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Old 01-04-2024, 08:24   #16
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Well, I think that's exactly what the OP was asking about. You want to choose a place where you can get a residence permit, get medical care, pay taxes, in order to avoid all that.
I don't see where the OP asks about where it is nice to live and why? It's all about saving on taxes and healthcare costs, while obtaining a "powerful passport" for freedom to travel so they can get away from their chosen residence country. I humbly suggest that instead decide where you most enjoy living, and figure out how to live there.
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Old 01-04-2024, 08:29   #17
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

We own a place in Mexico and have spent much of the last 8 years throughout the country. We are currently visiting a friend who lives in Costa Rica as a permanent resident. He's close to 70 and found the residency process fairly easy. He has the means to travel to the US for medical care but is perfectly satisfied with the care he receives in Costa Rica. For non-residents, visas are good for 180 days, same as Mexico.

We prefer Mexico to Costa Rica due to food and interesting cultural experiences. My friend likes Costa Rica due to stabile government and financial situation, plus much of the country runs on renewable energy which is important to him. We find the country beautiful but a bit unexciting. But there are some ease of life aspects to living in Costa Rica. Costs are noticably higher than Mexico but less than US. There is a very large expat community here.....mostly well healed "suburban" gringos who want a safe and stable place with better weather than Chicago or Toronto. We like our setup in the US and don't find Costa Rica to be a compelling alternative.

Right now, we are leaning towards making Mexico our primary residence but have an open mind. Later this year we'll spend time in Panama. Costa Rica has been scratched off our list but I certainly understand why it scores high for many transplants. It's safe, relatively affordable, and easy, albeit a bit boring for our tastes.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:11   #18
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I don't see where the OP asks about where it is nice to live and why? It's all about saving on taxes and healthcare costs, while obtaining a "powerful passport" for freedom to travel so they can get away from their chosen residence country. I humbly suggest that instead decide where you most enjoy living, and figure out how to live there.

Well, naturally, you start with identifying places which are nice to live in. It would be no good living in a place which is ridden with crime or where there's no culture or the climate sucks or people unfriendly. I really like the Nordic countries from this point of view although the climate is a matter of taste.


But the OP specifically asked about taxes and health care. You don't choose a place EITHER because of its emotional qualities OR for practical reasons -- a reasonable approach balances these things.



In the Nordic countries, there is virtually no crime, people are extremely friendly, the cruising in the Baltic is incredible. Taxes on consumption are high but you get a lot for them. Taxes on investment and capital income are moderate. Residence permit is reasonably straightforward. Cost of living is fairly high but cost of berthing and other cruising-related costs is very reasonable outside major cities. Denmark has a fantastic deal for expats where you pay a reasonable flat tax on earned income which includes social taxes, BUT this applies to current comp only AND it can't be a company you control, so probably no good for the OP.



A quasi-Nordic country with an extraordinarily good tax system is Estonia, and to boot it is quite easy to get a residence permit (or a "digital nomad" long term visa), AND it's a fantastic place to live AND cost of living is very reasonable. Only downside is healthcare is pay as you go but it's high quality and reasonable in cost.



This all assumes you like high latitude climates (which I do, but it's a matter of taste). Others may prefer the tropics (which I hate, but YMMV). There are a lot of different countries in the world.


Italy has an incredible tax deal for expatriate pensioners who are willing to move to SOUTHERN Italy -- a 7% flat tax on foreign source income, and zero property taxes, for 9 years. You can get an Italian passport easily if you have Italian ancestors, with no generational limitations. But otherwise it takes 5 years like in most European countries, so you are stuck with your American passport and American taxes (subject to the foreign earned income exclusion on the first $100-odd thousand) for some time.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:12   #19
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

One also has to take into account if one will have to pay tax on importing a boat into a country. The tax can be very expensive.

We have considered getting residency in a variety of countries but it seems we would pay quite a bit more in taxes. Some expenses might go down but the taxes would be high.

For instance Ireland has a 20% and 40% tax rate and they require US retirees to have an INCOME of 50,000 Euros. A couple would need income of 100,00 Euros as I understand it. One would also have to have private health insurance, it is required, and it would be needed since the public health services wait time are up to two years for some procedures.

We are still looking into this but so far I don't really see a solution the works for us.

One also needs to consider current events and how things might change in the country one picks to have residency. Some of the countries we have visited, and considered living in, are having more turmoil than I would have ever guessed and I think it is going to get worse.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:41   #20
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

You will find a lot of good info here:

https://www.youtube.com/@nomadcapitalist/videos

A lot of useless clickbait too, but it comes with the territory. One of his repeated themes that I agree with is "Go where you are treated best". The sad fact is that if you have had even modest levels of success in your life, the US is no longer that place.
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Old 01-04-2024, 09:50   #21
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

We've had the flexibility to work remotely for almost 20 years, retired for rhe past two years. We've met a lot of expats along the way, including ueing quite a few who returned to the US after a year or so.

The people who go to a country they like are much more successful than those who are leaving a country they don't like or cannot afford. Not sure if it's because one type of person is naturally optimistic but seems pretty universal. Running towards something positive seems a more successful path than running away from something negative.
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Old 01-04-2024, 10:39   #22
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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We've had the flexibility to work remotely for almost 20 years, retired for rhe past two years. We've met a lot of expats along the way, including ueing quite a few who returned to the US after a year or so.

The people who go to a country they like are much more successful than those who are leaving a country they don't like or cannot afford. Not sure if it's because one type of person is naturally optimistic but seems pretty universal. Running towards something positive seems a more successful path than running away from something negative.
I very much like that attitude. Go to what you like. Look forward.
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Old 01-04-2024, 12:30   #23
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Another piece of advice is to spend at least a year living someplace you intend to make your home before going all the way. I have lived in many different places in the USA and also lived for extended periods in various countries, and you only begin to get to know what a place is like after a full year there. No list of advantages/disadvantages will provide you with that information.
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Old 01-04-2024, 13:42   #24
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Another piece of advice is to spend at least a year living someplace you intend to make your home before going all the way. I have lived in many different places in the USA and also lived for extended periods in various countries, and you only begin to get to know what a place is like after a full year there. No list of advantages/disadvantages will provide you with that information.
Yep.

And also realize that one will never be a "native" in the new place. Heck, that is true in many places, if one moves to a small town.

We met an American who had married an Irish woman and they moved to a small town in Ireland. He was still known as the American. Now, this was not a bad thing, just an identifier. Even in a country like Ireland, which has given so much to American language and culture, a US citizen in Ireland ain't Irish. This is not to say we have been mistreated for being an American in Ireland, in fact it was the opposite, but in spite of our names and family heritage, we are not natives, aka, Irish.

I think this is even more so in other countries.

Today, there is certainly push back from the natives towards some expats even though the some of the criticisms of the expats is not really valid. It is what it is and should be recognized.
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Old 02-04-2024, 05:59   #25
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

An interesting thread. looking back over my life I have been to some 60 odd countries, islands, etc, and have enjoyed them all.
However, at the end of the day, however humble, there is no place like home.
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Old 02-04-2024, 09:33   #26
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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One also has to take into account if one will have to pay tax on importing a boat into a country. The tax can be very expensive.

We have considered getting residency in a variety of countries but it seems we would pay quite a bit more in taxes. Some expenses might go down but the taxes would be high.

For instance Ireland has a 20% and 40% tax rate and they require US retirees to have an INCOME of 50,000 Euros. A couple would need income of 100,00 Euros as I understand it. One would also have to have private health insurance, it is required, and it would be needed since the public health services wait time are up to two years for some procedures.

We are still looking into this but so far I don't really see a solution the works for us.

One also needs to consider current events and how things might change in the country one picks to have residency. Some of the countries we have visited, and considered living in, are having more turmoil than I would have ever guessed and I think it is going to get worse.

Should be checked in every specific case, but normally if you are moving to establish residency, you can import a car, boat, other personal property tax free.


That does not exempt you from the annual taxes on boats some countries impose -- N.B. Spain and France have such taxes (and have wealth taxes, I think); most Northern European countries have neither boat taxes nor wealth taxes. A wealth tax can be a real downer for a person with significant assets.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
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Old 02-04-2024, 12:56   #27
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Should be checked in every specific case, but normally if you are moving to establish residency, you can import a car, boat, other personal property tax free.

That does not exempt you from the annual taxes on boats some countries impose -- N.B. Spain and France have such taxes (and have wealth taxes, I think); most Northern European countries have neither boat taxes nor wealth taxes. A wealth tax can be a real downer for a person with significant assets.
I think you are correct that if one owns a boat, vehicle, goods, tools not used for business, etc, before getting residency, one can avoid taxes. The amount of time I have read is six months.

So, if one already owns the boat, and then establishes residency, one can get the boat in tax free. On the other hand, getting residency and then buying a boat, may trigger taxes.

Due to being US citizens who want to spend a few years in Europe, we will have to work around Schengen or establish residency. Residency could also help with insurance. We did look at Irish residency, but the 20% and 40% tax on more income than we want to have, is a negative. My understanding was that we could import a boat into Ireland tax free if we owned it six months, or more, prior to establishing residency.

There is a bill in Congress to allow the Irish to use any unclaimed visas to the US from Australia. If this bill becomes law, supposedly Ireland will lower the income requirement for US citizens to 50,000 Euros vs 100,000. The bill has been sitting in Congress for years.

I can't remember the Dutch tax rates but I did look into it and it was quite a bit as I remember. We are also concerned about our kids inheriting our assets when we die. From what I have read, I THINK assets overseas are not taxed by the Netherlands. The Dutch have some pretty high taxes on inheritance from what I saw. Wealth taxes and inheritance taxes on overseas assets are a concern.

We have done some preliminary conversations with lawyers about all of this but we have more work to do.

The idea at present is to flag in Jersey for insurance reasons and just do the Schengen Shuffle as needed.
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Old 02-04-2024, 14:52   #28
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
I think you are correct that if one owns a boat, vehicle, goods, tools not used for business, etc, before getting residency, one can avoid taxes. The amount of time I have read is six months.

So, if one already owns the boat, and then establishes residency, one can get the boat in tax free. On the other hand, getting residency and then buying a boat, may trigger taxes.

Due to being US citizens who want to spend a few years in Europe, we will have to work around Schengen or establish residency. Residency could also help with insurance. We did look at Irish residency, but the 20% and 40% tax on more income than we want to have, is a negative. My understanding was that we could import a boat into Ireland tax free if we owned it six months, or more, prior to establishing residency.

There is a bill in Congress to allow the Irish to use any unclaimed visas to the US from Australia. If this bill becomes law, supposedly Ireland will lower the income requirement for US citizens to 50,000 Euros vs 100,000. The bill has been sitting in Congress for years.

I can't remember the Dutch tax rates but I did look into it and it was quite a bit as I remember. We are also concerned about our kids inheriting our assets when we die. From what I have read, I THINK assets overseas are not taxed by the Netherlands. The Dutch have some pretty high taxes on inheritance from what I saw. Wealth taxes and inheritance taxes on overseas assets are a concern.

We have done some preliminary conversations with lawyers about all of this but we have more work to do.

The idea at present is to flag in Jersey for insurance reasons and just do the Schengen Shuffle as needed.

The "Schengen Shuffle" can be done with a base in the UK or Channel Islands, and the English Channel is a fabulous cruising grounds. But if you want to do the Med or the Baltic then you'll need a resi permit in a Schengen country. Most Baltic littoral countries don't have either wealth or inheritance tax at all. Estonia has a "digital nomad" visa which is very easy to get, which makes you golden in Schengen, although to follow the letter of the law you need to be spending most of your time in Estonia (which is not a bad thing at all). Most Northern European countries give some kind of residence permit for retirees, based on proof that you have the means to support yourself.
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I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 05-04-2024, 07:37   #29
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Some good advice here. I vote for Mexico which someone has covered and Portugal. Portugal is awesome because you can get a retirement visa there I think it is D9 or their golden visa. The Golden visa allows you permanent residency and the kicker is you only need to be in country for 2 weeks a year. The problem with most other residency deals is they want you to stay there. You can get residency in Portugal and go wherever you want in the world. Just make a trip back once a year for a few weeks.

They also have several really good tax regimes. No "asset taxes" an NHR scheme which is changing at the moment and may not be as useful as it once was and a max tax of 20% on foreign source income but other ways to get tax much lower

All around a great deal for most people that want to travel. Oh and you can live permanently in any one of the 27 (or is it 29 now) Schengen countries with that residency permit. Can't beat it, There's no better deal out there
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Old 05-04-2024, 07:51   #30
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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This is a combo finance, passport, health insurance question.

We've been looking at the intersection of financial independence and cruising as a very probable path in our next 5-10 years.

Trying to leverage the brain trust since I'm sure someone else has already thought through it.

If you could establish residency in any county or combination of countries, what would it be? (We are currently US residents).

Ideal traits:
  • cheap or free healthcare that would also cover us abroad
  • powerful passport for cruising style travel
  • ease of establishing residency
  • favorable tax law for someone with a nigh net worth but low "income"

Of course it is complicated and a highly individual decision. After cruising Europe and the Med for a number of years I decided to stay. An unfortunate medical issue landed me in Portugal where I found the private medical system to be excellent and affordable even without insurance. A temporary residence is not too difficult to get if you plan ahead. A Portuguese passport requires a permanent residence which takes 5 years and you must pass a test in Portuguese. Taxes will depend on your situation. There is little to no "culture shock" for Americans in Portugal.
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