Here’s an update on where I am regarding my plan to move out of the USA by 2025 (or sooner) under a five flags model (or close to it).
For a quick review, five flags means instead of wedding your entire life to one nation, you instead spread your life across five or more countries in order for maximum freedom, minimum taxes, and heightened safety against shitty governments (particularly collapsing Western ones). These countries are:
County A – Where you actually live, but you are not a citizen there and don’t own any assets there (you rent your home). This country does not tax foreign income (which means the USA does not qualify).
Country B – The country where you have citizenship and a passport, but you don’t live there. (Or if you do, it’s only part time or temporary.) This country does not tax foreign income.
Country C – A third country where your legal business structure is based, in a tax haven that has low or zero taxes on business income. You don’t live there and you don’t keep very much money in your business; just enough to cover day-to-day operating expenses. Any excess money goes to…
Country D – A fourth country, or countries, where you have your assets and investments. This country does not tax capital gains income. Stateless assets like cryptocurrency also qualify.
Country E – A fifth country where you buy your big personal purchases, like clothing, electronics, vacations, and so on. This is a country with low or zero sales or VAT taxes.
As you can see, structuring all this is pretty complicated, therefore I won’t be doing all of it, just some of it. I suppose if I was worth hundreds of millions of dollars I would do all of it, but I’m not wealthy enough to go that crazy with this stuff.
I’ve been working on this plan part time for the last few years, and here’s where I currently am with it as of now, April 2018. Any of this is subject to change as I glean new information or as laws change.
My Country A in all likelihood will be New Zealand, but I will likely only stay there six months out of the year, since it’s possible they will hit me with a residence tax if I stay longer, even if I’m not a NZ citizen, which I will not be. There may be legal ways around this and I’m working on it.
I will be in New Zealand next month, checking it out in great detail. Unless I hate what I see, which I doubt, I will be back at least twice in 2019, likely with Pink Firefly with me to make sure we like it enough to set up our home base there.
Why New Zealand? It’s definitely part of the West, which is a downside, but it’s got very little debt as compared to USA/Europe and its proximity to the Rising East will likely help protect it from the major problems coming to USA/Europe. Like Australia, there’s a lot of Chinese money in NZ, which is a good thing. It’s also not as cheap as I would like, but on the overall it will actually be slightly less expensive than where I currently live in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Plus, in several more years my income will be much higher than it is now and my investments will be greater, so I probably won’t give a shit about this as much as I do today.
Beyond that, its pluses are that it’s beautiful, the people are nice, I can live on or near the water without it being massively expensive, and it’s much closer to Asia than South America is, where I was looking earlier.
Its minuses are that it’s hopelessly left-wing/socialist/SJW like Australia, the women aren’t very attractive, and its location, while good for going to Asia, is very inconvenient when visiting the rest of the West (outside of Australia). I’m well aware of these downsides and will account for them when I move there.
My Country B will actually be several countries. As I’ve talked about before, I want the option of renouncing my US citizenship in the future, and having just one extra tier C passport for this isn’t going to cut it. So over the next seven years, I will work towards getting another two or more passports.
First will be Italy, where I will pursue ancestral citizenship, a tedious paperwork process that takes about 3-4 years, which I will begin this year. I’m eligible for this since I have Italian heritage, and one of my cousins already did it. Italy is a great passport to have, and offers visa-free travel to many countries.
Next will be Panama, where I can set up a business, deposit a few thousand dollars, then spend some time there over the next several years (but not live there) and be qualified to receive a passport by the time 2025 rolls around (or sooner). Nice. In November I will be in Panama to start this process.
Next will be Comoros, a small African island nation with a weaker passport, but it only costs $40,000 to get (plus legal and governmental fees).
Lastly, and optionally, only if I need it, will be Antigua, a Caribbean nation where you can get a passport for you and everyone in your family for about $140,000. This is quite expensive so I’ll have to make a mathematical judgment call if that expense is worth it in 7-10 years once I already have some or all of the passports above. It may not be, and the price may even change by then. Regardless, it’s attractive since Pink Firefly could also get a second passport (assuming the government of Antigua accepts her as a legal spouse; not sure if that’s the case). I might even be able to get Antiguan passports for my children, which would be great.
My Country C is the most complicated choice but also the choice that’s the most easy to implement. Country A and B take years of work and planning, but you can set up a foreign business entity with a foreign checking account in less than two weeks. So right now, I’m not sure what my Country C will be, and at the moment, I don’t care much. The two countries I’m looking at at the moment are the Cook Islands and Georgia, but this may change.
My Country D is numerous countries, some of which I already have investments in. Countries currently on my D list are Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, and several others, with speculative investments in places like Canada, Switzerland and Viet Nam. Like Country C, Country D is pretty easy. Also, many investments are “stateless” like precious metals you own and cryptocurrencies, which “count” towards being out of your home country.
My Country E is pretty optional, since I don’t really spend recreational money outside of traveling and going to restaurants. Other than underwear and socks, I buy clothing maybe once every other year (seriously) and live very simply. I’m even going to try to not own a car once I make my exit from the USA, instead using rentals and ride sharing services. Regardless, whenever I need to get a new laptop or TV, I’ll get them in Singapore, since it’s the cheapest place to get electronics, perhaps in the entire world. Beyond that, I really don’t care. This will be a bigger problem for Pink Firefly since she’s a girl and girls tend to spend more money on this kind of stuff. We have separate finances so this really isn’t my issue.
That’s it so far! I will continue to keep you all updated on my progress as I go forward with this.