Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

Going off grid! Disappearing requires a lot of paperwork!



July 24, 2009 – Comments (26)

I've been working on my plan to become a perpetual traveller and I thought I would share a little of my progress with you.

First I'll try to explain the plan in it's current state...


I have found a place to live for the majority of the time. Campione seems to have the most of what I'm looking for. It combines the best of both Switzerland and Italy and is pretty much left alone by both countries.The currency is the Swiss Franc and most services are Swiss. Lugano is just across the lake where I have access to the best Swiss banks. Italy is a mile away as the crow flies, (but about a 15 mile drive on winding hilly roads) and Milan is a short drive further. Income and capital gains taxes do not exist unless I decide to become an Italian citizen, and even if I do, they are half of what most Italians pay for the first 200,000 francs. Residency is as easy as buying property there (although property is very expensive) and there is no corporate tax, provided that I do not do business in Italy. If I want to do business in Italy, I just have to set up a second company in Switerland to avoid tax. 

Most of the rest of the plan is still in limbo. I'm leaning towards St Kitt's as my plan B residency and primary citizenship, but I have a few concerns. The main concern is that I would have to make another significant real estate investment. In Campione, real estate is on par with Tokyo. I could buy the equivalent  of a 1 bedroom apartment for about $300,000 and then have to pay another $30,00 for a place to park. Just to become a citizen of St Kitts, I would have to make another real estate investment of $250,000 plus about another $100,000 in fees. Now I could finance one or both places, but that interferes with my plan of individual sovereignty. The best thing is to have liquidity in a country in case you have to cut it loose. Also I have a couple of risks with my real estate in St Kitts. A risk of hurricanes and a risk of volcanoes. I'm not really worried about the hurricane risk, because houses there are built to withstand them to a point, but the volcano risk is a real risk. St Kitts has 1 active volcano that is overdue to erupt, but there is a small part of the island that is out of the danger zone. Unfortunately, that part of the island would be devastated by an eruption of the volcano on Nevis which is more overdue to erupt than the one in St Kitts. You don't always get a warnining with volcanos like you do hurricanes. St Kitt's will not tax me anything on foreign income either. If I go with St Kitts, I'll probably spend my winters there, and my summers in Campione. It get the best weather of both countries that way, and it keeps me away from St Kitts in the hurricane season. I can make a  signicant rental income on both properties while I'm away, but both places will tax me on that rental income. I'm also thinking about investing in a small 30 room hotel in St Kitts. I could get year round income on 29 of the rooms and I have a feeling that real estate prices are only going to increase given the economic turmoil coming in the US and Europe. Also if I go with St Kitts, I have easy access to banking in Nevis.

The third part of the plan is a passport portfolio. This is going well, and I have a lot of options, but all routes will include a lot of paperwork, and a lawyer from that particular country. I'm really looking into making another investment of $150,000 and getting a diplomatic passport from a third world country. I have a lawyer working on this right now and although the passport isn't worth much as far as visas go, if I'm able to negotiate appointments to the US, (after renouncing citizenship) Italy and St Kitts, in the deal, it will be worth it's weight in gold for my indiviual soveriegnty. Diplomatic immunity would be huge!

Part 4 is a separate banking existance from both Nevis and Switzerland and I have a ton of options here, and only have to pick what I want.

Part 5 is another corporate presence and I think  Panama will be my choice, due to anonymity. (Believe it or not a New Mexico LLC is running a close second when I renounce citizenship! They won't even ask me my name!)

Part 6 is the miscellanious stuff. I need a boat registered anonymously, and a Panama corp will take care of that. (If things get really bad and a country is trying to hunt me down, they are gonna have to play "Where's Waldo" while I'm on the ocean!) If I it in Vanatu, I won't have to pay any tax on it. I'll get Swiss plates for the car I buy in Campione. I haven't looked into health insurance yet, but I assume I'll need to buy something extra to cover me globally. The kids will be going to very good Swiss schools. I'll also need to spend some money on Rosetta Stone. I'll need to learn German and Italian and French would help as well.

Part 7 is a huge hurdle that I'm at an impass in right now. It's the transistion on my income. I'm totally determined to pay the US every dime of tax that I owe them when I walk out the door. The problem is that given a significant investment in real estate, passports, lawyers and relocating, the coffers will be running dry, and I have to make my income differently when I move, but I have a good business plan, (actually 4 business plans) to make money once I'm gone. The problem here is that if I establish this income before I leave, the US, the government could view it as an established US corporation that moved to dodge taxes. (Even if I opened up the company in another country) If I wait to establish income until after I renounce citizenship, I face a the chances of a slow cash flow while I'm overextended. I could use a little advice here, if anybody has any. For those of you that are about to post how I could dodge the government by not telling them about the offshore company, save your breath. I know how to do that, but choose not to. Part of my plan for individuak soveriegnty is that I don't become part of the problem before I leave. I refuse to be one of those people taking advantage of the the system enough to force someone like me to leave.

Obviously, this is still a work in progrees, but if any of you have comments or suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.






26 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 24, 2009 at 12:53 AM, portefeuille (98.88) wrote:

Report this comment
#2) On July 24, 2009 at 2:07 AM, awallejr (28.17) wrote:

This is a bit too convoluted for me, tho I personally would avoid volcanoes.  Also you never will get diplomatic immunity unless you in fact become a diplomat for a recognized country with diplomatic relations.

Report this comment
#3) On July 24, 2009 at 4:46 AM, kaskoosek (30.25) wrote:

It looks like a gorgeous place.


Congrats to you, I personally need to leave the hell hole of a country I am working in. 

Report this comment
#4) On July 24, 2009 at 9:12 AM, DownEscalator (< 20) wrote:

Wow.  I'm actually really interested if you're able to do this.

Have you looked into places trying to gain international recognition?  They're usually generous because they need financing and connections.  The Marshall Islands has a dispute going with the US Govt regarding Wake Island and would probably be thrilled to have another diplomat on their side.

Also, you forgot step 8 of anonymity: change Motley Fool name! :)

Report this comment
#5) On July 24, 2009 at 9:49 AM, Mary953 (84.90) wrote:

Chris,  Are things bad enough here as you see it to destroy everything you have built and go through all of these hoops to start over?  It would possibly be easier if someone could discover a new continent across the ocean, but I believe we are fresh out of those.

In all of your planning, I see the determination that must have driven the men and women who chose revolution so long ago.  Perhaps I need to re-read your original post.

Report this comment
#6) On July 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Chris, Chheck out the highlands/islands of Belize. Also, the Dominican Republic. World class beautiful, affordable and welcoming. English is the language of Belize, Spanish in the DR. I'm on a mission myself. Best of luck.

Mary-  That's like asking a caterpillar why 'destroy everything you've built" to become a butterfly-- imo.

Report this comment
#7) On July 24, 2009 at 10:19 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:


I believe it comes down to the Fight or Flight response to a stressor. In a different post he laid down his idea and his motives. I do wish him, and his family, all the best.


Report this comment
#8) On July 24, 2009 at 10:27 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


If you haven't already been, go here for more information.

Best of luck!

David in Qatar

Report this comment
#9) On July 24, 2009 at 10:42 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:


That is AWESOME!!!! Thanks for the link. My inner Thomas Crown / Kayser Soze is eager to learn more, if for no other reason than the entertainment aspect.


Report this comment
#10) On July 24, 2009 at 10:52 AM, Mary953 (84.90) wrote:


I read the first post. If 'leaving on a jet plane' was all it took, I could understand.  Looking at this long list of details saddens me and makes me wonder how many of our best and brightest are going to choose flight over fight.  I chose to start over when I was young, but it was no more than letting go of a house, a city, a job.  I took everything that I loved with me.  I am saying that I need to return to that post, knowing what steps he would need to take to even get started.

Starfire - This is the third time I have seen a comment from you.  I would like to see more!

Report this comment
#11) On July 24, 2009 at 10:57 AM, ChrisGraley (28.64) wrote:

Thanks for all the replys. I will look into those other ideas.

Mary, I believe that the US is eventually doomed, and I want to have a plan in place when the worst happens.

The only real esate purchase I would have to make before I leave would be the property in St Kitts because I have to have that in place as a condition of Citizenship. Other than that my investment would be in obtaining and hand full of passports. If I go the hotel route, I would have the income generated from the property while I'm still in the US.

When the US suffers a finacial Armageddon, I simply fly out of the country to St Kitts. Everything else in the plan can be set up from there. I could have a simpler plan and move to St Kitts and be done, but I'm only trading one citizenship for another if I go that route. My family's soveriegnty is importment to me though, and that is what makes the plan complicated.

Report this comment
#12) On July 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM, galtline (37.84) wrote:


Regarding #7 - is there any reason why you couldn't start a U.S. corporation, establish a money flow (which an important part of this transition), create a new company later (in a different company) and buy the original corporation, pay your taxes, and then cut loose?

Or am I missing something? 


Report this comment
#13) On July 24, 2009 at 12:22 PM, ChrisGraley (28.64) wrote:

The problem lies with my control of the company while being a US citizen. The US government could consider this a US company for tax purposes even if it incorporated somewhere else. Given the new pending legislation to crack down on moving companies offshore for tax purposes, even when I'm no longer a US citizen, the US could argue that my motives were to dodge taxes on an established company. Since I don't want any hints of impropriety, I need to figure out something innovative. The funny thing is that if I did want to dodge taxes, I could do it easily and get away with it by setting up an anonymous company,  It's the fact that I want to do this honestly, that is the fly in the ointment.

Report this comment
#14) On July 24, 2009 at 12:27 PM, atarigod (< 20) wrote:


Report this comment
#15) On July 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM, robstuck (< 20) wrote:

chris you're ideas, however outlandish and/or impossible (for the average guy) to enact, are very intriguing. I am very curious as to your current job, age, salary, savings, etc. I think living somewhere else is very appealing. I love current affairs, self improvement, and traveling. Making money is the one obstacle that i see standing in my way. What ideas do you have for making money in all of these countries. Do you have a law degree? It all seems very complicated. Look foward to reading more of your posts on the matter and wish you the best!



Report this comment
#16) On July 24, 2009 at 1:34 PM, eaenglish10 (28.50) wrote:

I think this is awesome. Maybe you'll make enough in the market to keep you afloat in between countries? I mean, the whole endeavor looks like it would take over half a mil. I would have a million in cash just to be safe, but that's just me.

Report this comment
#17) On July 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Hey, Mary asked for it.

Insane is a good word for it.

World class diving, windsurfing, parasailing. Don't get me started on Belize. Just returned from a month of scouting. Producing orange groves for $1500./ acre, 15 mins to the Carribean---- Thats crazy, not the vision to recognize value. Also, Bz. has virtually no property tax.

Report this comment
#18) On July 24, 2009 at 2:13 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

You snooze, you lose. Missed this one by a week.

Report this comment
#19) On July 24, 2009 at 2:14 PM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:

Why not pick someplace more affordable?

Report this comment
#20) On July 24, 2009 at 2:45 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Must read for those considering what I think of as 'ultimate diversification'. Also, a very enlightening site.

Report this comment
#21) On July 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM, ReadEmAnWeep (86.90) wrote:

Ha, very interesting. Please keep us updated. That is a really cool idea. It dies seem a bit extreme to me given the current circumstances here in the US, but it does make sense to have a back up plan. As for me I don't have enough money to do that, so if the US gets screwed over in the future I do   ; (

Report this comment
#22) On July 24, 2009 at 5:29 PM, abitare (30.09) wrote:

The difference between an immigrant and a refugee is timing.

Zimbawean Quote

A good read on the subject is: Sovreign Individual

Report this comment
#23) On July 24, 2009 at 6:25 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:


Good work.  It's a tortured path, and you are doing the pioneering.  Good on you.

I'd like to exchange ideas with you, but not in this venue.  By the way, I think St. Kitts went to a $350K minimum property purchase a while ago.  At least their web site says so in the News section.

If interested in discussing, email me at AOL.  Same screen name.


Report this comment
#24) On July 24, 2009 at 6:46 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Donner, can I play too? We could have a virtual Donner Party.

Report this comment
#25) On July 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:


 Why not.  If you have something to offer, welcome.

Report this comment
#26) On July 24, 2009 at 11:56 PM, ChrisGraley (28.64) wrote:

I'll send you an email soon Donner. I've got a few good websites for you to research if your interested.

To those worried about my anonymity being comprimised, I'm intending on paying all my taxes to the US so I'm not to worried about anonymity until I'm gone. At that point, I'll be a little more under the radar, but I won't need to be

For those of you thinking that this is impossible for the average guy, your options are more limited, but it's still very possible.

For people over 55, you can retire in Panama or Malaysia if you have a verifiable source of income, like a pension. You can get a Czech citizenship for a little over $10,000 in 45 days. There are many countries that will let you naturalise if you stay there long enough. It can be done if you want to do it. In fact there aren't many countries that you can't become a citizen of if you wanted to.

Onelegged, I'm looking for specific countries that fit into my plan for privacy and mobility.

Starfire I've talked to a couple of lawyers that assure me that there are both ways to legally manuever around that law and even if there wasn't, it is a law that denies my constitutional right to renounce citizenship. It essentially amounts to financial slavery.

Robstuck I am 40 and I'm an insurance agent. I have a decent book of business, but where I really made my money is that I started saving and investing at an early age and I made a few home run stock choices, mostly in options. When I was younger I begged my dad to buy Microsoft shortly after Windows came out. It was my first stock pick. He didn't listen to my advice then. (He does now) Once I saw what happened with Microsoft, I was hooked. I've been investing ever since. As far as making money 3 of my 4 business plans are internet businesses that are fairly novel ideas, so I don't plan to disclose those for a while. The 4th one I can share. The first lawyer I went to with my crazy PT ideas, thought that this whole thing would make a great book. He contacted a publisher friend that not only thinks it would make a great book, but that publicity from that book could lead to an entire information business. Now I can't reveal too much, but my other 3 business plans are all also in the information business and I have a tested concept that applies to all 4 of these businesses that should give my an edge over the competition. Even if none of these ideas work,I'm fairly sure that I could live off of investment income at this point. All 5 of those things I can do in any country that has a stable internet connection.

 Thanks again for all the comments and support,



Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners