Listen to the news for 10 minutes these days, and you’re convinced. We all need a backup plan… a strategy for protecting ourselves, our families, and our net worth.
The key to any Plan B is diversification.
That’s what we and your fellow readers convened with us here in Panama City this week are focused on—the best current options for diversification.
Choices. It comes down to choices. Because taking control of your future is all about understanding your options for action.
The folks in the room with us for this week’s Offshore Wealth Summit aren’t waiting to pull the trigger on a Plan B. These folks are taking action now… with the help of dozens of the world’s most experienced offshore pros.
The challenge is that, once you’ve identified the going-offshore choices you’d like to pursue, following through on them isn’t as easy as making a quick phone call or filling out an online order form.
At least it’s not that straightforward if you haven’t laid the groundwork.
Diversifying your life and your money offshore requires an infrastructure. That’s the work that the bunch of us here in Panama City are undertaking this week… detailing plans for creating an infrastructure.
Big picture, your choices for how to diversify and therefore protect and preserve your wealth while reinventing your life offshore fall into the following umbrella categories:
- Asset Protection
- Investing… for yield, growth, and legacy
With the help of the offshore professionals who’ve made their way to the Hub of the Americas for this week´s special event, we’ve been addressing both the theory behind each of these categorical imperatives… and also the practical specifics to do with where and how to implement the best associated strategies depending on personal priorities, objectives, and agendas.
Put more simply, we’ve been working to formulate customized Plan B’s for everyone in the room.
As many of our offshore experts have suggested, identifying a country for alternative residency is perhaps the priority starting point.
Home, as the saying goes, is the place where, when you show up, they have to take you in. In today’s world, establishing residency in another country amounts to creating a backup home for yourself… a place where you know you won’t be turned away.
Among the 200+ countries in the world, how do you choose where best to establish alternative residency?
Start with what kind of lifestyle you think you’d most enjoy.
Immigration law, tax incentives, available paths to citizenship, and potential investment return are all important secondary considerations. These opportunities, challenges, and restrictions can help you choose among a short list of places you think you might like to live, but they should not alone determine your course.
Thinking broadly, you have three options for how to establish residency in another country… by qualifying for:
- A retiree or pensioner visa…
- An investor visa…
- An entrepreneur visa.
Understand, as you’re shopping options, that not all residency visa programs allow you to work (that is, a residency visa is not the same as a work permit)… and, as well, that not all residency programs lead to citizenship. If a second passport is an agenda for you and you hope to acquire it through residency, make sure the residency track you decide on obliges in this regard.
Other practical considerations when choosing among the many available residency options are taxes (will you be liable for them in the country where you’re thinking about becoming a resident?); required time in the country (Ecuador, for example, restricts the amount of time you can be outside Ecuador during your first two years of residency; you can’t leave the country for more than 90 days per year); and ease of access (this is especially important if you intend to divide your time between or among more than one country).
If you’re considering making a move overseas as a retiree, here are countries offering attractive pensioner residency options right now. In each case, I indicate the current minimum monthly income requirement to qualify:
- Belize (US$2,000)
- Colombia (US$700 at the current exchange rate)
- Ecuador (US$750)
- Nicaragua (US$750)
- Panama (US$1,000)
- Portugal (US$1,000 at the current exchange rate)
If you’re shopping backup residency country options… not planning to make a move imminently but wanting an escape hatch should you decide you need one… following are your best current options. The physical presence requirement for each of these countries is nominal:
If you’re hoping to acquire second citizenship and a second passport through residency, here are your best choices today:
- Dominican Republic
Note that, in each case, I qualified my recommendations as being the best available today.
These programs and options are not static; countries adjust immigration law all the time. This is why we strongly recommend that, when you identify a residency visa that allows you to realize your objectives, act on it sooner rather than later… immediately if possible.
Tomorrow, your best current offshore banking options and how to choose among them…