Educating Your Children Overseas

“Kathleen, my husband and I are far away from retirement. We are 42 years old with a 6- and 3-year-old girls. What we are interested in knowing about is where we could go to live with our daughters so that they could get a good education.

“We would like to be relatively close to the States, but we like the idea of changing countries to experience something not only new but good or better than we have it here in Miami, Florida.”

“Any ideas?”

–Rebecca B., United States

I’d start with Panama City, Panama; San Jose, Costa Rica; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Montevideo, Uruguay. Really, any capital or large city in Central or South America will have good bi-lingual schools where the local wealthy class send their kids. You won’t find many options outside the cities, though.

“Kathleen, I´ve read all your newsletters on Belize, and, because we´re very interested, I bought your Conference Kit while it’s on sale and started reading.

“The main reason we´re interested is that you´ve always written that all foreign income is tax-free in Belize (our taxes are high in Sweden). Now when I read the kit it says that income from the United States is not tax-free. You still have to pay tax on it in the States.

“In Sweden, if you move to another country and stay there for more than six months every year, you pay tax in that country.

“I´m rather disappointed and would like for you to answer me before I seek advice with expensive tax experts.”

–Susanne H., Sweden

You’re muddying your tax issues.

First: Belize is a tax haven and does not tax foreign income.

Second: Whether you owe taxes in another country depends on your citizenship.

The United States taxes its citizens on worldwide income no matter where they live. If you hold a U.S. passport, this means you owe U.S. taxes on your worldwide income no matter where you’re residing. That’s a fact of life for any American anywhere.

However, you don’t mention that you hold U.S. citizenship, so I’m thinking this is not an issue for you.

Note, though, that, even if you’re not an American, you will still owe U.S. tax on dividend or interest income earned in the United States.

“Kathleen, a reader wrote in to object to your coverage of offshore banking options, complaining that it amounted to tax evasion. Legendary U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Learned Hand had a different opinion. He wrote:

“‘Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike, and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.'”

–Terry J., United States

Continue Reading: How To Rent In A Foreign Country

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