If I had more time on NPR….

Recently I was invited to be on a panel on the US National Public Radio program, 1A, where the topic was “ The New American Dream Might be Living Overseas which explored “What is driving this desire to expatriate. Who is leaving and where are they going? ”
On the panel, I joined a professor of international migration from the University of Kent and an American podcaster living in Mexico who focuses on black Americans who have chosen to live overseas.

The Modern Reasons Americans Move Abroad

Soon into the discussion it became clear that their frame of reference was largely Americans who for one reason or another were living overseas for “traditional” reasons…love, work and study. By contrast, my professional frame of reference is almost exclusively HNW Americans who see the world as their oyster. They are looking at alternative countries of residence and citizenship to ensure their financial health and well-being (aka security) not only for themselves, but also for future generations of their families. To give themselves and their progeny smart choices.

Despite our different perspectives, it was an engaging discussion…and it clearly resonated with some of the listeners as within a few hours several reached out to me! A major constraint I felt on the radio panel was that I was only on the air for an 18-minute slot…to discuss a complex subject that normally takes at least an hour with my new clients to properly lay out. Which is why I am writing this blog today.

After the radio program, I asked myself…What would I have liked to add if I had the time? Here are three things:

The Shift in American Expatriation, new motivations for living abroad

1) The Professor is correct in that for decades the top 3 “traditional” reasons for Americans living overseas were love, work or study. However the point I would have liked to have added is that during these last few years, these three drivers have been overtaken by a fourth. The new reason Americans are seeking second residences and citizenships is their growing concern about societal. political and tax the rich wildfires flaring up in America…so they want a robust escape plan in place….NOW!

From Taxes to Security

2) A successful move overseas requires proper consideration of the questions, “How do I live in my chosen country?” and “How do I remain on-side with regards to my US tax obligations?”. Failure to plan properly with ample inputs from family stakeholders and professional inputs from knowledgeable tax and immigration advisors is planning to fail!

Ensuring Future Generations’ Flexibility

3) Most backup plans cover multiple generations…usually they satisfy the requirements of the successful patriarch / matriarch, their children and on occasion their grandchildren. Fortunately, by the time their grandchildren come along, they will automatically benefit from all the benefits the decisions of their grandparents to have a backup plan…as they will have enormous flexibility when it comes to their studies, work and eventually their own families. In other words, a well- conceived fire escape plan will benefit generation after generation.

As many others besides the Professor have confirmed, the traditional love, work, study reasons for Americans going abroad have been overshadowed by new motivations. If you’d like to delve deeper into this discussion, listen to the full episode here. For personalized advice on planning your family’s secure future abroad, reach out today.

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