Welcome to this week’s newsletter, brought to you by Force Recon Marine, Chris Graham’s 30-10 At-Home Pistol Training Program–Guaranteed to put you in the top 10% of all shooters in the next 30 days. Learn more now by going >HERE<
(David’s note: Happy Memorial Day weekend and, as you’re enjoying the first official weekend of summer, please remember those who have sacrificed and who are sacrificing for us so that we can live the lives that we do.
As a small token of our appreciation, a percentage (roughly 10%) of all sales through Monday will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and roughly 10% of the sales of Chris Graham’s 30-10 Pistol Training Program will go to the Brothers In Arms Foundation for Marine Special Operations personnel. Last year, between what we raised over Memorial Day Weekend, Veterans’ Day, and additional giving and fundraising opportunities that came up through the year, I’m incredibly proud, humbled, and thankful to say that we were able to raise and/or give over $20,000 to military charities, including SOWF, Wounded Warrior Project, and Chris Kyle’s Foundations. That wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for customers and readers like you and I want to thank you for helping us support these great causes.
I find the irony biting and yet timely that Diva is writing about people renouncing US citizenship on the weekend that we give thanks for those who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom. I hope you appreciate it and I look forward to hearing your comments. With that, I’ll turn things over to Diva:)
Why are so many people renouncing their citizenship and fleeing to other countries? The U.S. Treasury reported a 221% increase in expatriates in 2013 and that number is artificially low due to the complexity involved in the bureaucracy of expatriating. In fact, the backlash of wealthier citizens leaving U S shores to live abroad launched the introduction of a bill by Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey that if passed will double the exit tax to 30%.
Some are famous, like singer/songwriter, Denise Rich, Tina Turner, and Facebook Co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, who dodged $67 million in US taxes by renouncing his US citizenship before the Facebook IPO.
It isn’t a requirement for expatriates to publicly announce their reasons for leaving the U S, but some have come forward to say that the U S’s global income tax compliance and disclosure are too oppressive when it forces those living abroad to pay taxes both to the country where they reside and to the U S–double taxation at it’s most painful. Many of them haven’t lived, or set foot in the US in decades and they’re finding that keeping their US citizenship is causing more problems than it’s solving.
Based upon the U.S. State Department, over 6 million Americans now work or study overseas and many end up staying because of love and/or lifestyle.
One surprising statistic is that The number of U.S. citizens between the ages of 25 to 34 living abroad has increased from 1% to 5.1% over the past few years. Some are seeking higher education abroad, but there are no formal studies that would explain such a drastic shift.
(Ox’s note: This is no surprise and is due, in large part, to the internet. We’re living in a time where you can have an online business where your customers pay you in Dollars, but you’re able to live in a fishing village in Central or South America and live your life in Pesos and have an incredible lifestyle in the process.)
Another thing that isn’t being spoken of by government officials is the number of people fleeing the U.S. for reasons other than taxation. Some have gone on record saying their decision to move abroad was to flee violent crime, while others have sited serious concerns over the erosion of freedom in the U.S.
A growing number of people, and Preppers are among them, have decided to flee ahead of the economic collapse they feel is coming.
(David’s note: I believe it’s foolish to leave the US to avoid economic collapse. When/if the US economy tanks, it’s going to take the rest of the world’s economy with it. What’s not foolish, is to move from areas that are less resilient to areas that are more resilient–and this might equate to leaving the US for you. Is it splitting hairs? I don’t believe so. If you believe that a US/global economic collapse is coming, the only places that aren’t going to be affected are those places that are resilient in terms of food, water, power/fuel, etc., places that produce something of extraordinary value, or places that are already so backwards that they don’t have a functioning economy right now.)
Not everyone who moves abroad takes the drastic step of renouncing their U S citizenship. Many simply relocate quietly and bite the bullet on the taxes and keep paying/filing with the IRS.
But Is Moving Abroad The Best Decision?
The “outsider” quotient should be carefully considered. Places like Costa Rica are popular destinations for expats because of their warm reception towards Americans. The lifestyle is laid back, the weather is incredible, and the cost of living is lower than in most places in the U S. Another benefit is that the Costa Rican government does not oppress its people and they are a Democratic Republic, which means there are fewer political adjustments that must be sorted out for Americans.
Even with all the positives just mentioned, the question remains. . . what happens in a global collapse? Will Americans then be seen as a drain on a countries resources, even in a country like Costa Rica? Will there be resentment over “Rich Americans”, and is it possible that Americans will become a target for those trying to survive a prolonged crisis?
Desperate times tend to change people’s perceptions when forced to scramble for food and water and critical goods. This should be a consideration for anyone contemplating a move abroad.
It would be doubly difficult on an American who chooses a less friendly country to relocate to. Lately, U S politics haven’t been well received by once-friendly nations. This change in perception may have a tendency to roll downhill, and can land on an American transplant who may or may not not agree with current U S government policy.
Can someone moving abroad expect to make a living abroad when many countries are experiencing soaring unemployment rates? Unless an individual has structured their employment to be independent of a specific location–for instance, starting an online business that provides sufficient cash flow to make a decent living–moving abroad may turn out to be a financially ruinous decision. The exception to this is those who have retirement plans other than Social Security (it’s possible for Social Security Benefits to be forfeited when renouncing U S citizenship) or those who have personal wealth and thus are not dependent upon making a livelihood.
Learning the language will be a prerequisite for anyone who expects to fit in to their adopted country. Unlike the U S, most countries expect newcomers to adopt with their customs. There aren’t public programs that cater to foreigners, nor public schools that offer bilingual education. Either the language is learned or the transplant will be forever an outsider beyond the confines of an expat community. This issue goes right back to the question of how outsiders may be treated in the event of a global crisis, whether that crisis is brought on by an economic collapse, or war, or grid-down, or a food shortage. It isn’t realistic to expect to be treated equally by locals when something as basic as speaking their language is not embraced.
Natural disasters have a higher mortality rate in many parts of the world than they do in the US and this should be carefully considered by anyone considering a move abroad. In some countries, sub-standard building practices and centuries-old buildings do not offer a buffer from the effects of earthquakes, floods or hurricanes. Infrastructure to provide safe drinking water, food and shelter in the aftermath of a natural disaster may be non-existent or woefully inadequate. For a Prepper, who is likely to have food and water storage, the situation may be partially mitigated, but the looting and unrest that may come on the heels of a natural disaster can present great personal risk.
Unrest is growing to powder keg levels as economies fold and saber rattling grows more alarming. Over the past few years, riots and demonstrations in Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Ireland ,Venezuela, Greece, Barcelona, and many other points across the globe were the result of austerity measures and cuts to entitlements and retirement benefits.
It’s likely that the US will have to institute austerity measures in the near future–and it’d be nice not to be around if/when that happens–but a move abroad severs the ability to band together with family and friends if the need ever arises.
As we are seeing with the situation in Ukraine, politics can change on a dime and leave citizens floundering to stay out of harms way. The U S is not impervious to the threat of war or political unrest, but again, there’s a lot to be said about the ability to join forces with family and friends should unrest grow to dangerous levels.
In some countries, freedom has flown the coop, if it ever really existed. Moving to a country that stifles free speech could backfire on the newcomer who finds it difficult to remain mute to injustice. Freedom of religion is another concern that must be taken into consideration.
(Ox’s note: Like firearms? If so, your options overseas as a foreigner are limited in most countries and the process of becoming a citizen with full rights can be complicated and/or expensive. To complicate matters more, I’ve got friends in various countries who have told me that it’s no problem to get a firearm, and that firearms ownership is generally accepted, that people buy ammo and go shooting, but it’s still technically illegal and pissing off the wrong person could cause you a world of grief.)
Leaving loved ones could pose the most difficult struggle with regards to moving abroad. Should a crisis happen, being separated from loved ones by a vast ocean or by thousands of miles is difficult to contemplate. For many Preppers, this issue is the single biggest argument for staying within U S borders.
(Ox’s note: For everyone who actually pulls the trigger, I’d guess that there are between 100 and 1000 who are considering it. My wife and I seriously considered moving overseas…to Italy 9 years ago and to Chile, Costa Rica, or Panama a couple of years ago. It was a gut/heart wrenching process to think of leaving our families and giving up on our country and that is why we ended up staying. I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts.)
So where do you stand on moving abroad? Do you have friends or family members who have pulled the plug on the US…and if so, was the outcome worth such a drastic change in lifestyle? Please sound off by commenting below!
Remember, roughly 10% of all sales through Memorial Day will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Brothers In Arms Foundation for Marine Special Operations personnel. Here are a few links, if you’re interested:
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva