I know this is a personal finance blog and that’s a big part of what I write about, but I’m going to be doing a lot of travel in the coming months, I mean my life is going to be travel.
In only 4.5 weeks my partner and I will become location independent and we’ll start our journey to paying no taxes legally.
It’s very exciting!
If you’ve been reading this blog for sometime, you might know my plans seem to keep changing, they keep evolving as I learn more about tax laws or think more about what’s going to work best for my partner, Ben, and I.
On the 30th of July we fly into Denpasar in Bali. Ben loves to surf, so Bali was an obvious choice for us. We’ll spend 3-4 weeks chilling out in Bali, enjoying the lush green rice field paddies in Ubud and then heading to some of the Gili Islands.
After then we’ll likely fly onto Singapore so Ben can catch up with one of his friends and see Singapore. I have been to Singapore a number of times and I LOVE the food there, as well as how much of a city it is – it’s so crazy modern, efficient and clean. In some ways it doesn’t even feel like Asia!
Although we haven’t booked flights yet, we’ll make our way to France to meet up with Ben’s parents in September, where we will spend some time in Southern France. Here comes the tricky part: we want to get to Panama as soon as possible and start our permanent residency process, but also want to make the most of Europe while we’re there.
I’ve seen a lot of Europe, but there are a few standout places I’ve not visited yet that I’m really interested in seeing, including Italy, Greece and Slovenia.
We’ll also be heading to a Travel Blogging conference in Athens (when I get around to booking tickets, whoops!) which will be a great way to network with other bloggers and brands.
After then, my plan is sort of to get to Panama as soon as possible. The permanent residence will take 4-6 months to process, which is a bit of a pain, but I think it’ll be worth it.
Panama? Why Panama?
I have been researching my brains out for sensible and safe ways we can minimise our tax bill to as close to zero as possible. Out of all the countries I’ve researched, Panama is REALLY appealing to me for the following reasons:
1) In Panama there is no income tax on income generated overseas, which means our tax bill would be basically 0%
2) I can apply for a “Friendly Nations” Visa which means, if approved, I will be a permenant resident of Panama
3) There are no restrictions on how long I have to be in Panama to maintain my residence
4) It is relatively “inexpensive” to set up, although I’ll have to jump through a few hoops
– It’ll probably cost me about $6,000 in admin fees and lawyer fees to set up a business and apply for the visa
– I have to set up a business in Panama to prove economic ties to the country
– I have to maintain $5,000 USD in a bank account in Panama
So it’s not as easy as rocking up and asking for a visa, but compared to other countries like Malaysia it is a great option for me.
5) They speak Spanish in Panama and I’d love to become proficient in this language
6) Beautiful beaches, relatively inexpensive living costs, solid economy, they use USD, great surf for Ben
Will we live in Panama?
Probably for part of the year if we like it, but the good thing about becoming a permanent resident in Panama is that if we are “nomadic” and travel around continuously, then we can be non tax residents of anywhere else and because of our permanent residence in Panama (on paper) it’ll look like we are tax residents of Panama. I think, just to be safe, we might spend more in Panama for the year than anywhere else, but first we’ve gotta go check it out!
Long Term Plans?
It’s hard to say as Ben hasn’t seen much of the world and doesn’t know what he likes or doesn’t like. I know I am quite comfortable being away from home, living on the opposite side of the world and moving around pretty regularly. We can’t really make any ultra long term plans until Ben has had an opportunity to indulge in the nomadic, location independent lifestyle.
Next year we have loosely pencilled in attending some cool festivals such as Coachella, especially if we’re living in Panama which is relatively close.
So there we go, our travel plans.
Wanna know the craziest thing? Traveling, seeing cool parts of the world and exploring new places will cost me less than living at home. Ridiculous.