Singer and Tennessee native Tina Turner is the latest high-profile multimillionaire to renounce her U.S. citizenship. She joins other big-money names such as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and oil heiress Isabel Getty, who have ditched their citizenship in the past year.
The U.S. Treasury Department has been tracking record numbers of citizens who have given up their U.S. identity -- 2,369 in the first three quarters of this year. The previous annual record was 1,781, in 2011.
Where are they going? According to the UBS and Wealth-X Billionaire Census, they're flocking to tax havens such as Switzerland, where 74-year-old Turner became a citizen; Singapore, where Saverin is a citizen; the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Hong Kong.
It's not just favorable tax rates that are attracting the ultra-rich, according to the census. Other factors include quality of life and good education systems. The new citizens might also find like-minded cliques: In Switzerland, only 34 percent of billionaires living there actually grew up there. In Singapore, 36 percent of billionaires grew up there, and in Hong Kong, 25 percent.
In addition, many of the expats, like Turner, have already been living in another country for a number of years, or are used to moving around the globe. Turner, who has an estimated net worth of $40 million, according to Wealth-X, is married to a foreigner -- German music producer Erwin Bach. Saverin is Brazilian by birth and only moved to the U.S. around age 11 with his family.
"The most successful emigrations are by those moving from a country where their ties are not strong to begin with," Caroline Garnham, a lawyer and chief executive of family office adviser Family Bhive, told Wealth-X. "The wealthy are mobile, and when taxation becomes more onerous than their affection for a country, they can move."
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