Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plan B Countries & Thoughts

Anyone who has read more than a couple of my articles already knows that Peru is "our" Plan B country, our bearing import company -- Ameru Trading del Peru S.A. is located in Lima.  We really do not have any kind of plans or ideas of anywhere else to go, as we have no good contacts anywhere else.  We do have an reasonably good understanding of Peru, and a large part of my wife's family there, however, and of course my wife is Peruvian (and American).

So, I cast the net out for people to contact me regarding THEIR Plan B countries, especially those who had actually DONE something (either move to one or show me serious planning).  Three people/groups sent in their stories (of serious work or having left), and I will share some of each here.  Four others have either looked at the subject in some depth and/or are otherwise planning for a difficult future in the USA.

I am by no means trying to look at many candidates, nor make a judgement.  Zero Hedge member "CrashIsOptimistic" pointed out recently that there is no perfect place.  That is obviously true, if there were, everyone would go there!

A curious thing I have noted among all of the below people discussed below: they dislike Socialism!

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One of these is a big surprise!  I would not have guessed that country in my "Top Ten" or so guesses, but what I have learned very recently makes a very good case for:

Paraguay!

Beginning an extraordinary series of emails back and forth over just the past few days, I was contacted by a family living in Australia, and they are strongly considering moving from Australia to Paraguay!  From Australia?  Yes.  Perhaps some of you have read recently (over the past three - five years or so it has become much more obvious) that Australia has gone further than the USA down a socialist path...  These reports are evidently true, as this family had actively looked at a number of countries, including in SE Asia as well as a few in Latin America and a long hard look at Mauritius (an tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean).

Members of this family have visited (in Latin America) at least Paraguay and Uruguay (the latter is, in general, highly regarded by the ex-pat newsletter writers).  But, the family found a fairly stifling environment and tax burdens they did not want to deal with.  This family is tightly knit and looking for a quiet place from which they can work and enjoy what they have.  My guess (!) is that they have some, but not a LOT of money, so they can move to many places.

This family has impressed me with the amount of homework they have done.  Some of them have visited candidate countries of Mauritius, Uruguay, Paraguay as well as certain SE Asian countries "they know well".  Some are working (a couple at lucrative jobs it seems), some are not.  What they seek is tranquility and and environment that will LEAVE THEM ALONE.  And one that welcomes immigrants such as them.

They have settled for the moment on Paraguay.  But a family is a family, and this decision must be accepted by them all.  They have a lawyer already there whom it looks like they could trust (important).  They have spent at least a month there on visits.  The climate and the "laissez-faire" attitudes are to their liking.  Small scale farming will be at least a segment of how they live.

Taxes are low.  They welcome European-descendant people.  Paraguay is less enthused about Brazilians and Argentines.  People from Brazil and Argentina are swarming in due to local softly-repressive governments (both Socialist in governing), and the Brazilians are slowly accumulating land in Eastern Paraguay along their common border, and bring their language and attitudes with them, which are NOT in harmony with Paraguayans as a whole.

One things I did not know: Paraguay is growing very fast!  They are building roads and other infrastructure (good hospitals and schools).  It is becoming something of a regional business hub, in part due to their relaxed attitudes about taxes and regulations (there is the bribery, and some crime there, but not much violent crime like is seen, for example, in Peru).  Here is an interesting link I received today from one of the family members:

http://www.qwealthreport.com/is-paraguay-the-next-panama/

Holy moly!  The next Panama!?  Paraguay appears to be much more advanced than the ONE time I visited (in 1985).  I rather enjoyed the country, but, at least in 1985, I felt very remote...  On the other hand, this family has no problem with remoteness, they are not living in Sydney down under.

Paraguay appears to be a very interesting choice for those who want a warm (hot!) climate, a tarnquil (by Latin American standards), reasonable prices and a lack of ethnic tension (you see ethnic tension in Peru, there is still a lot of resentment against Westerners...).

This family is the only people I have communicated at length with who are NOT Americans.  They do NOT want to come to the USA either (not even the Republic of Texas, discussed further below), as we here are just a year or two behind Australia in adopting many of these soft-coercive policies imposed by the government of Australia.

R. Mix grade of their work so far: A+, with Distinction in walking the walk.

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I have a  "Virtual Friend", that is, a friend whom I do not know personally (in fact she is my first virtual friend!), only through email and other Internet correspondence.

She is living on a tropical Pacific island, and rather enjoys it.  She is an American with some ties to the USA (family), but has been where she is at for years now (working there).  Her situation is tenuous there though, mostly dependent on being able to keep her job.  She has some assets in addition to her income.

Even though she likes life where she is at, she is looking at other islands (including more remote ones) that will be able to use her skill-set and better match her own need for a tranquil life.  One island she has looked at is Fiji, where one of my other correspondents has also looked.  She has also looked at New Zealand.

New Zealand seems to have tightened their rules for immigrants for prospective immigrants, a general trend I see in many other countries.

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One of my other "virtual friends" (an American) is looking at Australia (hey, you better read this article!) as well as Fiji.  He may have other countries in mind as he has certain exceptional skills that allow him a freedom to go just about anywhere...  I have "known" him for a little while now, and it would not surprise me if I get an email from him

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Another new contact (the family looking hard at Paraguay is a new contact) wrote me a nice pair of notes about his experiences in a variety of countries.  European born, but a traveler at heart (he has lived in many places), it looks like he found his place in New Zealand.  At this point I do not know how long he has been there, but he is married, with children, and one of those children is studying back in "the Old Man's own country".

Full circle!  I gather that he is happy in New Zealand, he is not stuck in a city...

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Proving yet again that "great minds think alike" is another virtual friend, in fact he is my second one, and the ONLY one who I have actually met in person!  At a coin shop buying gold of course, smile,,,

He has been interested in the whole "Plan B Country" idea for years.  He has looked at Mexico and Costa Rica in some detail, he has at least one tie to each of those two.  But, for now, he is dug-in in a part of the country where one would NOT think that there are not many "Bug Out" places, yet he has one...  I don't where it is, ha ha ha!

He is there because his wife is unenthusiastic about leaving the USA...  A common theme among American men it seems.

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I have two friends in The Republic of Texas who are probably just going to dig in there, for better or worse.  At least Texas is "still America" (for the most part), there are lots of rural areas and people who want to be left alone (and are armed to the teeth to protect their freedom).

Both of my friends are armed, don't mess with them!  They are "Molon Labe" kinds of guys, NOMI, CATIYMFs! are acronyms I would expect to hear from them when (not "if", when!) I go back to visit beloved Texas.

My first friend in the Lone Star Nation LIKES the idea of leaving, but his wife does not (they have a big family), and he told me they would require good medical facilities, a real issue for them.

My friend Ed is my BESTEST friend!  He will not be heading to Latin America, but if he gets some more money, he will be moving to the sticks...  And never be found!

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To summarize this main part of the article, the family I described first is commendably on the march...  My virtual friend in the Pacific has already left!  My new contact living in New Zealand has as well (having lived in several other countries).  My virtual friend hunkering down in the "unexpected place" is one of the few people I know who are fairly close to being "ready" in a SHTF or even the dreaded TEOTWAWKI.

***

I close this article with a thought or two on PREPARING for a move to "Plan B".  They all say that it is best to start now, before the chips fall...  This is very true!

We have some infrastructure in Peru, and we could move some wealth (probably) in a pinch there, so we would be just fine down there.  Some of my above friends are more ready than others for moving overseas if it comes to that.  But, whether they move or not, they are getting ready for the storm...

Another one of my really smart Internet contacts I deal with on other matters.  But, he rolled an idea past me just the other day.  Namely what did I think of buying stamps (as in stamp collecting, some of you may have collected them when younger).  Of course some stamps are very valuable, which was his point.  Buying some valuable stamps, putting a pair of $20,000 stamps between Pages 112 and 113 in the book you are reading on your flight allows you to discretely move capital out...

As does having Bitcoin.  Perhaps Bitcoin's highest and greatest value is the ability to move a HUGE amount of wealth about as discretely as possible (providing that you can find a way to cash them in "over there", which, with some creative thinking, is soluble...).

I somewhat regret not having had more time to write a longer article on this subject of so much interest to bright and freedom-loving people.  This will have to do for now.  If this article finds a big audience (that I can see in my stats), there may be more articles with more experiences...

Comments and/or emails are very welcome.  Especially comments!

9 comments:

  1. NZ immigration has become much more demanding than 20 years ago. A business migrant must now bring 10 million NZD with him. Other migrants are graded with a point system, points for skills, points for English speaking ability, points for age and children. Check out the NZIS web site. I would recommend native english speakers not to use immigration consultants as this tends to slow down the process. But...it is a great place to visit and even greater place to live.

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  2. Ireland is my plan B because I have family there. Both of my parents were born there and emigrated to USA. Some day this bring me "full circle"... back to ancestral home, if necessary.

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  3. Dutchie and Phil,

    It looks like having the money to be independent in your Plan B country is pretty much a prerequisite. I will try to look into this subject as well.

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  4. I just spent 4 months in Nicaragua scoping things out a little and trying to do a project down there to bring back to the US to sell. I was 50% successful, finally stopped by unavailability of something so simple as 1/8" steel wire.
    I liked the weather and the cheap real estate and the low costs generally.
    I did not like the fact that there is a tremendous amount of theft that requires constant vigilance.
    I did not like the "gringo" status I was stuck with and the poverty of everyone was extreme so it makes you an automatic target. Some little kids would see me on the street and say, "Gringo! Give me one dollar!"

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  5. I just spent 4 months in Nicaragua scoping things out a little and trying to do a project down there to bring back to the US to sell. I was 50% successful, finally stopped by unavailability of something so simple as 1/8" steel wire.
    I liked the weather and the cheap real estate and the low costs generally.
    I did not like the fact that there is a tremendous amount of theft that requires constant vigilance.
    I did not like the "gringo" status I was stuck with and the poverty of everyone was extreme so it makes you an automatic target. Some little kids would see me on the street and say, "Gringo! Give me one dollar!"

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  6. brian k, yes a gringo typically stands out, especially the poorer and smaller the country is. I do not know Nicaragua, but what you write rings true. Nicaragua is probably a BAD choice for setting up shop unless you are young & tough.

    Your observation that so much can be derailed by something as everyday as 1/8" steel wire tells a lot.

    Also important to know is the still strong presence of the Sandinista crony-criminals running the show behind the scenes in Nicaragua (my source is a Nicaraguan that I know here).

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  7. I've spent some time on a Plan B Country (PBC) for awhile myself. I've been researching Belize.

    They speak English.
    There are limited gun rights.
    It's really close to the US.
    You can actually ship your stuff from America relatively easily though you'll be paying bribes if you want it done anything close to quickly.
    Visas and citizenship are pretty easy to get.


    The Americanized retirement communities seem ridiculously expensive for being in a 3rd world country. Even by American standards.

    Having a vehicle is out of the norm.

    Buying land as a foreigner is almost impossible.

    If you aren't financially independent already, you're likely only avenue of employment is going to be starting your own business. Employment of foreigners over a local was super frowned upon.

    Internet is almost a non-entity because you have to go thru their provider and it's VERY expensive. You seemed to pay by the minute. I wasn't able to find any means of getting internet thru satellite.

    I stopped my research when I read the blog of someone who dumped their life's savings into moving there and getting all set up only to have a rather large group of armed men storm their home in the middle of the night, ransacking their place looking for drugs. The people were on the Up and up so the intruders found nothing but that basically sealed the deal for the wife. They lost basically everything and moved back to the US.


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  8. Pickleton, there was a rich American (a dot com guy or similar) who had a BAD time in Belize. Wired Magazine wrote him up.

    It really DOES help if you either have people there, or do LOTS of homework. Lots!

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  9. Did you know you can create short urls with Shortest and get money for every click on your shortened urls.

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