Last week, I highlighted the dire warning of Jim Sinclair, one of the world’s most astute businessman – and altruistic humanitarians – on the planet. For some time, I have noted his commentaries have been more frequent and dire than at any time in the ten years I have been reading him, and NOTHING he has written is as ominous as this…
According to Dean Harry Schultz, the way to live your life involves the following:
– Money in one country
– Citizenship in a different country
– Body in another country where neither your citizenship nor money resides.
I have resisted this sage advice from Harry for many years knowing the day might come when his genius proves true.
That day has come.
Seriously consider this advice.
…particularly as he put his 34 acre Connecticut estate up for auction just days later, with the intention of becoming an expatriate. I’d guess he is moving to Tanzania to be with his company and daughter, but such information has not yet been disclosed. Either way, keep in mind that this estate is nothing short of a self-sufficient fortress, yet he still felt worried enough to pack up and leave America.
On Friday afternoon, my good friend Bill Holter wrote the following missive about his five years as an expatriate in Costa Rica, which he moved to circa 2007 to avoid the imminent social, economic, and political collapse he foresaw in America. Unfortunately, his experience in Costa Rica convinced him it will be no safer to live in than a post-dollar America, prompting him to move back to Texas this year. For those considering leaving America (or other risky places) for “safer environs,” please read VERY CAREFULLY.
To all; I have recently had several conversations with people asking my opinion of Harry Schultz making the suggestion that people live in one country, have their assets in another and citizenship in a third. This advice by the way seems to be exactly what Jim Sinclair is preparing to follow with putting his farm compound up for auction. Those who know me, know that this is exactly what I did with my family over 5 years ago, we upped and moved to Costa Rica. It was a great experience, glad we did it …but, …let me explain.
As usual, I was early but we did actually catch the exact peak in real estate selling our home in Jan. 2007 and pre dated the beginning of the GFC by 3-4 months. We knew zero Spanish and set out to “hide out”, but it really doesn’t work like this. When you are a “gringo” in a Latin country you will “stand out” like a sore thumb and whether you know Spanish or not it doesn’t matter (it just makes life much easier). The more Spanish we learned (and understood the subtle insults and hostility), the more we realized that we didn’t belong there and that “gringos” were actually “targets”. Crime, no matter where you are has a direct correlation to economic conditions. I assure you that no matter what anyone says, crime has risen in Central America as the economies have softened. In the case of Costa Rica, they are in the process of losing both their public health care and retirement systems, both of which the common man depends on. My point is this, when the global banking system goes down, I don’t think that being a gringo in Latin America will be such a good thing because just the color of your skin and broken accent will advertise that you have “stuff”. NOT the neon sign that want on your forehead when people are going hungry I assure you.
OK, that said, it is a good idea in my opinion to have your assets spread around geographically, NOT to hide from taxes but for their safety from any possible “confiscation”. It is also good to have dual citizenship so that you may travel on whichever passport you choose. If I am correct in what I think is coming, borders may be closed so no matter what passport you have, travel may be restricted. So what to do?
I had lived in Texas for nearly 20 years before leaving on our “great adventure” and never in a big city. Texan’s are for the better part (yes, I know, there are areas where food stamp participation borders on 100%) “self reliant” and value their liberty. Let me stand on my own and do what I want as long as it doesn’t infinge on others type of attitude. As far as I know, there are more guns per capita in South Texas than anywhere in the world, break ins and home invasions are a rare thing because “criminals” don’t know what to expect on the other side of the door (or should I say they DO know what to expect!). This debate is all about personal choice, we chose to live amongst what we perceive as like minded people that speak the same language and for the most part have the ability and mindset to “protect themselves”.
Of course, if you have enough money, you can afford to set up any type of situation anywhere in the world that you choose. You can even buy and live on your own mountain or island and let the coming storm pass by. This is not an option for 99. something % of the population. I would say however, if you live inside an urban area or big city, you might look outside to a rural area where you can set up an “escape hatch” because it will be needed. I am just not sure that being an American in a foreign land when the system comes down will be such a good thing, especially when (not if) “fingers” start getting pointed. When this happens, they will point directly at the U.S. because we DID do it. We went to a fiat currency and then flooded the world with our paper, we basically invented and then “pushed” derivatives onto the rest of the world. These will all blow up (are blowing up) and someone will be blamed, it will in my opinion be Americans.
There is no magical answer to this question unless you have massive wealth and no obstacle can’t be overcome with money. For the rest of us, make a plan, make some preparations, do whatever you can and do it now. You WILL, no doubt, “forget something”. You cannot cover all of the bases and you won’t, just don’t beat yourself up because what is coming was not your doing. Do your best…that’s all you can do. Maybe I am 100% wrong with my opinion and we should have stayed where we were, I don’t know and we won’t know until the smoke clears. Regards, Bill H.
Since Global Meltdown I in late 2008, I have acted in numerous ways to PROTECT MYSELF from the same FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON Bill anticipates. One of those acts was converting my mining shares to PHYSICAL bullion, but that was just part of my plan. Given that I have no children – and work remotely – I would be a good candidate to leave the country. However, I chose not to do so. For one, I love Colorado, and secondly, I have little interest in the long process of acclimatizing myself (and my wife) to a new culture, particularly one like Costa Rica where the primary language is not English. But that’s just me, and as they say, “different strokes for different folks.”
In recent years, I have been asked countless times of the virtues of leaving the country, a topic that – as noted above – is highly subjective. My answer is always the same, per below…
There is a continuum of things one can do to PROTECT THEMSELF, with a “1” being to move into Manhattan or Los Angeles and put all ones’ assets into CASH at Citibank or Bank of America, and a “10” to move to a desert island with all one’s belongings, hold all one’s assets as gold buried in the sand, and subsist on the land.
In other words, only YOU know how far you want to go on this “PROTECTION CONTINUUM,” no matter what your friends, relatives, colleagues, or RANTING ANDY say. And per Bill Holter’s commentary above, you had better do your due diligence, as moving to a foreign nation is an extremely risky action, perhaps as risky as staying home.
In fact, his experience brings to mind another topic I have discussed in the past, that of the growing hatred of Americans across the globe. Throughout the 20th century, America was seen as the model of democracy, peace, ingenuity, and culture, but since then essentially ALL those views have been shattered. America used to be viewed as the “Great Satan” only by radical Muslims, but each day that passes, more of the world’s populace is blaming it (rightfully so) for the global economic meltdown, surging inflation, and loosened morals. Americans are also viewed as wealthy and gluttonous, and thus will not only be social targets in a FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON environment, but for robbers and thieves as well.
Remember, there are billions of starving people in the world, so consider what they may be thinking when they learn statistics such as this, depicting Americans’ appetite for food growing at the same exponential rate as its appetite for “free lunch”…
To conclude, the time to decide how far along the “PROTECTION CONTINUUM” you want to go is NOW. This decision could mean your “life or death” in the coming years – FINANCIAL and/or MORTAL – so please be VERY, VERY careful doing your due diligence.
PROTECT YOURSELF, and do it NOW!