What I've Learned From Moving Continents To Optimise For Tax
After traveling the world for a little bit after leaving my home town I joined a company that I had faith that would make tons of money and would make me not have to worry about money for quite some time and was making great strides with my own smart contract exploit generation tool that was getting quite close to an MVP state. Having thought about these in the nieve way of thinking there is a high probability of them making me millions was far from the case. What are really the chances of a startup succeeding? How long does it usually take for a startup to succeed if it doesn’t fall short? These are questions I wasn’t answering. I had so much faith they would succeed I decided to hire an advisor to optimise for tax.
The advisor told me about two places: Thailand and Dubai. I hadn’t been to either at this point in time, however I was willing to make myself like it. Why? Because I thought that on paper it seemed like the perfect plan. Go to a tax heaven, live there for a few years, make millions, don’t worry about finances for the foreseeable future.
The only trade-off I had in my mind at the time was that I wouldn’t be able to visit my family for extended periods of time since my originating country would force me to pay tax on all the years I was outside of the country, e.g. if i was out for 2.5 years and came back to Australia for 7 monthss for a sick family member I would lose those 2.5 years because I would need to pay tax on everything I made. And so the risk I was taking was all of my family cannot get sick or require any assistance from me for the next 3 years. This was the risk I was taking that I thought had a low probability.
And so I took the risk and moved to the UAE from Australia. After hiring my advisor for around 15k USD in total, I got set up in Dubai, starting my new life in the middle-east. Something my bloodline never had done. It was exciting, daunghting and I was overwhelmed with anxiousness and regret the first few weeks. But it got better. I got all the essentials and even started my podcast, Scraping Bits. After 2 months I rented my first apartment, ever. And close to 1 month of the apartment I got a call.
You never expect the unexpected to happen, at least to you. But as with anything in life, there is always a chance, no matter how small. I was informed that my relative was diagnosed with cancer, a few days after my birthday, and that they doesn’t want any treatment (including a biopsy that would determine whether it was treatable and how long she had to live).
This hits you hard.
It made me question my values. Grounded me back to my core. What does it mean to be human? Is what i’m working on really going to make any marginal impact in the world? Is this all for anything or is it just to occupy my short existance for however long that may be (at the time of writing this i’m building an exploit generation tool for crypto smart contracts) - sure it may be quite interesting if it works and wildly successful, but it also doesn’t have a sensitive time limit of when it can be complete and any skills I learn along the way are far more valuable than the success of the tool.
So naturally I booked a one-way AUD$1800 flight to go see them, traveling 18hrs total to reach them. I stayed for for 12ish days but it didn’t feel like enough.
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