Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands

Today we cover Mariana Islands a low tax paradise with legal cannabis
and amazing climate.

Are you a US-citizen looking for a nice place to live with lower taxes, nicer
climate and perhaps legal cannabis?
Something US-citizens often forget is the Territories of the United States.

United States owns a 14 different territories (mostly different islands) overseas.
Five of these territories are American Samoa, Guam,
the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
All very beautiful paradise like islands located in the
Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean.
What is great for US-citizens is that you do not need any
special visa in order to live in any of these places
the person(who is living in Saipan) we interview for this article simply told us that:
“It's as easy as to move to any other state in the us”

The territory we are going to focus on today is the
island group the Northern Mariana Islands.

Flag of the Northern Mariana islands

Saipan a small paradise island located in the
south part of the world in the Mariana island belt.

Saipan location

It's a small island with very nice beaches
and the same temperature all days of year.
With its nice all year temperature:
Saipan weather

low tax, gigabit fiber Internet
The Mariana islands receive great gigabit
internet from a submarine cable operated by docomo
which is owned by the Japanese telecom giant
NTT(which is partly owned by the Japanese state, the proud owners of the
worlds biggest dept( from the near Guam island.

One of our reporters reached out to Vin Armani
a person who has recently moved to
Saipan with his family and asked some questions:

Great to talk with you Vin, first of what timezone are you in?

I'm in chamorro time zone(UTC+10)

Where do you live?

I live in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
islands, On the island of Saipan to be more specific.

What attracted you to Saipan and why did you pick it as your home?

Currently, the freedom of movement and association.
There are some restrictions on businesses, but there are no lock-downs
here or restrictions on people out in public that are being enforced.

These times of corona are really pushing states to enforce a lot of fear… How is Saipan's export and import? If you want
some book of amazon how long does it normally take?
How is food options can you get the majority of different types of meals?

It takes a while to get things from amazon, up to 2 weeks in some cases.
Not everything on Amazon is deliverable here like electronics.
There are sufficient food options for my family and I.
There are many stores with lots of items.

DNTM: That's good, how is the social life on the island?
Is there a lot of expats on the island?

There are a handful of expats, but right
now dine-in restaurants, bars, and other places are closed.
There is no tourism right now and it is a tourism-heavy place (mostly from China).
So we have a growing little community around our crypto cluster.
We have made friends. My kids have already made friends here.
We're having a barbecue tomorrow with about 20 people at our friend's house.

How is the homeschooling scene, is there any private schools on the island ?

There are private schools on the island.

How is the mentality of the local people?
Are they welcome to foreigners? Open minded?

VIN: They are all US citizens. So we aren't foreigners. The population is heavily Filipino(you hear lots of tagalog )
and ethnic Chinese.
Europeans and those African descent are minorities.
Most white woman I've seen out are Russian (as is my wife).

The local culture is very welcoming to many cultures.
The people are kind and polite.

Hows the climate?

It's always the same temperature, sometimes a bit rainy and typhoons during the season.

How is banking in the Mariana islands?

VIN: There are local FDIC insured banks(Bank of Guam and several Hawaii banks).
The banks are all within ACH(Automated Clearing House). Setting up a company is quite inexpensive.
US citizens that live here and corporations
domiciled here are not subject to IRS so don't have to pay income tax
to the US government, only earnings tax to CNMI(Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).

How did you find out about Saipan?

I met the guy from and Mark Edge (host of Free talk live) who I
have known for years came and stayed here for months and reported on it.

Is it hard to find a place to live ? What is the average cost of living ? How much is a lunch?

VIN: Right now there are many rentals because there is no tourism.
You can find a nice place for under 1000USD per month.
A lunch will cost you about what you'd pay in the average US city.

You could easily get by here as a single person for under 3K USD per month.
and that includes renting a car by the month.

We have heard cannabis is legal, do you see people outside smoking?

Cannabis is legal. Many people grow it.
They don't smoke it in public.
The people here use it regularly. A survey said 22% of the population
regularly uses cannabis, but they are quite private and discreet about it.

Is there a private hospital on the island?
How is the medical care if you where to get sick?

There is one hospital.
It isn't too bad. I know a couple of the doctors.
There are doctors in private practice as well.
For general emergencies and common infections, it's fine.

I know they have a dialysis center there. if you have a chronic disease, I'd do more research before coming here.
Many locals go to the mainland for cancer treatments.

How is the local culture?

The Chamorro culture is very laid back.
It is very accepting and not authoritarian. BUT it is a communal culture.
There is an expectation that people take care of each other and the islands.
it is not an individualistic society, but they are
laid back and very much respect people's rights so long as you are
also cool and laid back and don't bother others.

DNTM: What would you say are less good things about life in Saipan?

On much of the island the tap water isn't drinkable.
It's fine for bathing and cleaning, dishes, etc. But you have to get fresh water
delivered or pick it up(it's pretty cheap).
There isn't a big selection of fresh meats,
But the meat that is on sale is prices very well.
I paid 2.5USD for two big chicken legs.

If you can't make an income it's hard to get a job here.

How is the beaches? Can you swim everyday?

Yes, its very nice beaches.

It's a place with a lot of beauty, It's a paradise.

How's the internet?

VIN: Very good. Docomo gigabit fiber runs the length of the island.
Very fast mobile speed. The island sits on the back bone.

Thank you Vin Armani!

The tax

For the sake of making it easy lets say you earn 100 000 USD per year.
Then what you pay in tax would be:

Income tax

Your income tax then is a bit different whenever your married or not:

Status: Rate: Extra:
Single 24% $14,382.50
Married separately filed 24% $14,382.50
Married jointly filed 22% $9,086
Head of house hold 24% $12,962.00

Let's pick “Single” and we get a: 24% of 100 000 == 24 000 plus 14,382.50 that is 38382.5 USD Leaving us with 100 000 - 38382.5 = 61617.5 USD

For a full list go here:

Then we have some extra taxes:

Social Security Tax Rate 6.20%
6.20% of 100 000 = 6200
61617.5 - 6200 = 55417.5

Medicare Tax Rate 1.45%
1.45% = 1450
55417.5 - 1450 = 53967.5

So that's 46032.5 payed in tax, now have 53967.5 left

You can reclaim tax

The magical reclaim tax rebate comes in and saves the day at the rates of:
Income Earned From zero to $20,000 = 90% tax rebate
Income Earned From $20,000.01 to $100,000 = 70% tax rebate
Income Earned Above $100,000 = 50% tax rebate


So lets claim back 70% 46032.5×0.7 = 32222.75
Then we get back 32222.75 so we can add that to 53967.5USD.

And we result in keeping 86190.25 of our 100 000 USD
So we have then payed 13809.75 in tax making the total tax rate 13.8%

So if you are a US citizen looking for lower taxes, amazing, hassle free
visa access, the option to grow your own cannabis and
take daily swims in the ocean Saipan might be the place for you.