cheeky gifts

Cheeky Gifts For Insufferably Political People

It’s almost time for the most on-brand of all American holidays–Thanksgiving. Nothing says America quite like a day of gluttony, and celebrating our revisionist history about how the Native Americans “helped” the settlers learn to live off the land (the same land that was being stolen from them through systematic massacres at the time). With the current state of political discourse in the US, Turkey Day could be explosive if you’re not careful. We all have people in our lives who have different political views than our own (and if you don’t, who broke you?) In any case, it’s best to tread lightly with political conversations. When in doubt, shove some more turkey in your mouth instead of responding with the first retort that comes to mind, especially if that retort is, “Ok, boomer.” Turkey Day A post about Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the second most on-brand of all American holidays–Black Friday. Black Friday is the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season and it is the grandest of all celebrations of consumerism. People have been hurt and killed in stampedes on Black Friday as shoppers fight for the best deals to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.

Thou shalt not kill (unless it’s for a steep discount from retail price).” 

You have an opportunity to have some fun with the insufferably political people in your life. If they’re going to annoy you by regurgitating whatever nonsense they saw on Fox News or CNN yesterday, why not respond with some cheeky gifts? Two birds, one stone, so to speak. Your gift-giving obligation will be satisfied, and you can smugly await the moment when they open their gifts and piece it all together. Cheeky gifts really are the best gifts.

The links on this page are affiliate links, which is how this site makes (very little) money. The price of the products is always the same to you regardless of whether or not you use the links here (we get paid from the sellers). The FTC requires this disclosure even though I know you don’t care about it one bit, so here we are. It would be nice of you to click on any gifts you like and buy one, but it’s certainly not required.

For the climate change deniers: A thermometer

You’ll hear one of the favorite talking points from climate change deniers whenever there’s some severe weather. “If global warming is real, why is there so much snow on the ground?” You shouldn’t bother trying to explain how climate and weather are different things because these people are not interested. Learning the difference between climate and weather would be a buzz kill. So, get them a thermometer instead. That way they can watch the Earth die in real-time and Instagram the photos of the extreme heat and extreme cold at their leisure. wireless outdoor thermometer

Wireless Indoor-Outdoor Thermometer

For the climate change believers: An emergency flotation device

If it’s true that all the coastal areas in the US are going to flood if we don’t abandon our cars, it would be wise to own some things that help you float. You shouldn’t bet on finding a floating piece of debris once you’re already in the water (we saw how well that worked for Leo in Titanic). You need a better plan. Bonus: This cheeky gift is (sort of) stylish! It can be worn as an accessory and inflated over and over in case the flooding of America doesn’t happen all at once. It also has a built-in compass to help you find your way to higher ground. emergency flotation device

Emergency flotation device

For the people who believe basic healthcare for everyone is a good idea: ????

These sound like reasonable people. I don’t know of any cheeky gifts here. It’s also unclear to me why this is a partisan issue. Every other first-world country has set politics aside when it comes to investing in a healthy population. So what’s our problem?

For the people who believe basic healthcare is not a good idea: Home remedies

Who needs modern medicine when you have Windex?  

For the people who don’t want to die in a mass shooting: A bulletproof vest

Unfortunately, mass shootings have become commonplace in the US. There are more guns than people in the US and there’s clearly nothing we can do to fix the problem. I had to do some research for this gift. I thought it was illegal for regular citizens to own bulletproof vests, but it seems that was incorrect. At the federal level, the only time it’s illegal to wear one is if you’re a convicted felon or you’re wearing it during the commission of a crime involving a weapon. Some states have regulations for bulletproof vests that seem more stringent than their gun ownership regulations. Go figure. This is a good one, and reasonably priced. It’s recommended for anyone who frequents schools, shopping malls, synagogues, concerts, nightclubs, or private homes (where most mass shootings occur).

Buy a vest here

For the Yang Gang folks who are excited about the prospect of universal basic income: A Betterment account.

Free money for everyone sounds great, right?

“What would you do with an extra $1000 a month?”

I’ve been seeing that question floating around as part of Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign. Should this happen, there is the slight problem of every future election being a fight over the candidate who promises more free money ($1000, then $1500, then $2000, etc., until there is no more money to be had), but we’ll leave that alone for now. If you start receiving an extra $1000 a month, it would be wise to invest it. Betterment is one of my favorite discoveries of the past few years. Basically, they manage your investments for you in a way that used to be reserved only for ultra-rich people. They use software to invest in a bunch of index funds that fit your risk profile and goals, they automatically rebalance your investments when it’s appropriate and they know when it’s advantageous to do some tax-loss harvesting. If you don’t understand half the things in that sentence, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to! They handle all of it for you. You can take their free assessment to see what they recommend for you here. For what it’s worth, the money I put with them has outperformed all my other investments (except bitcoin…which is more like gambling than investing). Turn on the auto-deposits and check back in twenty years. “Set it and forget it,” as they say. A good second choice for the universal basic income folks is a book that will teach them some things about capitalism to help them grasp the bigger picture. I recommend this one, written by a brilliant author I happen to know very well. 😉  

For those opposed to universal basic income: Monopoly Socialism

Recruiting your friends and family members to play a game of Monopoly Socialism to teach them how socialism works sounds like a hoot. This twist on the classic game includes features like having players work together on community projects…unless they can steal projects to get ahead. It’s one of those cheeky gifts for capitalists who want to educate the socialists in their lives.

For the people who believe the Trump presidency will end in civil unrest or civil war: A survival kit

It is entirely possible the Trump presidency will end in large-scale civil unrest in the US. If you think, “That would never happen in the US,” perhaps you should brush-up on your US history. There’s nothing new or unique about civil unrest or riots, and you don’t have to look very hard online to find the nut jobs who are preparing for violence. It’s one thing to turn into a “prepper” who builds bunkers, stockpiles ammunition and spends your weekends at survivalist bootcamps. It’s another thing to have a backup plan and supplies in case of an emergency. You should be able to survive for at least a week without leaving your home, if push comes to shove. This is true whether you’re planning for civil unrest, or a natural disaster. It pays to be prepared. This survival kit will give you a good start.  

For the vegans in your life: A set of steak knives

This is my favorite of the cheeky gifts.


For the millennials who complain about the cost of housing in cities where they live (but don’t have to live): An avocado-shaped piggy bank

Because avocado toast is the primary reason why millennials can’t afford to buy houses. It’s the only possible explanation.

Avocado piggy bank

You know who this is for:

And you know who this is for:

but her emails  

For everyone: Pocket-sized United States Constitution & Declaration of Independence

Many moons ago, getting a passing grade in a class called Civics was required to graduate high school. I’m hearing stories from all over the US that Civics is not being taught anymore. That’s disturbing for a few reasons, but mostly because ignorance favors tyranny. After all, how are you supposed to know when your government is ripping away your Constitutional rights if you don’t know what rights you have in the first place? (Hint: The political ads you see on Facebook do a poor job of being honest about those sort of things) Here’s a ten pack for about $1 a piece. Buy the pack and use them as stocking stuffers. pocket constitution  

For the Brits

A list of cheeky gifts wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Brits. After all, they’re the ones who use the term “cheeky” more than anyone else. And have you been paying attention to the current dumpster fire commonly known as “Brexit?” What a mess. This gift would be good for an ugly sweater party, too! (Although the Brits call sweaters “jumpers.” Weirdos.) I hope you enjoyed this gift guide. I’ll see you again next year. Against my better judgment, I’ve left the comments open on this post. That might change, though. For now, have at it. Do you have any cheeky gifts we should add to the list? Leave your ideas in the comments and we’ll send you a prize if we use one of your ideas. 
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Gifts For People You Don’t Like Very Much

credit card

My Credit Card Company Wants Me To Stay In Shape

I awoke to a message from my credit card company on Christmas Eve. It was 6:24am in Central Illinois.

“Did you just spend $1324.01 at APPLE STORE?”

Umm, no, I did not. It was early in the morning, and the closest Apple Store was about 150 miles away in Chicago.

It only took a few minutes on the Capital One app to report the charge as fraudulent. They killed my card and sent me a new one that was waiting for me when I returned home to Denver the following week.

The best part was a few days after the fraudulent charge when the credit card company emailed me to make sure I updated my gym with my new credit card number.

Seriously? They want me to stay in shape?

How sweet of them! It couldn’t POSSIBLY be because they want me to keep using their card for recurring charges. It must be because they care about my health. (wink)


This isn’t the first time Capital One has saved me from a fraudulent charge.

A few years ago, I met a buddy of mine for happy hour. I arrived about twenty minutes early and ordered a drink while I waited. When it came time to settle the bill, I told my buddy to let me cover the tip because I had one more drink than he did. We’re both good at math, so this solution worked well for us.

Several days later, Capital One emailed me because they noticed what looked like a very generous tip. They were correct! It was a generous tip, but that’s not all. The restaurant took the liberty of DOUBLING the (already generous) tip on the bill. Naughty, naughty.

The crazy part is that I never would have caught that. I check my credit card statements every month, but I don’t comb through my receipts to compare amounts because even thinking about that level of detail gives me a headache. If I saw a $29 charge or a $39 charge from the restaurant, it would have looked about right and I wouldn’t have given it any thought. Capital One was all over it, though. It was rather impressive.

On the flip side, I have a credit card with a different company that was compromised last year. They contacted me to ask if I just tried to spend $40,000 at a gas station in India. Haha…what?

When I told them I was not trying to spend $40,000 at a gas station while I was sitting in Colorado (and that sounded like a lot of snacks), they turned off my card and sent me a new one.

The funny part with that credit card company was the follow-up questioning. Have you ever been to India? (No) Do you know anyone in India? (No) Do you have any suspects for us? (No) Their line of questioning was fair, but I felt a little like they were accusing me of some wrongdoing throughout the process. They never said it, but I got the feeling.

It was like when you’re in trouble with your significant other. You don’t need specific words to know you’re in trouble. You can read between the lines. My Capital One friends never made me feel like that, though.

In both cases, it was no big deal and only a minor inconvenience to wait a few days for a new card. I guess that’s why it’s wise to carry more than one credit card with you, right?

Capital One has several great credit card options right now. Everyone has different priorities when it comes to credit cards, and Capital One seems to have something for everyone.

I am not getting paid to recommend any of these. I’m just a Capital One fanboy right now because they take good care of me.


capital one savor


Savor Rewards

  • 0% APR for 15 months (which shouldn’t matter because you pay your balance every month, right? RIGHT?!)
  • One-time cash bonus of $150 after you spend $500 in the first three months of owning the card.
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. Amazing!


capital one venture card


Venture Rewards

  • 50,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $3000 in the first three months.
  • You earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Jon’s note: This sounds like a great alternative to the Chase Sapphire, if you’d prefer not to do business with Chase.


capital one quicksilver


Quicksilver Rewards

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • One-time cash bonus of $150 after you spend at least $500 in the first three months.


Do you detect a theme here? The Capital One cards reward you when you USE THEM in the first three months. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why–they want you to make their cards a regular part of your spending program and the best way to do that is to incentivize you to use the new cards as soon as you get them.

UPDATE: One more compliment for the Capital One family. As I was writing this post, I contacted Capital One to see if I could switch to another card with better (for me) rewards. Within ten minutes, they responded to my Tweet and gave me a link to request the upgrade. The upgrade took about 30 seconds.

I don’t know about your banking experience, but a tech-savvy team that answers your questions without a trip to a branch or requiring a phone call is A+ in my world.

Do you have a great experience with Capital One that you’d like to share? Please add it to the comments below. As always, I will send you a chocolate chip cookie if we end up using your comment in a future post.


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electric scooter side hustle

Start An Electric Scooter Side Hustle

Quick disclosure: This post contains links for various transportation companies. When you click them and register, you’ll get some free credit and so will I. The credits range from $3 to $10, so this could theoretically accelerate our retirement dates by several weeks if we wisely invest our free money. The FTC requires this disclosure, but they don’t require the sarcasm–that part is all me.

If you live in a major metro area in the US or Europe, you have probably seen adults zipping around town on electric scooters this year.

Electric scooters aren’t new to the world, but the mass rental availability of them is definitely a new thing. It’s an interesting phenomenon for several reasons and it has opened the door to some unique electric scooter side hustle opportunities.

The biggest electric scooter rental companies are new! Bird was born in 2017 and they immediately gained some major traction (and major funding). As of June 28, 2018, they have raised $415 million in funding. Lime is another big player in the electric scooter rental space.

They also have Lime bicycles that operate in a similar way. Lime was born in 2017 and they have raised $467 million in funding as of July 9, 2018. Lyft, the ride sharing service, also entered the electric scooter rental game this year. There are more examples, but you get the idea. There are some big dollars being bet on these companies.

Electric scooters are succeeding for a few different reasons. Some of the obvious reasons are the cost to rent ($1 plus $0.15 per minute per ride), convenience (the apps have real-time maps with all the available scooters near you and all you need to do is walk to one, scan the code with your phone and start riding) and THEY’RE FUN.

How Do Electric Scooter Rentals Work?

It only takes a few minutes to get started with the electric scooter rentals. If you haven’t tried any of them yet, let’s do that now. If you’ve already signed-up, you can skip this section.

  1. Download the apps from the App Store or Google Play and get your first ride for free with these links: Bird, Lime and Lyft. Go ahead and get all three as their coverage varies from city to city. None require any upfront payment, so it won’t cost you anything to register and claim your free rides.
  2. Complete the registration process with your phone. You’ll need your driver’s license and a credit or debit card. It only takes a few minutes, even if you’re a slow typer.
  3. Find a scooter. All the scooter rental apps have the same basic functionality with a live map that shows you where the available scooters are located near you.
  4. When you locate an available scooter, scan the QR code on the handlebar with your phone.
  5. Ride (carefully).
  6. Park it at your final destination, wherever that may be. If I’m going more than a few miles, I make sure I get a fully-charged scooter for that ride (you can see the battery level of each scooter in the app before you commit to renting it). Common courtesy is important. Don’t block sidewalks or entry/exit access to buildings when you park.
  7. Snap a quick photo with the app (it will prompt you to take the photo before you can end the ride) to prove that you parked it in a proper place.
  8. You will be asked to leave feedback and rate your ride on a one-to-five star scale every damn time. I like to mess with whoever reads the feedback by leaving things like “It only goes 35 mph on a downhill slope…weak” or “I almost hit a squirrel” or “It was difficult to tow my baby stroller behind me on the busy streets.”


Some Electric Scooter History 

Do you remember Segways when they were new? You know, the two-wheeled standing people movers? The company launched in 2001 and was eventually acquired.

The inventor was convinced that Segways were the future of transportation and he was pounding that drum for many years (until his untimely death in a Segway accident, of all things).

As it turns out, he may have been right about electric people movers. The part that was a little off was the timing. When Segway launched, automobile traffic wasn’t such a massive challenge in most major metro areas in the US, we didn’t have Uber and Lyft and we didn’t have smart phones.

Segways are also very expensive to purchase compared to the current electric scooter options. The masses simply weren’t ready for Segways, nor was the technology ready to make them easy for us.

The only places I seem to find Segways these days are in tourist traps (take the Segway tour of our town!) and in places where police officers and security guards need to cover relatively large geographic areas (shopping malls, airports, concert venues, etc).

I don’t see any Segways being used by my hipster neighbors or any other regular folks in town, but I see electric scooters are everywhere.

When the scooter wars began in Denver (spring 2018), I was thrilled. I sold my car a few years ago and I will enjoy my car-free life for as long as I can. There are some potential life events that would make me change my tune about owning a car, like changes in my work location (currently, it’s whatever coffee shop I feel like visiting that day) or changes in my family structure (currently single with no kids).

We’ll cross those bridges when we get to them. Until then, I’m loving life as Jonny Carless. Uber, Lyft, Car2Go and Getaround make life easy when I need to use an automobile, and the rest of the time I’m walking, on an electric scooter or taking public transportation.

Several electric scooter companies descended upon Denver and scattered hundreds of electric scooters around town at strategic, high-traffic locations. Think bus stops, large apartment complexes and professional sporting venues. (Related: You can get at DUI on a scooter, so don’t be an idiot).

The electric scooter apps will prompt you to invite your friends to join on a regular basis. It’s not even annoying because they give both you and your friend some referral credits for each signup.

Currently, they pay $3 to you and $3 to the new user, so I’m not going to put “get people to signup on a scooter app” in the electric scooter side hustle list. At $3 a pop, you shouldn’t be spending a lot of time working the referral fee angle for free credits.



Electric Scooter Side Hustle Opportunities

1. Charge them overnight, or whenever they’re low on power during the day.

The scooter rental companies have a logistics issue at the moment. It would be cost-prohibitive and a giant P.I.T.A. to employ full-time people to roam around town, collect scooters that are low on battery power and charge them. The scooters have a good range (usually 10-15 miles per charge), but they get heavy use in the big cities and the batteries can drain in a few hours.

The solution? They pay regular folks to collect the scooters when the batteries are low to charge them at their homes. Sometimes that’s overnight and sometimes it’s in the middle of the day.

Some people have turned this opportunity into full-time work. If the scooter company will pay you $5-$7 to charge a scooter and you can do ten of them a day, the math works okay even when you account for fuel, vehicle expenses (usually a truck) and an uptick in your electric bill. It’s still pretty close to poverty-level compensation, but it beats flipping burgers.

Personally, I don’t see this being a “forever” opportunity, so maybe don’t quit your day job just yet. I could be wrong, but I believe the electric scooter companies will eventually bring those jobs in-house, or hire an army of cheap or free interns to manage that side of the business. In the meantime, make hay while the sun shines.

2. Repair them

The scooters break from time to time. Sometimes it’s normal wear-and-tear, and other times it’s angry taxi drivers who don’t like their new competition. If you have some mechanical skills, you can put them to good use by repairing the scooters when they need a little love.

3. White label your own electric scooter rental company (with the help of Bird)

Bird makes it possible for individuals to start their own electric scooter side hustle by white-labelling their service. It looks like a franchising model and provides another source of revenue for them.

This was a savvy move by Bird. They are empowering those with an entrepreneurial spirit to cash-in and join the scooter craze by using the Bird platform to run their businesses. Not only is this move going to produce more total riders for Bird, but it also keeps enterprising individuals from starting competing electric scooter companies. Sneaky, eh?

Why would you go through all the hassle of setting up your own electric scooter rental company when you could do it through Bird? They make it easy to leverage their platform.

4. Start your own scooter company as an electric scooter side hustle

Maybe you’re not interested in the white-labelling option from Bird and you’d prefer to directly compete with them. Conceptually, it sounds simple. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to compete with the big boys, but it’s simple.

You’ll need to incorporate, get familiar with the local laws where you want to operate, figure out how to distribute the scooters every day, figure out how to repair them when they break, figure out how to keep them charged, get some good insurance, hire some customer support people, put policies and safeguards in place to prevent fraud and theft, get people to sign up, differentiate yourself from the established companies that have the hundreds of millions in funding and a bunch of other little things that will inevitably appear when you start doing rentals.

If you read that last paragraph and STILL think it’s a good idea to do this on your own, you have the right level of insanity to give it a shot. Startup founders are some of the craziest people I have met in my life (some in a good way, others notsomuch). Apparently, that’s what it takes to win sometimes.

Go get ’em, and good luck.

5. Create or sell scooter accessories

Have you ever noticed how many products are built as offshoots from other popular products? Take the iPhone, for example. Think about all the options you have for iPhone cases, adapters, chargers, photo lenses, stands, selfie sticks, PopSockets, etc. There are dozens of popular products for the iPhone and most of them aren’t made by Apple.

The same type of opportunity exists by starting an electric scooter side hustle. Think about helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, carrying cases, lights, etc. There are plenty of options for creating or repackaging products that complement the scooter experience. There’s definitely a first-mover advantage with accessories in situations like this, so get on it before someone else beats you to it.

It will be fun to watch the progress of the electric scooter rental companies over the next few years. There has already been some (predictable) drama around them in places like Santa Monica and San Francisco. I’m also curious to see how they manage the seasonality of their business in cities that have cold and snowy winters. Seasonal businesses are tricky and I’m not sure how a scooter company’s economics will work when they’re limited to operating only eight months of the year.

What else do you think would be a great electric scooter side hustle? Leave your ideas in the comments below.


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side hustle ideas

65 Side Hustle Ideas :: Make Extra Money In Your Spare Time

Side hustle ideas are a dime a dozen, but it can be hard to find the RIGHT one for your circumstances. Some of these side hustle ideas are more involved than others and there are plenty of online resources to help you get started.

Want to restore cars and sell them? Repair iPhone screens? Learn how to make organic pet treats? Great. Go to YouTube. Everything you need to know to launch one of your side hustle ideas should be there in some form or another.

  1. Flipping cars. Like flipping houses, but faster and with less investment.
  2. Facebook ads management for small businesses.
  3. Rent a room in your house in Airbnb.
  4. Manage other people’s Airbnb listings.
  5. Rent your car on Getaround.
  6. Wedding photography on the weekends.
  7. Engagement photography.
  8. Baby photography.
  9. Sell your photos to a stock photo company.
  10. Dog walking.
  11. Dog sitting.
  12. Make and sell organic pet treats.
  13. Start a blog about side hustles. 😉
  14. Write a short book and put it in the Kindle store. Like this one: How To Move To The UK
  15. Become a notary public.
  16. Garage sale / thrift store item flipping on eBay or Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
  17. Copywriting
  18. Proofreading
  19. Ghost writing
  20. iPhone screen repair/replacement
  21. Tutoring
  22. Babysitting
  23. Elder care
  24. House cleaning
  25. Landscaping
  26. Painting houses
  27. Computer repair / tech support on-demand
  28. Electronic appliance setup (think how hard it is to get a wifi router set up for most people)
  29. Donate blood plasma
  30. Help people move (either entire households, or maybe just large items)
  31. Tax preparation service
  32. Resume writing service
  33. Work-at-home customer service representative during your off-hours
  34. Estate sale / clean-out service
  35. Housesitting
  36. Mystery shopping
  37. Offer bootcamp or personal training sessions
  38. Become a local tour guide for a specific niche (haunted houses, historic houses, cannabis facilities, etc.)
  39. Unique item rental service (think occasional-use items like power washers, ladders, dunk tanks, etc.)
  40. Upwork and Fiverr: Go see what skills you have that are in-demand for both large and small jobs.
  41. Become a travel agent.
  42. Raise chickens and sell their eggs.
  43. Start a catering business.
  44. Start a wedding planning business.
  45. Personal shopping
  46. Party planning
  47. Private bartending service (think company parties or holiday parties)
  48. Cake baking / decorating service
  49. VHS or DVD -> digital files service
  50. ESL teacher (think about offering video courses to people around the world via Skype or Google Hangouts)
  51. Social media account management
  52. Complete online surveys for money.
  53. Start a YouTube channel.
  54. Tailor clothing
  55. Make clothing to sell.
  56. Become a model. Don’t think supermodel, think hand model or foot model or standard-looking-person model.
  57. Get a real estate license and sell houses part-time.
  58. Start a home staging business.
  59. Start a home inspection business.
  60. Christmas tree decorating service
  61. Christmas tree delivery service
  62. Christmas tree removal service
  63. Online dating profile writing service
  64. Mobile furniture repair service
  65. Snow removal service


I could go on and on and on with this list, but I think you get the idea. You can focus on something simple or you can be creative. If you have some special skills, use them! You might be surprised at how much demand exists for seemingly simple side hustle ideas.

What side hustle ideas have worked for you? Please share them in the comments below.


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leaving the us

Leaving The US :: Best Places For Americans To Move Abroad

So you like the idea of leaving the US, eh?

Not so fast.

The idea of living abroad might seem glamorous, but it can be tough. Being away from family and friends will take a toll and living abroad as an expat is not for the faint of heart.

Also, did you know that the US is one of TWO countries in the world that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, regardless of where that income is earned? If your tax rate is 25% in the country where you live and your tax rate in the US is 30%, the math gets ugly pretty fast. There are tax treaties in place for many countries, but the complexity is a real thing that you’ll need to address from day one. TurboTax is no help here, so you’ll be shelling out some clams in order to stay out of trouble with the IRS.

To make matters more complex, you might not be welcome to relocate to the country of your choice. It might sound shocking, but not every country is falling over themselves to get Americans to move there these days. In fact, many countries would prefer that we stay away.

Perhaps they can see the black smoke from our political dumpster fire with their binoculars, or perhaps they hate the Kardashians. In any case, it’s not a given that you’ll be welcome as an American in another country.

On a related note, there’s a reason this guide sells well during the first few weeks of November every other year. Can you guess why? 😉


leave the us




Europe is a popular place for expats to begin their search when they’re considering leaving the US. It makes sense because European destinations are some of the most popular vacations spots for Americans and flights to Europe are relatively inexpensive right now (thanks to WOW Air and Norwegian Airlines for bringing cheap international flights into the mix). Don’t forget the bragging rights component. My Instagram is lit every time I visit Europe and post pictures, which is the way God intended it to be. Not all of Europe is equal, though. There are some political divisions and institutions that need to be respected. The European Union is a big deal, and so is the Schengen Zone. The Schengen Zone matters the most for expats because the member countries work together to restrict travel and immigration (read: YOU). The graphic below does the best job of illustrating the complexity of the different European groups, which is surely going to become more complex if/when the UK completes the Brexit process.

eu countries

Here are some of the easiest places to move as a US citizen, in no particular order:


The Netherlands

In the 1950s, the US and Holland created the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (or DAFT, for short). Somebody in the State Department had a sense of humor back in the day with a name like that.

The Dutch wanted to make it easy for Americans to relocate to The Netherlands to help rebuild their country after WWII, so that’s where how the treaty started. It’s still in effect today and the rules are simple. It’s inexpensive and relatively easy to get a proper visa (two years at a time; five years until you can apply for citizenship) through the DAFT Treaty. You’ll need 4500 euros to park in a bank account and you’ll need to get on Dutch healthcare, plus the money you’ll need for regular life expenses, like rent and food.



Our southern neighbor makes it easy for Americans to move there. The peso is weak right now so take those gringo dollars and live large in Mexico. You’ll still be relatively close to the US should you need to return to visit and Spanish is a great language to learn if you don’t speak it already.

Plus, you can’t go wrong with tacos and tequila, right? You already know about the beaches, weather, etc.



I was lucky enough to spend a few months in Colombia this year. I am extremely bullish on the future of Colombia considering all the US expats who are retiring there and the amazing strides the country has made since the Pablo Escobar days of the 80s and 90s. Those days are long gone and most of Colombia is safer than any major city in the US, so don’t believe the hype. In fact, many of the expats I met in Colombia wanted to keep it quiet–they don’t want any more gringos moving there and driving the prices up.

With a small investment in real estate (~$25,000 USD), you can fast-track your permanent residency/citizenship. There are regular flights to Colombia from major US hubs like Miami and Houston (with LA getting into the game before too long as well).



Many Americans move to the giant metropolitan sand pit in the heart of the Middle East. Dubai is the popular spot to land for most people and it feels a bit like Vegas (with more authoritarianism and less public drunkenness because drunk people are instantly sent to jail in Dubai).

Dubai has done a great job of making themselves the financial center of the Middle East, so there are plenty of jobs in banking and finance. There will be a period of adjustment if you are moving from the US because of the differences in culture and government.

Fun fact: Most of the real estate transactions in Dubai are new developments because so much of the housing stock there is relatively new, much like just about everything else in Dubai. The new construction over the past few decades has been astounding and there aren’t many resale transactions because of all the new housing stock that keeps being built. sail around the world


Buy a boat and sail around the world

I guess this isn’t technically “moving” out of the US because you have to be a citizen of SOMEWHERE, but it will accomplish many of the same things you’ll get in a big relocation. Does it sound crazy? It really isn’t. With technology and connectivity being what they are these days, it’s not outrageous to plan a trip around the world on a boat. People do it all the time. Check out some YouTube videos for first-person narratives on how it works.

For more suggestions about how to escape the US, you’ll have to buy the guide. I know, I know…I’m such a tease. If you like it, please leave a review. If you don’t like it, please let me know and I’ll mail you my royalties from the sale. The stamp on the envelope will be worth more than the royalties, but it’s the principle I’m trying to defend here.


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