CEO of Nethemba - Slovak IT security company founded in 2007, primarily focused on web application security and various penetration tests.
The Global Opportunist's Handbook
How and where best to decentralize
- The goal of all permanent travelers to free themselves as much as possible from one system and to have the most pleasant, cheapest, and most importantly, free life without bureaucrats and meaningless obligations
- Permanent residency
- Tax residency
- Offshore company
- Bank account
- International healthcare insurance
- Mobile and Internet operator
- Place where you enjoy life
- Digital Assets
- Obtained by "blood" or "soil" by birth or naturalization process or by an investment
- Even though Argentina is a socialist tax hell, the Argentinian passport is still very good
- If you are a U.S. citizen, a second passport is a “must” if you don’t want to be a U.S. tax slave for life (since U.S. tax liability is tied to your citizenship)
- Having second passport/citizenship is always a good idea (especially if you want legal protection from another country).
- Many countries allow you to have multiple passports
- But the second citizenship/passport doesn’t help you from paying taxes – because you pay them where you have your tax residency
- If you speak/are willing to learn Portuguese, check the Brazilian citizenship by naturalization (1 year with a born child there)
2. Permanent residency
- The best permanent residence is in a country where you have no strings attached (and you want to create new ones), where there is territorial (or no) taxation, and where you can quickly obtain tax residency
- It automatically excludes all European countries where there is no territorial taxation. In these countries, the government usurps taxes on your worldwide income and enforces many obligations associated with permanent residence (e.g., conscription, mandatory health, social security insurance, etc.)
- There are still relatively numerous countries with territorial taxation (e.g., in Central America), but all require a fairly significant investment to obtain permanent residence (Panama buying a property for USD 200,000, Costa Rica for USD 200,000)
Pink countries are countries where tax liability is linked to your citizenship, dark blue to your residency where you pay taxes on worldwide income; light blue are countries with territorial taxation (you only pay taxes on local income)
Paraguay as a country for the permanent residency
- Paraguay comes out best of the countries with territorial taxation (which means, among other things, 0% tax on crypto earned outside Paraguay) - where it is easiest to obtain permanent residency:
- No need to own or rent a property, and no investment (like in Panama or Costa Rica)
- No need to stay in the country majority of the time (like in Uruguay)
- Now it is possible to obtain a temporary residency firstly for 2 years (and then ask for a permanent residency)
- It is easy to get a residency card / national ID, driving license, Paraguayan tax office registration, "proof of address."
3. Tax residency
- Citizenship or permanent residence in a territorial taxation country does not help if you still live in the E.U. or another country with worldwide taxation. It is also a disadvantage if you have a center of interest in such a country. You should always be able to prove that you live in another country (using airline tickets, rental agreements, etc.)
- If you were in a situation where you have not lived anywhere for more than half a year, with no center of interest in any country, the issuer of your passport usurps the right to your tax residency. And you don’t want that. That’s why it is crucial to have a provable center of your interests - permanent residence in a good country (have a local, national ID card), a bank account in that country, a driver’s license, “proof of address” (or lease agreement)
You need to have tax residency in some country.
Tax slavery is unavoidable, but you are free to choose your master (for most countries)
- If you don’t live anywhere for more than six months and don’t have a center of interest anywhere except Paraguay (where you have permanent residence, a driver’s license, a bank account, and a provable center of interest), then your tax residency is in Paraguay. In this case, I heartily congratulate you on being the tax slave of the least greedy master (individuals in Paraguay pay 10% tax on local Paraguayan income and 0% on foreign income)
4. Offshore Company
Where are your clients? Where do you provide your services?
- If you have clients in the E.U. or the U.S., be prepared for many red tapes associated with doing business in those countries – regardless of whether you have your company in the EU/US or somewhere else entirely
- Unless your business is demonstrably carried out exclusively in the E.U., it makes little sense to use a company established outside the E.U. to do business (unless you want to set up a branch or local subsidiary)
- Usually, you have to pay taxes in the country where your business is carried out
Do you need a bank account, or can you be crypto-only?
- Opening a corporate bank account is usually more complicated than setting up a foreign company. Banks are incredibly over-regulated; they log and report everything. Until you can afford it as a business, DO NOT use a bank account (because this is also the most severe privacy risk)
- There are countless stable coins out there, so you can avoid the volatility of cryptocurrencies (or use “hedging”). And also many services that allow you to remain compatible with the “fiat” world and still conveniently pay your suppliers’ invoices by bank transfer (for example, simplecoin.eu). You’re already able to pay your employees’ salaries seamlessly in anonymous Lightning
- if you can afford to operate without bank accounts, the number of countries you can do business from increases significantly
Or you are willing to stay crypto-only with no bank accounts
- Then you can create a U.S. Wyoming company (because of FATCA, they will hardly open a bank account for a U.S. company in most countries). Of course, you need to take special care not to do business with them in the territory where you created the company – if you want to enjoy the benefits of territorial taxation. And of course, you should not then have tax residency in the countries with CFC rules (the most E.U. countries), as you may be subject to the CFC rules (be a Paraguayan tax resident)
- Suppose you are a non-U.S. owner of a U.S. LLC company. You are not doing business in the U.S., and you are not doing business with any U.S. company/contractor solely dependent on your business. In that case, your U.S. company pays no taxes.
5. Bank account
Using a bank account is a risky thing to do in terms of protecting the privacy of your financial transactions."
- If you are lucky enough to be a Paraguayan resident already, then feel free to open a bank account in Paraguay. Unlike most countries, Paraguay has not signed CRS snooping legislation and does not send information about its residents’ bank accounts anywhere
- Another solution with higher limits (from 2024 Georgia starts enforcing CRS) is to open a bank account as an individual in Georgia (ideally with TBC Bank or Bank of Georgia)
- The CRS is also not signed by the U.S., actively pushing other countries to sign it. If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the U.S., the highest level of protection for your financial privacy will be, paradoxically, in a U.S. bank (e.g. Puerto Rico)
* be a permanent /tax resident of Paraguay (don't stay in any country except Paraguay for more than 6 months / don't have anywhere else the center of the interests)
* use a US LLC company for doing business out of the US
* use Binance (Binance supports Paraguayan residents), but prefer decentralized crypto exchanges
* use XAPO crypto cards (support of Paraguay tax residents)
* use the Bank of Georgia (Georgia signs CRS from 2024) and Cryptal.com (the biggest Georgian crypto exchange)
6. International healthcare insurance
- You select the coverage in the countries you want medical care (the price usually doubles if you opt for the U.S.). You define the amount of coverage and the deductible you pay yourself (the higher the deductible, the lower the cost to the insured)
- Do you want to be covered only for expenses immediately during your hospital stay (inpatient), for costs related to tests such as X-rays and MRIs during one-off visits to the hospital (outpatient), or for dental work or regular gynecological examinations too?
- The better the program you choose, the more you will pay - health insurance prices can range from $50 to $1,000 per month
- If you are flexible, you can pay cheaper inpatient insurance and use the benefits of health tourism (Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok)
7. Mobile Operator
- If you stay most of your time in the US, then Google FI
- If you stay most of your time in Latin and North America, including Western EU countries (including the Czech Republic), and you are a Paraguayan resident, then Paraguay Claro postpaid (50 GB for approx 22 EUR)
- If you want the cheapest global coverage (almost all countries), then PokeFI (3 USD/GB)
If you want an anonymous eSIM with data in Europe, the best deal is keepgo.com for less than 2 USD/GB (you can pay it in an anonymous way using Bitcoin Lightning / coindebit.io), or check Silent.link, with up to 2.2 GB of prepaid data for $9. You can pay with Bitcoin Lightning but also with Monero
If you only want to live in the EU, your EU operator will probably suffice
8. Place where you live
- The criteria for the ‘good life’ are sharply subjective and individual
- For me, it’s great personal freedom - which means freedom of speech, no censorship, no unreasonable restrictions, no or minimal drug penalties, etc
- Secondly, it is security. Venezuela may be super cheap, but you don’t want to live there
- In third place is price. The E.U., and even Central European countries, are not cheap anymore. In the E.U., you have to face various pandemic restrictions, which you can avoid if you move to the other side of the planet
- To enjoy tax benefits it is important that you don’t live in any country (except countries with zero or territorial taxation) more than 6 months a year
- Otherwise, you can quickly become a tax resident there (and you don’t want to support local government corruption
Enjoy "inflation tourism"!
In countries like Argentina, Turkey, ...
(explore local blue/black markets where you can exchange money at a significantly better rate)
(I am sorry this is not for Argentinians living in Argentina :-(
9. Digital assets
- A digital nomad does not need movable assets because they cannot easily take them with them. He needs digital. The latter has many undeniable advantages – it is decentralized, resistant to confiscation by any state, cannot be devalued, and is easy and cheap to move
- Real estate, gold, money in the bank – all can be taken from you by states or devalued by inflation when legislation or regimes change
- Using cryptocurrencies is essential for digital nomads
- When traveling, I recommend having multiple hardware wallets, using strong passphrases (called “hidden wallets”), and only traveling with a wallet that you can afford to lose (and recover the closest one from seed)
- Have only as much savings in fiat as you are willing to lose
The life of a digital nomad decentralized in many countries may not be for everyone
But if freedom is important in your life, being global and flexible may be the best way to fulfill it
You can have it not only freer but also more exciting and varied
The Global Opportunist's Handbook (LATAM version)
By Pavol Luptak