(or, how to fly around the world 1.6 times)
After crunching some numbers for tax CYA purposes** we realized we had had quite an amazing journey in terms of statistics, so Matt thought it’d be fun to visualize it in the form of an infographic. I hope you enjoy!
**that’s right! If you travel outside the country 330 days or more out of any 365 day period and still work for an American company, you get to claim a little something called Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). What that means is that if you’re regularly employed on a W-2, you don’t pay any income tax for the time you’re out (your employer has already paid some before they cut your paycheck). If you’re self-employed, you still have to pay the 15% self-employment tax which covers Medicare and Social Security, but you don’t pay anything above that for your normal tax bracket. This is the case for both the Federal and State (at least for MO) level. Between FEIE, free rent through housesitting (197 out of 335 nights) and just being a little frugal, we managed to save 25% of our income this year. That was after our monthly 401k contributions, tithing, and a large unexpected tax bill from 2015 (quarterly estimates are a pain!). All of this money saved is enabling us to come home and put a downpayment on a house, which is exactly the hare-brained scheme that Matt pitched to me 18 months ago. Just a little tip for all those intrigued by this lifestyle – yes, if done correctly you can travel the world while working remotely AND save more money than if you’d stayed at home in the States. If you lived in a place like Thailand for 11+ months, I’d imagine you could save a whole lot more. If you want more details, hit me up. There’s also lots of travel bloggers that have detailed their expenses to show how this works, and you can read more here, here and here for some breakdowns.
That’s it! Thanks so much for following our blog this year. It’s meant so much to have our friends and family cheering us on. We couldn’t have done this year without your support and encouragement. We look forward to coming home and putting deep (promise Mom, really deep) roots back in Kansas City. But, I will say this: this wouldn’t be impossible with kids. Perhaps we could spend a summer break abroad one day? We shall see 🙂
Matt and Elizabeth
Categories: Long term travel tips