Chapter 12. Pack Your Bags: Emigrating Can Save Wealth and Taxes
The United States is no longer the land of opportunity it once was. For hundreds of years, ambitious, enterprising people wanted a better life and, despairing of finding it in Europe or Asia or Latin America, packed up their belongings and families and headed to the United States. In those days, low taxes and minimal regulation in our country provided a growing economy, coupled with social, political, and religious freedoms. That created a chance at wealth and a better lifestyle than they ever could have had at home.
The past two decades have seen a reversal of this long tradition. Entrepreneurial U.S. citizens may soon pack their bags and set off to the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America to seek their fortunes in markets that are not overburdened with regulations or taxation.
These days, the trend toward emigrating from the United States for economic purposes has mainly been the province of the super wealthy looking to lower their tax liabilities, or of retirees, armed with Social Security payments in overvalued dollars that enable them to enjoy higher standards of living abroad than they can at home. This has been a particularly convenient option for those U.S. citizens who did not really save enough to retire comfortably here, so the choice was either to lie on the beach in an expatriate enclave in Costa Rica or to continue the rat race back home.
However, as the dollar continues its descent ...