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Old 05-04-2024, 08:09   #31
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

I second the notion of planning to live vs planning to be sick. Over the last decade, my mate and I have made incremental changes toward living and sailing in the Salish Sea region, a place we adore for too many reasons to list here. Iíll just say the ability to sail to exquisite remote areas year-round with plenty of marine life, good air, and primo hiking, kayaking, skiing is a primary motivation for us, as these activities sustain us in all the right ways. We hold US passports but are looking into duel citizenship in Canada for the option of eventually residing in BC. We love traveling and chartering in different regions but the Salish is home.
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Old 05-04-2024, 09:03   #32
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

We picked Panama.

- No hurricanes
- Warm water for swimming
- Tidal range on Caribbean side is minimal
- Waterfront property is still affordable
- Easy to find acreage teeming with wildlife away from the population centers
- If you stay out of the cities, plan of living off grid, with solar & water catchment, just like on a boat, with no utility bills.
- Cost of living is low
- No taxes (on foreign income or local real estate)
- No medical insurance, but the cost of medicine and care is very cheap. (Dentist visit = $20 with no insurance; Hip replacement $5,000 with no insurance)
- US dollar accepted, banking is easy
- Small population, mostly concentrated in 2 big cities
- Centrally located for traveling to other parts of the world
- Residency is fairly easy - friendly nations application with an investment or the Pensionado by showing proof of income; If you want to become a citizen, you can do that in 5 years; https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/to...ency-programs/

Downside: Lots of bugs. It is third world- does not have the sophisticated culture that you will find in European locations. Not a place to come if you want to dine out frequently and attend the opera!
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Old 05-04-2024, 09:07   #33
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Originally Posted by DShant View Post
. . . . 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

That's not actually how Schengen works. A Portugese resi permit only gives you the right to live in Portugal. You are supposed to limit time in other Schengen countries to 90/180.


Now in practice you can get away with a lot, because there is no systematic internal border control between Schengen countries, no passport stamping, etc. I have a resi permit from one Schengen country and don't count 90/180 periods. HOWEVER, you shouldn't forget that you are only "getting away with it", and if you do get caught for whatever odd reason, the consequences can be unpleasant.


You should also be careful about "living permanently" somewhere and not paying taxes. If you are spending more than 180 days a year in any one country you are required to pay taxes there and you will want to be in possession of a resi permit FROM THAT COUNTRY. You may also be obliged to pay taxes in some country even if you spend less than 180 days a year there, if your "center of interests" is there and you don't have any other tax residency. They've invented a diabolical thing called a "certificate of tax residency", which can be demanded of you, and the U.S. IRS will not issue that if you are filing your U.S. taxes as resident abroad.
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Old 05-04-2024, 09:36   #34
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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You should also be careful about "living permanently" somewhere and not paying taxes. If you are spending more than 180 days a year in any one country you are required to pay taxes there and you will want to be in possession of a resi permit FROM THAT COUNTRY. You may also be obliged to pay taxes in some country even if you spend less than 180 days a year there, if your "center of interests" is there and you don't have any other tax residency. They've invented a diabolical thing called a "certificate of tax residency", which can be demanded of you, and the U.S. IRS will not issue that if you are filing your U.S. taxes as resident abroad.
Correct. I am a US expat living in France and unlike some other expats here I don't play games when filing my US and French tax returns. Luckily there is a tax treaty between France and US which prevents double taxation.
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Old 05-04-2024, 09:58   #35
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Anyone please confirm (Dockhead):

My wife and I are both American with only USA passports.
Our boat is not VAT paid and will be registered in Malaysia.

If we get a temporary residency in a Schengen country - say Portugal - and we bring our boat over to the Med, do we have to pay VAT on our boat?

From what I understand, the temporary import permit allowing the boat to be in the EU for 18 months without paying vat isn't available to us if we have a 1 year temporary residency. Is that correct?
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Old 05-04-2024, 10:08   #36
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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I hear Panama is good for US retirees. When I was in Annapolis seeing a doctor he was pulling up stumps and heading there and so too was the other doctor in that practice - said they had researched it in depth - that is all the evidence I have apart from Google.

lot's of expats here in Panama for a good reason - I've been to 55+ countries - Panama has many many pluses ( we are in panama now ) but it comes down to what YOU want
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Old 05-04-2024, 11:37   #37
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

For US citizens all that tax avoidance is pointless as we are taxed on global income until we renounce. Moving to EU for tax avoidance is crazy as US taxes are generally much lower than EU. Renouncing citizenship is pointless for tax avoidance as US has an exit tax if you have above average net worth. For high net worth individuals US is actually a tax heaven where one can lower effective tax rates to 10% if you are willing to spend money on tax lawyers and accountants.
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Old 06-04-2024, 04:33   #38
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Johnson View Post
Anyone please confirm (Dockhead):

My wife and I are both American with only USA passports.
Our boat is not VAT paid and will be registered in Malaysia.

If we get a temporary residency in a Schengen country - say Portugal - and we bring our boat over to the Med, do we have to pay VAT on our boat?

From what I understand, the temporary import permit allowing the boat to be in the EU for 18 months without paying vat isn't available to us if we have a 1 year temporary residency. Is that correct?

Correct. The right of "temporary importation" is extinguished the moment you become an EU resident.


But you have the right to import the boat tax free together with your other household possessions, even a car, if you move to Europe and establish residency. I bet it's a bureaucratic nightmare, but you could save a ton of money. I'm not sure if you have to demonstrate intention of moving permanently, and I bet the rules vary between countries, so you'll need to do your own research.
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
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 06-04-2024, 09:12   #39
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...
But you have the right to import the boat tax free together with your other household possessions, even a car, if you move to Europe and establish residency. I bet it's a bureaucratic nightmare, but you could save a ton of money. I'm not sure if you have to demonstrate intention of moving permanently, and I bet the rules vary between countries, so you'll need to do your own research.
Yep, as I mentioned up thread, Ireland does allow the tax free importation of goods when one gets residency or at least it did in the past. I found the law/regulation a few years ago but sure would talk to a lawyer specializing in this area and do more research our selves.
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Old 06-04-2024, 18:34   #40
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Barbara and I spent 6-8 months each year from 2008 to 2017 in Central America & MX. Of all of those countries Panama was our first choice and El Salvador the second. When push came to shove, however, the rampant official corruption in both convinced us to return to US to finally settle from a lifetime of vagabondage. Now it seems the corruption in ES is under control. just as it is becoming out of control in USA. Things have changed so rapidly; the growing authoritarianism and raging inflation have made us sorry we didn't stay south, but in mid 80s its too late to reestablish there.
Your choices well made best today may well be a debacle tomorrow.
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Old 07-04-2024, 07:27   #41
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

As Frank Sinatra said:

“The best place to live is where your friends are.”
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Old 07-04-2024, 14:29   #42
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

We have looked at Portugal but the Incentivised Tax Scheme (ITS) program is replacing the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR). The ITS seems to be undefined though it is in play this year. It seems the US pensions would be taxed under ITS vs NHR.

Having said that, I don't like the idea of having residency in a country and not paying taxes. One has to support the system or the natives will rightfully resent non natives living in their country and not paying their fair share. Flip side is that Portugal's taxes are high so is it worth the cost?

It seems many people are moving to Portugal which is driving up rent and house prices. If that is true is their resentment from the natives to the new arrivals? I know this is an issue in other countries.

Regarding boats, importation tax is 2% of the boat's value and 23% VAT if VAT has not been paid. So unless one can import the boat tax free as part of establishing residency, importing an non VAT paid boat is going to be expensive.

Some say the health care system is good and other says it has problems. Doctors and nurses certainly are not paid high salaries. Wages in general are a problem so the country has a brain drain. But if one can get an affordable private health care that provides good quality that could be much cheaper than a US health care policy and thus offset the income tax. Given the apparent difficulty of getting a US boat insured in Europe, as well as the cost, paying higher taxes might be offset by lower boat insurance rates.

But wait, with a D7 resident visa in Portugal, what I am reading, one has to stay 183 consecutive days in country or eight months if on travels outside of Portugal. Not sure that works if one wants to travel by boat...
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Old 07-04-2024, 20:02   #43
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Consider also to not establish residency and to not have a US passport. The US is the only major country to get its hook into you for tax based on citizenship, but just about all others focus on residency, which you may not need as most places let you in for 3 months with extensions possible. Just clear out before you trigger a local tax residency status - donít let the thieving tax men put a noose around your neck.

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Old 08-04-2024, 13:56   #44
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

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Originally Posted by becrux View Post
As Frank Sinatra said:

ďThe best place to live is where your friends are.Ē

Indeed. More important than taxes or anything else.


It does happen that one makes new friends in new places. But can you ever be sure?
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
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 08-04-2024, 14:08   #45
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Re: If you could establish residency anywhere....

Quote:
It does happen that one makes new friends in new places. But can you ever be sure?
IMHO you have to live someplace for at least a year before you will have any concept if it is a place to move to. I have met so many people who upped and moved whole hog to some new place only to regret it, often within the first year or two.
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