Crypto Travels Michael 0:52
Welcome to the New to Crypto Podcast designed to guide you through the crypto landscape with pinpoint accuracy created for the new and intermediate crypto investor. Join your host Crypto Travels Michael as he takes you through the different facets of getting started and succeeding in your crypto journey. New to crypto podcast brings you new episodes daily Monday through Friday with surprise bonus episodes sometimes on the weekend. Let me ask you, are you new to crypto and don’t know where to start? Are you more experienced but have questions? Then you’re in the right place. This podcast is designed for you coming at you from the Trading Center and the Lifestyle Dezign Studio. Here’s your host Crypto Travels Michael
Today’s guest needs no introduction. I’m excited to have him on the show. I’ve been following him for years. He is a best selling author of his book expat secrets. He has visited more than 100 countries. He has lived overseas for more than 20 years and lived in over eight countries. He is the host of the popular podcast the expat money show. He can help you internationalize your life and business to legally reduce your tax bill, protect your assets, regain privacy and control over your life. Please welcome to the show Mikkel Thorup . So I’d like to welcome you to the show to someone who I have followed for many years, it’s an honor to have Mikkel on the show today. And Mikkel Thorup, welcome to the podcast.
Mikkel Thorup 1:38
Thank you so much for having me here. I’m really excited about today’s conversation and hopefully, inspire and educate some of your listeners. And maybe have you guys think about a couple of things you might not have thought about before. So let’s get into it.
Crypto Travels Michael 1:50
Awesome. Well, Mikkel there’s probably no one, no one that I know more that knows more about being an International, an expat traveling around the globe. And also using crypto along with your travels.
Mikkel Thorup 2:04
Yeah, I’ve been at this for a very long time, I would say probably longer than most. I’ve been traveling non stop for 21 years straight, I’ve circumnavigated the globe over 400 times, and I’ve lived in nine different countries and visited, I don’t know, 105 countries, 106 countries, something like that. So it is my life. It’s what I do for a living. I help relocate Americans and Canadians will technically people from all over the world, but mostly Americans and Canadians. And I help relocate them overseas, and we do it in a tax efficient manner. We follow all the laws and and a lot of my clients like I mean, a lot of our high net worth individuals from the crypto space. I mean, I would go as far to say probably about half of everybody that I work with is heavy, heavy, heavy into crypto.
Crypto Travels Michael 2:51
Wow. That’s awesome. That’s a real benefit for our listeners today. What could you share with our listeners, especially people that are in crypto or even in other investments that want to diversify into crypto? What could you share with them about being international and being in other countries? Maybe they want to become an expat? Or maybe they’d have recently become an expat?
Mikkel Thorup 3:15
Sure, let’s even take one step a tiny bit back because maybe some people won’t even have the lexicon of what is an expat? So I mean, for me an expat is not a political term. It’s not a white only term or an American only term. Actually, it really just means anybody who lives outside of their country or birth. And they either have the intention of returning back to their home country or moving on to another country. So you will sometimes hear about it like oh an expat. Does that mean giving up your US citizenship? Well, that is the legal definition of an expatriation of giving up your US citizenship. But most people don’t give up their US citizenship. You know, some people do help people with that. But with a lot of them, it just means living in another country. You know, you might be over there for a year, two years, five years. Maybe you go home, maybe you go to another country like me. For example, I just keep going from one country to the next country to the next country. My wife is an expat. My mom is an expat. My daughter’s traveled to 15 countries and she’s lived all over the world and she’s only five years old, you know, so it can really be anyone. So does that make sense?
Crypto Travels Michael 4:24
Absolutely. Five years old, she’s traveled all over. That’s fantastic. She
Mikkel Thorup 4:29
speaks three languages. He speaks perfect Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English at a basically native level in all three languages and has traveled like crazy over the last five years. So anyone who tells you that you know to continue as an expat or digital nomad or whatever, you have to if you want to have a family, then you’re gonna have to settle down and you have to put this all behind you. It’s not true. Actually, you can have an international family and I certainly do and it works for us.
Crypto Travels Michael 4:58
Because you’re doing it and have been doing it. That’s awesome. So are there any tips and tricks that you could share with our audience as to how to live in in other countries? Or you mentioned digital nomad? I know quite a few people that do both. I myself, you know, and one of them and our entire community. So is there anything that you can share with us?
Mikkel Thorup 5:21
Many things, but maybe we will have to focus on a couple of things like maybe we can talk to start off about residencies or second passports. I mean, I do a lot of work with those. I do a lot of tax work. I’m not a lawyer or a CPA myself, but I work with the lawyers, I design plans, and I help the lawyers to implement these types of things. I mean, my main job is as a consultant helping people to go offshore. So which ones do you want to focus on? I mean, we can talk about international real estate, we can talk about immigration, we can talk about tax work, we can talk about precious metals, we can talk about anything you want my friend.
Crypto Travels Michael 6:00
Awesome. How about residency, and you brought up precious metals? I know quite a few people in crypto and in precious metals, or they were all in precious metals and then moved into crypto. Let’s touch on those topics for a moment.
Mikkel Thorup 6:15
Yeah, sure. I mean, I think precious metals, a lot of people in crypto really get it because it’s something that cannot be debased by the government. It’s okay, crypto is not tangible in that you can touch it, but it is a real thing. It’s something that can’t be faked or duplicated, it has real intrinsic worth, it has intrinsic worth based on the work that’s gone into creating the math and executives. Well, it’s the same thing with precious metals, precious metals hold worth because we say it holds worth. And it’s been for 5000 years, we’ve been using it as a store of value. It’s been valuable to humans for over 50,000 years, but actually money for over 5000 years. I am always trying to help people to get their precious metals overseas. To get it in maybe a private vault, I don’t want it necessarily held at your local bank, or maybe in a safety deposit box, you know, down the street from your house.
Maybe that’s okay for a little amount. But we usually are looking at jurisdictions and how we can modify the jurisdictions and change them so that the laws are really in your favor. We do this with gold with silver, but I’ve also done it with electric vehicle metals when I was working with a vault based out of Singapore. I’ve traveled extensively through precious metal vaults throughout the world. So I’ve been to Germany and Austria and Switzerland, the UAE, Singapore, as I just mentioned, and Panama where I am today, I’ve got some really good friends here who owned a private facility at depository about 30 minutes from where I live, and I’ve been there over, I don’t know, 20, 25 times there and done tours and, and understand all about the technology, it it is something that I think people should pay attention to. The nice thing is that there’s a lot of integration these days with precious metals and crypto. So I actually know places who you can buy gold or silver with your Bitcoin or with your Ethereum. So if you’ve made huge gains, possibly you’re looking about taking a little bit off the table, but you don’t want to go back into USD or Great British pounds or, you know, God forbid, the euro or something like this. Precious Metals might be a good option.
Crypto Travels Michael 8:25
Absolutely, absolutely. You basically just described myself what I did there when you touched on Singapore and purchasing with Bitcoin. And you know, in holding housing and a non a non-bank facility.
Mikkel Thorup 8:38
Yes, Singapore is a fantastic jurisdiction, I’ve actually traveled pretty extensively through there. I mean, I lived in Singapore for a year, that was back in… Oh, goodness, maybe like 2009, I spent 12 months there. But I’ve been back many, many times since. And I’ve gone out to tour the facilities I got, I actually have a friend of mine who is the owner of a facility. So he invited me out and took four hours with me and explained the entire place. It was a pretty wild experience when you start to learn about all the sec… the security and all the technology and the laws that surround it, and the insurance and how all these types of things fit together. And now that it’s integrated with crypto, I mean, I think it’s an excellent option for anybody who does need to diversify things.
Mikkel Thorup 9:23
Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s really interesting about you know, everything you experienced in Singapore and New Zealand is another favorable location that I like as well.
Mikkel Thorup 9:34
I lived in New Zealand too, but I really don’t like what’s happening with the government there. I think the infringement of rights is just absolutely brutal, and I would not be encouraging anybody to visit or support New Zealand right now. It was a very, very special place in my heart. I lived in Australia for three years. I mean, I used to even do presentations and speak on stage about how to do immigration work. in those two countries, but it’s just abusive what’s happening. So.
Crypto Travels Michael 10:04
Wow, yeah, I lived in Australia in 2008. So I hear you there I was on the gold coast.
Mikkel Thorup 10:09
We were there at the same time because I was there 2006 to 2009 in Australia and New Zealand, I was there in about 2005.
Crypto Travels Michael 10:17
Nice. Excellent Mikkel. So you used to help people immigrate you mentioned into Australia? What countries are you… are you helping people with immigration now, here in 2021?
Mikkel Thorup 10:28
Yeah, of course. I mean, I certainly stopped in Australia and New Zealand. But Panama, where I live, is certainly a very popular destination. It’s super popular with Americans and Canadians, it’s actually really easy for people to kind of go north south east west seems to be a little bit more jarring. Especially if people work remote, or their digital nomads, they have their clients. So we kind of like the north south. So that means Latin America, Panama is a fantastic jurisdiction, we used to have a program called the friendly nations visa, which helped just tons and tons and tons of people to go through the core program, the really good one stopped on August 6 of this year. But they do have another option. It’s a $200,000 real estate investment. So we’re helping people with that. We recently just got back from six months in Brazil. So we did birth tourism in Brazil, and my son was born there, my second child was born in Brazil. And since I am the legal guardian of a Brazilian citizen, my son automatically becomes a Brazilian citizen. Since I’m the legal guardian, we got to apply for what’s called the family reunification visa, which allows us to get our permanent residency there, which means we can live and work and play in Brazil.
So we’re… we’re in the process of doing that. And I’ve helped clients relocate down to Brazil, there’s other ways you don’t have to do birth tourism, we can go through a student visa, we can go through an investor visa, there’s real estate options. There’s a whole bunch of things like that. So Brazil is a very nice option. We just got back from three weeks in Colombia, I sat down with the lawyers, we went through all the immigration there. So I will be offering that to my clients, they have two different main types of investor visas. One at a pretty low price point, I think is about $80,000. And the other ones are about double that. So pretty affordable. I mean, especially for people who got into bitcoin in an early time, you know, if you can cash out a little bit of that and put it into, you know, real estate or something, then you can secure a residency for you. We’ve helped with Mexico, Costa Rica with Nicaragua, Ecuador, many, many countries in Latin America. And then for Europe, I do mostly just Portugal.
Spain has a residency by investment program, but I would describe Spain as a very beautiful country with lovely people and amazing food, but an absolute tax hellhole. So I really don’t try to work with Spain at all. Same type of thing with some of the other countries like Italy and Greece, where you can get residency there, beautiful country, amazing people, lovely food, no thank you for the tax situation. So those are the main places that I work with, or I have partners in, I’ve traveled to all of them many, many times myself, usually I’ve been through the programs myself, so I can speak quite intelligently about it. I’m not just you know, going online and reading a blog article or copying someone else’s work. You know, I’m actually out there everyday trying these types of things. But I think it’s important, you know, I think it’s really, really important with what’s happening in the world, if you can kind of think of a residency as political insurance. I mean, yeah, we have insurance for our car, we have fire insurance, we have insurance for our whole life insurance, medical insurance. But what are you doing to protect yourself from these crazy governments that are just out of control at the moment, the residency, a second passport, a second citizenship, that’s your political insurance. So having a little bit, taking a little bit of money off the table and putting it into this is just responsible? I mean, I don’t know what else we would have to see in the world that would make a stronger case for this. Do you know what I’m saying?
Crypto Travels Michael 14:06
Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ve just been shaking my head the whole time while you’ve been speaking. By the way, that’s awesome about your child being born in Brazil, from Brazil. I have traveled to Brazil, as well as all over Latin America. So it seems like you’re helping a lot of people with immigration and things like that in Latin America, I actually have quite a few European American Canadian friends that are moved and are living in Latin America, and also are looking, you know, maybe they’re digital nomads, but they don’t have residency yet. And they’re, they’re looking for, you know, that next place to sort of plant their life for maybe the next three to five years or maybe longer.
Mikkel Thorup 14:45
Well, let me tell you a quick story. So at the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of the countries here in Latin America closed down. And I had buddies of mine who had lived here for years and years and years, and they just did visa runs all the time. They were, you know, American businessmen. They would be going back and forth to Florida over and over again. And they just never felt the need to get their residency, they had a house here, you know, they had their electric bill, they could live their life normally, but they were never here for more than, say, 90 days or 180 days at a time. So it didn’t really matter or so they thought to get their residency, then COVID hits, governments lock down the airports, they let in residents and citizens and all tourists are turned away. So imagine, you go on a business trip for two weeks, and you go when you want to go home, and now you can’t get home. And it’s like months and months and months and months. Like if you had plants, or a dog, or, you know, in a pipe, something happens to your pipes, or you left your air conditioning on or something like that, you’d literally can’t get back into the country to sort this out. But for me, for my family, we had residency here, so it was no problem. I could travel, I could come into the country, I had other people who could enter into the country or, or move freely during these times. And it wasn’t just Panama. There were many countries in Latin America. So I love digital nomads, they’re my brothers, my cousins, you know, but for me, expat life is doing it with the residency having the legal right to live and work there. It just makes a lot more sense. There’s a lot of practical reasons to do this.
Crypto Travels Michael 16:19
I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more with all of the friends around the world that are on the fence about getting residency in another country. I highly recommend that I have permanent residency myself and in Latin America, and it’s opened so many more doors, like you want to buy real estate, you want to open a bank account. If you need a utility bill in your name, I mean, there’s it’s…
Mikkel Thorup 16:42
A license, if you want to qualify for the bona fide residence test under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. if you’re an American, then you’re going to need to have a proper residency somewhere else, you’re gonna have to show strong ties. And then you have to get those things sorted early, you don’t want to be trying to do them last minute. That’s literally a very simple way to save 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s of dollars as an expat. So I mean, as little taxes as possible in a legal way. And this is a good strategy for doing that.
Crypto Travels Michael 17:14
Absolutely. And the fact that you don’t have to leave a country that you may be in, in any in any amount of time, like you mentioned, you know, because I myself, I did it the way that you had mentioned in the beginning for years. And then after maybe four years, I ended up with, you know, I actually moved forward for the residency. And I’ve been happy ever since.
Mikkel Thorup 17:34
Yep. I put a little bit of effort in now and save yourself a ton of headache later on.
Crypto Travels Michael 17:39
Absolutely. It’s always worth it. And for the crypto people listening, it’s you’d mentioned earlier about taking a little bit of profits off the top and maybe, you know, directing them in this area of your life to plan for the future.
Mikkel Thorup 17:52
Definitely. I mean, there’s even programs out there not for residency but for citizenship. So I mean, you were an actual citizen, like you can say, I am from this country, you get the legal travel document, otherwise known as a passport, you can enter other countries with it. You have all the diplomatic rights as if you were born there. You can actually get some of these by paying for it in Bitcoin like, and I’m not talking about El Salvador’s weird new little bond program, which we don’t know is going to work or not work, or I have no idea what’s going to happen with that. I mean, flush out programs that have been going for years and are now accepting bitcoin. That’s amazing. Like that is just so wild to think about.
Crypto Travels Michael 18:33
Yeah, that’s awesome. One of the one of the programs I’ve been looking at for years is St. Kitts and Nevis, that one has really caught my attention simply because the passport is, you know, welcomed all over the world, no issues, things like that.
Mikkel Thorup 18:49
I help people with that on not on a daily basis, but certainly on a several times a month basis. With the Caribbean countries with citizenship by investment, it’s one of the first things that we’re looking at. I do probably five or six main tracks with all of my private clients. So first of all, we’re looking at residences. Second of all, a second citizenship. And we’re looking at the tax implications, the tax implications of the country that you’re leaving of the country that you’re going to have the country that you have your residency and of the country that you have your citizenship and we’re looking at all the tax laws of all of those countries, then we’re looking at any type of structures so an LLC and IBC a trust a foundation, how this is held, how your assets are structured, then we might be looking at foreign real estate, is it held in your own name? Is it in one of these structures? Can we use it to secure a residency and then the precious metals and cryptocurrency? Those are the main tracks that I’m helping people with. And every single person is completely different. I mean, it’s impossible for me to give, you know, individual advice in a podcast episode, but when people work with me, we dig deep on all of these types of things. So what’s the difference between going you know, and getting a custom made tailor suit, you know, by the best tailor in the world or going to Walmart and buying your clothes, you know.
Crypto Travels Michael 20:08
That’s awesome, man that is so valuable. Um, just a heads up to all our listeners, there’s going to be an episode podcast page with the links and the ways to reach out to Mikkel. So just click the link in the episode today from whatever player you’re listening to, it will take you to the page, and then you can feel free to reach out to Mikkel. He’s had a wealth of valuable resources and first hand knowledge for so many years. I’ve been following him for many years as I’ve lived and traveled in other countries, and it’s just a pleasure to have you on the show today.
Mikkel Thorup 20:41
Thank you very much. Flattery will get you everywhere Michael, thank you so much.
Crypto Travels Michael 20:47
You have anything else you want to add regarding cryptocurrencies? And, you know, you touched on about half of your clients are crypto investors and living in other countries traveling, designing their life. You know, one of my big things is lifestyle design. And that’s essentially you know, what, what we’re talking about?
Mikkel Thorup 21:08
Yep, I mean, it’s a natural fit like I’m a pretty hardcore libertarian, I’m very outspoken and by the way, I mean libertarian with a small allied literally know nothing about the LP, but I mean, I am very freedom minded and have been actively seeking freedom and helping my listeners find freedom for years and years and years and years. I mean, I host a podcast called the expat money show, I wrote a book called expat secrets, How to Pay Zero Taxes, live overseas and make giant piles of money. We have a private group at expat money forum. I mean, I’m doing tons of things to help people and it is a very natural fit for people who are into crypto or into my work. I mean, I’ve been in crypto, I started buying crypto, not as early as some but at 900 bucks. So I was still in the three figure range. And I think very soon will be in the six figure range. So I have done well myself in crypto and certainly write about it and speak about it and have been on stage about it. So yeah, happy to help anyone. If you guys have got questions, reach out to me follow Michael’s links and I’ll do my best to assist.
Crypto Travels Michael 22:16
Awesome Mikkel. Awesome, head over to the blog post page for today’s episode and reach out to Mikkel and Mikkel we just thank you for being on the show today. And we welcome you back anytime. And I am actually going to reach out to you as well myself. I’ve got quite a few questions and some things in that area that I need help with. So
Mikkel Thorup 22:35
I’m here to help. Thanks so much for having me on today. Awesome.
Crypto Travels Michael 22:39
Until the next one. Make it a great day.
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