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Best Entrepreneur-Friendly Places in the World for an Outdoorsy Lifestyle

MTF

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I've been recently thinking about moving (part-time for now, possibly permanently in the future) to another country with a better climate and an outdoorsy lifestyle. I'm a rock climber, I'd also love to learn surfing, and would generally love to be able to go outside and enjoy sunny, warm weather year-round. At the same time, as an entrepreneur I'm not really a fan of handing almost 50% of what I earn for the privilege of living in a more socialist developed country.

After countless hours of research, I realized that you can't have it all (duh) and it essentially comes down to choosing from two completely different types of places:
  • high-tax, expensive, but well-developed safe countries like Australia, Portugal or Spain,
  • low- to mid-tax (or territorial tax which can be like zero-tax) cheap(er) but less developed, sometimes not that safe or comfortable places like Nicaragua or Mexico (I exclude small island nations like in the Caribbean) or not particularly attractive due to the cultural reasons (like the UAE).
What are your experiences traveling/living in different countries in the world and which places do you consider the most entrepreneur- and outdoorsy-lifestyle-friendly?

If you live in a well-developed, expensive high-tax country, do you feel that generally speaking you're fine paying so much in exchange for what you get in return or would you rather have worse infrastructure but lower taxes?

I'm particularly interested in hearing from people from/who traveled to/lived in Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Canary Islands, Southern Spain, Southern Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, and Cyprus, but I'm interested in learning from anyone who lived or lives in a place with an outdoorsy (warm weather) lifestyle.
 
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JamesDB

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Having done plenty of research to this topic last year (and visited most of the places).

Considering Gibraltar, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta as all of them offer great incentives (fix rates, tax free for x years etc.) for entrepreneurs and people who are willing to do business there, climate is about the same, English is in Malta and Gibraltar the offical language. If money is not an issue move to Monaco.

But be aware that Gibraltar, Cyprus and Malta might get small very fast, know plenty of people who got sick after 2-3 years. Another problem might be the airport, while Gibraltar is still ok, Malta/Cyprus might be a problem if you want to live there full time.
 

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Montenegro:
  • Cheap living costs.
  • Nice beaches, but also great for outdoor fun: mountains, rafting, hiking, skiing in winter etc.
  • Low tax: 9% flat tax for companies and while not in EU, they use euro-currency.
  • Infrastructure is Eastern-European, but developing pretty fast. Roads are narrow in general because of mountains. Two airports (Tivat and Podgorica) with many flights (+2/week from my country in winter).
  • Kotor-Budva-region is crowded in the Summer period, but there are still many silent places to find.
  • Great culture, nature, kitchen, friendly people, pretty girls.
In short: beautiful small country with excellent (tax)climate. It's my goal to have an apartment there in time.

Kotor bay:
kotor_panorama.jpg


Budva:
budva__stari_grad_plaza__155449.jpg
 

pickeringmt

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Not really exotic, but I am a Montana native and it is fantastic for both entrepreneurship and outdoor stuff.

I am a lifer. I love to travel, but this is home.

And my LLC cost like $75 to set up. No sales tax. tons of reasons
 
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Great topic @MTF

As you know we already discussed Malta. For anyone else reading, here are my thoughts on Malta. Today as it happens there's not a cloud in the sky, I have the window open in my office and am sitting here in shorts and t-shirt. Not a typical winter's day here, but apparently it happens!

Speaking of airports: yeah, the flight connections outside of Europe suck. I have to go to San Diego in March and it's a 22 hour journey with 2 connections. I've always wanted to go to San Diego, but I'm NOT looking forward to that journey one bit.

By contrast, from London Heathrow it's an 11 hour direct flight.

I wanted to chime in here because we visited both Portugal and Malta last year before making the leap (as @JamesDB says, they do have some great tax incentives for expats you should look into - probably because the country is broke).

We only stayed in Lisbon but I didn't like it at all. Well, it was a fun trip. But as a place to live? Nah.

The whole place felt like it had the life and soul sucked out of it. If the UK feels like a slowly dying country riding the coattails of its past excellence, Portugal feels like it's already collapsed. Yet noone there has enough get up and go to bother rebuilding anything out of the ashes.

In a week, I didn't see a single office. I saw one guy wearing a suit the whole time. I wondered, how the hell does any money get made in this place?

Most everyone seemed to have this kind of gloomy, resigned, mild depression about them. Even the nightlife was really limited. Saturday night and most of Lisbon was a ghost town.

Most of the businesses that do exist seemed to be Chinese-owned. Yep, the Chinese are buying up Portugal (or at least Lisbon). The Chinese know how to make things happen. Our AirBnB host went on and on about how "the Chinese are taking over", and "it's really awkward". Well, where exactly do you think you'd be right now without them?

There is a town about 30 minutes outside of Lisbon called Cascais that's a wonderful place. Wealthy, beachside, great restaurants. I think it's the most affluent town in Portugal. Had a totally different vibe to it. That might be worth a look, but your money won't go nearly so far there.

My overall (harsh, admittedly) impression of Portugal was that it's the mediocre version of Spain.

I hear Porto is much nicer, but then that's also way up north.

Malta might be a chaotic, noisy, claustrophobic dustbowl - but at least it has a VIBE about it. It has energy. It feels alive. Lisbon felt like the kind of place that suicidal Russian novelists might retire to.
 

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I've lived in Mexico (I'm from Canada) and it was not dangerous at all. Sure, most people won't feel as safe as living here in Canada, but I did not feel threatened at all when I was there. It also depends where you go... you probably don't want to go in the Northern region of Mexico.

I lived on the beach in Playa del Carmen and it was cool for a few weeks but you really grow tired of it. So many tourists (although you can live further from the main streets but at the cost of being far from everything). I was also there during most of the summer, it was so freaking hot and humid all the time. It's definitely fun, but I wouldn't want to live there all year long.

I lived in a few smaller cities where most people didn't speak English at all so that was really great because I was there to learn Spanish. You really get to experience the culture, visit amazing places and relax.

I also lived about 20 minutes away from Mexico City (in Huixquilucan) where I was attending college. It was a very nice place to live but you don't have much to do there.

For me, I like to travel to places where I can experience a new culture, meet interesting people and ultimately learn a new language. I'm most likely going back to Mexico next year for 6-12 months because it's been a while and I miss being there! If you end up going there, you can PM me and I will recommend more places and stuff to do or not!
 

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Great topic @MTF

As you know we already discussed Malta. For anyone else reading, here are my thoughts on Malta. Today as it happens there's not a cloud in the sky, I have the window open in my office and am sitting here in shorts and t-shirt. Not a typical winter's day here, but apparently it happens!

Actually flying to Malta tomorrow to meet with @Fox . Maybe we can catch up and have a mini-forum-meeting :)

The whole place felt like it had the life and soul sucked out of it. If the UK feels like a slowly dying country riding the coattails of its past excellence, Portugal feels like it's already collapsed. Yet noone there has enough get up and go to bother rebuilding anything out of the ashes.
...

I hear Porto is much nicer, but then that's also way up north.

Dude, I had completely the same "faded glory" feeling when visiting Porto. Even people don't look happy. I actually heard Lisbon is nicer, but after reading your post, I probably won't even bother.
 
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Actually flying to Malta tomorrow to meet with @Fox . Maybe we can catch up and have a mini-forum-meeting :)

What, Fox lives in Malta now? How did I miss that? I thought I was the only one here on the rock.

Yeah I'd definitely be up for that! So long as I'm not gatecrashing your party. :)

Dude, I had completely the same "faded glory" feeling when visiting Porto. Even people don't look happy. I actually heard Lisbon is nicer, but after reading your post, I probably won't even bother.

Damn. It was a shame because everyone's been raving about Lisbon the last few years. I just didn't see it. Will make a mental note not to bother about Porto either.
 

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I was born and raised in Brazil. If you really want to be close to beaches, I wouldn't recommend it besides the southern states.

The southern part of Brazil can get "cold enough" during our winter, that you won't be able to go to the beach and enjoy a sunny day. While it doesn't last as long as here in Canada, I don't think it matches your idea of the year-round sunny weather.

The coastal big cities in the north-eastern part + Rio and São Paulo areas are not to my taste due to heavy crime and huge traffic etc. Not worth it in my opinion.

I don't know much about the amazon, but you can bet your a$$ it's gonna be super hot there all the time, and humid.

What I can tell you about is about my amazing home city of Campo Grande in the center of the Mato Grosso do Sul state. That city has 800k habitants, and yet, looks like a small town. One of the lowest crime rates of all state capitols and very close to the Pantanal.

The Pantanal is the largest flooded plains area in the world. With the largest concentrated fauna in one place (even greater than the amazon forest (tho the amazon has the largest flora)). The natural sight-seeing tourism there is heavy but not crowded. It is the only reason the "gringos" go to my state hehehe.

If you need/want more info about Brazil, let me know. Overall, good to visit, can be good to live if you get mystified by the Brazilian girls, they know how to treat you and you'll want so stay forever :innocent: :halo:

EDIT: I'm fairly sure my state is the largest beef producer of Brazil too. And if you never tried Brazilian barbecue man, you would be in for a treat:
c700x420.jpg
 

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Montenegro:
Kotor bay:
kotor_panorama.jpg


Budva:
budva__stari_grad_plaza__155449.jpg

Just packed up my bags.

Also a good U.S. spot is Boulder, Colorado (where I currently am). Although it can be kinda pricey for housing, easy to get around with roommates.
 
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Niptuck MD

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well the southern part of the US is still relatively cheap and nice; Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina is not bad. Montana, Idaho, wyoming i think are all nice but the winters could be hard
 

Veloce Grey

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I've been recently thinking about moving (part-time for now, possibly permanently in the future) to another country with a better climate and an outdoorsy lifestyle. I'm a rock climber, I'd also love to learn surfing, and would generally love to be able to go outside and enjoy sunny, warm weather year-round. At the same time, as an entrepreneur I'm not really a fan of handing almost 50% of what I earn for the privilege of living in a more socialist developed country.

The bolded part is going to be the tricky part for New Zealand. Australia simply matches that criteria better. NZ depending on which area you picked you could get highly variable weather prone to rain or other areas that get hot, dry summers then cold and snow in winter. Obviously the climate is the inverse of the USA/Canada-the further south you go the colder you get in winter. The east is much drier than the west.

The pluses are that it is relatively safe apart from a few areas and matches outdoors criteria very well. You can easily live next to the beach yet be within a couple of hours drive of ski fields and mountains. Much of the land is relatively unpopulated, especially in the South Island. I usually have a beach pretty much to myself if I go. And there's nothing you have to worry about in terms of wildlife as there are no snakes/bears/mountain lions etc roaming around.

Income Tax rates are (according to a quick Google)
2017–2018
Income Tax rate Effective tax rate
$0 – $14,000 10.5% 10.5%
$14,001 – $48,000 17.5% 10.5 - 15.5%
$48,001 – $70,000 30% 15.5 - 20.0%
Over $70,000 33% 20.0 - 33.0%
 

MTF

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Just to add a bit more value to the topic, here are some of my experiences (only from countries that are warm/relatively warm all year-round):
  • Lived in Quintana Roo, Mexico for a few months. It's not a bad place to spend winter, but you'd probably quickly grow tired of it (as mentioned later in the post) and humidity is super high during the summer (I'm not a fan of humid weather, I greatly prefer semi-arid or arid climate).
  • Been twice to Tenerife. Not a bad place to be, but the island is IMO not particularly beautiful. Resort towns in the south are nightmarish (but there are some fine local towns in the south, too). The northern part around Santa Cruz is virtually free of (mass) tourism but it's more often cloudy and rainy. I wouldn't say that beaches are particularly nice anywhere in Tenerife, though.
  • Been to various places in mainland Spain a few times. Out of the places that are relatively warm in the winter, I spent time around Malaga and Valencia (mostly in the countryside). Malaga looked like a nicer city than Valencia. I'm not sure what to think about those places; I can describe my experience only by using the word "neutral". I think that it wouldn't be a bad place to live, but summers could be annoying due to huge numbers of tourists (while winters are a bit terrifying when you drive through a resort town and it looks like a post-apocalyptic scenery with everything closed down and not a soul anywhere in sight).
  • Been to Oman and the UAE. I greatly enjoyed Oman, the UAE less, but both pose too big of a challenge lifestyle-wise (religion there exerts way too much influence over everyday life). Dubai isn't that strict, but your freedom is still limited.
  • Been to the Seychelles. Small, super humid, boring. I'm pretty sure that any other place like the Seychelles (Mauritius, most places in the Caribbean, and other small tropical islands) is similar when it comes to everyday life.
  • Been to Cyprus. Generally speaking, a pleasant place. More details below in the post.
Having done plenty of research to this topic last year (and visited most of the places).

Considering Gibraltar, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta as all of them offer great incentives (fix rates, tax free for x years etc.) for entrepreneurs and people who are willing to do business there, climate is about the same, English is in Malta and Gibraltar the offical language. If money is not an issue move to Monaco.

But be aware that Gibraltar, Cyprus and Malta might get small very fast, know plenty of people who got sick after 2-3 years. Another problem might be the airport, while Gibraltar is still ok, Malta/Cyprus might be a problem if you want to live there full time.

Gibraltar is way, waaaay too small and crowded for me. Same goes for Monaco. Malta is better, but still way too small. I haven't been to Portugal yet, but I'm afraid that their economic situation isn't going to change anytime soon and living in a broke country is depressing.

I've been to Cyprus and enjoyed it a lot. It isn't that small (the Republic of Cyprus part) and when combined with Northern Cyprus (they'll probably reunite one day) it's probably big enough not to go crazy quickly. It isn't exactly warm all year-round (can get cold at night during winter) and short winter days are not fun there (it's dark by 4:30 PM). Still, not a bad place to be, though I wouldn't keep any of my money in their banks.

Montenegro:

Way too cold in the winter. Otherwise interesting place, though.

Not really exotic, but I am a Montana native and it is fantastic for both entrepreneurship and outdoor stuff.

I am a lifer. I love to travel, but this is home.

And my LLC cost like $75 to set up. No sales tax. tons of reasons

Thanks for sharing your experience. I should have specified that I'm not interested in the US as I'm not from the US and wouldn't want to live there (probably wouldn't even be able to set up residency there even if I wanted).

Malta might be a chaotic, noisy, claustrophobic dustbowl - but at least it has a VIBE about it. It has energy. It feels alive. Lisbon felt like the kind of place that suicidal Russian novelists might retire to.

Hahaha my girlfriend was in Lisbon a few weeks ago and she said that it wasn't depressing at all.

I've lived in Mexico (I'm from Canada) and it was not dangerous at all. Sure, most people won't feel as safe as living here in Canada, but I did not feel threatened at all when I was there. It also depends where you go... you probably don't want to go in the Northern region of Mexico.

I lived on the beach in Playa del Carmen and it was cool for a few weeks but you really grow tired of it. So many tourists (although you can live further from the main streets but at the cost of being far from everything). I was also there during most of the summer, it was so freaking hot and humid all the time. It's definitely fun, but I wouldn't want to live there all year long.

I lived in Mexico for a couple of months a few years ago. It was in Quintana Roo, too (not in Playa del Carmen, though I passed it and it looked pleasant) and I too lived by the beach. Just like you mentioned in your post, though, the entire state (not just Playa del Carmen) is boring. High humidity is a bitch. That's why I'm not really interested in the tropics. I strongly prefer semi-arid or arid climates.

I'm aware that a lot of places in Mexico can be pretty safe. However, even in the safe places there are still some uncomfortable signs of poverty (like stray dogs or crumbling infrastructure) and there's still corruption, but I guess that might also depend on a city.

Do you have any experience with Baja Sur and Sonora?

I was born and raised in Brazil. If you really want to be close to beaches, I wouldn't recommend it besides the southern states.

The southern part of Brazil can get "cold enough" during our winter, that you won't be able to go to the beach and enjoy a sunny day. While it doesn't last as long as here in Canada, I don't think it matches your idea of the year-round sunny weather.

The coastal big cities in the north-eastern part + Rio and São Paulo areas are not to my taste due to heavy crime and huge traffic etc. Not worth it in my opinion.

Yeah, I researched Brazil and crime levels are terrifying in the northeast which has the best climate in the country.

The bolded part is going to be the tricky part for New Zealand. Australia simply matches that criteria better. NZ depending on which area you picked you could get highly variable weather prone to rain or other areas that get hot, dry summers then cold and snow in winter. Obviously the climate is the inverse of the USA/Canada-the further south you go the colder you get in winter. The east is much drier than the west.

Yeah, there's not really any place in New Zealand that matches the "warm all year-round" part. I believe that even the warmest places like Auckland or Whangerei are still generally colder than southern Spain, Cyprus, or even Malta (and while 15 degrees Celsius during the day isn't that bad, Spain, Cyprus and Malta are much sunnier so you feel it differently than if it's 15 degrees and clouds).
 
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Veloce Grey

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Yeah, there's not really any place in New Zealand that matches the "warm all year-round" part. I believe that even the warmest places like Auckland or Whangerei are still generally colder than southern Spain, Cyprus, or even Malta (and while 15 degrees Celsius during the day isn't that bad, Spain, Cyprus and Malta are much sunnier so you feel it differently than if it's 15 degrees and clouds).

It really does sound like Australia is your most logical option. Think of it as NZ's bigger, richer, sunnier brother. Personally I had offers to move but I hate warm weather and snakes/insects/crocs etc. If you're fine with the latter there are plenty of options in terms of size of town/city, cost to buy and exactly how hot you want it.
 

MTF

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@Veloce Grey, taxes are much friendlier in NZ, though. Don't know how I feel about dangerous animals; I've never lived in such a place but I guess that unless you're in the middle of nothing you aren't likely to encounter them on a regular basis. I think I need to go to both places and experience them for myself.
 

Veloce Grey

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@Veloce Grey, taxes are much friendlier in NZ, though. Don't know how I feel about dangerous animals; I've never lived in such a place but I guess that unless you're in the middle of nothing you aren't likely to encounter them on a regular basis. I think I need to go to both places and experience them for myself.
I wouldn't so much describe them as dangerous in statistical terms because most of them you'll never see, I was more just meaning annoying. The rare incidents of deaths tend to make the news because of their rarity. And in most cases they're in fairly isolated areas. For me having grown up in New Zealand it would just be an issue of not being able to relax the same when outdoors. When you've become used to letting your guard down and strolling happily through long grass, the idea of having to keep an eye out for any snake, even harmless ones, would drive me nuts.

But given the high numbers of people I know who have moved from NZ to Aussie, most people are willing to make that tradeoff for the better pay and better weather.

From the emphasis you place on year round warm weather I'd doubt most parts of NZ would be for you. Auckland has been crazily expensive in recent years with demand from Asian buyers in particular. The traffic is too much of an issue for me along with having about 1.5 million people from a country of 4.8 million crammed into such a small area. And the weather isn't particularly sunny or reliable. Tauranga probably has the strongest case for your needs but is still probably a tad too cold. In the South Island, Blenheim/Marlborough in general is sunny year round but tends to get frosty mornings in winter.
 
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Leigh Farrell

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I've been recently thinking about moving (part-time for now, possibly permanently in the future) to another country with a better climate and an outdoorsy lifestyle. I'm a rock climber, I'd also love to learn surfing, and would generally love to be able to go outside and enjoy sunny, warm weather year-round. At the same time, as an entrepreneur I'm not really a fan of handing almost 50% of what I earn for the privilege of living in a more socialist developed country.

After countless hours of research, I realized that you can't have it all (duh) and it essentially comes down to choosing from two completely different types of places:
  • high-tax, expensive, but well-developed safe countries like Australia, Portugal or Spain,
  • low- to mid-tax (or territorial tax which can be like zero-tax) cheap(er) but less developed, sometimes not that safe or comfortable places like Nicaragua or Mexico (I exclude small island nations like in the Caribbean) or not particularly attractive due to the cultural reasons (like the UAE).
What are your experiences traveling/living in different countries in the world and which places do you consider the most entrepreneur- and outdoorsy-lifestyle-friendly?

If you live in a well-developed, expensive high-tax country, do you feel that generally speaking you're fine paying so much in exchange for what you get in return or would you rather have worse infrastructure but lower taxes?

I'm particularly interested in hearing from people from/who traveled to/lived in Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Canary Islands, Southern Spain, Southern Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, and Cyprus, but I'm interested in learning from anyone who lived or lives in a place with an outdoorsy (warm weather) lifestyle.
Australia is a great place to live, but be prepared to lose 48% of your personal income to tax, and pay 10% gst on your business turnover and 30% tax on business profits.
Then you also have to deal with a population that HATES wealth. Got a nice car? They'll key it. Got a convertible? They'll spit in it if you leave the roof down. Got a european car? They'll call you every name under the sun.
This is not an entrepreneur friendly country.
 

Dan_Fastlane

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@MTF i never have been there but read a lot.... your filter would fit HONK KONG perfectly


You pay no taxes because your income is from another country
The beaches seem not crowdy
No Winter there
And yes rock climbing is no problem
And you dont need to live central maybe more outside

this is just what i read so maybe you make your own research on this one and maybe visit it! or someone from here can add his expirience!

i have been on teneriffa, i like spain but iam with you in your points, maybe you should try another island on the canarys with less tourism like La Gomera or El hierro but they dont have an airport
 

Leigh Farrell

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The bolded part is going to be the tricky part for New Zealand. Australia simply matches that criteria better. NZ depending on which area you picked you could get highly variable weather prone to rain or other areas that get hot, dry summers then cold and snow in winter. Obviously the climate is the inverse of the USA/Canada-the further south you go the colder you get in winter. The east is much drier than the west.

The pluses are that it is relatively safe apart from a few areas and matches outdoors criteria very well. You can easily live next to the beach yet be within a couple of hours drive of ski fields and mountains. Much of the land is relatively unpopulated, especially in the South Island. I usually have a beach pretty much to myself if I go. And there's nothing you have to worry about in terms of wildlife as there are no snakes/bears/mountain lions etc roaming around.

Income Tax rates are (according to a quick Google)
2017–2018
Income Tax rate Effective tax rate
$0 – $14,000 10.5% 10.5%
$14,001 – $48,000 17.5% 10.5 - 15.5%
$48,001 – $70,000 30% 15.5 - 20.0%
Over $70,000 33% 20.0 - 33.0%
Those tax rates are waaaaay off.
Google has let you down.
For accurate tax rates in Australia go to ato.gov.au
 
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Australia is a great place to live, but be prepared to lose 48% of your personal income to tax, and pay 10% gst on your business turnover and 30% tax on business profits.
Then you also have to deal with a population that HATES wealth. Got a nice car? They'll key it. Got a convertible? They'll spit in it if you leave the roof down. Got a european car? They'll call you every name under the sun.
This is not an entrepreneur friendly country.

Hello, fellow Aussie! And thank you for summing up so nicely the views of most people toward the wealthy :)
But what else can we expect, given how many people think they're "owed" something by the gubberment and the evil rich people?

Of course, I live a 15minute walk from a gorgeous beach, haven't had to deal with crocs/snakes ever, and am sometimes forced to pretend to be outdoorsy. I'm sure someone who really is outdoorsy will love the lifestyle. As for taxes, I just suck it up and pretend like I don't care... (other than meeting up with tax accountants every now and then).
 
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Australia is a great place to live, but be prepared to lose 48% of your personal income to tax, and pay 10% gst on your business turnover and 30% tax on business profits.
Then you also have to deal with a population that HATES wealth. Got a nice car? They'll key it. Got a convertible? They'll spit in it if you leave the roof down. Got a european car? They'll call you every name under the sun.
This is not an entrepreneur friendly country.

Wow that's super sad, but also eye-opening that perhaps the place isn't as nice as I thought it is. Sounds like the Law of Jante is present there.

Taxes in Australia frighten me. I wouldn't have to pay tax on business profits because I operate as a sole trader but still, 48%.... Can't imagine becoming wealthy when you pay 30% on business profits and then further 48% if you happen to be in the highest tax bracket.

I was shocked to learn about the real estate prices in Australia. For example in Perth a median house price is $838,500 or it's $650,000 in Brisbane. You could buy an incredible villa for that price in plenty of places around the world and probably still have money left.

@MTF i never have been there but read a lot.... your filter would fit HONK KONG perfectly


You pay no taxes because your income is from another country
The beaches seem not crowdy
No Winter there
And yes rock climbing is no problem
And you dont need to live central maybe more outside

this is just what i read so maybe you make your own research on this one and maybe visit it! or someone from here can add his expirience!

i have been on teneriffa, i like spain but iam with you in your points, maybe you should try another island on the canarys with less tourism like La Gomera or El hierro but they dont have an airport

Population density is crazy in Hong Kong, such urbanization is not for me.

I'm thinking about visiting Fuerteventura, perhaps Lanzarote, and to a much lesser extent, Gran Canaria. La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro are too rainy and small for me.

Have a look at Curaçao too. They also have a tax friendly policy and is quite exotic as well.

As mentioned in my previous post, any small island country, no matter how good the tax regime, isn't particularly good if you can only go thirty minutes in each direction.
 

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hey did you ever consider Capetown south africa?

a good reason is, its same timezone as most of europe and its a well developed city
 

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Make sure you do your research on internet speed if you are thinking about a less-developed country.

You mentioned Nicaragua. I spent a month there earlier this year (a week in 4 different cities) and I LOVED it. Awesome weather, good food, dirt cheap, super nice people, plenty of expats. However, the internet speed is a joke anywhere except Managua (the capital, where you do NOT want to live). It's doable for basic web surfing, but not much else. And it randomly goes out with the power once or twice a month. You mentioned safety. Nicaragua is ridiculously safe everywhere except maybe Managua, which would just feel like Detroit or Baltimore. I also found Mexico to feel extremely safe. So long as you aren't buying drugs in Sinaloa, you're fine. Don't let the fear-mongering media influence your choice beyond reason.

If you wanted to combine quality of life, modern services like internet, as well as decent cost of living (value), your best bet is probably South Korea. That is, if you don't have a fear of nuclear war. Other than that, I'd suggest the Balkans (Serbia, Montenegro, etc). Solid weather most of the year, fairly well-developed, very cheap to live. Great value/weather in Portugal also, and a (relatively) quick flight to NA for visits. Also easy access to all of Europe.
 
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hey did you ever consider Capetown south africa?

a good reason is, its same timezone as most of europe and its a well developed city

South Africa has a great climate but crime levels are way too high over there. Taxes are also very high for such an unsafe country (up to 41%).

Make sure you do your research on internet speed if you are thinking about a less-developed country.

Yes, that's a very important thing for me. That's why I ruled out most third-world countries.

You mentioned Nicaragua. I spent a month there earlier this year (a week in 4 different cities) and I LOVED it. Awesome weather, good food, dirt cheap, super nice people, plenty of expats. However, the internet speed is a joke anywhere except Managua (the capital, where you do NOT want to live). It's doable for basic web surfing, but not much else. And it randomly goes out with the power once or twice a month. You mentioned safety. Nicaragua is ridiculously safe everywhere except maybe Managua, which would just feel like Detroit or Baltimore.

Yeah, I've heard stories about Managua. Doable for basic web surfing, but not much else doesn't sound very entrepreneur-friendly.

I also found Mexico to feel extremely safe. So long as you aren't buying drugs in Sinaloa, you're fine. Don't let the fear-mongering media influence your choice beyond reason.

I don't think that Mexico is unsafe, just certain areas (like everywhere). Traveling between cities is a bit more dangerous in other places, though. And then there's widespread corruption.

If you wanted to combine quality of life, modern services like internet, as well as decent cost of living (value), your best bet is probably South Korea. That is, if you don't have a fear of nuclear war. Other than that, I'd suggest the Balkans (Serbia, Montenegro, etc). Solid weather most of the year, fairly well-developed, very cheap to live. Great value/weather in Portugal also, and a (relatively) quick flight to NA for visits. Also easy access to all of Europe.

South Korea doesn't have any cities with warm weather all year-round. Even if it had, I rule it out for the same reason I rule out Israel - I don't want to live in a place where the threat of war is real.

I definitely need to check out the Balkans, some places might be nice even if not very warm during winter.
 

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Wow that's super sad, but also eye-opening that perhaps the place isn't as nice as I thought it is. Sounds like the Law of Jante is present there.
They call it the 'tall poppy syndrome' here. But I find living here not sad at all. I live in Sydney and there's a fair bit of wealth around here (expensive properties, high income earners) and I haven't heard of people in convertibles being spat on. I don't have a flash car so I don't first hand experience about this.

Taxes in Australia frighten me. I wouldn't have to pay tax on business profits because I operate as a sole trader but still, 48%.... Can't imagine becoming wealthy when you pay 30% on business profits and then further 48% if you happen to be in the highest tax bracket.
Yeah, taxes are very high compared to other parts of the world. Though there are some pretty good accountants and lawyers who can help you set things up to keep as much as possible.

I was shocked to learn about the real estate prices in Australia. For example in Perth a median house price is $838,500 or it's $650,000 in Brisbane. You could buy an incredible villa for that price in plenty of places around the world and probably still have money left.
Affordability of property is a big issue here. I know many people who commute 1.5 hours to live in a more affordable location. Some of them work remotely so its not such a big deal making the trip into the city once or twice a week. The beaches are usually nicer and less crowded further out from the city centre, so its probably preferable since you can work from anywhere.

I don't want this to sound like an ad, but after coming back from some overseas trips (recently to Asian countries), I feel pretty lucky living here. It's safe, clean, politically stable (little corruption, free speech), spacious. You can have a pretty good lifestyle especially if you like being outdoors. That is probably why most people are pretty comfortable and don't have huge entrepreneurial aspirations as there is also social support like unemployment benefits, aged pension and medical. And if you don't live in a major city (with its high property prices), I think you can live relatively affordably.

Population density is crazy in Hong Kong, such urbanization is not for me.
Yeah, I lived there for a couple of years and the crowds aren't for me. Fun place to live if you have loads of cash.

Malaysia is pretty humid year round (tropical). It used to be difficult to get money out of there (cap on amounts transferred out of the country), but not sure about now. And some locals we spoke to on our travels complained about the political corruption.
 

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