Ep83: WTF is Flag Theory (and how can it save you LOTS of money)..?

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Paying tax as a nomad/ex-pat..?

Some of the most often asked questions we get are around tax and travelling.

Today we have one of the world's experts on money talking about:

  • Flag theory – what it is, how it works and how it can help you save huge amounts on tax
  • Travelling full-time vs nomad – which is better?
  • Paying tax as a nomad – how do we manage this? Where do we pay it? Can we get away with paying much less?
  • Tax avoidance – Where is the best place to live for minimal tax

So if you're considering this life, or you're already an ex-pat or nomad,  then this is the episode for you.

You can find out more about our guest on his website, and you can get a free ticket to the Expat Money Summit here.  

NOTE: This is following our new format of podcast episodes that are either about:

  • WHY you want to live & work abroad
  • HOW to live and work abroad
  • WHERE to live & work abroad

The roadmap we mention can guide you through the questions you need to ask before starting your own adventure.

Want to get involved? It's completely free – just go to ASidewaysLife.com/roadmap.

As ever, get in touch on Instagram (@asidewayslife) or emailĀ asidewayslife@gmail.com. We genuinely would be thrilled to hear from you.

The Transcript

As ever, this is automated, so might not be 100% accurate!

Mikkel Thorup
Flag theory is basically the idea of setting up your life very strategically and using different jurisdictions for the best of what they have.

Al
Hello and welcome to episode 83 of a Sideways Life podcast. I'm Al. I'm Leanne and you should know by now we've travelled a lot. That's all you need to say, I think if you want to know the stats, then go to a sidewayslife.com and you'll see something like 120 airbnb, which we are in the last day of one today, aren't we, Lea?

Leanne
Yeah, last day. Pack up day is always a day. I think we talked about this before, but yeah, so we squeezed this in, so it's the job done. And then we're going to pack up and leave Spain for a little while.

Al
You won't miss the weather?

Leanne
No, it's been too much this summer.

Al
This morning I had to get up early and clean the patio upstairs because anything after 09:00 and it's just too hot. Anyway. Poor me. Smallest violin in the world playing for you. So today we are talking to a lovely guy called Mikel. What do we know about Mikelia?

Leanne
So, Mikel has an incredible interesting story. He left school at twelve, he started travelling shortly after. He's lived in nine different countries, where he's travelled to more than 100. And his ultimate aim is to visit every country on earth, which is quite cool.

Al
It is. He's got a family as well, so he travels with them, but it doesn't go the same way as usual. He kind of hops, he settles in one place for a couple of years and then moved somewhere else. But what's interesting, and what I think you're going to like about this, is that his number one focus is on money and his number one focus is on how you can how to choose the best place or how to pay the least tax, or how to invest as an expat or a nomad. And it's one of those things that isn't really covered very much. We found it difficult to find information on this, haven't we?

Leanne
Yeah. And particularly someone with the authority to give the advice I think is hard to find.

Al
Yeah, very conflicting advice. Like, for example, you cana go and read ten blog posts from ten different sites about living in Portugal and probably seven of them will tell you it's 0% Tax, which is complete and not a blocks. It is non 0% Tax, as we found out from speaking to a lawyer over there. A tax lawyer and an accountant. Anyway, so I think it's a fairly lengthy interview. So we'll jump in, we're going to meet Mikel, and then you and I can have a chat afterwards. That's al right, so we're here with Michelle Thorpe, who is the founder and owner of Expatmoney.com. Such an interesting guy. I've been watching some of his YouTube videos today. There's been some about established stuff as a resident in Europe for it by buying some forest land. There's lots of stuff I want to talk to you about, but just to start off with, just welcome, Mikel. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Mikkel Thorup
Pleasure is all mine. Thanks very much for having me on the show. Al.

Al
Well, I'm fascinated by you because we started travelling I was maybe 39 when I first started travelling, maybe a bit early, maybe about 34, 35. But from what I read, you were travelling when you were about twelve or 13, if I got that right.

Mikkel Thorup
Close. I did start travelling as a teenager. What happened at twelve years old was I stopped going to school. So I dropped out of school at a very young age. I'm completely self taught. I describe myself as an auto diet, acting, math, basically, meaning that I'm a self taught expert in many different disciplines and we'll kind of get into some of those things today. But, yeah, probably a different background, you could say, than a lot of your previous guests.

Al
Definitely. And I mean, one of the things I'm fascinated about, and I will be talking to you about, is this whole idea of flag theory, whole idea of being offline, deciding where you're going to live, to pay your taxes, et cetera. But that's going to be a little bit further down the line. I just want to just roll back. So you said you were at 14, you started travelling.

Mikkel Thorup
So I started travelling internationally when I was 16 or 17, and I'm 39 right now, so it's 22 years straight. And I mean straight. Straight. These weren't one week holidays and then come back or something like that. This was hardcore backpacking digital. Nomadism, as we know today, like, long before that term was ever used, I circumnavigated the global over 400 times, visited just under 110 countries and lived in nine different countries over there. So started young and still going strong today, 20 some odd years later.

Al
That's brilliant. And am I right thinking you're in Panama right now?

Mikkel Thorup
Yes, correct. I have a home here in Panama City. Panama City is a beautiful place. We've been here for three and a half years. We were in the Middle East for eight years before that and then lots of other places. But Panama is good, I like it here a lot.

Al
And whereabouts in the Middle East.

Mikkel Thorup
So I was in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the UAE. The United Arab Emirates. We were about an hour away from Dubai, which is probably a lot more popular, where a lot of other people know. But it was a nice place. My daughter, my first child, was born in the UAE. And, yeah, we miss it sometimes. It's a nice place, but we're also happy to be here in Panama.

Al
So I'm curious, we've travelled to 46 countries. We're not even halfway to your amount. But one of the biggest problems we find is the language barrier. So if you're going to live somewhere like UAE or Panama? Do you learn the local language? Is that how it works?

Mikkel Thorup
Well, okay, let's go through it a little bit slower. I lived in New Zealand for a year. English speaking. I lived in Australia for three years, english speaking. I lived in Singapore for a year, English speaking all over Canada, the United States, obviously, English speaking. Now, the UAE, although it is a Muslim and Islamic contrary, it's an Arabic part of the GCC. Actually, the majority of the things are done in English. There a lot of people think it would be done in Gulf Arabic, but actually almost everything is done in English. A small percentage would be done in Arabic, and even the things like government proclamations or whatever would be done in both languages. So that was never actually a problem. Now, I did learn a little bit of Arabic, certainly not as much as I should have by any stretch of the imagination, but you're just as likely to learn Filipino or Tagalog or Hindi or Urdu or something like this, languages from Pakistan and India and Philippines or Indonesia or Bangladesh. There's as much of that, if not more of that, than there is ever. Now. As for Panama yes, I've learned Spanish since being in Panama.

Mikkel Thorup
I also lived in Guatemala 20 years ago, so I had a bit of a background in Spanish. But no, I do not learn the local language of every country I've visited. Although that would be pretty cool. Just learning how to swear or something is usually.

Al
In mainland Spain. They have some very creative swear words. I think one of them translates almost exactly to I shit in your mother's milk or something.

Mikkel Thorup
Wow, I like that.

Al
Yeah, I definitely put some thought into it. So I want to kick things off because I want this episode to be all about money. And the first thing is that I've done some research on something that I think is called flag theory, but I don't know whether I've got the term right or what it actually means. So have I got the term right, and if so, what does it mean?

Mikkel Thorup
Okay, flag theory is basically the idea or the concept of setting up your life very strategically and using different jurisdictions for the best of what they have to offer. So making sure that you have your tax home, basically, where you are a tax resident, being in a country that either does not have income tax or if it does have income tax, they follow what's called a territorial tax system, meaning that if your money is made outside of that country, then they don't tax you inside the country. I think it started with three and then went to five flags. I mean, we could probably argue all the way up to 30 different flags, and those might be included where you have the servers for your business. If you own an online website or online blog or something like that, that cana be a flag. The classic ones are the structuring of the business, the structuring of the banking, structuring of your tax home, then your play flag. So one that doesn't have a high VAT or something like this, where you can spend a lot of your money, but in between those two extremes, there's everything else in between.

Mikkel Thorup
So it is a very important concept. Things have obviously progressed and changed a lot since the original ideas came out 40, 50 years ago. I do not suggest doing what the old timers recommended today you're liable to end up in an orange jumpsuit or something like that. So we certainly stay away from those types of things. But as a whole, as a concept, yes, it still makes sense today.

Al
What's interesting is you talk about the old time. I started building a property portfolio in the UK about 20 years ago, and the prevailing advice at that point was to it was something weird like incorporating Delaware and then have shares in Belize and then do all these complicated things. That just sounded really scary to me. But, I mean, let's just talk something real simple. So we have a freelancer. Let's just call them a web designer, because it's nice and easy for a web designer. Freelancer, they are nomadic, so they have no particular place that they spend a majority of their time. Let's assume this person moves every 90 days. It doesn't really matter where should they be paying tax?

Mikkel Thorup
Somewhere it's going to be dependent on the country that you come from and your home country's laws. So I'll be absolutely remiss to make a blanket statement about this. I can tell you that the way that I like to do things and set up my clients is that we avoid a situation like this. I don't really do the perpetual traveller, always on the go type of style. I do more of the expat style, which is we have a Lea residency to live and work in a country. We have a tax residency in that country. However, the country that we've chosen for that is, as I said, either a country with no income tax, like the UAE, which we've discussed, or like Panama, which is the territorial tax system. That way, no other jurisdiction is going to be able to claim you as a tax resident of their country. It's very clear you spend more than 183 days in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, these types of territorial taxes. It's very clear where your tax home is. So now it's going to be difficult for your home country to come after you. Now, if you have assets still inside that country, if you're generating income inside that country, that's a different situation and certainly outside of the scope of a conversation that we're having today.

Mikkel Thorup
But that's just how I would like to think about things or how I would work with a client on structure. Does that make sense?

Al
It makes perfect sense. And I think that we've run up against us because we are now back for a second year in Croatia on the digital nomad visa, which I'm sure you're aware of. And as you know, any income derived outside of Croatia is tax free. When all the time you're living in Croatia, which is really, really cool, but you've touched on something there, which is a raw nerve because I have the properties that are situated in the UK and therefore might derive my income from there. I can't take advantage of that because I get taxed on all my rental income in the UK. So I think it's a really important thing for anyone listening to this thinking, I have a UK limited company, I'm going to go and live in Panama. If I've understood this right, you're saying that the UK limited company is going to be a little bit of a problem because your assets are outside of Panama and therefore you might be taxed in the UK.

Mikkel Thorup
I'm not going to make a comment on a specific situation, but what I can say is that in the UK they're going to view it one way, and in Panama they're going to be viewing it a different way. So Panama will not be taxing you if it's called foreign sourced income. Okay? Where Panama will be taxing you is if you live in Panama and you cut hair at the local barber shop or you work in an office and you go in and you work at the bank offices or something like that, or you wait tables or tend bar or something like that, that is locally sourced income, you will be taxed on that. Now, you are a coach, a consultant, you have investments, you have properties, you have things like that outside of Panama. Well, Panama is not going to tax you on those things. Now, your home country, that's a different piece of the puzzle that needs to be juggled. Usually they will still be taxing you. If you're a UK citizen and you have UK sourced income and you have properties that are physically located there, my opinion is that you're still going to be taxed on those things.

Al
That's mine too.

Mikkel Thorup
The other way to do it is to liquidate, pay all applicable taxes, tell the UK government that you're leaving, have a residency somewhere else, move somewhere else and redeploy those assets somewhere else in a country which is not going to tax you. There are many countries in the world where you can hold the assets and they won't be texting you.

Al
So I'm curious. Now, let's talk really generally, because I know you're not a big fan of talking specifics. Let's talk really generally here. So we have someone who may be in North America, could be Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, doesn't matter. And they're like, I want to leave my country, and I have enough money to live, but I also want to work as well. So if they came to you and said, where in the world, Mikel, should I go? Where it's the most tax efficient but also the most pleasant place to live, what would you say?

Mikkel Thorup
Yeah, I think that that is actually a really common situation that we get. I'm always encouraging people, especially in today's day and age, to have some type of remote work or online income. So, first of all, if you own a business, great. I mean, turning it remote is actually easier than a lot of people believe. And many careers in the world where we traditionally thought it cannot be done, remote actually is now very commonly remote. And I can give you lots of examples. I have clients who are lawyers who now work remote, do everything from zoom, got rid of their office, keep their licence in their home country, but practise law while abroad. Same thing with doctors through telemedicine. We've done interviews and podcasts about it on my programme on the Expat Money show. Now, as for the second part of the question on what countries are attractive, we're really finding that a lot of the countries in the Caribbean and in Central America are really good for this at the moment because of the territorial tax system. Also, the high quality living, the high standard of living and the low cost of living, the WiFi is often very good.

Mikkel Thorup
So it is conducive to this. We were chatting before the interview. I'm here in Panama City. I have line of sight satellite internet at a very, very high level and it's Ethernet. My internet is super stable. I always laugh. I have people, clients and people from California and from Toronto and all over the world in these developed countries. And their WiFi is in and out all the time. And I'm like, okay, I supposedly live in the third world and my WiFi is rock solid. So I like these countries in Latin America for these types of work. Even if you don't own a business yourself, there's things like Upwork. If you go to Upwork.com, you can work as a freelancer. There are other freelancing sites that are out there. Your money is going to go much further than back home. Twice as far, five times as far. I don't know. Your insurance is usually drastically less. And if you can take care of that tax bill, well, now you really have a lot more money in your pocket. So people's quality of living just goes up so drastically when they move to this part of the world.

Al
I love that. And also, just incidentally, that we were in Indonesia on an island, Gilberto Angle, and our 4G connection was better than was so much cheaper, like a 10th of the price, and so much better than our house back in Spain where it got mainland WiFi. So, yeah, I think these things are really cool I've noticed a lot of things that on your YouTube channel where you talk about this second residency. And I'm intrigued to find out whether that's the same as a temporary residency visa or whether it's a different thing. Can you talk us through what a second residency is?

Mikkel Thorup
Yeah. So usually with a second residency, what our goal is is actually to get permanent residency. That is always the goal. And a residency just means the legal right to live and work in the country. Now, to get a permanent residency, you might have to have a temporary residency at the start. You can also have a work permit, which is a type of residency or a student residency, the ability to go to school there. But for most of my clients, this is not the goal by any means. We want the permanent residency. Now, the follow up question that most people will ask is, well, what is the difference between a residency and a citizenship? They both have the right to live and work in the country. But a citizen, you can actually say I am from Spain or I am from Indonesia, I am from Panama or something like that. It's also going to get you the travel document, which we know as a passport. But the passport is really just the agreement between two nations for ease of movement. So what you're paying for what you have is diplomacy in action. Different countries have different agreements.

Mikkel Thorup
Your passport is different than mine, you get to go in different countries than I can and vice versa. So what we want to do is get a permanent residency that will actually lead to citizenship in the future. And this process is called naturalisation and it is spending a certain amount of time in the country. It might be two years, it might be three years, it might be five years, it might be 20 years. That's going to really depend on the country itself. But those are kind of what kind of residencies we're looking at, what the difference is between a residency and the citizenship, what the passport is. And the only other things that I would really like to add to that is usually as a citizen, you can also vote in the local elections if that's something that you want to participate in. And same thing with national service, with the armed forces. If you wanted to participate in the armed forces, you would have to do that as a citizen and not as a resident. Now, neither of those things am I very much fond of, but for certain people they are important.

Al
So it is worth noting that makes perfect sense. So you've talked a lot about Central America, but if you if someone is listening to this and thinking, okay, this sounds good to me, I want to have my residency somewhere else, is there like a top five places they should be considering that will be both tax efficient, nice and somewhere that's going to be a route to permanent residency.

Mikkel Thorup
Yeah. So there's probably about 40 countries in the world that would kind of fall into this. Now, they happen to be mostly in the Caribbean and in Latin America. It's very difficult to find something like this in Europe or in Asia or in Africa, and certainly in the South Pacific. Really difficult. The only one I can think of is Vanuatu in the South Pacific, maybe a couple of the other smaller islands. But Australia and New Zealand. No, certainly not. Now, there are certain countries in the world where they might have a more advantageous tax plan than just being taxed on your worldwide income. Like Portugal has the non dom system. However, it's not usually what people think. People think that they can just move their entire business there and live there and it'll be fine. Actually, that's not the case whatsoever. I've had four clients this year for clients who have paid me multiple five figures for my help, saying that they want to move to Portugal. Within the first hour, I popped their bubble. They don't believe me. We've gone out there and gotten second and third opinions from the local lawyers and they all confirm with me, if you are making the decisions for your business and you are living in Portugal, you will be taxed on that income.

Mikkel Thorup
So don't listen to blog articles written by people who don't know what they're talking about or heard something and decided that they're going to say, you can move to Portugal and pay absolutely zero taxes. That's not the case at all. The nondom system is really for pensioners for people who are bringing in money to the country through passive means. It's not for business owners, it's not for entrepreneurs. Even the crypto taxes that people are saying, a lot of these laws have been changed, so you have to really work with a professional on these things. Same thing with Spain, same thing with Greece, same things with Italy. Yes, they have tax programmes there, but they're a lot more complicated than you would imagine. And you have to work with a tax lawyer on it. There's just no way around it.

Al
One of our previous guests, a guy called James Cave, who runs a website called The Portugalist, which is the number one sort of source of information, and he was exactly the same. He's like, I promote Portugal every single day of my life. But the fact is, it's not a 0% tax, it's best. It's 22%. And I'll let you say, I mean, there's something interesting about Spain is Spain is a very similar situation. You can have a UK company, you live in Spain, and because you're making the decisions, like you said, your company is going to be taxed corporation tax rates in Spain because you are sitting there and you're making the decisions. But I want to switch for a second and say, what was it. We want to talk about your school because from what I understood, you said a little bit at the beginning of this was that you left school at twelve and officially opted out at 15. What was that like growing up with no school at twelve? What was it like with friendship, social education?

Mikkel Thorup
It's a good question. People always want to ask about the story, about how this happened or what my parents thought of the situation. I suppose from a personal level, I was very ashamed and felt very broken. I went through a difficult situation where they didn't understand what was, quote unquote, wrong with me. It turns out I have dyslexia, which is actually not a big deal that we know now. Today is really not a big deal. But I grew up spending a lot of time thinking that there was something wrong with me. Now. When I found travelling when I was a teenager, I started to meet all of these people from around the world doing things completely different than I had ever seen in southwestern Ontario. I'm Canadian. I started to actually feel like I belonged. And it was like a good opportunity, good place for me to recreate myself in a positive light. Who didn't know that I went to a special school or that I had dyslexia or I had problems learning how to read and write when I was a child, or all the nasty things that were said about me because of this.

Mikkel Thorup
It sounds so ridiculous now when I think about it. But as a child, you really have no idea. You're told something doesn't work right in your brain and there's something wrong with you and you believe it. And it just takes a lot of like many years of deprogramming to understand that, first of all, it's not your fault. And second of all, that it's actually very common and everybody has their own shit that they're going through and it doesn't put any limitations on who you are, what you can do with your life, how you can help people, the relationships you will have, a spouse, a career. I don't care saying it. I'm a happily married man, I got two gorgeous kids, I'm a multimillionaire and I've travelled to more than 100 countries. Am I saying that to be a boisterous asshole? No, I'm not. I'm saying that because it's the truth. And I worked really fucking hard at this. And I didn't let state run school and teachers who didn't know anything tell me that I couldn't do this. So that's probably more of an answer than you wanted, but that's the truth.

Al
I love this. I mean, there's a common theme amongst our interviewers interviewees and anyone really, who we talk about who travels long term, and that is this idea of belonging in that you felt like you didn't necessarily belong in your home country and you went to seek that belonging. What I'm intrigued about is and I'm going to ask you quite a blunt question here. If we are all travelling and moving on and leaving this nomadic lifestyle, does that mean that fundamentally we're broken as humans because we can never get the belonging that we so crave?

Mikkel Thorup
You know what? I have thought about this quite a bit over the last 20 years, and a lot of it was, am I running away from something? Am I running towards something? What is the psychology? What is the driver in this? And I literally have thought about this, and I do a lot of soul searching. And I would like to think of myself as quite transparent and quite honest with myself. My opinion is this I like being uncomfortable. I like being in situations where I'm going to grow. For me, I get really bored really easily doing the same thing over and over and over again. I think it's also why entrepreneurship spoke to me so much, because I'm not doing a monotonous job. I'm always exploring things. I've also had people say, oh, now you have kids, now you have to settle down. Now you have a wife, you have to settle down. Actually, you don't. Because for me, home is where the heart is. My daughter and my son both know that Mommy and Daddy are there with them every single day. We homeschool our children. My daughter speaks three languages fluently, like native level Mandarin, Chinese, English and Spanish, and now she's learning Russian.

Mikkel Thorup
She's been to 15 countries. She has friends from all over the world. She is the most personable, creative, amazing little girl. And she has a lot of confidence and ability because home is where the heart is. She knows that she's always safe. She's not uprooted, she's not she has stability in her life. She has people who love her and care for her. Yeah, I don't know, that's kind of my answer. I guess I love it.

Al
So let me ask you, then, if you hadn't had dyslexia, but everything else was the same, if you hadn't had dyslexia, do you think you would have gone on the journey you did?

Mikkel Thorup
Well, I would say that my learning disability, quote unquote, is an awakening to state run apparatuses, in this case, public education. Now, I think that I would have still came to the same conclusion that the state is violence. They have a monopoly on violence, which I'm very much against, and I was just exposed to it this way. Now, if that had happened ten years later when I was learning about bombing women and children in the Middle East, I would have came to the same conclusion that this is wrong. It doesn't really matter how you come to it, you know that it's wrong. I was just exposed to at a very young age and on a very personable level, but it is something that I think that I still would have came upon.

Al
Yes, the incredible life you've built. For you and your family, the incredible experiences. You've got 22 years on the road. You say you're a multimillionaire and you have built, I'm guessing, multiple businesses and income streams. What's your biggest regret?

Mikkel Thorup
A big regret? You know what? I don't know if this would be considered a regret. I think that it actually ties into what we were talking about earlier, with being a teenager and going through these types of things. I think that giving yourself permission to screw up and fail and not beating yourself up about things I think is a great gift. So maybe a regret would be being so hard on myself when I was younger, either through school, when I first started travelling, when I first started investing and becoming an entrepreneur and building businesses, understanding that it's okay to suck at things at first. And that is a absolutely natural process of doing anything in life. And you need to forgive yourself and not expect that you're going to be good at things the very first time you try it. And if it takes you as long or longer or ten times longer than anyone else to get it, you can still get there. Like now I've read over 20 books. I'm a Dyslexic, I'm supposed to be stupid, I'm supposed to not be able to read. But actually I've read probably more than anyone else I've met in my life, and certainly more than my friends who went on to do advanced degrees in university, who read a lot in uni and then never picked up another book for the following 15 years.

Mikkel Thorup
It's not quite the right word, but that's the only one I can really think of is that don't be so hard on myself when I was younger. Now that I understand that actually I'm able to plough through new information, new disciplines, new pieces of the business really fast, because I just know it's part of the process. I know that's kind of a jumbled answer coming from a couple of different points of view, but I hope that's coherent and makes sense.

Al
I think it does. And from the little I've read about Dyslexia is that it appears to me. And it's my interpretation. Is that the mind works in a slightly different way. Which is so conducive to creativity and entrepreneurialism and being able to say no to the way that things are. Having that courage to say. No. I'm going to do it well. Even courage probably need a necessity to say. That's not the way I think. I am curious, though. I mean, I'm a bit older than you. I think I'm six, seven years older than you. But I remember back then there was the special class for people. Nowadays it seems to be a little bit more integrated. So do you think had you been, say, 20 years younger then, do you think that with the support you would have got within the school? I say support. I'm not saying it's great, but do you think that that would have changed the trajectory of your life had you been growing up now being dyslexic?

Mikkel Thorup
It's impossible to say how your life is going to turn out. I mean, it was quite a monumental thing. Now my answer is kind of the same, that I probably still would have found libertarianism, which I think of as a North Star and a philosophical and a moral compass. It's certainly not a political ideology for me whatsoever. It is my moral compass. I still believe that I would have found that. I still believe that I would have found travelling and my love for travelling. I still believe that I would find entrepreneurship now faster, slower, the same path. That is impossible to tell, but yes. Quintessentially I think that I am an entrepreneur in my DNA, and for me, what that means is I solve problems. Quintessentially what it does is solve problems. And I am always looking to find more efficient, more effective ways of solving problems and in my particular case, trying to find them in a way that there is a monetary benefit where I am valuable in the marketplace and I provide a good or a service that people are happily willing to trade their dollars for my expertise. And I think it is a very noble cause.

Mikkel Thorup
Yes, I think I would have found this. Maybe it would have been in a different profession. I'm not sure.

Al
Before I ask you to tell us a bit more about the Expat Money seminar, I have a question. I just want to know what's the dream? Where do you keep moving? Do you find you settle in Panama? What's the dream for, Mikeau?

Mikkel Thorup
Well, I guess I still like exploring. I like to try to see the world from other people's point of view. I want to understand their perspective and really understand the world. I think that is my dream, yes. I want to go to every country in the world. And when I started saying that when I was a teenager, people looked at me and laughed. Now I don't think anyone is laughing. When I've been to over 100 countries, I think it's certainly attainable. I like to go to a place and really try to understand who they are, their history, the food, the culture, the religion and the society and how they interact with each other and these types of things. So I don't think that I will ever stop that. I think it's my hobby. I think it's who I am, it's my business, it's me on the personal level. It's everything. I have not slowed down yet, so I don't expect to slow down at any point. Do I love Panama and we'll spend a lot of time here? Yes, absolutely. But we're also buying a home in Turkey right now. We're also buying a place in Brazil.

Mikkel Thorup
We're doing a lot of trips to Uruguay. We're doing a seven figure investment in Uruguay, we've got homes in China, we've got lots of other places that we like to spend regular amounts of time in, and giving my children the opportunity of exploring the world and spending as much time with them while doing it. Sounds alright to me. Yeah.

Al
So lastly, just tell us a bit about this Expat Money Seminar. I've seen a few adverts for it, I've seen bits and pieces on your Twitter, but I don't really understand what it is. So for someone who has no idea, what is the Expat seminar? Sorry, expat Money Seminar. Do?

Mikkel Thorup
Yeah. So it's actually expat money summit. It's a completely online event. It's happening November 7 to eleven, and it's a really amazing opportunity, I think, for a lot of people to really start to understand a lot more about the expat space. Yes, we deal with some digital nomad issues, but we're not talking about the best beaches to go party on a full moon party or something like this. What we're really dealing with is a lot of tax issues, immigration issues, structuring issues. We're looking to help people have more freedom in their life. And the best vehicle I know for that is Flag theory. Expat Living Internationalisation, however you want to call it. As I said, it's November 7 to 11th. If you guys want to get a ticket, it is expatmoneysummit.com. The tickets are free, there's no charge to attend. If you guys want to upgrade and go for a VIP ticket, then great. There's a tonne of extra bonuses with that and recordings and transcripts and extra sessions and a lot of extra cool stuff. And you get to help support the summit and the work that we do and spreading awareness about this.

Mikkel Thorup
But if you just want to come in and take a look around and start learning about these and things and see if it's a good fit for you, then grab the free ticket. It doesn't cost anything. You get to watch all of the presentation. There is no catch to it. This is not some marketing trick or something. It really is free to come and attend the summit. Some of our speakers are Doug Casey, Ron Paul, who is a personal hero of mine. We've got speakers talking about digital privacy, international real estate tax structuring in the US, canada, the tax structuring and obligations in Panama and Costa Rica and many countries in Latin America and the UAE all over the place. So there's going to be 37 presentations and we're expecting 30,000 attendees. So it's going to be quite a sizable event, you could say. I certainly say it will be the largest and the greatest expat event of the year, possibly of all time. I don't know of any other conference that has drawn this amount of people, so I'm really excited about it. And yeah, expatmoneysummit.com November 7 to 11th, come grab a free ticket.

Mikkel Thorup
We might actually take away the free ticket. At some point you probably want to secure that sooner rather than later but yeah, I'm happy to help your audience and happy to welcome them at the summit.

Leanne
What a story.

Al
I know. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Yeah, makes our 46 countries look at Polishes amateurs, complete amateurs but I thought some of the things that were really interesting, his point of view on things is really interesting so anything that jumped out to you, Leah?

Leanne
Just the fact that he left school at twelve it's incredible what he has achieved and the intelligence and determination that he has to have done it and I think I'm a psychologist. That's my other life and part of that is understanding your diversity at work. People who are diverse. Who have Dyslexia. For example. And I think there's still such a misconception. Particularly with Dyslexia. That it's some kind of learning difficulty and it's not. It's just how people think very. Very differently and that is a superpower because they cana think in ways that Neuronorms. As we're called. Can't even begin to and I think it's really harnessing that superpower and it makes me sad that he didn't have that support at school to be able to do that but it makes me incredibly inspired that he found a way to really harness those powers. Harnesses and intelligence and now pass that on to his children and educate them. It's brilliant.

Al
It is and I've heard of the term flag theory before but never really understood it so he explained that pretty well so we don't get anything from you going and speaking to him, we don't get referral fee or anything so if you're interested, go to Expatmoney.com, you can learn a bit more there. As mentioned at the end of the podcast, he does have this seminar which again, we're not affiliated in any way with it we're probably going to join and see what's going on it sounds like it's quite promising but I think that's probably it for this week, isn't it? So should we go back to packing up our airbnb drive to Switzerland?

Leanne
Yes, let's go and do that then.

Al
See you soon. Bye bye, guys.

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