The 5 Best Offshore Places To Diversify Your Life in 2018

If you’re lucky or perhaps smart enough to have the option to “diversify” your life, now might just be the best time to do it. Here are five places that come highly recommended.

Coins, a compass and a map

What does diversify mean?

It’s a term, which when applied to life and living, signifies having options that give you flexibility about where you live (full- or part-time), how you spend your time, where you invest and what you invest in, and where you keep your everyday living money. Diversification protects you should chaos of one sort or another ensue in one country. In other words it’s the opposite of having “all your eggs in one basket”.

That might all seem as though “diversification” is only for the ultra-rich. In fact, it’s not according to Lief Simon, a diversification and investment guru and editor of Offshore Living Letter, whose motto is “Diversify or Die Broke”!

Each year, Simon ranks the countries that are his leading candidates for the best locations for residency, investing, taxation, doing business, banking, asset protection and citizenship – the keys for a diversified (some say protected) life.

This year, in no particular order, the five leaders are Panama, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, St Kitts and Nevis and the Cayman Islands.

Each of these jurisdictions have advantages and benefits. Panama for example is not a favourite with Europe and OECD countries, but says Simon, “If your living and investing overseas plans are limited to the Americas, Panama remains a strong go-offshore option.

Panama City from the bay
Panama City, Panama

“While the European Union and others take issue with the country’s jurisdictional approach to taxation, it’s this jurisdictional approach to taxation that makes Panama such an appealing place to reside (if your income comes from outside Panama) and to incorporate a business.”

As for the Dominican Republic, Simon writes: “My current favourite offshore jurisdiction remains virtually undiscussed in the industry. I believe this will change starting in 2018, when others will begin to recognize the progress this country is making as it works hard to make a name for itself on this stage.

Dominican Republic highlighted with a magnifier

I’m speaking of the Dominican Republic, which is gearing up to give Panama and other better-known offshore havens a run for their money.”

Singapore Bay

Singapore only gets a C for Residency because you would have to renounce other citizenships before getting a Singaporean one, which goes against the whole diversification idea. However, Singapore only taxes income earned in the country. Simon writes: “This makes Singapore (like Panama) a good jurisdiction for setting up a company to house non-Singapore activities. Additionally, Singapore is a banking hub that enjoys greater respect in the global marketplace than, for example, Panama.”

St Kitts and Nevis, town skyline

As well as being well-known for its offshore investment products, St Kitts & Nevis is good for residency (hence it gets an ‘A’), offering a second passport for less than US$300,000 – a lot of money to some but not others – with its economic citizenship programme.

Enjoy a diversified life in the Cayman Islands

And finally, the Cayman Islands, the so-called “granddaddy” of offshore jurisdictions, which offers a wide choice of investments options. But, as Life Simon points out, Cayman is not ideal for Americans because the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) prevents banks there from dealing directly with American clients. Setting up an entity there provides a work-around for this problem.

You can read the whole Offshore Living Letter report here.

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