Why You Must Think Immediately Of Securing Residency Somewhere Else
“If you were to make specific recommendations for how to go about creating a Plan B, what would they be?”
So I began the opening panel discussion for our Emergency Offshore Summit taking place in Panama City this week.
On stage with me were our favorite legal eagle from Colombia Juan Dario Gutierrez… Cayman Islands investment broker Rich Ellison… our attorney from Portugal Duarte Monteiro… residency and citizenship attorney Evgeny Orlov… and resident offshore guru Lief Simon.
You could say that the world has entered a state of emergency. I was looking to my assembled team of offshore pros for help creating a priority short list for how to survive… even thrive in the face of whatever lies ahead.
Here’s how my panelists replied:
Juan Dario: Think immediately of securing residency somewhere else. Having the ability to exit voluntarily is mainly determined by your ability to be welcomed somewhere else, meaning residency is the first priority for any Plan B.
Also critical is the ability to transfer money. An offshore bank account and the ability to transfer funds from wherever you are to wherever you want to be… that’s the second fundamental pillar of any Plan B.
Duarte: I agree. A second residency and I’d add citizenship are very important nowadays. With a second citizenship in Europe, you can travel and thereby diversify your time and your money throughout the region.
Rich: We’re all worried about the state of the world right now, but I think we need to flip it all on its head. The world has changed in dramatic ways in recent decades, and I think for the good. It’s easier today to take advantage of global opportunities than it’s ever been. In our world today, you are limited only by your own imagination. You don’t have to stay where you were born or where you grew up. You can be wherever you want to be. You can manage your entire life from your phone.
We enjoy tremendous flexibility today…
Evgeny: Yes, it’s a strange but exciting world. In truth, it’s always been that way. In 1492, Columbus discovered and created an empire that changed the world and the course of history. We’re living through change on this scale again right now, and this is presenting some exciting opportunities.
I’d say that the first step to any Plan B is to pick a place you really love and then start a business there. I’ve created businesses all over the world in places where I wanted to spend time. Starting a business gives you an opportunity to meet people and to create your own reality. A business means an income, it can mean wealth, and it also translates into an exciting life.
Lief: I agree that any Plan B should start with lifestyle. Don’t select your Plan B destination country based solely on where you think you can make the most money or pay the least in taxes. Begin this process by thinking about where you’d like to be… about what you’d like your life to look like.
Then make investments and, as Evgeny suggests, start businesses in those places. Your goal should be multiple income streams in multiple currencies in places you look forward to visiting.
Next I asked:
“If the world spiraled out of control as the doomsayers suggest it will, where would you want to be? Where would you prefer to ride out the storm… and why?”
Juan Dario: I’ve thought about this question many times… wondering in a mystical way why I was born where I was born.
I come from a place with a difficult history. After having the opportunity to live abroad (Canada for a year, Paris for a year… ) and after having traveled the world and seeing how things work in so many places that are so different from my home country of Colombia, I’ve had a kind of eureka insight that has helped me to appreciate my country and to have enormous respect for Colombia.
When I was growing up, my country was a horrible place to be. Today it is transformed. Today it is legitimately one of the best places in the world to live.
So I choose Colombia. Colombia is where I’d want to be if things turned very bad on a global scale. I say this because I have a unique perspective on what the Colombian people have been able to accomplish over the past three decades.
I am where I’d want to be.
Duarte: Like Juan Dario, I feel very fortunate because I happen to have been born in the country that for me is the best place to live. I say this after having had the chance, like Juan Dario, to travel the world and to live other places.
I’d choose Portugal. Why?
Let’s start with the wine. That’s the first and main reason…
Seriously, Portugal is a small country that is right now generating 48% of the energy it needs through renewable methods. We have sunshine 10 months of the year. Everything grows well in Portugal. We have game for hunting and no shortage of good water.
Everything required for good living is found in Portugal… beginning, again, with the wine…
Rich: I’ve lived in Canada, the United States, the Cayman Islands, and Singapore twice. For me, being close to family and having community connections is critical. We are social creatures.
So I want to be in a place where I speak the local language or where enough of the locals speak my language so that I’m able to embed myself into the community.
Access to health care is also critical. We’re all living longer, and you want to have a good quality of life. You don’t want to be 70 years old and have to return to your country of origin for knee-replacement surgery.
I’d say you want a stable political environment and a rule of law that won’t impact your ability to pass on your legacy.
Don’t have the tail wag the dog. Make sure that wherever you focus on for your Plan B is a place you enjoy. And make sure your plan works not only for the next 5 years but for the next 30 and 40.
Evgeny: I just returned from the Ukraine where I spent time in a place where people are breaking into homes and shooting and killing in order to steal assets.
My point is that, in some parts of the world, an end-of-days scenario is already playing out. You want to be able to protect yourself.
You need drinkable water.
I think you want to stick with places with small populations. Look at Detroit. Big cities will collapse. I would recommend seeking out a place with small, tribal communities… Vanuatu, for example.
On the other hand, I also like Panama because it has sun and water and fertile land. Plus, in Panama City you have lots of rich people who are going to protect their wealth.
Lief: My ideal Plan B destination is a country that’s self-sufficient when it comes to energy, food, and water and that has some manufacturing base. If every country becomes isolated, you want to be in a country that can produce all the necessities of living.
I’d also say that I want to be in a country where either everyone has a gun or no one has a gun.
I’ve got more than one Plan B in place… situations where I own property where my family and I could live self-sufficiently if we needed or wanted to… including here in Panama but also in Belize and Colombia…
We’re only just getting started. More live from the scene tomorrow…