I’ve spoken a number of times about how my family is pursuing additional residencies (and, hopefully, a second citizenship down the road as well). Most parents will say that they want to give their children opportunities they never had, or make their lives better in some way. For our family, that is the crux of our Plan B – trying to set up our kids for success in an uncertain world. Giving them options we never had.
People have been immigrating to different countries in search of a better quality of life for themselves and their families for centuries. It’s really nothing new. But, today, I wanted to delve a little further into this subject and explore some of the more specific reasons why parents may choose to do this, and how it can positively affect their kids’ lives.
So, without further ado, let’s explore 10 reasons to give your kids the gift of a second residency or citizenship.
#1 Security and Stability
The world is changing quickly. I think we all witnessed firsthand the value of having a Plan B during 2020-2022. Whether due to war, hyperinflation, or government oppression, providing your kids with an escape hatch is great way to ensure they always have somewhere safe they can go. It acts as insurance should any of these adverse circumstances arise. We all want what’s best for our kids, and this is a great way to ensure their safety and security in both the short and long-term.
#2 Enhanced Travel Freedom
A second residency or citizenship can offer greater travel opportunities for your kids. This could mean visa-free travel to certain parts of the world and the ability to stay in a desired country longer than they could with a tourist visa. It sets them up with some great flexibility as they get older and are able to do more traveling abroad on their own.
Most Western passports are pretty good, but there are definitely certain parts of the world where another residency or citizenship would help you gain more access. In an ever-shifting geopolitical landscape, it’s definitely a good thing to ensure your kids have freedom of movement to a variety of places.
#3 Cultural Appreciation and Multilingualism
This is probably my favourite point on this list. While it is easy for us to get caught up in our own bubbles, there is a whole world out there to experience! A great way to teach your kids to appreciate other cultures is to spend time in them. With a second residency or citizenship, you have the option to do just that and really immerse them in a new culture.
Seeing how other cultures live, learning the language, and getting out of their comfort zone will help your kids become more adaptable to new situations and grow their confidence. This is an extremely advantageous skill set to have, and can open the door to future opportunities for your kids.
#4 Access to Better Education
The education system in many countries leaves something to be desired. Even if you are in a country that is considered to have a “good” education system, you may either disagree with that statement or simply be looking for something different. Thus, it can be very attractive for parents to pursue a second residency or citizenship to get their kids access to a system that is better or just offers options not available to them at home.
It’s always important to do your research ahead of time when choosing an appropriate school for your kids to make sure you find one that is the right fit and offers the credentials that will allow your child to pursue further education if they so desire. A great option is to look for a school that offers an International Baccalaureate (IB) program – a standardized, rigorous, and globally-recognized program that was created with expats in mind.
From a post-secondary perspective, international students often pay eye-wateringly high tuition fees. By becoming a permanent resident or citizen in the country where they will be attending university, students may have access to far lower fees than their international counterparts.
#5 Access to Healthcare
When it comes to accessing timely and affordable care, many Western countries just do not measure up. Canada and the US, I’m looking at you!
Many people travel abroad for healthcare these days, hence why healthcare tourism is such a fast-growing industry. If you aren’t able to get healthcare for your children in a timely or cost-effective fashion, a second residency or citizenship can give you access to more options than you currently have access to at home.
While you can likely access this healthcare without needing residency or citizenship, depending on your (and your children’s) particular needs it may be something you want to think about.
#6 Expanded Career Opportunities
A second residency or citizenship can open up a world of expanded career possibilities for your kids. The skills kids can learn from spending time overseas can be a difference-maker when it comes to pursuing a career. The adaptability, resilience, and cultural experience they gain from spending time abroad is a huge competitive advantage to employers in an increasingly globalized world.
Pair that with the ability to speak another language and work abroad, and your kids will have access to opportunities that may not be available to those in your home country.
If your child is a burgeoning entrepreneur, that second residency or citizenship can also facilitate their ability to start or expand a business abroad. It’s a great way to help them dream big!
#7 Diversification of Assets
If you are reading this blog, chances are you understand the importance of asset diversification. But just as it is important for us adults to diversify our assets, it is important for children to do the same. By teaching them about diversification and helping them to understand and manage their assets at a young age, they will be better set up to weather future economic storms and make strong financial decisions.
A second residency or citizenship is, in itself, diversification, and it can open the door to bank accounts and various investments that are not available to non-residents. It will help your kids to actually see and experience the concept of diversification, and understand its importance as you discuss it with them.
#8 Potential Tax Benefits
Knowing what you know from reading Escape Artist Insiders magazine and our blog, can you imagine having yourself set up in a more beneficial tax situation from a young age? Figuring out which residencies and citizenships are the most beneficial for both yourself and your kids will pay huge dividends down the road.
Of course, this requires a lot of planning to do properly. But setting your children up with a few tools in their toolbox from a young age will enable them to understand how taxes work, and give them the knowledge to make good tax decisions down the road, based on their needs.
#9 Retirement and Pre-Retirement Options
Maybe some people want to retire in their home country, but many people would prefer to retire somewhere with a better climate (cough, cough, Canadians!). Or maybe they want to split their time between two countries, 50/50. Heck, forget retirement, maybe they want to live somewhere warmer right now.
Even if your kids do end up living in their home country for the long haul, the point is, they will have the choice, thanks to their second residency or citizenship. The world may be a very different place in their golden years than it is now, so building in options for them, while you can, is key.
# 10 Inheritance and Generational Benefits
A second residency or citizenship is a wonderful asset for kids to inherit from their parents, and perhaps then pass down to their kids. This is a step we, as parents, can take today to make things better for our kids, and give them more options down the road.
When we speak of investments like teak, real estate, and even certain types of insurance, we often talk about generational wealth, meaning we are building wealth now to be passed down to our kids and their kids for generations. A second residency or citizenship is another great way to do that.
Give your children this game-changing gift
Pursuing second residencies and citizenships can have a huge impact on not only your life, but also on your kids’ lives both now and down the road. It opens up opportunities for them they may not have otherwise had access to and teaches them invaluable skills they can use in the future.
Plus, they get to see you in action, be involved in the process, and understand the why’s and how’s of the steps you are taking to build your Plan B. Overall, it’s a great investment in your children’s future and, at the very least, gives them valuable options in an increasingly volatile world.
There are a lot of pieces you need to put in place for your Plan B, and second residencies and citizenships are just one of them. Make sure to subscribe to Escape Artist Insiders magazine for expert insight and advice on how to build all the different pieces of your Plan B, delivered to your inbox monthly.
See you next week!
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