Investing Offshore

If You Don’t Want To Be Trapped By 2013, Begin Taking Action Offshore Now

Belize City, Belize

“If you envision yourself investing internationally in the future,” began attorney Joel Nagel in his presentation to the group assembled for our Live & Invest in Belize Conference last week, “if you don’t want options worldwide cut off from you, you have just under two years to prepare.

“I’m not trying to scare you, but, the truth is, if you’re an American, it’s going to become much more difficult for you to transact international business and to take advantage of foreign investment opportunities. It’s happening already. Americans are being turned away by foreign banks, for example. Some jurisdictions have decided it’s just too much hassle in the current climate to have Americans for clients…so they simply no longer accept them.

“And bigger restrictions are coming. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, when certain provisions of the new U.S. HIRE Act go into effect, you’ll risk having funds you try to transfer internationally subjected to IRS withholding.”

Joel and the other assembled for our live event continued to detail four strategies an American can use, starting immediately, to protect his assets in the face of coming HIRE Act provisions.

  • First, move a percentage of your assets outside of the United States prior to Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Second, create a foreign trust to own and hold assets outside the United States. While you will have to report such a structure and your income to the IRS, the foreign nature of the trust should allow it to continue banking in many jurisdictions, even those where U.S. accounts are eventually closed.

Additionally, the gift and estate tax exemptions were united in the most recent tax reform extension bill, which increased the amount that an individual can gift to a trust (foreign or domestic) to US$5 million.

  • The third step you should take to prepare for the restrictions on the horizon is to diversify into non-dollar-denominated currencies. Hold a heavier allocation of precious metals, commodities, and foreign real estate, assets that should increase in value as the dollar deteriorates.
  • Finally, you can use foreign life insurance and foreign annuities to move assets out of the dollar and into legal structures that may be less affected by the impact of the coming provisions and the further deterioration of the U.S. currency.

The more than two-dozen experts assembled in Belize City last week expanded on each of these four strategies for how to position yourself long term to protect your assets and to be able to control and to grow your own wealth, new and increasing U.S. regulations and restrictions notwithstanding.

Kathleen Peddicord