Is New Zealand on Your Radar? Maybe It Should Be.

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by Simon Black: Questions:
Health, Taxes, andCitizenship



Someone asked
me recently, “Simon, if there are so many great places in the world
full of opportunity, why don’t you just pick one and stay there
— why keep traveling?”

Simple. I wouldn’t
be much good to you if I sat in one place and speculated about the
goings-on in various countries without frequently putting my boots
on the ground. The world changes quickly, and it’s important that
I see these changes with my own eyes so that I can give you the
most accurate information.

Also, it’s
true that the world is full of amazing places, and I travel so much
-because- of this fact, not despite it. I enjoy the travel, getting
to know people, and sniffing out the best lifestyle, business, and
investment opportunities in so many different countries.

New Zealand
is one of those countries, and I’m pleased to be back here, spending
a few weeks touring the countryside before heading on to South America
later this month.

I’ve been to
New Zealand before and I always enjoy it… if nothing else than
for its picturesque beauty. If you’re an outdoors type, New Zealand
will make you feel like a kid at the circus — completely exhilarated
and inspired by the natural spectacle before you.

In fact, New
Zealand’s natural beauty and diversity is the chief reason why there
are so many Hollywood movies shot in New Zealand (along with government
financial incentives); perhaps the most famous was Peter Jackson’s
Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Tour operators
even sell “Middle Earth” excursions for a mere $4,500 (USD) per

Despite eye-popping
costs to walk in the footsteps of the Hobbit, New Zealand is reasonably
priced, particularly when compared to other rich nations. For Canadians,
Europeans, and Australians, prices are definitely cheaper in New
Zealand than what you are used to at home.

For Americans,
New Zealand is roughly the same price as the US at roughly 75 to
80 US cents per New Zealand dollar (right now it’s 76.5 cents).
At less than 70 cents per NZ dollar, it feels very cheap.

When I was
last here in March 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, the
NZ dollar was valued at only 50 US cents, and New Zealand was the
cheapest civilized country in the world. Since that low point in
the financial crisis, New Zealand’s currency has appreciated more
than any other OECD country.

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