May 20, 2010
Quad Cities, IA, USA
The New Zealand government just announced something that I find rather surprising… but a step in the right direction. Concerned about debt levels, both public and private, they’ve announced changes to the tax code which encourage savings and investment, and discourage consumption.
Specifically, the government is planning measures which cut and simplify income tax rates, ranging from 10.5% to 33% (down from as high as 38%). The corporate income tax rate will be cut from 30% to 28%.
Meanwhile, the changes also include an increase to the national sales tax from 12.5% to 15%. In the long run, this should be favorable for New Zealand economy because the new scheme encourages the replenishment of a large pool of savings… this is critical to long term economic growth.
Overall, I’m bullish on New Zealand and would recommend it as a place for you to consider as an expat destination.
Over the last few months, I’ve occasionally published some letters from my friend Mark who has been living there and exploring the country for his own expatriation. Mark quickly became an expert in NZ residency, immigration, and real estate, and I think his letters served our group quite well.
Mark recently returned to the United States after almost a year on the road, and he’s written a very comprehensive e-book about New Zealand that covers all aspects of living, working, and investing there.
Below is his latest letter since he returned from down under:
Since I last wrote about New Zealand lifestyle and immigration, serious macro-economic changes have begun to unfold. Simon speaks at length about these in his daily missives, so I don’t need to elaborate. What is important to us is predicting how these changes might affect New Zealand, and therefore impact a decision to relocate there, either full or part-time.
But before making the decision to uproot and take the plunge into this new lifestyle, culture (yes, it’s a bit different than where you live now) and system of law and taxation, let’s review the reasons why New Zealand is so desirable.
As a reader of Sovereign Man, our guess is that you believe the world is currently on an unsustainable path, financially and perhaps socially. We are squarely within that camp, and therefore wanted to find a place where we could ride out the storm.
In our first post herein we listed 10 reasons New Zealand was a good choice:
1. Geo-politically and physically ‘Remote’
2. Abundant and reasonably priced lifestyle type properties
3. Plenty of water. Ocean, lakes, rivers…
4. Reasonable annual sunshine hours
5. Clean environment
6. Educated, English speaking population
7. Safe, clean and readily available organic food
8. Physical safety and the rule of law
9. Fair taxation
10. Accessible, high-quality health care
These are factors we evaluated when choosing New Zealand. We said that it didn’t tick all the boxes, as taxation is as predatory here as it is elsewhere. But, now that situation seems to be improving.
As for the other criteria, NZ has those in spades. So now let’s review why it’s a good choice if the world falls apart, even temporarily.
First, you will want to live as far away from the angry masses as possible. And, make no mistake; they ARE getting angrier by the day.
New Zealand is about as geographically remote as you can get while still remaining a part of modern civilization. If Doomsday is your prediction then stay away from the cities. Thankfully you’ll have lots and lots of empty space and small towns to choose from.
Secondly, New Zealand is basically resource independent. They do import fossil fuels, but their electricity generation relies heavily on renewables like hydropower and geothermal.
In fact almost 70% of the power is generated from renewable resources. Auckland is power hungry, and grid interruptions can occur there, but the South Island, with its small population and immense hydropower resources is adequately supplied.
Third, New Zealand has ample food production to sustain its small population. Remember, without food and water nothing else matters. Think about how you would provide food for your family if the supply lines shut down in the urban centers of the U.S. and Europe..?
Fourth, the people, Kiwis are by nature, good-natured! They aren’t the most gregarious, the funniest or even the most polite at times, but they ARE kind at heart and peace-loving.
We would much rather be facing tough times surrounded by strangers in New Zealand than in almost anywhere in the U.S. Your average Kiwi is a survivor; they either live on a farm or are likely only one generation removed from that lifestyle.
Finally, we believe New Zealand is relatively safe from geo-political events. Yes, it is an ally of the Empire; however it’s more like Switzerland in this respect. Their anti-nuclear stance, in our opinion, just increases its rating as a ‘safe place’.
Moreover, New Zealand is likely not a terrorist target, or a military target. And, we believe if the global situation rapidly deteriorated, we’d fare better there, than elsewhere in the world.
So, in summary, New Zealand may in fact be an ideal place to ride out a serious economic, social, or geo-political disturbance. You can learn more about how to make it your primary or secondary residence by getting a copy of our New Zealand Retirement, Immigration and Lifestyle Guidebook.
In the e-book, I discuss the reasons why you should consider residency, and even citizenship in this beautiful country. I review the legal steps, introduce you to competent professionals, provide precious metals purchase and storage options, and even show you current examples of real estate opportunities you can capitalize on right now.
Simon again. I’ve read Mark’s book and find it to be the best source of information about New Zealand out there in the marketplace right now, so if you’re possibly interested in migrating to NZ, I’d encourage you to give it a read.