How to earn and save more money as a remote worker in LatAm
It’s 2022 and everyone’s talking about remote work. It’s here to stay and people are loving it. All around the world, more and more employers are embracing flexible schedules for their remote teams leading to new remote work trends and more remote work options.
Remote work doesn’t come without challenges. Individuals such as remote contractors, independent workers, and freelancers aiming to improve their professional and personal lives are faced with challenges as they seek to earn better salaries and improve their financial health.
If you’re a remote worker, you may have already asked some of these questions yourself. How do I earn more than the national average for my position? How do I maximize my earning potential for the skills I bring to the table? Are there better ways to get paid, save and invest my money?
Whether you’re a software engineer, a skilled freelancer, a creative, or someone simply looking to work for an international company (or already working for one), we’ve got good news for you!
Start working for an international company
It’s never been easier to land a job at an international company than it is today. As remote work continues to become the new normal and preferred by many, thousands of companies around the world are hiring skilled professionals beyond borders.
Today, it’s possible to find exciting roles in international companies that aren’t necessarily hiring for local talent. Plenty of startups and small and medium-sized businesses also find international, remote recruiting more cost-effective, especially when hiring contractors and freelancers. The best part of this is that these companies are usually willing to pay way above the national average of countries in Latin America.
Try using social media platforms such as Linkedin and job search spaces like Glassdoor to filter out what you’re looking for. Important keywords that will help you narrow your search include ‘’remote’’, ‘’contractor’’, ‘’freelance’’, among others.
Choose the right employment framework
Some companies are fully set up to hire professionals in different countries as full-time employees under a normal payroll scheme (nomina) because they have their entity set up within the country they are hiring. An example of this is when a US company has offices and operations in Mexico and can legally hire Mexican employees under payroll, usually providing them with law benefits. Other companies that don’t have a legal entity set up within the country they are hiring can still work with an Employer of Record (EOR), a global employment services provider that helps employ people legally in other countries. EORs handle payroll, benefits, taxes, stock options, and local compliance.
If your hiring company isn’t able to provide the above options to have you registered under payroll they can still hire you as a contractor or freelancer. Contractors and freelancers can provide hiring companies services and invoice them bi-weekly, monthly, or per-project basis. For contractors or freelancers to be able to work this way, they need to be registered with their country’s national Tax Administration Service. For Mexican citizens and residents, this can be done through SAT by registering as a ‘’persona fisica’’ or, natural person, under the new RESICO tax scheme. The RESICO is a new fiscal incorporation scheme that grants lower tax rates and the suspension of some fiscal obligations. Many contractors, freelancers, and remote workers are legally set up under the RESICO scheme and can work for and invoice international companies. Although they do not perceive most state and company benefits that most employees under full-time payroll schemes do, the amount of tax they are obliged to pay is significantly lower.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the best employment framework that will suit you. Before accepting a job offer, be sure to ask your new employer about your employment framework and what you need to be aware of.
Negotiate your compensation & benefits package
No matter how you are officially employed, most companies still offer benefits and perks of some kind. Whether it be medical insurance support, yearly tuition bonuses, or access to a savings fund, be prepared to negotiate your benefits package based on what is most important for you. If you’re about to become a full-time contractor and won’t be formally offered private health insurance, ask to be paid a little more so you can cover that cost on your own accord. Also, consider other favorable, long-term benefits such as PTO, stock options, and bonuses.
Some benefits being offered may not be relevant to you and you can negotiate or ‘’exchange’’ those benefits for something that better fits what you need. This is something important to bring up before accepting a job offer as a lack of basic benefits can cause you to eventually lose money, instead of maximizing it.
Get your own US Dollar bank account
Remote workers, contractors, and freelancers that are already working for international or US companies get paid in dollars - especially when they are not working under a payroll or EOR employment type. When these professionals get paid into their local bank accounts and currencies, a significant amount of money is lost due to hidden bank fees, service fees, and conversion rates. Many people don’t realize this or don’t give it much thought before accepting a job offer.
You can save a great deal of money by opening your very own US Dollar bank account, without even having to leave home. By having access to a US Dollar bank account, you can protect your money from negative currency exchange rates while avoiding hidden bank transfer costs when being paid internationally.
Know how to move your money into your local currency
Multiple mechanisms facilitate the movement of money between countries. Particularly in the case of the USA and LatAm, there are very specific services that help people to do this in an agile way. Services range from traditional methods - banks and financial institutions - fintech or platforms that use cryptocurrencies to allow money to move quickly and at low cost, but with risk involved to a certain degree.
The factors that will help determine what makes the most sense to make the movements include the time in which you want the transactions to be processed, how much it costs to move your money, and the amount of money you plan to move.
If you´re planning on going the traditional route by using banks or financial institutions, you can enjoy legal backup and security however, costs are high and usually based on single transactions. Plus, hidden bank fees and Forex fees will ultimately cause you to receive fewer funds than originally anticipated.
On the other hand, fintech and other payment service providers can offer you flexible fees at lower costs along with seamless digital experiences, however, fees and costs aren't always transparent and easy to understand for consumers. Also, some companies don’t operate within the US banking jurisdiction, and your money might be at risk.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms have also risen in popularity over the last few years. While you can move money across countries very easily and at a cheap rate, startups might use USDc as the currency to signal that your money is in US Dollars, but instead, it is a stablecoin - at risk of volatility and it can be difficult for consumers to access their funds due to platform or currency challenges. Other legal concerns here include not being able to easily demonstrate where funds are coming from, leading to suspicions.
Depending on the characteristics of the transaction and every person´s unique case, you can determine what is best for you. Consider all the above factors to have the strategy that gives you visibility, stability, and certainty of where and when your money will be available.
Enjoy different savings and investment alternatives
When working remotely and earning in US Dollars, it is always wise to think about how you’re going to save and invest your money. Having a clear investment strategy and being able to distribute your income in different ways will help you maximize your earning potential without just leaving your money to slowly lose its value in your local bank account. Planning your wealth strategy and having your money work for you is a great initial step to financial freedom.
Start with your very own US Dollar bank account
Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or you’re just starting out, we want to make sure your experience is one to remember. Everyone deserves to get the most out of their professional careers by maximizing their wealth - remote workers included!
Start by opening your US Dollar bank account, without even having to leave home. You’ll get your very own card, enjoy easy ATM withdrawals in your local currency, and experience instant, international transfers for peace of mind.
Sign up and join our waitlist here.
The financial stack for the modern remote worker
Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just starting out, we want to make sure your experience is one to remember. Everyone deserves to get the most out of their professional careers by maximizing their wealth - remote workers included!
Start out by opening your US Dollar bank account, without even having to leave home. You’ll get your very own card, enjoy easy ATM withdrawals in your local currency, and experience instant, international transfers, without hidden bank fees, for your peace of mind.
Join our waitlist on the next link.
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