Do you like the direction the US is headed? Are you one of the millions of Americans who think that America is headed for disaster? If so, you are not alone; let me assure you. I speak with thousands of folks every year who feel the same way.
But that said, if folks are so visibly concerned, the lack of action is alarming, especially when we can so clearly see the danger we face. I’ve written before about the “why” we don’t take action, but today I just want to concentrate on some simple, easy steps we can take right now to protect ourselves and our families. Some of them are almost free in fact. Sadly only a few of you will actually do something. I sincerely hope for your sake, that you are one of them.
What we are facing today is a tidal wave of change; change for the worse if you ask me. New laws and regulations by the tens of thousands are being enacted each year, everything from a 20,000 page health care law that even the sponsors had not read, to implementing regulations for the HIRE Act and FATCA making it harder and harder for you to get an offshore bank account.
A good friend was just in Singapore and the banks there have virtually shut their doors to American clients. So have the Swiss, Austrians, and most banks in Panama. What the heck is going on here? The US passport used to be the world’s door opener. Now it’s the door slammer, at least where setting up a bank account is concerned.
How has this happened? Why didn’t more people see this coming? What can we really do about it?
The tidal wave is a good analogy to describe what is happening around us. Many of us believe ourselves to be like Salmon. We swim upstream in our businesses. We are fighters, and because of this, we’ve been successful. Many of us aren’t yet willing to give up on the country that is so quickly giving up on us. I understand.
But in a tsunami, I don’t care how good a swimmer you are. You are going to get washed away along with everything and everyone else. Do you remember the scenes of the Japanese tsunami? It was horrible. Destruction of anything near sea level was utter and complete. The only things preserved were on high ground. This is the safe haven. High ground.
Do you have a piece of high ground staked out for you and your family? The wise General Sun Tzu who wrote the “Art of War,” stated so well,
“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.”
First and foremost we have to protect what we have. We must have high ground.
But what is high ground in today’s financial and privacy crisis? For me personally, it’s having a part of my assets diversified offshore. And so it is for many other people who have wisely seen the rising waters and quickly moved to high ground.
This is not a new concept. The super-wealthy have been doing it for centuries. In the past, the high ground was expensive. The ultra-rich didn’t want the company of people like you and me. But as Thomas Friedman talks about in his book, “The World is Flat,” the free flow of information via the media, the internet, and word of mouth has made competition between offshore jurisdictions fierce. What was once a rich man’s hold can now be had for much, much less, and in some cases nearly free.
An offshore bank account can still be opened for a few hundred dollars. With it, you are free to keep your money in a variety of currencies including the Swiss Franc, Aussie Dollar, Canadian Dollar, and other currencies from countries that respect financial prudence. You are free to invest in mutual funds and stocks not listed on the US exchanges because more and more companies don’t want to subject themselves to the very costly long arm of the US law and SOX regulations. With an offshore bank account, you can buy and store precious metals in super secure vaults in Switzerland, Singapore, and London. You can even use those precious metals as collateral to borrow against, freeing up a stored value for new investments that produce positive cash flow. Banking in Belize is an option that many folks are now exploring.
Obtaining a second residency is another step that many people are taking. Do they plan to live outside the US? Most don’t. But having a permanent residency is a “Plan B” that just makes sense for many people. A 2nd residency is like an insurance policy that we hope we never need, but if the waters of the tsunami get past the dikes, having a country that will welcome you in a pinch will be high ground indeed. 2nd residency’s come in all sizes, shapes and flavors, but some of them, Panama’s specifically, are easy and inexpensive to obtain.
One plan that has done very well pairs a Panama teak plantation and permanent residency. For less than $20,000, applicants buy part of a mature teak plantation and receive a permanent residency. The residency is easy to maintain as well, requiring the visa holder to only be in Panama one day every 2 years. At the other end of the spectrum is a new 2nd citizenship program in Malta. With an investment of about $1,000,000USD, applicants receive an EU passport with visa free travel to 163 countries in the world, including the US and Canada.
A contrarian play that confounds many, but appeals to some of the most intelligent financial writers in the world today, is to own property in countries that are out of favor with the US. You’ll notice that many of these publishers personally own large farms and have huge real estate investments in countries like Argentina and Nicaragua, countries that don’t really care what the US thinks.
For real outside the box thinkers, having some of your eggs in a basket like this is a smart play. If owning real estate in Nicaragua, for instance, piques your curiosity, check it out. In absolute terms, the real estate values in Nicaragua are the best in the region. As a place to live, Nicaragua ranks high in quality of life for expats and foreign residents. There’s a good reason these big thinkers are invested there. Find out why and join them if it makes sense.
In the end, the combination of a 2nd residency and real estate ownership overseas defines the most important part of the high ground. Ultimately everything boils down to protecting the most valuable asset you have…..you. Sometimes in the process of thinking offshore we focus on money and things. But after all, it was us who earned the money and bought the things. If we had to do it all over again, we could do it, no matter how little fun that would be.
So why don’t we think about protecting ourselves? We are our most valuable asset, aren’t we? It’s a great question. It deserves serious attention.
If we look carefully, we quickly come to the conclusion that we do indeed need to protect ourselves. What that means is a place to land, live, and set up shop if things get too out of hand where we are. But this can be expensive. Maintaining two homes is also more work and can be a hassle.
But what if having safe landing pad was just as easy as having a small condo somewhere that could be rented out when you are not there? Maybe you never show up. It rents long term, growing in value and covers the hard costs. There arecondos in Belize that can be owned and then leased back to the developer giving owners an easy, hassle free way to have that safe landing pad should it ever become necessary.
What is that type of insurance worth, especially if you need it? Hard to place a value on life isn’t it? Someone recently told me that they’d rather be 6 months early than a day late. Sounds like good advice to me.
Like it or not, the tsunami is coming. The waters are already rising. You see it, or you would not be reading this. If you sit and do nothing, shame on you. You’ll be carried away right along with all those who didn’t see it coming. Foresight is a precious gift and you’ve been blessed with an awareness so many others don’t have.
Do something, even if it’s just sending an e-mail to find out more. None of this is rocket science. It’s just deciding to take action and then clicking a link.
Click Here Now to receive 2 free reports, Offshore Banking and Asset Protection Structures and the Overseas Property Consumer Resource Guide. Both reports will help you see just easy and critically important staking some high ground for you and your family can be.