The Story Of How We Become Expats with Mikkel Thorup

Michael MicheliniLifestyle, Living, Podcast, Travel0 Comments

Thank you everybody for tuning in to our Global from Asia podcast. We are talking expat. We got an expat veteran with 20 plus years experience in the industry and a friend and fellow podcaster Mikkel Thorup.

He is the number one best-selling author of Expat Secrets: How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas & Make Giant Piles of Money. He also hosts the podcast The Expat Money show, which is of course on iTunes and Stitcher.

Let’s get into the show and talk about the Expat Life.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Mikkel

  • Straight off the bat, what is an Expat?

    • Definition of an Expat
    • Lexicon – why people don’t know the word expat
    • Offshore Markets is also helpful to define
  • How did you end up moving overseas?

    • Childhood origin story
    • Found my passion
    • List countries/trips/places I’ve lived
  • Planning an Expat’s Future

    Now, I remember my “plan” when I first moved overseas – find more products for my ecommerce business and my sourcing clients at the time.

  • When should someone start to plan?

    But many don’t have a plan. What if they change their location, or move back to their home country?

  • What is a good framework for a plan?

  • Stories of People who have done their expat planning right

  • Stories of plans that didn’t exist and - went wrong

  • Biggest takeaway / action item an expat living overseas can do - right now?

  • Tell me about your new book Expat Secrets? About your podcast and business Let’s discuss what you are doing for people these days

    • How I learned this stuff
    • I tried to take a complex subject and make it accessible to anyone
    • Why something like this needs to exist
    • Story about how I watched people have to return home
  • So break down for me what is covered in the book?

    • A quick overview of the topics in the book
    • How strategies lead into one another
    • Story about visiting a Secret Offshore Gold Vault in Singapore
  • How can people find you online? If people want to find out more where can they go?

    • to download my new report called 15 Global Strategies To Protect Your Wealth
    • New book Expat Secrets is available on Amazon and Kindle

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 51:54

Thank you for that great interview mikkel, and I hope you listeners enjoyed that.

I was given some mixed feedback. Some people don’t like the Amazon content. They say there’s there’s enough of that out there. They like the China, the Asia interviews – the stories.

Thanks for that feedback from listeners.

Download Options

Listen in Youtube:

Show Transcript

gfa 252

[00:00:00] Episode 252 of Global From Asia on becoming an expat.  Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight-up actionable advice and now your host Michael Michelini. Good day. Good evening. Hello, everyone. It’s always fun to hear from listeners random places and it’s the May holiday and I’ve been getting some messages.

[00:00:31] People enjoying the show. It’s kind of are always strange to know if people are actually tuning in or not. We are all over the internet on various channels in China and Rico helped us get into I’m forgetting even the other channels. Honestly, I’m just getting old just playing with my kids and working on online, but.

[00:00:55] We are here and the show go online in a few days. We’ll publish on the seventh of May. So the May 1st holiday will have just finished in China. It’s one of these long labor days. So hopefully get some manufacturing orders in for us here and things are things are okay. We have a cool showtalk about expat life and I’ll stick my 10 minutes blah blah blah after Mikkel’s awesome interview and he tells his story.

[00:01:26] I’ll share a little bit of my expat story. I will give some insights feel like I’ve talked about some of this and other shows but do you guys like listening? I like talking blah blah blah like my kids say. But there’s a lot of things happening. I’ve been actually really excited to bring Cross Border Summit back our fourth annual first time in Guangzhou China.

[00:01:53] It’s a little bit hard to leave China. I mean, we got a lot of roots there a lot of networking there. Mark Ramos will be helping us out on a ground making making some talks with Chris Davey and Cindy Juju with FB4U. They always are so supportive. They had an amazing couple of FBA4Umeet ups just pass Canton Fair Trade Show season.

[00:02:17] So stay tuned for The Cross Border Summit in 2019. Mark the calendar, October 22nd and 23rd.  Might even stuck stick a day or two after we’re thinking there’s more workshops and boot camp style intensive training for those that want even more. I I want to talk more about expat life. I want to get into the show.

[00:02:39] We’ll keep the intros here a little bit pre talk before the interview shorter and I’ll stick a little bit more time after let’s just dive into the show. Let’s tune in and of course, thank you to our sponsor GoRemit.HK. They are long-term sponsor here at the globe of major show. I just use them to make a payment to my team in the Philippines and also a supplier in Ningbo China.

[00:03:03] Actually, we will do an interview with some of our trading activity in Ningbo soon. If you do make payments in Asia from your Hong Kong bank, you want to save in some fees and make them fast and easy checkout completely free to sign up no transaction fees only on the FX rates at a very fair price if you like the show and you want to let them know definitely tell them Global from Asia sent you and sign up for free go through a kyc process to get verified and you will be able to make your cross-border payments.

[00:03:40] Like I do. Thanks again Thank you everybody for tuning in to our Global from Asia podcast. We are talking expat. We got an expat veteran 20..20 plus years in the industry and a friend and fellow podcaster Mikkel Thorup. Thank you for being here on the show today. Thanks very much for having me Mike.

[00:04:03] It’s a pleasure to be here. Yeah, I mean I had a pleasure to call on your show. And I’m glad I finally have a chance to get you on. You’re the number one best-selling author of expat Secrets how to pay zero taxes live overseas and make giant piles of money – cash money. He also hosts as I mentioned the podcast the expat money show, which is of course on iTunes and Ditcher and over you’ve lived as we just said before recording.

[00:04:29] What, how company countries have you based in now? So I’ve lived in seven countries were about to make the move to our eighth country, but that’s actually living as an expat. But I’ve traveled to I think at last count like a hundred and two or a hundred and four countries something around there around a hundred hundred plus countries, and I see on there like our outline here North Korea, Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Iran.

[00:04:59] This look pretty wild places. I like all random countries. I like all the countries that people don’t get a chance to normally visit, you know, and and then go in there and make my own mind up about the place because a lot of times people will have really bad ideas about a country and it comes from you know, mainstream media or the government neither of which

[00:05:22] I’m a very big fan of but you know, I like to make my own decisions on these types of things. Like Iran was one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to in my life. And if you watch mainstream media, they’ll tell you it is the axis of evil and and all these things and actually it’s a stunning beautiful country with very lovely people and and I guess we’ll make a we can get into it later on but you know always try to make a separation between the government and the people.

[00:05:50] You know, the government is one thing the the populace is something else especially in some of these types of countries. Yeah. Yeah. I mean actually we put this show on to Chinese podcast as well and literally like yesterday we’re publishing recent episode and my wife helps with that. She’s we both have Chinese wives too which is pretty cool and she they kept deleting our podcast.

[00:06:16] I don’t know I think with some keyword they didn’t like but you know, what I mean is people and the countries are still you know the government or the people ruling body of a country and a people are totally separate like just reiterating what you said and you know, I think a lot of times people that don’t travel like you or I don’t realize that and they just listen to the media and mass TV specially in one country which

[00:06:44] I’m not a conspiracy person, but I think you know media is especially mass media even your podcast or my podcast but you know mainstream media, I think is somewhat influenced probably by that that countries’ governing body, right and it kind of.. absolutely because you know, I think this is why so it’s so important for podcasts like yours and mine to actually exist because this is what gives you the alternative like, I don’t think that’s conspiracy theory by any means to understand that mainstream media is controlled by the government and of lobbyists and you have people that that do favors in this is crony capitalism, you know, I am a true blue capitalists and I and I’m pro business and everything like this, but I.

[00:07:26] I don’t believe in you know behind closed doors, you know. Type of deals that that keep other people out of the market. I’m a free market enterprise type of person. I believe in Austrian School of economics and and the capitalism that we have in a lot of places in the world today is pretty despicable.

[00:07:48] Still I’ll take that over socialism any day of the week, I think socialism and communism and offshoots of these are some of the most evil things on planet Earth, but. Yeah, libertarianism is really where I live. I suppose. Yeah, I feel the same. I mean, I think that’s probably from your 20 years over, you know, of living overseas as an expat.

[00:08:09] So which kind of leads into our kind of core question first question off the bat is what you know, we use this word expat and sometimes we don’t maybe even know let’s just make sure what’s the true definition of expat in your in your way. Okay. So when. I use the word expat. It’s literally just a short form of expatriate.

[00:08:30] So someone who has left their country of birth to live and work overseas. Now, I suppose the difference between an expat and an immigrant is an immigrant is actually moving their entire life to a new country and they plan on never going back. They’ve they’ve Now set up a house a home a life. And and that is it.

[00:08:49] Maybe they’ll spend the rest of their life in that one place now, I’ve been an expat in seven different countries and every time that I come to a country. I know that it’s temporary now temporary might be one year like in the case when I lived in New Zealand or it might be 8 years like living in the UAE.

[00:09:09] I live in Abu Dhabi currently and you know, I’ve been here since 2011 and in both cases I’m an expat. I’ll never be a citizen of the UAE. I could live here for 80 years and I’ll never be a citizen that just it’s not an option available to me. But there’s a lot of people for some reason they have this racist perspective of expat.

[00:09:31] They think it’s something that only white people do. Well I’m here to tell you that is not the case. It is not true whatsoever. You know here in the UAE as an example something like ninety percent of the workforce are expats and eighty percent of the population. So, you know, it doesn’t matter if you’re from India or Pakistan or Afghanistan or from Canada, the United States or Great Britain in this country all your always considered an expat and we really run this entire country.

[00:10:03] You know, the country would come to a grinding halt if there were no expats here and we do a lot of jobs that the local people will not want to do will not have the skills to do will not have the education or the expertise to do and we really help this entire country thrive and Mike I don’t have any like exact statistics in front of me, but I can definitely tell you that in a place

[00:10:25] Like the UAE or Oman or Kuwait Qatar any of these places that you know  the country wouldn’t run without the expats and and there’s no way around doing things without our expertise. I’d say these are the largest expat communities in the world. I’ve visited many other expat communities, but I’d say these are definitely the largest.

[00:10:55] Yeah, I still have to get over there. I’ve heard amazing things. I had I went to college in New Jersey, you know Steven stack and I had some friends from Kuwait and different parts of Middle East and one even invited me for a business opportunity. I don’t think I’ll ever.. to come out to Kuwait and

[00:11:14] almost almost did it to be honest that haven’t really shared too much. It’s very early stage. I didn’t didn’t make that move but he was just trying to say.. well it’s a beautiful country. It’s a little bit slow. There’s it’s completely dry country. So there’s no alcohol there whatsoever. It was funny actually when I flew in there.

[00:11:33] I think we had some bottles of water or something because most countries here in the GCC. You can’t drink the water just out of the tap. It’s all desalinated water. So mostly we drink bottled water here and they actually like made us open the bottles and take a big Swig from them just to make sure that it wasn’t alcohol, you know, and then they smelling it in…

[00:11:55] No, no. It’s just water, but they were very particular when we came in, but it’s a beautiful country. They have a beautiful Grand Mosque in Kuwait City, and there’s the old part of the city. And yeah, it was a nice experience. I just went over for I think four days or something to just have a peek around and take a look you know.

[00:12:14] Exciting. Yeah, I am a little envious but there’s definitely lots of amazing places and that’s kind of the benefit of being you know an expat and so some of your your stories how did you know, it’s been 20 years now as an expat. How did it how did it get started? So it’s for my story. It kind of goes like really back in time.

[00:12:39] Like a lot of people, you know, they have this nine-to-five job and and they’re unhappy with their life and they decide to sell everything and move overseas. That is not me whatsoever. So what happened with me is a little bit different. I was actually diagnosed with a learning disability as a child and at I think I don’t know how old I was exactly but I was I was in grade 3 they diagnosed me and they said okay.

[00:13:05] Well, we need to send him to a special school to learn how to read write and spell because he’s not keeping up and and all of these types of things. So they put me in a little white bus and they drove me across town and they sent me to a special school. But the only problem Mike was it was actually not a special school.

[00:13:25] It was actually a special class in a regular school. So you can imagine all these kids are looking at me and gossiping and talking behind my back and you know, apparently I’m part of the the Retard School the retard class, you know 1980s imagine politically, correct? I know, I can imagein. So I ended up getting in a lot of fights when I was a kid, basically.

[00:13:52] Every single day I would I would get in some type of an altercation or fistfight. I had my nose broken three times and my tooth put through my lip. I had my teeth knocked out concussion was in the hospital a couple of times and it was a rough time all of grades four five and six and I thought. When I finally got to leave this school and I was going back to my own neighborhood school back with all the kids that I had grown up with earlier.

[00:14:18] I thought everything is going to be better Mike. I thought this is you know, finally I’m not going to be terrorized and I’m not going to get in these fights and everything is gonna be okay and I got back to my normal school and everyone started gossiping and w hispering. Oh, where’s he been? I remember him.

[00:14:36] He went to that retard school. Oh my God, there’s something wrong with him, and of course the fights and everything that just continue just a new group of kids to to beat up and and to get beat up by. Well after two years of this I had pretty much had enough. So at Grade 9 around 12 years old. I just stopped going to school.

[00:14:56] I was like, this is I don’t like this, you know and come home from school crying almost every day for years on end and I re ally felt like I didn’t belong in my hometown in my home. In my school anything like this and at 12, I stopped going to school by 15 I was officially had officially dropped out by 12

[00:15:16] I basically stopped going, you know, the out the odd class here and there but you know was failing everything and didn’t have a good time at all and then not shortly after I discovered traveling. I had never really been overseas, you know, we drove across..I’m from Southwestern Ontario. So we would drive over to the Detroit or something like that, you know, which is a couple

[00:15:39] Hours from the border, but but that was it and and I started traveling and I started meeting all these people from different countries and cultures and and different experiences and they didn’t know my history and my problems with you know, my learning disability quote on quote. We just know now that it’s just a form of Dyslexia.

[00:15:57] It’s actually quite common. It happens. All the time, you know, I have a very high IQ. I’m very intelligent, but these are certain problems with reading and writing that that I had a lot of trouble with as a kid. So I started traveling in my teens and and really felt like I had found myself and what I was meant to do and you know one trip led into another led into another I moved overseas and you know, like I said, it’s been roughly 20 years now that I’ve been doing this and I’ve never stopped.

[00:16:33] I’m not a and we can get into this afterwards. I’m not a digital Nomad. I’m not continually on the on the road with a backpack, although I have been on the road for extended periods of time with a backpack..these days I really I do short trips, you know a week here a week there. I like my 5-star hotels.

[00:16:53] I have the money to do things like that now but yeah, I live full-time in the Middle East and and I love my life and I always help other people to to make a change in their life and move overseas. So that’s kind of in a nutshell. This is your life Mikkel Thorup I suppose. Nice. There we go. Thanks for opening up like that.

[00:17:14] It’s pretty yeah, I mean a new father I’m still I get nervous see my kid go to school and just afraid of like, yeah, like those kind of…children are just cruel people. I guess maybe it’s just human nature without any…not holding back kind of like I think as we get older we don’t we just don’t say those things and we think those things are the general..

[00:17:41] Yeah, like kids seem. Yeah there’s no social history. When you’re nice and you’re you learn how to be a human being from someone who doesn’t know how to be an effective human being in society. Hmm. So like we you know you have two kids. I’ve got a little girl almost like quite similar age as our kids.

[00:18:00] We’re having a homeschool our kid, you know, like I want my child to learn how to be an effective, you know, loving caring human being from adults who know how to show this behavior opposed to other kids who pick on everything and and and find differences in everything. I still want her to have friends.

[00:18:17] I’m not talking about non socializing her but I think when you take you know 30 kids or 35 kids and put them in a room. They become like pack animals, you know, it’s you have to be really careful. Agreed. Yeah, it’s just it’s it’s really I mean as a parent, I think it’s just. Yeah, I feel so responsible.

[00:18:42] But and we’ll see what this keep on doing what we can to make the best for our children and try not to have them go through similar things. I think that a lot of the problems come down to being a government-run school. I think with private schools probably the experience will be a lot better and know for a lot of expat families.

[00:19:05] They only do private schools, you know where the curriculum is decided by people who don’t have political agendas. You know, I know for sure when you look at the schooling in the United States there they like that type of behavior that that alienating of the child from the family from the church from this from themselves from their friends from everybody, you know, start reading some of the work by John Taylor Gatto and you really start to understand how these types of schools are set up and and what they were originally designed for and and they’re doing a fantastic job.

[00:19:42] Of getting exactly what they want and it is not to be a loving effective and like I just I will continue to repeat these phrases because it’s so true, you know an effective human being that’s that’s not what they want at all they want consumers. They want someone who will go and do their nine to five job and then come home and watch television all night.

[00:20:04] And and that’s what they want. They want something that they can control and is standardized. It is I… Yeah, I feel similar because this is easier right? You you put people into this track right? I think of the you know, obviously the late Steve Jobs has amazing so much amazing stuff.

[00:20:25] I’ve seen online but one I have in my mind is he says, you know life, you know, they you can stay on this like racetrack right and just not bump against the walls and just follow follow the follow a pack of cars or people or sheep or whatever and yeah, you can live your life. And you know, you’ll have a good life and you know, you’ll you know, you’ll do fine or you could try to bang up against the wall, you know, go faster, go a different way going off the track, you know, I’m saying it wrong, but there’s that’s one and the other one is really crazy.

[00:21:02] I.. you probably..most.. I forgot I think it’s a dead President says it but most people die at 25 we just don’t put them in a box until they’re 75. It’s yeah, I think some people just kind of in a way give up, right and just follow follow the track that you’re given stay in that a comfortable nine to five and do what they need to do and get through life.

[00:21:27] What there are so many Alternatives out there for how you can live your life and you know what? As far as any of us can ever tell or be certain about this is the only life we have to live. So it’s like if you’re not happy with you know, your job your living conditions where you live, you know, there are options out there and there are people who are already doing things like this, you know, It’s not that scary.

[00:21:56] It’s really not that hard. Like I’ve traveled to a lot of places. I wouldn’t say any of it is hard. Like I went to North Korea that wasn’t hard that wasn’t challenging that wasn’t difficult. I just did it. It was easy, you know was just my life. Like it’s I wanted to see what it was like and I did it and I wanted to go to these other places and so I did it.

[00:22:18] You know people think about all these problems with safety and and you know, are they going to be okay and is someone going to get kidnapped and hurt terrorism and it’s like my God, first of all, you have to understand that inherently human beings are good. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian Jewish Muslim Buddhist brown white red yellow tall.

[00:22:42] Short fat doesn’t matter male female gay doesn’t matter. People are inherently good and and they’re not out there to get you and and you can explore the world and travel and live life on your terms and see what’s going on. And experience things and you don’t need to be afraid. You don’t need to be scared.

[00:23:04] You know, people will always help you. You don’t speak the language no problem pantomime, you know, like remember those games like Pictionary and things like that, you know stuff like that. It actually works, you know, we have phones will have apps for translation. We have maps that are on your phone and GPS that you can get in every country in the world.

[00:23:25] It’s like when I started traveling 20 years ago, We didn’t have anything. I was writing my father postcards and stuff to keep in communication. Like now it’s so it’s like even easier, you know, there’s no excuse for someone not getting out there and exploring the world. Totally agree. I mean the couple things just came off like I was.

[00:23:44] That’s what we’ve been keeping up an email a little bit and I was down traveling and a little bit of more outskirts of Thailand and I took a Grab which is amazing, you know, Grab for Uber for those who don’t know Grab. It’s like a similar one here southeast Asia and literally I was talking to my driver through Google translate voice.

[00:24:02] She would say something in the into the real-time translator. I would spit out English. I would say something and it would spit out Thai to her. It was like unbelievable. You know, it’s really unbelievable. It’s like the Babel Fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy like yeah things like this are actually starting to appear in real life now.

[00:24:19] It’s amazing. Yeah, so, you know your show you interview people and really amazing guests which people should definitely check out your show. And you know, what’s the trend? I mean, how does somebody even start to plan? I know, you know, you said lot of times you were just sick of their are nine to five or.

[00:24:36] You know, what’s the common way? I know you seem like you have a non pretty non-traditional way. But or what’s a good way people you tell people to get started or get get onto this track. Well, I think that straight off the bat it comes down to a mental thing. Yeah. So first of all people have to understand the numbers and and this is what I would do when I was traveling in a lot of countries, especially through the third world countries and I would think to myself is like, okay, so I’m in Guatemala and

[00:25:05] Guatemala costs me say 10 US dollars a day. So every day that I work back home. Now. Let’s put ourselves in when I was in my 20s and use Guatemala as an example. I was working earning minimum wage when I started, you know, so I think minimum wage when I started was six dollars, but but say it was $10 to make eased of numbers so you can travel for an entire day for the cost of.

[00:25:34] Working one hour. So if you work an eight-hour day, you’re gonna get just over a week. So when you start to realize things like that the price of goods the price of services things that you normally spend money on have a very different outlook. So instead of going and drinking a Starbucks coffee at four dollars, you know, that that’s going to buy you a three-course meal when you’re abroad or that’s going to pay your entire youth hostel.

[00:26:01] And I’m using examples of when I was traveling in cheap cheap countries, you know. And just traveling but even 3 star 4 star 5 star hotels can be a fraction of the price when you’re going overseas. So I think that understanding a lot of the numbers straight off the bat can make a big difference on how you put aside money while you’re saving up to go abroad but I would say to live a decent life on the road, you know, somewhere around that thousand to two thousand dollars a month mark is.

[00:26:36] Is quite reasonable and I mean you would be doing anything and everything that you could ever imagine for that type of money. Like I was when I was in Central America I was going scuba diving every day. I did over a hundred and thirty dives and maybe 10 or 12 different countries. We were eating fantastic food.

[00:26:54] We’re staying in beautiful places, hiking going to museums drinking coffees. And I mean, this is peanuts, you know, this is pennies on the dollar from what I would pay in Toronto or somewhere like that to live. So I think understanding things like this straight off the bat can really give you some motivation because a lot of people will think one day, you know, this is one day I will do this one day.

[00:27:20] I will do an around-the-world trip or or travel overseas or move overseas, but you actually have to make the decision to do it, you know on a set date okay, in 10 months from now in six months from now on March 21st, or whatever type of date set that for yourself and then start saving and then just live beyond below your means and start putting money aside.

[00:27:43] These are like a really really really really simple things that just anybody can do. Yeah, totally totally agree. I mean. Yeah, we’re almost on the same page, but I’m a believer of you know, starting now and kind of optimizing as you go rather than make I think of course those people that are the perfectionist I think that there’s one day everything in their life is going to line up and they’re going to have perfect amount of money the perfect opportunity, you know, you’re going to have to probably jump before you’re perfectly ready and like you said figure it out as you go and I think that’s that’s that’s part of it, you know.

[00:28:21] Well, I think it’s so important to understand and this just is good life advice that basically anything that you do at in life. You are going to suck at the first time you do it. It doesn’t matter what it is like you are you are going to suck and people seem to believe that they should be good at something where they should have, you know natural talent or it should be in their DNA or in their blood.

[00:28:46] They’re just a natural at these things. Listen, I have struggled for everything that I have ever received in my life everything like everything. Nothing comes easy to me. I just work harder than anybody else. Like I work non-stop all day every day to make my dreams come true and and traveling and living overseas and understanding these types of things.

[00:29:13] You’re going to suck at it at first you’re going to suck at it. You’re going to spend more money than you should you’re going to get ripped off. You’re probably going to get robbed by a taxi driver all these different things. Don’t worry about it. It all comes with experience. It’s okay. Like you said Mike jump in dive in because just reading about it.

[00:29:32] Armchair is not really going to help you like the amount that you’re going to learn from doing your first trip or moving overseas your very first time. You can’t read about that. Like I do believe in trying to prepare and educate yourself education and self-education is big proponents of my message but you’re right at some point you need to jump in and and that’s really where you’re going to learn. Great.

[00:29:56] I mean, it’s exciting. Let’s talk about some of the some of things you’re you just we’ve been really excited to talk about your new book – The Expat Secrets and you know, maybe give us a bit of over overview of that. Yeah, so what I’ve done with this book is I tried to take really complex ideas and make them as simple as possible.

[00:30:20] I think that there is a and we’ve talked about this many times, you know. Back and forth clarity is King. I think that like I’m I really believe in this, you know, I could write a book which has every single detail in in 20 years of experience of living overseas and try to put it into one book.

[00:30:42] It would be the size of a phone book. Maybe multiple phone books, but no one’s going to want to read that. You know, that’s not that’s not doing anyone a service. So what I tried to do was highlight the key things that people need to understand to internationalize their life to lower their tax bills in a lot of cases eliminate their tax bills and you know invest and make money overseas so that they can travel so that they don’t have these type of restraints that a lot of people

[00:31:11] would normally have you know, so we talk about a lot of things like overseas banking offshore banking offshore company formation doing it in a tax favorable manner and I will preface it saying that this is all completely legal I’m not talking about, you know doing anything that’s against government. Although like I said earlier, I am a hardcore libertarian and I do believe that we need less government.

[00:31:36] I still follow the laws that are the laws of the land. I do not want to get thrown in in a cage. So I never recommend things that are not legal but but there are a lot of ways that you can do this and strategies and tips and tricks that that you can remove or eliminate or reduce your tax bill and I have first-hand experience doing these types of things.

[00:32:00] A lot of my very close friends are lawyers and CPA’s. Things that I don’t know or understand I went direct to the source. I work with some of the most famous asset protection lawyers in the world. Guys who charge, you know, a thousand two thousand dollars an hour for their time freely give it to me because we’re very close friends.

[00:32:21] So the book is very well-researched very well-thought-out and it’s a fun read I would say, you know, like I said, It’s not overwhelming, you know, I tried to pack as much punch into a hundred and fifty pages that I could you know, if take you an afternoon to read it and should my objective is to really open your eyes to what is out there in the world and the ways that you can do it and and then give you all the resources for where you can follow-up based on what you need next, you know, if you need to understand more about the real estate side, we have a whole bunch of extra resources.

[00:32:58] That are good with the purchase of your book and you can get them all free, you know, you just put in your name and email address and they’re all downloadable and you have them instantly, but if that doesn’t speak to you if something else in the book does you get those ones instead. So I tried to tailor make it for

[00:33:13] The individual readers needs and and so far the response has been phenomenal like you mentioned. It’s a number one bestseller. I think it’s spent 11 weeks in the United States as a number one bestseller. And yeah people can pick up a copy on Amazon you just search Expat Secrets or if you go to expat Secrets

[00:33:33] It will redirect you directly to the site. And yeah, I encourage you to pick up a copy great. Yeah, definitely definitely will recommend checking it out. And I think it’s. I mean you were I you know, I think we’re both, you know on a similar track and this is this is the future. I think less I feel you know governments are trying to hold on and especially banks my world in Asia and Hong Kong and businesses.

[00:33:59] They’re just trying to hold us back and I feel but yeah, it’s just that it’s great that you and your sharing this information and creating these resources to help people kind of. At least break as free as possible and live the life that I think humans should live, right? Yeah. Well the less government intervention intervention interference that we have in our lives.

[00:34:23] The more prosperous were going to be now, you know, you have these these people in the United States right now who want to do, you know top top income tax at 70% well, I’ll tell you you’re going to have so much capital flight in a country like that that it’s just going to cripple the place and and they think that they’re helping and and we have seen it is it is scientifically proven that socialism communism don’t work and the fact that we’re now getting this in North America.

[00:34:51] It’s really scary. It’s really terrifying and it has to do with governments big bang, big corporations is crony capitalism that I talked about before and mainstream media. And and we really have to do everything in our power to fight against this and to take personal responsibility for our lives and our finances and our situation and work very hard to fight these types of things and..

[00:35:18] Like I said before. I will I will obey the law of the land because I do not want to be thrown in a cage but it is my right to do everything in my power to pay zero taxes and like we say like starve the beast, you know, every dollar that you give them is you know, these are bombs that are being dropped on villages.

[00:35:40] These are these are wars that are being fought with your dollars. This is not money that is going to you know, feed the homeless and things like this or repair the roads repair the roads is the this funny one that I get from people every time I talk about taxation. There’s like if you look at the spending of a country the road work is like one fraction of 1%.

[00:36:03] But if you look at defense spending, you know, you’re talking massive amounts of the national national budget. So it’s things like this that really drive me every day to try to help educate people and try to push people in a manner where they can be more self-sustaining and build their own business and be responsible for their own lives.

[00:36:23] If that makes sense, Mike, Totally understand I’ve watched some you know videos where federal income tax in the US goes just to the federal bank or something. I don’t know. I don’t want to be quoted. Yeah, I don’t think like yeah, definitely. It’s definitely federal income tax doesn’t seem to go to the roads and to the schools right from what I understand that I you know, I feel feel similar that a lot of this doesn’t go to the road where we at least I will speak for myself should go and.. Well look at countries like Singapore.

[00:37:01] Look at countries like Hong Kong these countries are booming and they had smaller governments and more libertarian governments and they went from swamps like Singapore was a swamp to now one of the richest countries in the world. They have more millionaires per capita than I think any other country in the world their GDP per capita is highest in the world.

[00:37:22] They have the strongest passport in the world that it’s like the less government. You have the better. The more government the worse off the country is like. We’ve tried every other philosophical idea for running a country except libertarianism and I really want to see this put in place and I don’t know if we will ever get a truly libertarian country.

[00:37:45] But if we do, I would definitely be moving there as an expat. Great. All right. Well, this has been a fascinating interview and I’m glad we got you on to the show and definitely I recommend people to check out your podcast, your book, we’ll link these all up in the show notes as well and any any last things you’d like to share?

[00:38:06] I think we got the link to the book and your your podcast and blog is expat money Yeah, so if people like the ideas that we’ve been talking about today, I do encourage you to go out and pick up a copy of the book. I have been told it’s quite a quite a disruptive book. There is a lot of lawyers and people out there who are a little bit angry that I’m giving away a lot of these secrets for free or for whatever $10 or $20 the cost of the book.

[00:38:34] But yeah pick that up on Amazon and check out my podcast I do weekly interviews. I’ve had people like Jim Rogers, Doug Casey, you Mike were a guest on my show. Lots of really yeah fantastic people that was a fun interview. So come over check it out. And if you have any questions, you can get ahold of me on the website and I’m here.

[00:38:58] I’m here to help. Great. Thanks so much for sharing on the show today.  Thanks, Mike for having me. Are you looking to grow your international business from Asia? Amazon FBA import-export in cross-border e-commerce are trends in today’s world, especially here at Global from Asia. And we put together an ecourse ebook both actually all together for you for free with some fast track getting you going global from Asia.

[00:39:30] Check it out at You’ll get the book as well as an interactive e-course that will be catered based on how you answer the email series. So I look forward to seeing you on the inside. Check it out Thank you for that great interview Mikkel, and I hope you listeners enjoyed that.

[00:39:55] I was give some also mixed feedback. Some people don’t like the Amazon content. They say there’s there’s enough of that out there. They like the China the Asia interviews the stories. Thanks for that feedback from listeners. So my turn to do the blah blah blah some of y’all like this and it’s at the end so I can get away with doing a blah blah blah.

[00:40:17] Okay. So, how did I become an expat? I never really actually I had to change the show name. I called it digital Nomad how I became a digital Nomad but we were discussing the show and before the interview. He says it’s more expats. I feel like expat means like you’re on a package, you know, you’re on like a corporate overseas endeavor and the company’s paying your way.

[00:40:45] Maybe that’s what it is. I think it really stands for expatriates. But I never really considered myself that but I think if you’re here for the long term here or there or was that Dr. Seuss here there everywhere, but it’s true if you are are nowhere or not in your home country, You’re an expat especially if you’re there for the long term and yeah, I’m.. guess.

[00:41:10] I’m not a digital Nomad and maybe I never really was I spent almost 10 years in China and over a year now almost in Thailand with hopefully many more to go. I plan to be a permanent expat there’s definitely challenges with that. But I said it in the intro I talk about how I became an expat or a how I came overseas.

[00:41:29] I think we talked about it. But you know, I was a Wall Street guy. I had my Series 7 63 Nest NASD. I think or NES as license and did the tests and I was a broker. Honestly, I didn’t really make trades. I was more of a relaying trades. I was a trading assistant or I moved up the chain to become a trading assistant on a distressed debt or junk bond desk at which a bank a German Bank of Germany and German.

[00:41:53] It means on 60 Wall Street at JP Morgan building. DB bought and but I always wanted actually I don’t want to say X but I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t even know probably what the word meant. I thought I had to get MBA. I thought I had to learn how to start a company and had to get like some kind of a license or education and I thought I had to work for a few years.

[00:42:16] I thought I had to then get into MBA school and then I thought I had to like learn and meet people on how to start a business. Man, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. And maybe I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I think like Mikkel says you just gotta do it. So I was selling on eBay back in 2004 and led up to you know, my own website also in 2004, but got better at in 2005 and so making so many mistakes on how to do that, but then led me into buying from Chinese factories making huge mistakes and then.

[00:42:56] Quit a job to San Diego. So still wasn’t an expat had a buddy Peter. I don’t think you’ll hear is the blog my personal blog. I don’t think he listens to the show, but Peter had a place out in Ocean Beach San Diego 2007. Sounds like hey, I’ll head out there had an extra space for me 400 bucks a month two blocks from the beach awesome your dog beach for those that know Ocean Beach OB and.

[00:43:21] I got bored there seriously. I mean, it’s beautiful but it was boring. I was sitting in a coffee shop. I didn’t like I’m not a fan of Starbucks. I like the local. So the local lady was mom-and-pop. She just said you I gotta put your name on this seat because I guess I don’t know if she’s almost annoyed.

[00:43:38] I seriously probably got there in the morning and worked until the afternoon and you know, I bought some food and coffee. I don’t know. There’s another story I think I talked about that last show about how the coffee shop in Hua Hin didn’t even want to serve me or didn’t want me to plug in at least anyway took a trip to China didn’t think I would live there and was just blown away.

[00:44:01] I mean it was just insanity. I have upset some Chinese friends because I thought it would be like rice patties and dirt roads. I don’t know. One speak for all Americans one speak for myself. I had no idea was this developed and I was like man, there’s just so much happening here so much to learn so much.

[00:44:19] I don’t know and made my for week trip into five weeks. And in October and into November 2007 and then came home well I was homeless. I had already kind of canceled my room in San Diego and went back to Florida when my parents had retired and I was like Mom and Dad I’ll hang out here with you with you guys for Christmas, but you know not going back to New York.

[00:44:45] San Diego was kind of boring spent four or five months there. I’m not living in, Florida. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be cool now, but I’m going to China and I remember there was some discussions over the holiday and I took a flight to China 2007 2007 directly into Shenzhen. I flew in Hong Kong but like many here took a cross-border van.

[00:45:09] I think that was maybe the first time I had done I got so lost. I remember Melissa my assistant I should get her on the show. Can you believe she’s married? She has a Chinese husband. She’s Chinese and she lives in South Africa now her husband works for Huawei and they have a office there. So she’s in South Africa.

[00:45:26] She brought me an awesome like ostrich egg when I was living in Shenzhen when she came back, but maybe get her on the show. But anyway, I was totally totally lost.  And got into hotels and wasn’t sure how long I would be here in China and almost maybe at least few weeks in hotels in different parts of Shenzhen looking at apartments to gather how to set up a company.

[00:45:50] So many so many mistakes. Actually, I was kind of hopefully I helped some people on this show, but I thought I had opened up a Mainland Chinese company, but I got advised and I paid a few thousand dollars for that Knowledge from a lawyer to open a Hong Kong company first and then open a Chinese subsidiary under the Hong Kong company basically the stuff I had no idea and I was just kind of balancing information I got from I don’t know if we call them expats or

[00:46:15] Drinking enthusiasts at the local bar foreigners. I met some very colorful people in my days in China or there’s many of those expats that especially me. I was kind of at the end of it in 2007, but there was people that made a living doing a couple of trades, you know buying and selling from Chinese factories and making a decent margin in the middle and then just.

[00:46:40] Enough beer money for a month and food and then get another deal but that was already going away when I got into China. It felt like the easy days of trading we’re going away already, but I was collecting information from those guys. I mean they were smart. They had been there ten years already. I don’t want to name names great people, but do all shoutouts.

[00:46:59] I’m like Bellamy from Passage Maker he gave me some amazing advice. He also inspire me quite a bit. He’s been on the show a couple of times. But I had no idea I didn’t I think I thought I actually booked my return ticket to the longest. I use Continental Airlines. I had points or whatever for my Vegas trips when I worked in New York City, but I booked a return ticket because it was like so much cheaper than a one-way.

[00:47:25] So I put my return for like June 2008. So I was like, I’ll hang out here for eight six months and I’ll see what happens. See what happens. If I had known I’ve been here 10 years, I would have done so many different things. That’s the tricky part. If you know, you’re going to be somewhere a long time buy real estate.

[00:47:41] I don’t know. It just seems like the trend I have seen everywhere. I’ve been in Hoboken New Jersey if I had bought, you know, if I five years. Well, I live in New York anywhere, but I never had bought real estate. Unfortunately. It seems like everywhere I go the prices go up. But I didn’t know I didn’t know I would be there six months turned into you know, I took that return ticket in June had a rented apartment, but I was willing to lose the deposit, you know, you can lose the deposit you don’t you there was no airbnb’s then so I just booked a one-year lease at a place in Nanshan District of Shenzhen.

[00:48:19] That building is still there or last time I saw but there was everything I was getting built arousing Cida Dasha kind of near charcot Walmart for those that know that area kind of near high up A-hua kind of near High Wong Dasha. But yeah, basically for 10 years I was learning there was so much to learn and hopefully I’ve shared some of this knowledge in these blah blah blahs or with guests on these interviews, but that’s how I became an expat and we’ve talked about this we learn in the shows and my blah blah blah, but you know, when do you go back to your home country?

[00:48:59] When Is that reason that announcements? I’m getting lots and lots of friends saying you’re going back to the States. It’s usually the triggers the kids. Like honestly if it’s even been pressing through my mind lately, you know, you really have to almost fight. You have to go against everything to stay.

[00:49:18] outside your home country when you have kids that seems like that’s definitely a huge challenge to be an expat over. See there’s these international schools everywhere that charged like 20 to 25 thousand US dollars per year for kindergarten and they’re full and some of them are have waiting lists.

[00:49:34] So man. I should open a kindergarten and charge $25,000 a year for kindergarten that is insanity to me. I mean. .. hasn’t seen I have 50 grand for me. So a lot of times expats leave because they don’t want to pay $50,000 for their two kids to go to play a number of blocks and Legos so you but when is that mean that is usually a trigger when people go back.

[00:50:02] But for me, that’s how I became an expat my first year I extended, you know, I feel finished a lease. I switched I rented offices. There’s so much stories. I have a book on Amazon about some of this called Destination China. It’s like 6 bucks on Kindle I think if you want to read the whole detail, I don’t it’s just too much to put in the 10-minute blah blah blah, which we just hit on my audacity recording software, but.

[00:50:30] I think the point of today’s show is there’s never gonna be a right time to become an expat to break out of your mold to break out of the nine to five. You know, to break out of your normal what your parents or your friends expect you to do, so, it’d be really cool is if this show somehow influence somebody to take that jump and to take that chance and what’s the worst really honestly, what’s the worst that could happen?

[00:50:57] You spend a year overseas, maybe even get a job overseas or you’re doing try to do your Amazon or you try to do whatever and then you go back and get another job. Maybe go back to the same company and you probably have so much more feel experience and the MBA I never took I think this is a much more valuable experience than the MBA.

[00:51:16] I don’t think there’s any question in my mind and most others would agree. So I hope you guys enjoyed the show. Thank you. And thank you Go Remit HK sponsoring supporting this show. We’ve come back now for a couple of months. I hope everybody’s enjoying the new shows and I’m gonna go hang on my kids again.

[00:51:34] Watch some YouTube cartoons yippee. Get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at that’s Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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