Nomad Capitalist Andrew Henderson On How To Expatriate And Launch An International Life

Currently 8 million US nationals living abroad in 160+ countries. It appears that, on occasion, the grass really is greener on the other side.

Go to a place that has some potential and maybe you will stumble upon the next opportunity. For me, countries like Cambodia, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary, Colombia and Mexico are the places where I would personally explore and want to be.


Photo: Kuala Lumpur; Credit: Pawel Szymankiewicz http://bit.ly/2hujuLn
Digital nomads should consider Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, a highly underrated destination. (Photo: Kuala Lumpur; Credit: Pawel Szymankiewicz http://bit.ly/2hujuLn)


Technology has transformed expatriation

Can you go into detail about how technology has made expatriation much easier than it was even a decade ago?

If you are from the U.S. or a western country, chances are that many of your affairs — if not all — can be managed through various apps and platforms anywhere in the world. Online banking makes it easy to keep track of your accounts, pay your credit cards, etc.

The burden of taking care of things at home is gone. Not only that, but you can get international or foreign bank accounts to manage your affairs overseas. Additionally, if you get the right bank accounts, the good banks understand much more now that people travel and so they have become more efficient for overseas banking.

For my business, I regularly use Skype and even Facebook Messenger to talk to my staff and sometimes my partners. Everyone knows about those types of services. From the tech point, we use Facebook, FaceTime and Skype, we deal with clients through Project Management tools on Basecamp, and people can upload their documents to the Cloud and Google Drive. I can’t really give insight into something new and shocking in this matter.


Photo Credit: Clarisse Meyer http://bit.ly/2gy9sqQ
Fear holds many people back from launching international lives. Photo Credit: Clarisse Meyer

The really shocking part of what I do is the fact that you can do it. I can give you all the arguments why I think you should go overseas and why it is in your best interest and how you can stay connected to your old life through social media, but in the end it is up to you.

If you don’t think it is doable, then it isn’t. That is why when people call and ask me why they need a second passport, I tell them that if they don’t think they need one, then they really don’t need one. My job isn’t to convince you. You have to convince yourself first and be prepared to make the first steps. You have to have that fire in your belly.

After that, the hardest part is adapting to where you go. This is one reason I suggest going to a country and living there for a time. This will allow you to adjust and establish at least a part of your life there, such as opening a bank account.

For instance, I’ve spent some time living in Malaysia. If you go to Malaysia and live as a tourist without a visa as many people do, you won’t be able to open a bank account. This means you’ll have to use a Singapore bank account, which works pretty well, but if you ever have a question you can’t just walk into a bank and ask about it.

In that regard, living in a country where they allow foreign residents to open accounts and get leases (which Malaysia does), is important because a lot of these countries don’t have the tech or you’re not going to be as comfortable using it. Overall, I think people know how to stay connected with all the tech stuff. The bigger issue is handling it all up in your head.


Benefits of an international lifestyle

Part of the reason people are hesitant to launch an international lifestyle is FOMO: their Fear Of Missing Out on what’s happening among their friends and social circles back home. Let’s flip the script on this issue. What are people missing out on by not going abroad and setting up an international lifestyle?

After all, it is entirely possible to spend half of the year in the U.S. and half of the year abroad, getting the best of both worlds.

The first huge thing you’ll be missing out on, which I can’t emphasize enough, are all the tax benefits. If you don’t know this already, the U.S. has extremely high taxes. When I look at how successful my businesses were while I was in the U.S., I can’t help but think how much more success I could have had or how much more money I could have saved just by moving abroad earlier and saving all those taxes. Imagine if I had reinvested all that money!

Or, from a different perspective, I am 32 now and I’m beginning to think about starting a family and having children. I have that kind of romantic image of children in my head where I want to build generational wealth for them.

My family is considered successful, but I still think they are giving their well earned money to the “whales” and not thinking about future generations. Imagine how much more I could have done to prepare for my future generations if I had gone abroad sooner. All that money — which could easily be a seven figure sum when I add it all up — I now consider lost simply because I stayed in the U.S. all those years.


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