Latest Updates 2022: Does the PT ‘Permanent Tourist’ Lifestyle Still Work Post-Pandemic?
Big government is slowly clamping down on all our personal freedoms and privacy. How will advocates of freedom and privacy escape when you need a vaccination document just to enter restaurants or go to the movies?
Are PTs deterred by face recognition at airports?
How about all the rules for exchanging tax information between countries?
(See last paragraph for the answers!)
We have always believed in pragmatism. If you don’t like something, don’t waste time complaining.. just find a solution! Solutions, especially in this case, are not one-size-fits-all, but rather need to be thought out according to individual circumstances.
A number of my followers have been asking about being a PT and living the Flag Theory lifestyle.
What is it, and does it still work as advertised?
PT can stand for any number of things including
- “Perpetual Traveler”
- “Permanent Tourist”
- “Prior Taxpayer”
- “Passing Through”
The idea behind these theories is that smart, freedom-seeking individuals should not be bound in their allegiances to just one government. Intelligent people with assets owe it to themselves and their future generations to diversify internationally by planting ‘flags’ in various different countries. Do these theories have a practical application in real life?
In other words, does this strategy work?
There also seems to be some confusion about the number of flags:
- ‘Three Flags Theory’ of Harry Schultz,
- ‘Five Flags Theory’ by W.G. Hill in the original P.T.
- ‘Six Flag Theory’ of Bye Bye Big Brother?
Let’s look first at “What useful purposes does a government serve?”
Most people accept the institution of government because it has always been there; they have always assumed it was essential. People do not question its existence, much less its right to exist. Everybody can agree that if people get together to establish & enforce uniform weights and measures, that’s a good thing. Libertarians would add that governments should provide a very small honest police force to prevent people being oppressed by force or fraud. Unfortunately, in the real world, governments themselves can be very oppressive, robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The various P.T. flag theories are all about achieving freedom by not having one single government controlling you. Real world again? Most countries treat & protect visiting foreign tourists far better than they do their own citizens. So the PT “flag” idea is to always be a foreigner, theoretically staying in any one country only short-term. Wherever you are, you are regarded by the local government as a Passing Through tourist– hence the P.T. ‘Permanent Tourist’ tag. You also achieve privacy and financial freedom, because no government will have access to the full picture of someone who is “just a tourist.”
In general ‘PTs’ can, by moving between countries on a regular basis (even if those moves are only on paper), legally reduce or eliminate their tax burden. Many, however, adopt this lifestyle primarily for self-ownership (as a sovereign individual) or for other freedom reasons – dropping out of “The System.” Why? Perhaps to avoid any further painful contacts with the courts or legal systems.
The goal of every P.T. is achieved by simply using different governments, or flags, for different parts of your life. At its simplest, the theory works well with three flags:
- #1 Have your citizenship & passport flag somewhere that
does not tax income earned outside the country.
- #2 Have your businesses properties, securities, precious metals and speculations
in stable, low or no tax countries – your business havens.
- #3 Live physically as a tourist in countries where what your esteem is valued, not outlawed. These countries are to be known in the PT jargon as PT Playgrounds.
Back in the 1980s, author W.G. Hill and the Scope International publishing house produced a series of books:
– The Passport Report
– PTO (Portable Trades & Opportunities)
In these “how to” books the original three flags were increased to five. How? Why?
The authors felt that PT life could be enhanced by adding several additional flags.
What were they?
#4 ‘Asset haven flag’ – a money management or offshore banking center, independent of the business flag
#5 ‘Residence flag’ – ideally in a tax haven where you have an official legal residence. Tax havens are many: Andorra, Bahamas, Bermuda, Campione, Georgia, England, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Uruguay– and dozens of others. Many countries have special no or low-tax deals for wealthy people. These include the U.K., Israel, & Italy.
Your paper or ‘official’ residence is not necessarily where you physically spend all or even most of your time. I wrote recently about residence in Campione for example – It’s ideal for this purpose. Why? Nobody cares where you are or how long you stay on your travels. You qualify as a resident as long as you own or lease a place to live there. The United Kingdom has the same rule, but recently it applied a £30,000 a year minimum tax on foreigners with legal residence. Campione and many other civilized places (like Uruguay) have no such taxes.
Finally, in 2005, an anonymous author under the name of Grandpa wrote a new three volume update named Bye Bye Big Brother. In this, he added a sixth flag.
#6 ‘Cyberspace’ – a kind of virtual online country for anonymously managing your affairs and generating an ‘offshore income’. This binds the other five flags together.
Now, having cleared up the confusion about the number of flags, the big question is, How does it work in real life?
Does becoming a P.T. actually work?
Will it be a stress-free and cost-effective way to increase happiness, freedom, health, & wealth?
Our answer: Emphatically yes!
It certainly does. Not only do I live this lifestyle myself, but I know many other people who are successful partial or nearly full-time Permanent Tourists. However, I don’t know anyone who follows the PT philosophy absolutely. The PT books set forth a set of suggestions made up for people who don’t like rules! Most people tend to interpret the PT Theory in their own ways, picking and choosing the bits they like best.
When people first hear of the PT theory, they think it sounds difficult, complicated or expensive.
It’s really quite simple to apply. And it costs almost NOTHING!
Most people don’t decide to become PTs overnight. Think of it as a gradual process – little by little, you might open a bank account offshore (Flag #1), buy real estate (asset haven, Flag #2) or spend time just enjoying life overseas (playground, Flag #3) and expand your business by diversifying internationally (business haven, Flag #4). Apply for a residence in a tax haven (Flag #5). Preferably find one that can lead to a second or third passport. Finally, by using the internet intelligently and securely for business and communication (Flag #6 – cyberspace) – Before you know it you are a full-fledged PT.
So this PT thing is certainly more than just an interesting theory. It is truly the foundation of your finding the optimum choice on how to “find freedom in an unfree world.”
Finally: Does the PT Lifestyle Still Work?
Yes, but of course it must be continuously modified to keep up with the times. The price of freedom is cleverly avoiding notice. Circumventing Big Government’s grip. With a source of income & a low profile, one can easily slip through the cracks to avoid being under the control of any government.
Isn’t big brother slowly clamping down on all personal freedoms and privacy? Yes. Thus, the answer is to have residence & citizenship arranged in such a way that Big Brother lets you live unnoticed, un-taxed, and unregulated.
Will PTs escape the Covid vaccine documents soon to be required by everyone? Same answer as above: Have your residence & citizenship arranged in such a way that Big Brother doesn’t know or care that you exist & thus lets you slip through the cracks.
Are PTs deterred by face recognition at airports? No. Foreign tourists from tax havens like Monaco, Bermuda, Campione, Bahamas, etc. are always welcome guests—usually without any required visas either. As long as you have a decent passport, you are admitted to most countries without a visa. And if you do need a tourist visa, they are granted usually online with minimum formality. With Visa Runs (ask us about this) you can stay as long as you want, almost anywhere.
How about all the rules for exchanging tax information between countries?
Answer: Full transparency may be on its way, we never recommend doing anything that could get you in hot water with the authorities. US citizens have now been obligated for years to fully disclose financial accounts and foreign assets deposited abroad, ever since 2010 when the US enacted FATCA. But for our readers and clients we have ways to prevent and circumvent all negative consequences. Reach out to us for customized solutions.