well over the next 30-40 years. (Though I will be investing in other countries as well.) These investments will be mostly real estate, but international stocks and precious metals will be included.
I have to roll the proceeds of my house sale into rental real estate ASAP, and I might purchase some rental properties in the United States (though probably not in the Washington/Oregon area where I live; taxes are way too high here) just for the purpose of ease, and tackle foreign real estate starting in 2020-21. (Buying and managing real estate in a distant country is a little complicated and I’ve never done it before, so that will take a lot of research, planning, and multiple visits to these counties. Nothing I want to rush into. Plus my travel schedule for 2019 is already quite booked.)
So that’s where I am at the moment. I can’t wait for January 2021, obviously, so I can begin this exciting adventure. As always, I will keep you updated on this blog regarding my progress.
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Will you use a personal car in any of the countries you’ll be living in? If so, will you own it outright, or just lease it? Leasing seems like the least-bad way to own a car, but isn’t it technically debt?
Isn’t the political situation in Hong Kong going to be a problem?
You are obviously researching this properly and thinking it through, still I would like to make a small warning – to triple check all the points, also with people who have been through it themselves in the same way, not just the “experts”.
Especially the one about lowering taxes and where exactly your (tax) residency will be. Otherwise it could become expensive both in money and time, and it will only become clear some years in.
I am not familiar with the USA citizenship at all, so some basic points I know about, this is more related with a EU citizenship, but I assume the major countries are not that different in their desire to tax you as much as possible.
Specifically about the “not living there more than 6 months” point, a lot more details count for if they will try to tax you. Do you have a long-term apartment. Do you have keys to it, keep your stuff there? Do you work from the country? Do you have vital interests of some kind there? Do you have any other residency country where you already pay the full taxes? And more, it’s case by case, and in the EU where I have citizenship you are the one who has to provide proof. So if they investigate you, it will get expensive and time consuming for you, even if you are in the right.
I guess if you just remain a US resident and pay your normal taxes there you will be fine.
Many countries move to more location based taxing where if your company is in Country A , but you are not and do not pay taxes there except corporate – but you live in country B , the company is going to get taxed in country B where you as the CEO / decision maker / 100% shareholder or only employee live. If corporate tax in country A is 5% and in your personal residency 20%, you will pay those extra 15% up + income tax and any other tax in your residency country. Anything else will likely require some kind of hiding, fake employee in country A, fake office just for the facade, someone else being the director of your business, you name it. It’s risky and costs a lot.
They will check where your physical post goes too, a lot of services requires your residential address for critical mail. Banks often want your residential address additionally to the business address together with recent utility bills. With the data sharing agreements between more and more countries and banks, they will send your bank movements of country A company to the country B residence address real soon, if not already. The digital fingerprints do not vanish, they can come after you years later with a claim for a tax bill.
And they will want to tax you somewhere, if you pay nowhere or very little, they will try to tax you wherever you are longest or have the most “interest/central point of life”. If not now, then when the governments need more money in the future and location independence becomes more prevalent – bigger issue for them to fix.
I see unfortunately countries going the exactly wrong direction, instead of making themselves attractive by offering great services for location independent business owners, they try their best to force people to stay / pay up by surveillance and aggressive laws.
This is obviously my subjective experience and no professional advice, and I might be wrong about some points, things change fast and depend a lot on your individual situation and setup.
Hope this helps you and some guys reading this 🙂
Curious to see how it all works out in the end.
Pink Firefly will. I will not (or at least try not to).
Pink Firefly will lease hers. I will travel using private drivers, ride sharing services, trains, taxis, and so on.
Leasing is normally not debt. Leasing a car is a grey area, but as I said, PF will do that and I will not. PF and I have legally separate finances so she is free to do whatever she wants with her money.
For me? How so? The political situation in Hong Kong is more a problem for people who live in Hong Kong, not me.
Correct, just staying less than your 183 days isn’t enough. You have to prove you don’t have “ties” to the country in terms of finance and so on. After multiple discussions with Australian and New Zealander attorneys, I already have all that covered, in great detail.
Obviously one following five flags would not live full-time in such a country.
Most of my mentors just tell me “stop trying to save money, and just scale your business to make more money.” Some of them eventually started charities for tax purposes, and relocated branches to different states. That was after they became 8 figure businesses though. This strategy seems like a lot of personal work, compared to the described size of your business.
So i assume you have a strong moral issue with tax use in America? Or youre very convinced something awful will happen in the west, which wealth cant accomodate for?
I am sure you meant “indicated” not “indicted” in your fourth paragraph.
I will be following along to see the success as well as the mutations of your 5 Flags program!
I would love to hear more about international real estate investment… if you are not there yet do you know any experts at it?
How does health insurance work for people like you who travel extensively? Are there policies available that cover you worldwide? It seems like that could turn out to be a costly concern.
PS. I love these 5 flags posts. Very interesting. I myself am a retired wage slave. So there are probably no 5 flags savings available for me. But I enjoy the topic anyway.
They are half right. Scaling your business and increasing your income is more important, yes. Do that first, yes. But then you need to fucking invest. You need to do both!
Moral and practical, yes, I have a huge issue with both.
Yes but that’s reason #3, not #1. #1 is tax savings. #2 is I want to live and invest abroad just because I’ve always wanted to. #3 is, yeah, the West is doing down, and I’d rather be somewhere else when it happens.
I’m about 40% there.
Yes, several, but none I could give names out for.
There are plans that have international coverage.
With many variations, based on dates and certain countries, yes.
As compared to… what? Normal American sky-high medical costs and premiums? Google “medical tourism” and be prepared to be shocked and disgusted at how cheap high-quality heath care is in other countries for those who don’t mind traveling a little.
You don’t need to go full five flags. You could instead save a shitload of money in your retirement if you just moved somewhere cheaper. Read this.
When you stay in many different countries relatively short period of time and mostly out of USA don’t you sacrifice your established women roster and current FBs? I’m sure you invested a lot of time in your current roster of women in US and you mentioned most would return back at some point in future. But when you leave this long logistically it would be hard to meet with them ever again and you may also loose current FBs. So are you just considering sugar route for future women variety? How do you calculate pros and cons regarding keeping/having future FBs and what is your strategy regarding having side women/ FBs all the time?
Read items #1, #7, #8, and #18 here.
The Gold Coast is very nice, but if you liked it, you’d want to probably buy a townhouse. If yous want to buy a house in the GC area, yous would have to spend at least a million dollars Australian on something decent. My niece bought an old house on the Gold Coast for 700 grand Aus and it’s an absolute piece of shit. I’m surprised she hasn’t just knocked it down, as that’s what I’d have done.
Public transport infrastructure in Australia is pretty shit. To go on dates and to generally get around, yous would both need to have your own car.
Per five flag rules, I will not be buying any assets in Australia, ever. Only renting. Read this.
If you move to Australia come and live in Perth! I was born and still live here and I love it!
The weather is always perfect. It’s similar to the weather in LA. Sunny every day and not humid at all. It’s like that almost every day of the year.
It’s not as busy as melbourne and sydney.
There will be a lithium boom here and it’s closer to hong kong/asia.
There is so many hot woman here from all races!
I love travelling and have travelled all over the world but perth is still my favourite city and glad to call it home.