I’ve been planting flags for more than 25 years at this point… long before I had ever heard about the Five Flags Theory or any of the other terms used to simplify the conversation about internationalizing one’s life.
Some of my flags were accidental… or incidental at first… just part of life.
My first offshore bank account was opened because I moved to another country. It was just a local bank account for where I was living. I didn’t even think about residency. At the time, my wife was also moving in order to open an office for her company. They took care of her residency and mine followed.
A year or two into that first full-time move overseas is when I started to understand the value of international diversification. That led to investments in different
countries (mostly in real estate) and eventually bank accounts in more countries… then a second passport. After living in Ireland for five years, we were eligible for Irish citizenship, which comes with a passport.
While the start of my international life was simply following an interest to spend time in other countries, it has evolved into a fully diversified flag portfolio with investments, businesses, residencies, and bank accounts around the globe.
It took time and continues to evolve, but it was that first step I took, more than 25 years ago, that got me started.
Today, I’d like to help you take your first step towards true diversification, where your wealth is divided between multiple banks, multiple assets, multiple countries… That way, your future is secure because your risk is limited.
It all boils down to six key strategies…
Strategy #1: Open A Foreign Bank Account (Or Two)
Opening a bank account overseas can be the quickest, easiest, and cheapest going-offshore strategy to employ.
Offshore banks are available in dozens of jurisdictions. Most people take the approach of trying to choose the “best” offshore banking jurisdiction, but the reality is that the “best” depends on the person and the goals.
More important, you shouldn’t just find one bank in one jurisdiction and call it a day (because your first bank might close your account… that’s happened to me three times).
Strategy #2: Get A Backup Residency
If you were to adopt just one of these six strategies, it should be this. Get yourself a backup residency… and get it as soon as possible.
With a backup residency, you have the right to live in another country should things really hit the fan back home. Like I say, it’s maybe the most important thing you can do to preserve your lifestyle in the event of a crisis…
Start Your New Life Today, Overseas
Strategy #3: Seek Second Citizenship
A second citizenship gives you more options than mere residency… it means a permanent right to live somewhere else, protection from the state, and even the right to vote.
And, it’s not that hard to get a second citizenship, either. In fact, if you have money, you can even buy your way in… And in one spot I know of, you can do it in as little as 183 days…
Strategy #4: Protect Your Assets
Remember when America was proud of its entrepreneurs?
Unfortunately, these days, business owners have become a target… especially for frivolous lawsuits… and this risk has become another important reason to diversify your life, your assets, your business, and your investments offshore.
There are ways to structure your assets overseas, for example, that put them beyond the reach of U.S. court judgements (this is perfectly legal). There’s no greater deterrent against potential litigants
Strategy #5: Move Your Business Offshore
Depending on your situation, this could provide huge advantages… Incorporating offshore won’t make sense for everyone. But it might make sense for you.
Using Panama as a base for incorporating your business, for example, can make sense—as the country doesn’t tax entities that aren’t operating in Panama.
You can set up a business in Panama and have an office in the country and still pay no Panama taxes if all your income is derived from outside Panama or if your business qualifies under the rules of one of the special incentive areas…
Strategy #6: Grow Your Wealth Without The Stock Market
Among all these wealth-building strategies, investing offshore—especially in foreign real estate—is the one that makes me tick…
There’s something about having tangible property in other countries that I find comforting.
You have little—if any—negative impact when the dollar crashes… and, because your property is in a foreign jurisdiction, courts in the United States can’t touch it.
Best of all, over the last few years, I’ve discovered some of the easiest opportunities for individual investors to break into… on turn-key developments with significant returns…
Editor,Offshore Living Letter