After four months in northern Illinois, Kathleen and I are taking our leave of these United States this weekend.
That is, we’re outta’ here a few days before the election.
We didn’t intentionally time our flight back to Europe to be gone by Nov. 3, but I can’t say I’m sorry we won’t be here during the immediate aftermath of Election Day.
What’s going to happen in this country after Election Day? I have no idea, but I predict it’s not going to be pretty. Americans have become like U.K. soccer fans. Aggressive behavior is the norm.
I’ve never been a doomsayer, but I think the near-term picture in this country is worrisome. Whoever wins, the other side is going to react with even more combative behavior.
You can’t control the outcome of the election that is now just one week away, but you can protect yourself, your family, and your assets from the craziness that may well ensue.
The pandemic has made it more complicated for us to take actions toward securing our Plan Bs, but it has not made it impossible to push ahead. You still can be pursuing second residency and citizenship options, as well as shopping for an escape somewhere sunny, warm, welcoming, and safe.
To sidestep any fallout from this election, you’re going to need to think differently than your neighbor.
If you’re worried that the stock market is going to crash, don’t invest there… or, at the least, make sure that some—maybe a healthy portion—of your nest egg is not on Wall Street (this is how I was able to profit during the Great Recession)…
If you’re worried that real estate markets are unpredictable in the United States, then invest outside of the U.S. property market (where your buck stretches a lot further anyway)…
If you’re worried about violence or protests or an unbearable life following the election, then give yourself an escape hatch to smoothly exit whenever you want (even escaping pandemic travel bans)…
If you’re worried that the COVID-19 situation could lead to new and bigger taxes, you can legally lower your tax burden—or avoid them outright—using (completely legal) offshore strategies…
If you’re worried about the economic fallout from the coronavirus, and the reckless money-printing as a result, then move some or all of your assets to where the government can’t seize them (I can show you my favorite safe havens)…
In case you don’t know me or my research, let me back up a minute to say that what I’m talking about is diversifying your investments—and your life—outside America. Planting your personal flag in another country, where you can spend time if life becomes untenable for you back home.
Over the past couple of decades that I’ve been covering this beat, the usual response when I offer this suggestion has been immediate wonder… followed by panic or dismay.
Indeed, it’s exciting to learn of these options… to imagine your adventures in exotic places. But then reality hits. This kind of stuff is only for the rich, right?
These solutions are available to every American, no matter your background, and it doesn’t take a lot of cash either. In many countries, you can live well for a fraction of your monthly budget back home. It can even be possible—depending on where you choose to live and how you earn your income—to live nearly tax free.
Some of the offshore banks I know allow you to open an account online. I can show you where to park your cash that allows you to exchange part or the whole of your balance into another currency instantly… including without big minimum deposit amounts.
Yes, you can buy second citizenship for a couple of hundred thousand dollars… but you can also qualify for a passport after only five years as a legal resident in many countries. It takes longer, but it’s not expensive at all.
I’ve dedicated this past decade to finding and negotiating foreign real estate deals that pay out cashflow of at least 10% a year—better yet, at least 10 of the opportunities I’ve identified cost less than US$50,000 each (and you can invest in at least two for less than US$10,000).
Again, you can do this.
While the rest of America continues to suffer the consequences of a contested election, COVID-19, and decades of poor economic policy, you can take charge of your own future and escape through a back door.
If you haven’t been reading these dispatches long, perhaps I should take a minute to tell you a little more about myself.
Lief Simon is my real name.
I’m an American, born in Sedona, Arizona, and I’ve been living, working, and investing overseas for more than 25 years.
These days I divide my time primarily between Panama and Paris. Early on in my career, I lived in Africa, Central Asia, and South America… then Kathleen and I moved together to Ireland.
I’ve spent time in more than 70 countries, lived in 8, and invested in real estate in 25 and counting. I’ve started and operated businesses in a half-dozen countries and opened bank accounts in more than 20. I’ve acquired multiple permanent residencies, as well as a second passport.
I don’t put all this out there to boast.
But you should understand that everything I write about comes from boots-on-the-ground experience. I’m not making recommendations based on research or theory.
When I recommend a strategy, it’s because I’ve done it myself.
I don’t know everything about everywhere. I know a lot, but, more important, I know a lot of people in the offshore world who I trust and who I can turn to for solid counsel when I need it.
My message is straightforward: You need to diversify.
And I’m not talking about among stock sectors.
I’m talking about diversifying offshore.
I’ve done it… thousands of my readers before you have done it.
And now you should be looking at doing it, too.
It’s the answer to how you not only survive, but thrive and build wealth during the financial and political crises I believe could be just around the corner.
It’s also how you set up an iron-clad defense against future litigation, frivolous suits, or divorce actions…
And maybe drastically reduce your tax obligations or even live near-tax-free.
The benefits and upsides of diversifying your life and your financial future offshore are many and big.
The alternative—staying put with your life and your nest egg all in one basket—could be disastrous.
Opportunities for going offshore come in all shapes and sizes. Generally, going offshore involves moving at least part of your assets, your business, your banking—or even yourself—to a safe haven.
However, I understand that, when it comes to retiring overseas, there’s no one-size-fits-all paradise. Everyone’s perfect haven is different.
The same goes for investing and structuring your affairs offshore.
And the good news is that the options are innumerable, meaning that taking your life offshore is an infinitely customizable adventure.
Editor,Offshore Living Letter