HOW GRANDPA BECAME A
Permanent Tourist or “PT”
I (your writer, Grandpa) didn’t start out with any ambitions to become a PT. The concept didn’t even exist when I was a youth. Like many PTs, I got into ‘the PT thing’ because of an unfortunate situation involving a legal dispute. In my case, I was puttering along at the age of 30, paying two women relatively reasonable alimony and child support. Then came my third divorce, and with it, an unexpectedly big court award to the third wife and a huge cash obligation to support our kid. It was quite unreasonable and more than I could pay. When I blurted out my protest in court, the unsympathetic judge told me I’d just have to “earn more money or go to jail.” “You got yourself into this situation. Your ex-mistress and your kid have the right to live as well now—on their own—as they did when they lived with you. Clearing $1000 a week, I was ordered to pay alimony and child support of $3000 a week. It looked like I would be going to jail.
But then, just to make matters worse, the other two ex-wives also went to court (out of jealousy perhaps) to demand and receive ‘equal treatment.’ They both asked for and received an upward revision. The court ‘awarded’ them more of my money than I was earning after taxes—$1,000 a week—each! Here are the round numbers, so you can understand my situation. I was clearing about $1000 a week, net after taxes. I was previously paying $200 each to wife #1 and #2. Total $400. Then wife #3 got an award of $1000 a week. Wife #1 and Wife #2 demanded equal treatment and so the court awarded them $1,000 a week – each. So now I had court orders to pay out $3,000 a week, which was $2,000 more than I made.
I said I was clearing about $1000 a week, but now obligated to pay out alimony and child support of $3000 a week. My living expenses were $600 a week, so the deficit was $2600. Where was this money and my own living expenses supposed to come from?
My financial statements were ignored by the court, no doubt because my three wives all claimed I had secret black and untaxed income and could easily afford to pay them $1000 each. To be quite truthful, I did have a little untaxed income here and there, but it was not dependable and it certainly would not cover the $3000 the judge ordered me to pay my ex-wives. Not by a long shot. At best my total legit plus ‘black’ weekly disposable income averaged $1,300. With my own living expenses of $600 where was I going to get $3000 to pay out? I was going to be $2,600 in the hole every week.
To put a final cap on the whole mess, the tax authorities were handed the wives’ accusations about my grossly exaggerated black income. It all happened pretty fast. The next thing I knew was that all my bank accounts, homes and assets had been padlocked or frozen by ex-wives’ lawyers and the tax collectors. They were fighting over my assets like a pack of dogs over an old bone. Outside of some very small assets on deposit abroad, I was flat broke. My small business collapsed immediately once my bank accounts were frozen. For more fun at my expense, one of the judges decided to give me a taste of the lash: I was dumped into a county jail cell for three days. The judge said, “If you don’t start paying the $3,000 per week, you’ll be facing indeterminate jail sentences for “contempt of court.” My freedom was now at the discretion of three different judges, all of whom seemed to hate me. I was evicted from my apartment. My car was seized. I considered bankruptcy but my lawyer said, “Sorry, bankruptcy doesn’t get you off the hook in domestic relations cases, nor in tax cases.” There was no way out. Or was there?
ENTER MY GOLDEN GURU
I received in the mail a pitch to subscribe to a certain international newsletter. Part of the advertising promised a free booklet called ‘The Three Flags’ on how to escape legally from taxes and lawsuits. Normally it would have gone into the trash. Previous to the crisis, I was too busy running my small business to think about PT stuff, or “three flags.”
To me those advertised booklets like Retire Young on the French Riviera were promising ‘Pie in the Sky.’ How could I think about going anywhere to retire with all those wives to support? I couldn’t support anybody, not even myself! Still, for me it was indeed time to do something drastic, or at least to buy time to plan a strategic withdrawal. This junk mail came at a time when I needed some new, ‘out of the box’ ideas.
I popped for the rather expensive newsletter. As my bonus I received a simple brochure called something like: “How to Protect Your Ass and Your Assets: The Three Flag Theory.” The ideas were a primitive form of the PT ideas in these reports. In a nutshell, it said: If you have legal or tax problems that will take too many years of your life to resolve:
1) Simply disappear—move out of your present jurisdiction—and kiss your troubles goodbye.
2) Consider residing in a tax haven where there are no taxes. Choose a place where unreasonable court judgments of other nations are ignored or never enforced.
3) Choose from a huge list of ways to make money abroad to support yourself.
4) Become international in outlook and be ready to move yourself and your assets to countries where bank secrecy, the weather, business opportunities, sexual morality and the legal system suit you better than your present environment.
This was all over forty years ago! I read the ‘Three Flags’ brochure, took the advice, and made the move. I went to a paid conference with my guru in Europe. And soon I was up and running with a legally obtained new passport and a new Portable Trade. I lived in dozens of countries after that, and was very glad I made the move. Misfortune had turned into good fortune. My troubles had led me into a new and much more pleasant life. I was a PT.
My kids grew up as all kids do. While they were in school, and still living with mama, I sent from abroad the contributions I could afford for their support. Over the years, eventually all of them visited me in Asia, Africa, and Europe. They all stayed with me from time to time until they got married and or had their own kids. Some of my kids, grandchildren, and stepchildren I’m proud of. We have great relationships. Like so many kids in divorces, however, a couple of my kids sided with their mamas who badmouthed me endlessly. They hated me, not entirely irrationally. Even after all these years half my kids still don’t care much for me. But I offered friendship, guidance and I did what I could for them when they were growing up. Plus, I made my peace with their mothers or at least tried to. I contributed at my level of affordability to those kids’ support and schooling. In one case the hostility was such that Mum refused to accept anything or to let me communicate with our child. I later learned this form of punishment and exclusion of an errant father was a relatively common occurrence.
Before I left my home country, under the original court orders, my hands and my assets were all tied up. I could do no good for anyone. It was a stalemate. Once I left the country, I made a new start. Without a pack of shyster lawyers and tax collectors hounding me and taking up all my time, I could be productive again. Soon my kids once again had something to live on. It wasn’t as much as mama thought she deserved. But it was better than the nothing they would have had from me under the legal system. A side benefit was that the ex-wives all had to get off their fat bottoms and get a life. Without me to harass, they all got jobs—or new suckers—to support them.
COULD YOU ESCAPE THIS SAME WAY?
Why not? I wouldn’t allow myself to be abused and pushed around by bureaucrats and judges. I couldn’t be bothered being a full-time professional defendant, using all my earnings to support a small army of hungry contingent-fee lawyers. I didn’t want to spend months, maybe years, in and out of disgusting county jails for non-payment of alimony and child support. Anyone can follow the PT ideology and lifestyle. Why allow yourself to be destroyed? More than that, the PT life will almost invariably be full of interesting adventures, travel, a great income, fewer taxes, and interesting new people!
For me, when I was younger, my exodus led me into an absolutely fabulous love life with sweet young beautiful women of the third world. These nubile maidens I met along the way were of a far superior quality to any girls I could have attracted back home. More to be said about the sexual advantages of being a PT in other reports!
You can break out! Some ideas that we have grown up with are simply wrong: You can choose your own destiny and break out of a drab existence in a dull place. You can get out of any unhappy relationship. There is no reason you can’t move away physically from where you are, to a place that offers what you want. Your paradise does exist out there somewhere. Finding it can give you a lifetime of good times. There are perfect waves for surfing, perfect powder for skiing, even perfectly legal marijuana ‘coffee’ shops (try the Netherlands or Katmandu) where you can stay stoned if that is your thing.
With effort and knowledge of your options you can normally find lucrative work that matches your interest or favorite hobbies.
PTS ALWAYS OBEY THE LOCAL LAWS
…AT LEAST THEY TRY!
When it comes to obeying the law it must be remembered that law is man made. In different places, laws are radically different. There is always somewhere where you can do legally things that are forbidden in your home town. If the place where you are has laws you don’t like or if your home town makes claims upon you that you can’t meet, you can easily pack a suitcase and move!
One important PT principle is that your money is yours. Many countries have the idea that the main purpose of government is to redistribute the wealth of productive people to bureaucrats, politicians and the ‘less fortunate.’ There is nothing wrong with living in a socialist society if that is what you believe in and you are happy there. But most successful business owners from socialist Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, when the tax and regulatory burdens got too heavy, simply moved to other countries. That is what is happening in Germany, Great Britain, and the USA in the early 21st century. The rich and productive are drifting away from high tax countries, taking their talents and assets with them. Those left behind are the lazy, unproductive dregs of society who are accustomed to living off the backs and hard work of others. Ironically, places like Central and South America, England, Italy and Ireland, etc. can be tax havens for overburdened people who were not born there. This is because most of these countries don’t tax the worldwide income of foreign residents. Then too, there are the pure tax havens like Bermuda, Monaco, Sark, Andorra, etc. They simply have no income taxes at all.
Other reports in this series explore the fun offshore world of tax havens. But keep in mind that every country on earth could become a tax haven for a PT! It all depends on your personal circumstances. Australia and New Zealand for instance, do not tax winnings resulting from legal gambling. Thus, for a professional these countries can be an obvious choice of residence. Ireland does not tax income resulting from creative work like writing, painting, or composing. We offer much information in related reports and charts on this subject.
VISUALIZE AND IMPLEMENT
Is there anything in the world you would like to do or see? Make a wish list now. What would you like to do if you didn’t have your present problems? If you think about it and make a “PT style” plan, you can realize your new PT goals in a relatively short time. But if you are just drifting, not sure what you want, hoping that one day the right opportunity will come your way, then you are making life hard for yourself. All successful people have clear, specific goals and they plan where they are going. Only by knowing what you want can you get it. So start right now; write down your clear, honest wish list. Make a plan! Assume that there is some country that gives you the freedoms you want and need. Find out about options that may apply to you here in these reports.
Then go ahead and do it. Move on! There is nothing to stop you but your inertia! If you want somebody to hold your hand in the process Gramps can help you via e-mail (for a fee) or recommend someone else who can help. Contact me via the contact form.