This article discusses five countries for expats that are better than New Zealand.
Many high-net-worth individuals go to New Zealand to enjoy nature, protect their assets, establish a place to retire, and possibly pursue citizenship.
Typically, the clients who approach us about New Zealand tend to be in their 40s or 50s, and most have families with children. Their attraction to the country focuses on the undeniable tranquility and the overall general quality of life which they hope to enjoy.
They also point out the potential tax benefits, which are legitimate, at least to some extent.
New Zealand does not, for example, have many of the peripheral taxes, such as gift taxes, that you will typically find in other developed countries, such as the United States, the UK, and Australia.
New Zealand, however, does not let just anyone enter. Many ultra-high-net-worth individuals make hefty investments and still fail to make it into the country. So, it’s always better to have alternatives.
If you want to live in a place like New Zealand (but better), set up a call with us today. We’ll find a country for you with all the pros and none of the cons of New Zealand – where you can live your dream life.
1 – Jersey
Most people don’t even know of Jersey’s existence, and those who appreciate their privacy there wouldn’t want it any other way.
Jersey has an affluent population, great schools, superb hospitals, a high quality of life, and overall great benefits. It is the perfect place to purchase an estate manor and sit back and enjoy the garden.
From a tax perspective, it is important to note that Jersey does not offer a tax exemption. However, it does offer a flat tax, whereby you pay a lump sum of approximately £145,000 annually in exchange for living there and enjoying all the associated benefits, similar to New Zealand.
Granted, on paper, this looks like a hefty bill. But think of it this way: if your net worth is over ten million pounds, you will be paying under 1% taxes per year. Suddenly, Jersey becomes quite attractive.
So desirable, in fact, that we included it as second on our list of The Best Tax-Friendly Countries for High-Net-Worth Expats.
It’s also worth mentioning that, after some time, you can naturalize as a British citizen, and this is an overall stronger passport than New Zealand.
2 – Gibraltar
If you’re the type of person who enjoys British culture but hates the weather, this might be for you.
This British Overseas territory is just off the tip of Spain and neighbors Northern Africa. It has historically been a place where cultures meet, and it is no different today.
It certainly has a different vibe than Jersey, but it is also connected to the UK and offers similar benefits of eventual British citizenship, top-notch infrastructure, and education, as well as a beautiful landscape in a serene environment.
Not only that, but it comes at a much lower cost.
Gibraltar offers a flat tax option whereby you pay approximately £30,000 annually to live there, and with certain types of investments structured properly, you may be able to reduce it to zero or near zero tax.
As such, if you find Jersey to be a bit expensive and stuffy for your taste, then Gibraltar might be a better location to consider.
If you’re interested, learn how to obtain a second residency in Gibraltar.
3 – Mauritius
If you really want to “get away from it all,” Mauritius is an ideal location – it’s in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2,000 kilometers off the southeastern coast of Africa, completely off the radar with a tropical environment.
The main difference between Mauritius and our other options is that it is not an Anglo community and is instead Francophone.
Mauritius is sometimes referred to as “The Singapore of Africa” since it is very well managed and generally safe, offers a great rule of law, is stable, and perhaps most importantly, it offers absolute seclusion.
Mauritius also offers great tax advantages, including favorable offshore company structures. In some cases, annual income taxes may be as low as 3%. But again, proper planning is required.
If you buy certain types of real estate in the range of a half-million US Dollars, you may be able to gain citizenship within just two years – with a bit of research and some savviness, you might be able to turn a profit and gain access to great travel options.
For those with weaker passports or simply wishing to trade theirs in, you’ll be delighted to hear that Mauritius also offers a great passport. In fact, it is the second most powerful passport in Africa, with visa-free travel to 136 countries.
Owing to its independence and remote location, Mauritius managed to create great relations with otherwise geopolitical rivals. As opposed to other countries forced to pick a team, Mauritius has easy access to a wide variety of countries, including Europe, China, Russia, and others.
So, if you like the idea of being part of a country that gets along well with most of the world while also offering tax benefits and a great living environment, then Mauritius may be right for you.
4 – Uruguay
“The Switzerland of South America” – as some like to call it, given its overall stability and highly reputable banking sector – is often overlooked but worthy of consideration.
Geographically, Uruguay is located on the east coast of South America, and while it is certainly not an island like the other countries we’ve mentioned, it is fairly tranquil.
Its location allows you to enjoy a relatively peaceful environment without going too far off-grid – after all, Buenos Aires is just around the corner.
Uruguay has proven to be a bastion of stability over the years.
It is also relatively accessible since residency is generally easy to obtain without much cost or hassle. Lifestyle costs are also very cheap, especially when compared to New Zealand, and it offers a tax exemption possibility.
To top it all off, Uruguay has many beautiful cities and quiet countryside where you could settle down. And though it may not be the most exciting place in the world, it is nevertheless in close proximity to at least a few emerging economies showing potential in the region. For example, Colombia is a quick plane ride away and could provide interesting nearby investment opportunities.
When considering different countries for expats, Uruguay may be a better option than New Zealand for high-net-worth individuals who are looking to preserve capital and maintain liquidity. Overall, this South American oasis is a fairly inexpensive, hassle-free option when developing an offshore plan.
5 – Singapore
Few countries for expats are more international and accomplished than Singapore – about a fifth of its population are millionaires, and a good portion of the rest are on their way to getting there.
From an investment perspective, the problem with Singapore is that it has become more difficult to get in and much more expensive.
It is difficult to obtain permanent residency and even more complicated to get citizenship, but even so, Singapore’s residency program in exchange for investment may still provide a better option than New Zealand.
However, if you’re looking for a well-managed country with top-notch infrastructure and close proximity to the business world, then Singapore may be right for you.
Of course, it is more tropical and extremely dense and does not offer the same tranquillity as other countries. However, from wealth preservation and quality of life standpoint, it is certainly an option worth considering.
Worthwhile Countries for Expats
While we at Nomad Capitalist have certainly helped a number of people pursue a strategy for New Zealand, we would nevertheless encourage you to explore other options.
If something is popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually worthwhile.
All five of the countries that we have discussed here offer similar benefits to that of New Zealand, but generally at a lower cost and significantly less hassle. Each is worthy of consideration when developing an offshore plan that is right for you.
Still, everyone has unique needs, and there may be a different country (or countries) that works better for you. If one of these countries for expats has piqued your interest or you want to help find another alternative, let’s develop a holistic plan together to achieve your dream life.