Most of us don’t want to think about a possible End of Days situation. With global climate change, political unrest, and general hostilities on the rise, many are concerned about the future and how to protect themselves and their family from a potential worst-case scenario.
This topic is part of Live and Invest Overseas’ Wealth Building and Diversification Kit, where Founding Publisher Kathleen Peddicord leads a panel of four experts who share their thoughts about how to survive our current world problems while creating a fulfilling life that’s also risk-adverse, insulated, and protected in case of darker days.
The panel features:
- Attorney João Gil Figueira, who specializes in investments and lifestyle in Portugal;
- Attorney Evgeny Orlov, who focuses on residency and citizenship around the world, along with family and legacy protection;
- Economist Steve Rosberg, a longtime friend who also cultivates investment opportunities in Buenos Aires; and
- Live and Invest Overseas’ resident real estate and investment guru, Lief Simon.
If you haven’t ordered your Wealth Building and Diversification Kit yet, here’s a quick summary of the discussion to expose you to new options and get you to consider them now, rather than after something terrible occurs.
Question: If the world took a drastic turn for the worse, what are the most important issues we should consider? In other words, what does having a Plan B mean to you?
Lief Simon – I recommend a safe haven plan in case the whole world shuts down and you can’t leave one country. My ultimate Plan B, last resort includes at least one country where I would be able to thrive and survive independently.
Steve Rosberg – In Argentina we’ve had Plan B for decades. For me, wealth protection is one of the most important issues. Then you need to understand that the core of your Plan B is where you are comfortable culturally. You must identify with your environment.
Evgeny Orlov – I think about where to go for protection if there is a war threat. In the Second World War many people escaped to Latin America and the Caribbean because these countries are not part of the taxing and military system. They are disorganized, which I love. This allows you to escape from Big Brother in a sense. In this situation, I would look for strong residency or citizenship options, low extradition possibilities, strategic positioning, and good legal protection.
João Gil Figueira – I think you should have several Plan Bs that account for different contingencies and issues, economic changes, possible war, and that still provide comfortable living. What is true now in one place may change in many different ways in your life and area.
There is no one-size-fits-all perfect Plan B in a box. This is a personal process that should be ever-changing. You should take an organic approach to achieve the sustainable life you want. Make choices as issues accumulate to make your life the way you want it to be. Take opportunities as they come to you because things can change quickly.
With the current world in a dramatic state of flux, you must be flexible and fluid. Specific opportunities dissolve, residency programs come and go, tax rules change, governments turn over, and laws can be enforced differently over time or even completely repealed.
Opening a bank account or obtaining residency in a given place may not be an option tomorrow. A good example is the Friendly Nations residency option in Panama, which is currently only an executive decree, not a law. In other words, it could be eliminated by future political regime.
Most importantly, once you find your plan—act on it!
Question: How do people begin their plan? What is the best first step?
Lief Simon – Open at least one offshore bank account. Some locations allow you to do it over the phone, some require a face-to-face meeting. Keep in mind that overseas banks are concerned about being shut down for money laundering so you must disclose where the money is coming from and what it will be used for in the foreign country. If you are clear and upfront about any money transfers, you shouldn’t have trouble.
Steve Rosberg – Visit alternative locations to find a place that meets your needs. Feel out the locations by renting an apartment and staying a few weeks. How are other foreigners adapting and adjusting? Is the country welcoming?
Evgeny Orlov – If looking to legally protect your life, set up an offshore trust from a lifestyle perspective. To generally design an alternative lifestyle, use the Five Flags theory. What do you really want to achieve with your life? Don’t forget you can live on 5% of what you live on in the States in other countries.
João Gil Figueira – I agree. First you should open overseas bank accounts, multi-currency, if possible, for more protection. Second stage—create a trust or company to invest in. Third stage—establish citizenship in the country that fits your requirements.
Kathleen Peddicord – If things go really uncomfortably wrong where I am, I want to be sure I have a place to go and can get there. Home is where they have to let you in. Set up a home base and have a residency card in a country so you have more than a tourist stamp in your passport. Show up and settle in to decide what to do next. You don’t want to have only 90 days to make decisions about your next move.
Get your finances in order sooner rather than later. Set up redundancies including at least two debit and credit cards, diversify into at least two different currencies, and have backup residency options available at all times.
Question: Describe your current safe haven if everything went completely sideways.
João Gil Figueira – My perfect place is a neutral country that’s not likely to join a war. It would be a place where you can trade for necessities without needing cash, with a good, year-round climate that could provide a source of food and water, and where you can lay low and survive at least a short while. For me, Portugal fits many of these categories, with clean energy (solar and water), fishing, and a great lifestyle.
Evgeny Orlov – In a doomsday agenda, a starting point would be an island with a small population where you can grow your own food, fish from the sea, and find fresh water. I like Vanuatu and some of the Caribbean islands, because they have no centralized government and little police force. However, the Caribbean may be too close to the United States for comfort.
Steve Rosberg – I’m thinking about where I live in Northern Patagonia at the foot of the Andes Mountains. There are streams and an excellent food source as Argentina already produces enough food for 10 times its population. In Mendoza we also produce excellent wine to help get us through the tough times. Also, most of the southern part of South America, with different climates, far enough from everybody, would qualify in my opinion.
Lief Simon – I would prefer a more modern, self-sufficient place with a source of energy, food, and an industrial base that produces things. The places I’m thinking of include Colombia, Mexico, Romania, and Brazil. Countries with a non-oil form of energy would include Portugal and New Zealand, although the last is hard to get to.
Question: What about options in Asia?
Lief Simon – Asia has good options for lifestyle and banking, but I have concerns about convenience. The 12-hour time difference from North America makes it difficult to talk to bankers or businesspeople. Other potential problems include how convenient flights may be and your ability to get there in a time crunch.
Evgeny Orlov – Asia has great lifestyle options, it’s off the grid, and offers good prices. Overall, the conditions are improving and residency can be easy in places like Malaysia and a few other Asian countries.
While none of us wants to experience a worst-case scenario, having a backup plan in place gives at least peace of mind, if not some level of comfort in undesirable circumstances. Consider your options… We can help you achieve your Plan B.