Live Big and Dodge the Tax Man (Legally)

My plans for April 15, 2023

Has the possibility of remote work entered your life? I’m observing that most companies are adopting a hybrid version. My daughter recently landed her first “real” job in NYC, meaning, a job with salary and benefits. It’s a hybrid remote position. She will likely never know what it is like to have to go into an office every day. Isn’t that amazing?

Even for hybrid remote work, consultants and certain types of positions may be able to negotiate full-time remote.

If you’ve ever been curious about living outside of the US for a year, and thought you would have to wait until retirement, you may want to rethink that if you can work remotely.

I bet you didn’t know you can save thousands on taxes by working from outside the US. If you live outside of the US for 330 days out of a year, you can exclude up to $122,000 of income from taxes, more for couples.

As you might imagine, there are rules and regs to follow, but the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is one strategy to have an interesting year and save a bundle on taxes. I am not a tax advisor so be sure to check with your accountant before you make your plans. If you are self-employed, you have to do some finagling to pay yourself as an employee.

Unless something changes, living abroad (again) is my plan for next year. I’ll be in Mexico and a few other places.

For a while, I felt kind of weird about what I’m up to. I’m turning 59, shouldn’t I “settle”?

When I check in, though, my inner knowing doesn’t understand that question. When I was younger, and people would say “age is just a number” I would think, yeah, that’s what all the old people say.

I get it now. I say it not because I’m avoiding my age, but because it truly is just a number. Within certain bounds, I get to choose how I feel and how fast I age. Diet, exercise, and mindset do make a big difference.

And times are a-changing. When I embraced being a digital nomad in 2015, I had to explain to people what that meant. Now, most of the US workforce is clamoring for remote and hybrid situations.

My aging sustainably plan is extremely unconventional yet personalized for me. Here it is:

Until I leave the planet, I am growing happier, healthier, richer, and more generous every year. I am doing things I love, and my work will magnify the efforts of others to have a beneficial impact on the planet and people.

There are no guarantees, but the opportunities I’m leveraging now didn’t even exist 7 years ago. I have changed a lot, too. Vamos a ver.

And just so you know, I’m not independently wealthy. In fact, I’m cutting it rather close at the moment, especially, well, you know, “for my age”.

In 2020, in the middle of lockdowns at 3 AM with helicopters overhead and protests in the streets, a tether broke in my psyche. I let go of a big dimension of my previous identity. It was not fun but it was an indescribable relief. Looking back, that year marked the end of my last 7-year heroine’s cycle and cleared the way for what followed in 2021.

2022 is the start of a new cycle, the one where I finally got organized around my purpose. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Speaking of that, back to tax dodging travel. How about you? Could you simplify enough to give yourself a year of new vistas?

I’d love to hear about it!

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