by Jeff Thomas
More than ever before, people are seeing the writing on the wall
and are leaving their home countries.
They're seeking a fresh start in
countries that seem less likely to be headed over the economic,
political, and social cliff. Nowhere is this more true than
in the U.S. The official estimated
number of annual renunciations in the U.S. has been around 3,000,
but reports suggest that that number is far below the actual number.
Secondary to the group of people who are eagerly pursuing their
expatriation is a group who have figured out what's coming but have
chosen to treat the move with less urgency. They are hoping to make
their move when it becomes convenient to their situations.
Here are a few commonly voiced reasons
they give for their delay:
"I can't go right now - the kids are
still in college."
"I'm just two years away from full retirement. I'd like to have
the extra money."
"Granny doesn't have long to go. We'll just wait until she's
gone, then leave."
Their timeline is based upon events at
home, and they're hoping that the collapse in their countries will
wait until it's convenient for them.
The likelihood of this is nil.
The house of cards has never been
shakier and it's getting worse by the day.
We can only guess, but what we can be
sure of is that, whilst the events may not be imminent, they are
But more important, those who are placing a date a year, two years,
or more in the future for their internationalisation tend to focus
on the present, rather than the future. That is, they're assuming
that the present conditions will conveniently remain in effect until
they're ready to go. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
As events unfold, failing governments
will become ever-more restrictive. In some cases, this will mean
that the expatriation will become more difficult, more expensive, or
both. And for many, it may render expatriation either unworkable or
Let's take a look at a few developments that, in the near future,
may limit the chances of making an exit:
The EU, U.S., and Canada have now passed bail-in legislation.
This means that, at some point, deposits will likely be
confiscated by banks in these jurisdictions.
Governments are also making the
early moves to require that retirement funds invest
substantially in government treasuries - an extremely dodgy
The media are presently describing the movement of money toward
privately held funds overseas as "the injustice of people
abandoning the country." In fact, Bloomberg Business-week
"Exiting the country with all
that property should surely count as theft."
The rhetoric is increasingly that
exiting from a country that oppresses you is unpatriotic, if not
A 15% exit tax is now in place in the U.S., which is being
considered for an increase to 30% and could, of course, be
increased further. This is essentially a capital gains tax, as
if you had sold everything you own when you left. (Presently,
there are exemptions, but they may be eliminated at a moment's
Passports can now be suspended if the person's tax compliance is
"In question" is, of course,
intentionally very broad and can mean anyone, not just someone
who is presently under an audit. It would not be surprising if,
at some point, permission to travel might become a requirement.
The citizenship renunciation fee has increased by more than 420%
in the last year. (It is already 2,000% of what it is in other
Overseas Home Prices Become
As more people move to other countries, real estate prices will
climb beyond their present levels. In those countries where
large numbers arrive, prices will rise the most.
Overseas Job Markets Dry Up
Typically, job opportunities for First-Worlders in other
countries are very good, but as the flood of expatriation
increases, this will either diminish or, in some countries, end.
Those expatriating tend to assume that they will continue to be
as welcome in other jurisdictions as they are now, but some
countries that previously kept the welcome mat out for new
residents are increasingly placing limits on new applicants and
may soon pull in the welcome mat altogether.
Gold Unavailable for Sale
One of the few safe havens for wealth that's left today is
Many people who plan to exit assume
that, at some point, they will buy gold and silver to protect
themselves. However, it's safe to say that we're getting much
closer to a paper-gold crash.
Recently, we've seen a
COMEX situation in which twenty
ounces of gold had been contracted for each ounce available.
This is unquestionably unsustainable, and at some point, buyers
will realize that the emperor has no clothes.
The paper-gold crash, like the other
coming crashes, will occur suddenly.
The gold mania will begin in
earnest, and those planning to buy "a little later, but not now"
may well find that the horse has bolted and the opportunity to
buy has passed, as holders are not selling.
As Doug Casey has said,
"A society can fall from grace with
Any or all of the above developments are
likely to occur without warning, making your internationalization
plan, "too little, too late." So, if the kids are still in college,
that does not mean that Mum and Dad cannot expatriate now, preparing
the future for them elsewhere.
The children can join them after
If full retirement is far enough out that you might lose more than
the additional retirement amount by delaying your plan, it may be
best to let it go. If Granny seems to be hanging on, there are
likely to be facilities in other countries that are equal to the one
she now lives in.
These are hard realities to face.
All of the above concerns are built on
loyalty and responsibility to others, which is unquestionably a good
The question each person must ask
himself is whether, by delaying a move to a date when the
opportunity to move is gone, he is really being responsible to his
family. Is it better to make the move now, take the hit, and be
settled in a safer jurisdiction so that when things really do
unravel, you are well-situated?
Again, if there is no change in the existing laws and regulations,
the reader will still be all right and can leave when he wishes, as
he wishes. But these laws and regulations are unquestionably not
going to remain static.
There's a train coming down the track toward us and it's now picking
up speed. But unlike the man in the photo above, we can't simply
fold up our newspaper and take our rocker from the tracks.
Internationalizing takes time and those
who delay may find that they've waited too late and have lost the
opportunity for a better life.
Unfortunately there's little any
individual can practically do to change the trajectory of this trend
The best you can and should do is to stay informed so
that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even
profit from the situation. That's what
International Man is all about -
making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunity
around the world.
Our free video crash course is a great
place to start:
- Casey Research on "Going Global" -