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Thinking of moving overseas at retirement

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  • Thinking of moving overseas at retirement

    I thinking of moving overseas when I retire from medicine. I think if I had a business that would allow me to emigrate I would have done so already. This may be controversial to some but there are several things that I do not like about the current direction of life in the United States.

    First, I feel like a tax slave. Hearing that the new administration is likely going to significantly raise taxes has started to make me wonder if I want to continue to work very hard only to pay more to FedGov. My estate has grown to a comfortable level where I could retire if I wanted to if I sold my practice and real estate holdings. Also, it seems that the powers that be wish to increase inheritance taxes and I'd like my estate to be passed on to my adult children instead of Uncle Sam. Biden favors eliminating the "stepped up basis" on inheritance tax. That house your dad bought for $75? Now its worth $350k and you as his heir owe a ton of taxes. In addition,there has been talk of increasing capital gains and taxes on dividends to equal those of the highest income tax rates in the US. Do I feel guilty about wanting to not "pay my fair share"? Absolutely not. I've been paying the highest income tax rates for decades...and a MUCH higher percentage of taxes than Warren Buffet or Jeff Bezos. They can keep my Social Security benefits if that makes people feel better.

    Second, it seems that some of the shine has worn off the future of the United States. Huge debt crises await and spending only goes up (regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats hold office). Those social programs that we've all paid into like Social Security and Medicare are running out of money. Property rights are being eroded (I have acquaintances who pay the bank for their rent house mortgages but their tenants don't have to pay rent). Many people feel that there is no reason they shouldn't be able to burn down innocent people's businesses if they want to to make a political statement (insurance will just pay for it, right?).

    There is a feeling of resentment and envy by many in this country. And all of us physicians are "privileged" and don't deserve what we have. I hired a young medical assistant in my private practice a few years back who once asked me why it was fair that I could tell her what to do at work. Business owners I know are having a hard time hiring employees because the government is still paying people not to work.

    So I'm looking for a safe, low tax jurisdiction where I can live comfortably and invest. Most Americans cannot conceive of moving overseas but there are places around the world with first-rate amenities, low taxes, and vibrant multi-racial populations that work in harmony.

    Anyone else thinking of retirement as an expatriate?
    Last edited by Ghetto; 04-03-2021, 12:25 PM.

  • #2
    Where are you going to move? The grass isn’t always greener.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pierre View Post
      Where are you going to move? The grass isn’t always greener.
      But often the grass is, in fact, much greener.

      Someplace with a low income tax rate.

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      • #4
        Have you actually looked into this or are you just daydreaming?

        US tax rates are actually not too onerous by a global yardstick. Even with the [not yet even seriously proposed, let alone enacted] changes.

        Plus have you researched US taxes for ex-pats? Unless you are planning on renouncing your US citizenship, you should.

        As an adult, I have never lived somewhere abroad more than 6 weeks. But good friends work and/or have family abroad. All of this experience has suggested to me the grass, is not in fact, much greener. Particularly when you take off the vacation sunglasses.

        I reserve the right to b!tch about this country, but I do so as an annoyingly proud American.

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        • #5
          You may find your plan more expensive than you think.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by G View Post
            Have you actually looked into this or are you just daydreaming?

            US tax rates are actually not too onerous by a global yardstick. Even with the [not yet even seriously proposed, let alone enacted] changes.

            Plus have you researched US taxes for ex-pats? Unless you are planning on renouncing your US citizenship, you should.

            As an adult, I have never lived somewhere abroad more than 6 weeks. But good friends work and/or have family abroad. All of this experience has suggested to me the grass, is not in fact, much greener. Particularly when you take off the vacation sunglasses.

            I reserve the right to b!tch about this country, but I do so as an annoyingly proud American.
            Yes, the United States is one of the few countries on earth that continues to tax you on income you earn overseas. So to enjoy low taxes abroad you have to renounce your US citizenship. Its becoming much more common among the wealthy and those with internet businesses or cryptocurrency fortunes. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for practicing physicians.

            ​​​​​​https://fortune.com/2020/08/07/ameri...passport-2020/

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            • #7
              Research exit tax. Best option is to move to a low tax state, get a good estate attorney, and don’t vote for people who want to tax you more.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post
                Research exit tax. Best option is to move to a low tax state, get a good estate attorney, and don’t vote for people who want to tax you more.
                How is the voting thing working out for you? lol

                I'd be really curious to know what percentage of people who renounce US citizenship and move to a low tax country pay that exit tax

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ghetto View Post

                  But often the grass is, in fact, much greener.

                  Someplace with a low income tax rate.
                  Be more specific

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                  • #10
                    Low, or maybe a zero income tax nation that doesn't require you to live there to gain citizenship. The Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis for example has a 0% income tax. You can get a citizenship if you make a real estate investment in the country. And you can get a visa to live in other countries (Europe or an Asian nation like Singapore) for much of the year.

                    Thats one example. There are many places around the world that US expatriates go to live in

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ghetto View Post

                      How is the voting thing working out for you?
                      Sometimes ok and sometimes not so ok. I’d be surprised if there’s one person in the US who has voted for the winner in every election. Don’t be one of those people who say they’re moving based on the outcome of one election. I’d bet anything you want that whatever the estate taxes end up being in the next few years are changed several times by the time it affects your estate.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

                        Sometimes ok and sometimes not so ok. I’d be surprised if there’s one person in the US who has voted for the winner in every election. Don’t be one of those people who say they’re moving based on the outcome of one election. I’d bet anything you want that whatever the estate taxes end up being in the next few years are changed several times by the time it affects your estate.
                        Definitely not considering leaving the US because of partisan politics

                        My beef is with goverment and its insatiable desire for more taxes, spending, and power over its citizens (this occurs with donkeys and elephants). Oh, and if the citizens don't vote the way the government wants they can always outsource voting by opening the borders to new voters or allowing felons to vote or whomever...

                        And yes, the estate tax has much to do with this. I didn't work very hard my whole life to hand over my estate to Washington DC. Sorry, those resources are going to my family instead of a politician who wants to buy more votes.

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                        • #13
                          retired people don't pay much in taxes (compared to workers)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by triad View Post
                            retired people don't pay much in taxes (compared to workers)
                            Correction: retired people who made money by punching into a job don't pay much in taxes compared to workers. People who retire from medicine with a portfolio of investment assets (stocks, real estate, business) continue to make money even after they are "retired".

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                            • #15
                              I wonder if the first round of mars colonists will have to pay income tax?

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