14 Reasons to Start a New Life Overseas
1. More Freedom
When I first left my home country more than 20 years ago I left the windy, rainy UK for sunny Monaco. However, the weather wasn’t the best thing about my new home. In the UK I was used to receiving threatening letters from the government on a regular basis.
Letters from HMRC (The UK tax collector), letters about petty things like a TV license, fines for road traffic offences from the thousands of cameras throughout the country. General bullshit and aggravation with the state creeping into every area of life.
What a relief to live in a country with more limited bureaucracy and no tax collectors. It felt amazing to have much more freedom and not to be strangled by petty rules and bureaucracy enforced by the ever growing army of government snoops present in all large, high tax countries.
More freedom was one of my top personal reasons to start a new life overseas.
2. Lower Taxes
Wherever you choose to go it will make sense to find a location that taxes you less. Better still a country that doesn’t tax you at all. Even US citizens who are taxed on their worldwide income will be substantially better off as there are generous exemptions and a myriad of techniques that you can use to get your tax rate close to zero.
You don’t even have to choose a pure tax haven like Monaco. Countries like Panama or Georgia that have only territorial tax may fit the bill too. Provided you fully leave your home country it’s possible to get your tax rate down to almost zero. Lower taxes are a big advantage of a new life overseas.
3. Less Bureaucracy
After you’ve completed the initial immigration procedures to gain legal residence in a new country they’re unlikely to be interested in you. If you have no business or income in your new country they’ll have no reason to pay any attention to you. There’ll be no endless bureaucracy, form filling and demands from tax collectors and other regulatory bodies or local governments to deal with.
4. Better Climate
Many of our readers live in high tax countries. If you’re living in countries like Canada, the northern US or the UK you’ll be able to go almost anywhere and be guaranteed more sunshine.
Why not move to Medellin, Colombia where there is spring like weather all year around or Lisbon, Portugal with over 300 days of sunshine per year. You could even choose to spend 6 months in 2 different locations depending on the season and guarantee year round sunshine.
5. Lower Cost of Living
Often the countries with the worst climates and the highest taxes also have the highest costs of living. If you live in Toronto, London or New York you know what I’m talking about. Move from Toronto to Costa Rica or London to Lisbon and you’ll see your cost of living fall by up to 75%.
You can trade a city centre apartment for a beach-front mansion and still have cash to spare. Lower cost of living is the main reason for some people to start a new life overseas.
6. No Keeping up With the Jones’
When you’re living far away from your home town some things just aren’t important. Nobody cares which car you drive or whether you’re wearing the latest designer brands.
Of course, you’ll have more money to do all these things if you want to. But the point is there’s no pressure to conform or go one better than the neighbours. Live life to suit you and only you.
7. Politics Not Important
When you leave your home country you’ll find that the things that bothered you become irrelevant. You’ll see the impotence of the politicians you used to watch on TV every day.
They have no power over your life when you don’t live in their geographic jurisdiction. When you’re not watching the rolling news cycle from your home country you just won’t get frustrated by all the crazy things that you saw happening around you.
Sitting on a beach in Mexico or Costa Rica will feel like being on another planet, far away from the aggravations of normal life. Escape from politics can be one of the reasons to start a new life overseas.
Leaving high density cities like London or New York will undoubtedly increase your physical safety.
Of course, there will be petty crime in your new country but in many places it’ll be extremely rare. You’ll have little chance of being caught up in the latest street protests. You should expect to live a much more peaceful life.
The biggest threat to your safety is not being mugged in the street in New York or London. The biggest threat to your security is from increasingly authoritarian governments enforcing ever more ridiculous rules.
We’ve all seen people being arrested for the heinous crime of having the wrong point of view on social media. We’ve heard of people having their bank accounts frozen on the flimsiest of evidence. You’ll be much more secure in your new country.
9. Better Opportunities
You’ll often be able to spot new opportunities when you go to a new country. Being from some of the most developed countries in the world you’ll be used to a whole variety of products and services that may not be available yet in a less developed location.
That can be your opportunity to start a new enterprise to provide products and services that don’t yet exist. There will likely be investment opportunities too.
You’re likely to have more access to capital to invest in local ventures. Living abroad will give you a more global outlook which can only help when managing your investments and seeking under exploited opportunities.
10. Cheaper Real Estate
Real Estate in many major cities is vastly overpriced. The price of real estate in many countries has increase exponentially in recent years as a consequence of low interest rates.
Conversely in countries where it’s difficult to obtain property financing prices have remained stable or even fallen. This is particularly true in countries that have suffered from high rates of inflation. Countries like Argentina, Turkey and Brazil offer some of the best real estate bargains on the planet. This is due to lack of financing for individual real estate deals and high rates of inflation in those countries.
While prices have increased in the local currency, they have plummeted for buyers with access to dollars or euros.
11. Asset Diversification
Living overseas is a great way to diversify your assets. Having a home overseas is not a reportable asset on tax returns and it would be very difficult for your home country’s government to seize it.
Bank accounts and other assets held abroad are also more difficult to seize.
You can own operating businesses and investment real estate or store precious metals outside your home country making them almost impossible for your home country government to get it’s greedy hands on.
12. Get a Second or Third Citizenship
If you get a residence permit in a foreign country this will normally lead to a passport after a period of being resident.
This can be as short as 2 years in Argentina or Peru or as long as 20 years in Andorra.
A second passport increases your freedom by ensuring that your home government can never stop you from travelling. It also ensures that you can never be deported from your new country of residence.
It may also open up investment opportunities that citizens of some countries are excluded from and make opening bank accounts around the world easier.
Particularly for United States citizens who can find it more difficult to open bank accounts due to the extra regulatory burdens the US imposes on banks worldwide who hold accounts of US citizens. Getting a second citizenship can be a key factor when you start a new life overseas.
13. Increased Privacy
If you live in one of the big English speaking countries like the UK, US, Australia or Canada your government doesn’t have to make much effort to pry into your affairs.
Normally they won’t even need a warrant to snoop around your bank accounts and other financial affairs.
If your financial assets are held outside your home country it makes it much more difficult for them to obtain information.
At the very least they’ll need a court order from the country where your banks located. They may also face other difficulties such as a foreign language which will make life more challenging for your typical, lazy government bureaucrat.
14. Avoid CRS
If you’re subject to the privacy shattering Common Reporting Standard (CRS) your bank data will be reported to the country of your residence and not the country of your citizenship.
If your residence is in a country where you’re not obligated to pay tax they’ll have zero interest in the balances of your foreign accounts.