The Freedom, Benefits and Financial Arbitrage of Living Abroad- TRIPLE Your Spending Power
Video: triple Your Spending Power- Go Have an Adventure in a Cheaper Country. The Financial Arbitrage of Living Abroad
Look, this station is all about Freedom- of speech, of thought, of finances and ability to act on our dreams.
I want to speak briefly about breaking free of the Matrix like rat race the West generally is.
We go to work to support our, not even lavish, just expensive lifestyles. If you live in a major Western city, you are paying a ton in rent, going out to eat costs a fortune with all the taxes, regulations, salaries that they have to pay for, and if you live in the USA- health insurance.
Most people are just working to live. Work, eat, watch TV, grow older; repeat.
Then you say to yourself, I’m going to take my two weeks vacation, and go somewhere amazing, and have the time of my life.
And you do, you buy that plane ticket probably to coincide with a holiday when tickets are most expensive, you go to Hawaii, or some other resort area, have fun, come back, and get right back on the hamster wheel so you can do it again next year.
I’m sure you know people that live in constant materialistic competition. Who can get the promotion, the most desirable mate, the slightly bigger house, the fancy car.
Let me blow that paradigm up!
What if I told you, take a fricking year long vacation or make that tropical paradise your home, and live a far better, more relaxed life. Leave the rat race and experience something new.
Look, everybody can tell you the benefits of travel. It forces you out of your comfort zone. It opens minds, helps you grow, gives you new experiences. And it absolutely does if you don’t stay at some all inclusive resort and drink for a week straight.
How am I equipped to talk about this: I saved most everything I earned in my twenties. started to travel, and have explored 60 countries around the world on every continent. I’ve also lived abroad, in the Czech Republic and Thailand.
So let me tell you, you DON’T NEED TO LIVE THE WESTERN PARADIGM.
Let’s say you make a $60,000 a year. That’s a decent living, nothing to sneeze at right. But in most major cities you’re just getting by.
Now what if I told you I’m going to tell you, you don’t have to make any more, but I’m going to help you be able to spend like you make $180,000 a year?
Warren Buffett defines investing as consuming less today so you can consume more in the future. That’s kind of what we’re doing here but instead of waiting a decade to triple your spending power, we are doing that almost instantaneously.
How? Basically it’s a form of financial arbitrage. You earn that 60k in the USA or Europe, and you spend it where your money can get you the same buying power as earning several multiples of that amount in the west.
The US dollar still has tremendous strength, which frankly is highly questionable in my mind giving how much we are printing and borrowing, but that’s another discussion, so let’s say you started saving every dime you could.
Is it inconceivable to save $2,000 a month after taxes if you make $5,000 a month? It’s doable I think, you just have to cut back on dinner out, Starbucks, a few other things.
You bank it, after a year you have $24,000 saved.
Now you get the hell out of Dodge.
You take advantage of the fact that money will buy you way more abroad.
Why is this available?
Simply because you were lucky to have born into a wealthy country while the majority of the world wasn’t. It’s not white privilege, it’s American privilege. You have the world’s reserve currency, you have wealth creation from companies like Ford, General Motors, Microsoft, and Google.
What is a middle class salary in America allows you to live like a king elsewhere. So save your money, and arbitrage where it spends like you made way more.
That said, these places are getting more expensive. With globalization and reduced barriers, with companies moving overseas, these areas are becoming wealthier, and the people move rapidly out of poverty and into the middle class. That’s a good thing.
If you were lucky enough to be born in the West, hell, take advantage of it. This opportunity will not last forever as levels of wealth around the world are equalizing more quickly than ever.
Where Should you Go?
Well, of course that depends greatly on your interests, but your best bets are either Latin America or South East Asia, or maybe a former Eastern Bloc country. You can live pretty decently in either of these for $1,000 a month in these places. At $2,000 a month you’re living very well.
Personally, I love SE Asia. I have lived in Thailand for maybe three years total of my life, my latest stint lasting 15 months so far. It’s safer than Latin America, and the Eastern Bloc still suffers from the Hangover of Communism. Plus it’s cold. Not only the weather, but the people as well, though I hear they are slowly warming up.
On the other hand, Prague is the most stunning city in the world architecturally.
But that’s my personal preference.
So What Exactly will my Savings get Me?
My friend Nick who founded a business that he did very well in in Los Angeles, I guess credits me with inspiring his travels. Today he lives on the beach in a spacious two bedroom, 3 bath condo, with gorgeous views of the beach, with pools, a movie theater, sauna, steam, and massage room, 24/7 security and underground parking for $840 a month rent. The food is organic, and great he reports, he’s all in for $1,200.
What would that cost in an American city for that condo on a beach that outside of Florida isn’t going to be as nice, with organic food? I’m going to say that’s costing you at least 3-4k in total to live like that.
If you live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I lived for 6 months, you could get by on less if you tried, and Vietnam is even cheaper, though Thai people are generally friendlier.
Look, I lived 7 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand and went out to a great local restaurant. You can get really tasty meals for $1 if you try. At $5 you’re eating a ton of food. Of course you can go more expensive, but it’s not necessary.
I’ve also lived down in Southern Thailand where the beaches are amongst the most gorgeous in the world. If you live in a heavily touristed area the prices can be higher, but you can still live very well, and Thai food and people is delectable, and the people incredibly friendly.
You can live in the coffee region of Colombia, which is too high in altitude for mosquitoes and absolutely gorgeous, or go to Pablo Escobar’s old town of Medellin and learn to dance salsa. The prices might even be cheaper there. Medellin has amazing weather, it’s referred to as the city of eternal spring.
As for health care, if you’re going to be abroad for a year, dump the insurance. You can cover yourself. To share with you a a little story, my daughter was born in Northern Thailand, and had to go in for emergency surgery, recovering after three weeks straight in the NICU. The total bill in America for the surgery, medicine, care, likely might have totalled 100k. Oh, and the hospital, we were lucky, was great. We could have easily lost her. In fact, I spoke at length to the amazing pediatrician that helped save her life, who worked for 30 years to stock the hospital, train people and doctors, get equipment. She would have certainly perished if this had happened at an earlier date.
This is an example of the benefits of technology and the rising tide of humanity.
If you’re spending a year abroad as an American, you get to dump your insurance and save money there too.
Not to mention, if you make some money overseas, you won’t pay US state tax on that money since you aren’t living there.
So, you take that $24,000 and go live abroad for a year. Leave the rat race and consumer culture behind. Even if you don’t get a job that keeps you there (like teaching English,) make no money and come back at the appointed time, you still experienced a new culture, saw new places, and were able to take a year long vacation, not 2 weeks.