No More Expats, Tiny Satellites, and What’s Going on With the Olympics?

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on February 23, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

Hello Readers,  

I hope this week’s round-up finds you in good spirits and in good health. I expect that all of our readers who are experiencing winter in their region of the world are itching for spring.

This week, we explore the future of the Olympic Games, a country trying to get rid of expats, what’s going on with Australian taxes, and more!

Keep reading to find out how you could win a 3-night stay in Belize and help us plan the Escape Artist Conference that could answer all of your questions!


Saudi Initiative Will Reduce Expat Community Drastically

Saudi Arabia has begun to reduce their dependence on expats drastically.

As part of the county’s Vision 2030 project that aims to tackle Saudi Arabia’s unemployment issues and diversify its economy, the government has taken steps to get rid of some of the nine million expats.

  • Early last year, the validity of an expat work visa was reduced from two years to just one, hoping to increase employment rates among young Saudi nationals.
  • An annual expat tax went into effect on July 1, 2017, affecting expats and their dependents, that must be paid when the residence visa is sent for renewal.
  • All ministries and government departments were ordered to terminate contracts with expat workers within three years.
  • 12 retail professions are now limited to Saudi nationals, including watches, eyewear, autoparts, carpets, shopping malls, and more.
  • There has been an increase in job training for citizens in job fields that are filled with expats.

Luckily, there are so many other great locations to become an expat in, and Escape Artist is here to help you find your new home!


Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Host the Olympics?

As the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang come to a close this weekend, I’m beginning to wonder what the future of the event will be. Where will it be? I’m surprised to have read that many countries don’t want to host the Olympic Games!

Why? Because of the cost.

For this year’s games, the city of Pyeongchang built a $109 million stadium that costs $10 million an hour to use. For this reason, after just four uses, they will be demolishing the structure. There is no reason to keep it up. In order to fill the whole stadium at a later date, almost every person who lives in the area will have to attend the event.

This isn’t unheard of. In fact, because of rising costs and unexpected debt accumulated by Olympic hosts, bidding has gone down. Nearly half of the Olympic Games have cost double than what planners originally expected. In 2004, 12 cities bid to host. For the 2020 games, only five countries bid. Both the 2022 and 2024 games got only 2 bidders each.

For the 2024 Summer Olympics, Paris and Los Angeles bid. Paris was awarded the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 Summer Olympics because the Olympic Committee was afraid no one would want to bid for the 2028 games!

What will happen to the greatest and oldest sporting competition in the world? What was once a prestigious honor is now becoming a burden to governments everywhere.


No More CGT Exemptions in Australia

Due to capital gains tax changes in Australia, many expats are looking elsewhere for property.Consumer Resource Guide

The government announced that it would now deny capital gains tax exemptions for foreigners with primary residence, part of a housing affordability package in last year’s budget. There wasn’t much of a reaction at first, most likely from shock. Expats are being lumped into a group with foreign investors because the tax residency status is the key factor, not whether or not the property owner holds citizenship or not.

One wealth manager says that hundreds of thousands of expats are going to be affected by this change – and it is creating a lot of change. Many expats are putting their homes on the market with no intention of buying in Australia again.


Can You Hear Me Now?

Many areas of the planet still don’t have access to digital communication. This means you can’t just expect to have service everywhere you go. Mini-satellites may be the solution to your cell phone reception needs.

One digital communication firm says that it will be the first nano-satellites used as a means of relaying texts, calls, and more. Meir Moalem, of Sky and Space Global, says that others were using the miniature satellites for Earth imagery but were completely ignoring that they could be used for communication.

The firm hopes to offer customers cell phone connection through a series of 200 satellites the size of a shoebox that weigh roughly 22 pounds each. SAS is hoping to be operational by 2020, providing service to the equatorial regions of the planet, including most of Latin America and Africa, a market of 3 billion people.   


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up! If you’re interested in learning what it’s like to expatriate, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. At Escape Artist, we aim to ensure that your travels abroad run as smoothly as they can.

If you are interested in helping us plan an Escape Artist conference, fill out our quick survey to tell us what you want to see! For the next two weeks, enter for a chance to win a stay in Belize!


Whether you are planning on living, working, retiring, or investing overseas, Escape Artist can help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to check out the eBook store for the 2018 Expat Tax Guide and our wonderful country guides!

For more information on what’s going on in the international scene, check out some of this week’s newest articles!


Forget what you think you know about Colombia. It has changed dramatically since the 1980s and it has been growing as a tourist hotspot in recent years. There’s a lot of worry over safety because of an old reputation that the country has outlived. Today, many of the busiest cities are as safe as can be! With the government focusing its efforts on growing the tourism industry, you can look forward to plenty of enjoyable resorts and activities ahead. Here are some of the tourist favorites:


The historic walled city of Cartagena offers a look into Spanish colonial history with its…

Read more…


Colombia is quickly becoming an appealing destination for multinational corporations, expats, and North American tourists. This country offers upscale living among the Andes peaks, the Amazon forest, and along the pristine coastline. Colombia is built for any kind of lifestyle, whether that’s a sophisticated city life, a relaxed beachside life, or backpacker’s life. No matter the style that’s most appealing to you, these tips will help you better adjust to the country during your stay.

Top Places to Live – According to Expats

If you’re relocating and not sure which city to call home, maybe this information can help. The four most raved-about cities are…

Read more…


Many tourists and expats on their way to Colombia hear it: “Wait, isn’t it dangerous there? You’re going to Colombia? It’s not safe!” The issue with this is that Colombia is no longer the unsafe country it once was – back in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s a country transformed, and thanks to the government’s efforts in increasing security in its most popular cities, tourism has seen a large boom!

Colombia is a country of unique beauty with history and…

Read more…


When you structure a business in Panama you need to plan for tax in Panama and tax in your home country. You also need to build in asset protection and privacy to reduce the risk of being sued in Panama. Here’s how to best structure a business in Panama.

Note that this article is focused on internet businesses, such as affiliate marketing, a business that can be operated from Panama but does not sell to locals. an online business with minimal financial ties to Panama, or businesses that generate foreign-sourced profits for the Panama company.

If you open a restaurant or bar in Panama, the income earned would be…

Read more…


The top two international asset protection structures are the offshore trust and the Panama foundation. These have been the best for decades and they still have no serious competitors. Here’s how to decide if you should use a Panama foundation or an offshore trust to hold your business:

A Panama foundation is a “self-managed” asset protection structure formed in the country of Panama. It allows you, the founder of the foundation, to maintain 100% control over your investments. This structure is not a trust nor a corporation, but rather a hybrid of the two.

One reason I’m such a fan of the Panama foundation is…

Read more…

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on February 23, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.