5 reasons to stay home instead of moving abroad & exploring life outside your country

TL;DR — In five minutes, if I can convince you to stay home instead of moving abroad, I’ll save you the hassle of relocating, reducing your taxes, and generally becoming more free.

In the next decade, Western economies like Canada, the United States, and Western Europe will experience more out-flowing emigration than the past 25 years combined.

Before you book your escape, I think it’s my duty to convince you to stay.

And I know what you’re thinking. “But James, why would you want me to stay if the grass is greener outside my home country?”

Well, if I can convince you to stay in your home country in a five-minute essay, then you have zero hope of succeeding outside of it. In the next few minutes, I’ll save you the hassle of traveling the world, reducing your cost of living and taxes, and generally becoming happier, healthier, wealthier, and more free.

Sound good? Here are 5 reasons you should stay in your home country:

1. Your taxes are already zero

If you’ve already figured out how to pay zero taxes at home, that’s incredible. Congratulations!

You’ve probably spent a lot of time and effort setting things up just right. Staying put means you don’t have to deal with foreign tax systems or file additional paperwork. You can enjoy your current setup.

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Right?

But in case you’re paying lots of your income to the government (just so they can waste it on stupid social programs), have you heard of a territorial tax system?

Many countries around the world do not tax foreign-sourced income.

So that means, if you have a foreign remote job or a foreign online business, you don’t have to pay taxes on your personal income in those countries. Here’s a short list of countries in Latin America with a territorial tax system:

  • 🇧🇴 Bolivia
  • 🇨🇱 Chile (for 3 years)
  • 🇨🇷 Costa Rica
  • 🇸🇻 El Salvador
  • 🇬🇹 Guatemala
  • 🇳🇮 Nicaragua
  • 🇵🇦 Panama
  • 🇵🇾 Paraguay
  • 🇺🇾 Uruguay (for 10 years)
  • Plus, several Caribbean island nations…

And that’s just Latin America!

2. You’ve traveled extensively & found your home country is where you’re most free

Life is all about enjoyment, right? You want to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and free. So do I.

If you’ve explored the rest of the world and found that the best destination for you and your family is also where you were coincidentally born, awesome! All the power to you.

Traveling is great. And nomadism is fun – to an extent. But there’s nothing like basing up and doubling down in a location that treats you well.

My friend at IMI Daily said this:

“The best things in life – whether we’re talking about relationships, money, or health – come from compound interest. Repeatedly starting from scratch prevents compounding.”

A couple of things that impact a location’s quality of life:

  • Access to nature
  • Air quality
  • Food quality
  • Business network
  • Tax system
  • Travel access
  • Walkability
  • Weather & sun
  • Plus, several other factors…

If you’re not thrilled where you currently live, that’s a very normal sentiment. But how will you respond to that sentiment? Will you merely accept that fact? Or will you do something about it?

I always recommend people explore and experiment in multiple jurisdictions to see where they’re the happiest, healthiest, wealthiest, and most free.

3. Your current location’s cost of living doesn’t impact you

If the ballooning cost of living in the West doesn’t impact you, great. High earner alert! 🚨

That’s a sign that you’ve done really well financially and you no longer have a budget. Also, that you’ve avoided the errors of many Westerners in racking up huge amounts of debt via student loans, car loans, and credit card debt.

But if you want your dollar/euro/satoshi to go farther, I’d recommend checking out the developing world before it becomes the developed world. Generally, life (and a luxurious life too) here is far more affordable.

Cost of living global index

This is the reason I initially came to Latin America in 2021. As I was growing my first online business, I wanted a little longer runway. Therefore, a lower cost of living afforded me some more breathing room.

My reasons for staying in the developing world, however, are far different. That’s a story for another time.

4. You’re already location independent & can leave if shit hits the fan

Well, let’s first start by defining location independence. To me, true sovereignty is possessing …

  • Multiple citizenships
  • Multiple residency permits
  • Multiple income streams
  • Multiple international business structures
  • Multiple offshore bank accounts
  • Multiple international homes/properties

Location independence is having the power to up-and-leave at a moment’s notice if something happens (e.g. war, famine, pandemic, etc) in your current location or country. This flexibility allows you to enjoy the comforts of home without feeling trapped.

If you can relocate yourself, your family, and your life quickly when “shit gets real” (channeling my inner Gen Z), congratulations! Another feather in your cap.

But if you (like the majority of people around the world) don’t currently have this luxury, it’s time to work on it.

Location independence will only become more important as we head into the future. That’s why the international investment migration industry (visas, residencies, and citizenships) is growing so rapidly.

Want to learn more? You’ll enjoy this read/watch as I talk exactly about 5 things you can do to become ungovernable this year.

5. You think your country is heading in the right direction

A global study across 29 developed countries asked local populations a simple question: Is your country heading in the right or wrong direction?

Country moving in the right or wrong direction survey

That’s incredible if you’re part of the minority who’s optimistic about their country’s future. Obviously, it’s important to spend time in a positive, healthy environment that’s growing and will protect your wealth and liberty.

But the belief about your country and the factual reality are two different things. Realistically, is your current jurisdiction heading in a direction that will support your health, wealth and freedom? 🤷‍♂️

Every day, I talk to a lot of expats and nomads. The most common reasons for leaving their home country are …

  • High taxes and too much regulation
  • Too woke
  • To become location independent
  • To explore the world and experience new cultures
  • To learn a new language
  • To invest in emerging economies
  • And many more …

If you’re a part of the pessimistic (but realistic?) group that thinks their country is heading in the wrong direction, what’s stopping you from leaving?

Do you think another jurisdiction may give you a better shot at generational wealth and freedom? If so, there’s no better time to devise your Plan B than today.

So, should you “stay & fight”?

One of the most frequent questions I get is whether I feel (or have felt) the need to “stay and fight” for my country.

This is interesting, and I totally understand the patriotic, nationalist sentiment behind the question. Look, I used to work in the U.S. Congress. I was as patriotic as any other American. I wish nothing but the best for Americans, no matter where they live in the world.

But the people you entrust and elect to take care of the nation don’t care about it as much as you think they do. Trust me, I know after working with many of them in D.C. They care about themselves, their bank accounts, and their power.

If you want to argue that a “strong America” or “strong Canada” is important for the world, I’d argue that “strong Western powers” have resulted in dozens of unnecessary wars, millions of people dead, bloated gerontocracies that can’t get anything done, hyper-inflated currencies and governments that continue to steal trillions from the citizens they’re supposed to protect …

I could go on and on.

I applaud you for fighting for your freedoms if that’s what you choose to do. But many have come to the same conclusion I did a few years ago…

No one is fighting alongside you.

The best opportunity for you and your offspring may be in another speck of land on this big blue marble we sit on.

Want to move abroad, reduce your cost of living and taxes, and become truly location independent? I can help.

Get essays, event invitations & other resources in your inbox

When you join the Freedom Files (it’s free), I’ll personally send you my list of 17 considerations for moving to a new country or city.

You may also enjoy ...

Shocking predictions from this 1997 book & how I'm preparing for the future

Shocking predictions from this 1997 book & how I’m preparing for the future

The Sovereign Individual made some mindblowing predictions (like cryptocurrency and tax havens) about the future. And they were right. Here’s what they said and how I’m preparing.
5 SHOCKING things I’ve learned from 3 years in Latin America

5 SHOCKING things I’ve learned from 3 years in Latin America

Expat life in Latin America is not all positive. From cost of living to bureaucracy to taxes, these are 5 things most travel gurus won't tell you.
6 steps to invest in real estate & get permanent residency in Colombia – without getting scammed

6 steps to invest in real estate & get permanent residency in Colombia – without getting scammed

Behold the joys and pitfalls of investing in a growing Latin America market. Here’s the 6-step guide to investing and getting residency in Colombia, directly from my experience.

What should I cover next?

I have a question for you:

If I were to dedicate the next Freedom Files YouTube video to you and one challenge you’re facing right now, what would that issue be?

Typically, I get something like the following:

  • I can’t find a remote job
  • I don’t know the right long-term location for me
  • I don’t know how to start a business
  • I am a digital nomad but haven’t settled in a country
  • I pay way too much in taxes and need a solution
  • I want to invest in countries before they are popular

Let me know by emailing or DMing me. I’ll write about it publicly because many others likely have the same challenge as you do.

Location freedom is near

I started an online business, lived in 10 countries, learned a new language, bought international real estate, and got residency in Latin America – all within 2 years.

It’s possible! I made a checklist to help you live your relocation dream. 

I’ll send it to you ASAP. Just fill out the form below.