The Unexpected Benefit of Being a Nomadic Freelancer: Taxes

Starr Horne bio photo By Starr Horne

I wasn’t an expat freelancer for the lifestyle, the adventure, or the romance. No sir. I was in it for the taxes. Well not really. But here’s something you may not have thought about: Expat freelancers can save a ton of money on taxes.

There’s no magic. No loophole. Just simple math.

Suppose you live in Seattle, making $60k a year, and putting away $5k a year in savings.

Now suppose you move to Guatemala for a year. You can scale back to making $30k a year, saving $5k, and live like a king.

Here’s the interesting bit: When you were making $60k you paid around $15k in taxes. But on $30k, you only pay $6 in taxes.

So at the end of the year, you still have the $5k you saved, but you’ve done $39k less work. Basically, the tax system is incentivising you to work less, spend less and save equally.