Are you ready to leave America for a freer, saner country?
Allow me to give you some food for thought about why you might pick Chile. Take a look in the “About” section in the menu above to find out how I have helped others accomplish their goal of relocating overseas.
You won’t hurt my feelings if you choose to live in Panama, Costa Rica, or Belize instead of Chile. I will even help you relocate to one of those places! But I think you will be making a mistake.
Spanish is a must
I have always made a HUGE emphasis for anyone I have spoken to about Spanish. But it is doable. I did it. And I am better for it as are my kids. You will have it tough for a couple to three years and then you will be a better person for it. Going to Latin America to live simply requires Spanish in all places but Belize, the Guyanas, or Brazil (Portugese).
Also, for those of you who have seen urban and countryside photos, there is a substantial difference between Chile, the most advanced country down here, and the other three mentioned (Panama, Costa Rica, or Belize). Santiago and Vina del Mar are First World cities with all the job opportunities and explosive development that you would expect. Towns like Arica (at the north end of Chile) are cheaper but are “Second World” in my view. But even they are probably at least as advanced or more advanced than any place in the other countries mentioned other than downtown Panama City.
Do you want to live in the Third World? I have no problem with anyone doing so, as long as one knows what he is getting into and does not mind that sort of lifestyle. Most people I know do not want to live in the Third World or at least want to live near others they know. That is why so many people are moving to Chile, have moved here or bought property here, or are thinking of coming here relative to the three (soon-to-be) CAFTA countries mentioned. Note: the “free trade agreements” that Chile has with Canada and Mexico are not, in my opinion, on par with the managed trade and loss-of-sovereignty pacts like CAFTA.
If Chile were not an option, I would certainly not rule out those second-best countries myself, along with some places in Eastern Europe or even Argentina. Plus, it goes without saying, Hong Kong, Andorra, Liechtenstein, etc. would be great too for those who are wealthy.
Many of my clients, like me, just like having solid infrastructure, a big city hub, universities nearby, cultural events, a large group of political activists to hang with, a wide variety of people, etc. I also want activities for my children. I do not want to be cloistered on a farm a plane ride from town or 4 hours by dirt road watching my organic crops grow. If others want that sort of lifestyle that is just great. Wonderful. If I do live on a farm, I want to be no more than an hour away from a major supply hub with a paved highway or superhighway.
Chile’s medical care in Santiago is top-drawer. Gun laws are relatively liberal. Taxes are very low. The people like Americans. The country is a national park of wide variety in many places–just beautiful–rather than a postage stamp tropical location (that part really matters when you live in a place for a while) ravaged by humidity, mosquitoes and ticks. You will not have views and scenery in those other countries that you will in Chile. You are too far for a Tomahawk missile shot or nuclear/bacterial fallout (wind patterns in the southern hemisphere differ from up there).
I have no idea how local produce is grown, if organic or not. Probably the stuff for export differs since the USDA requires them to do something to their food. But I know that organic foodstuffs are so important to some people that they want to move where food is all grown organically.
I do not recommend keeping your money in the country where you live. Panama and some places in Europe or a slew of islands are good choices for keeping money.
Life is full of choices. You all are about to make one.
I lived in Chile for 5 years (1996-2000) and have been back many times since then. I have been in Panama and Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, and 37 other countries around the world. I have been researching offshore jurisdictions for 15+ years and have made it a part of my financial planning and business consulting practice. So I think I can weigh in with some authority here.
No place you go will be perfect. But any place you go might be better than barbed wire.
Warning: Belize and Panama are pegged to the dollar so they would die along with the US. Chile has one of the strongest currencies in the world now, notwithstanding the idiot commie regime’s foolish manipulations recently.
All economies do not go into the same level of depression, especially when the economy is not so over-bloated and wealthy as America’s. The fact is that the bigger the economy is the harder it will fall. There is some reason to believe that you will do far better with having your dough in an Liechtenstein, Jersey, Guernsey, or Swiss account along with owning and operating self-sustaining property in Chile. The delusion is that you have a lot of time to think about it and get ready to move. Or that you can be choosy. Or that once the calamity begins here you will be able to get out of Dodge at the last minute.
Are you really serious about going or just playing “what if” games?
Some other items of importance:
- The Central American countries have much cheaper costs for maid service, perhaps only $80 per month versus $200 in Arica or $400 in Santiago. That is a NICE benefit.
- Crime is MUCH higher in central America than in Chile, especially robbery, theft by relatively poorer maids, and kidnapping for ransom. If you have kids, Central America can be a problem.
- You have to bribe cops and other officials in Central America to get anything done or to drive normally. There is no bribing of cops, especially, in Chile.
- Chile has a lot of stupid regulation on different things. I imagine the other countries do too but I am not aware of an exhaustive list. Then again, America also has stupid regulations and many evil things like DSS and Family Court so who cares. Lets not forget the IRS and the Federal Reserve System.
- The folks who put out those lists of relative freedom in the world consistently put Chile in the top 10 or top 20 places to live, whereas other countries like Panama, Costa Rica, or Belize are nowhere near that highly ranked.
- Property rights are VERY secure in Chile. I cannot say the same for the other countries under consideration.
- Santiago has an international airport with MANY flights daily to Miami, New York, Dallas, LA, Toronto, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Auckland, Sydney, Mexico, Lima, Buenos Aires, Panama, etc. It is served by major airlines and not just mainly Copa and Lacsa with their usually small, older, and uncomfortable planes. Panama has better connections than Belize or San Jose but it still pales by comparison to Santiago.
- As with Panama, air travel within Chile is reasonably priced. $125 goes a long way on Lan Chile or Sky Airlines.
Don’t fall for the notion of Panama or Costa Rica being bilingual. Just because you will find a lot of people who speak English there does not mean the culture, legal structure, etc. is bilingual. You can find several hundred thousand people in Santiago, Chile who can speak English too, but that fact does not make Chile a bilingual country like Canada. The bottom line is that if you think you can go to Panama or Costa Rica and carry on your life in English even close to normal like in America you are dreaming.
So how many of you are serious about getting your money offshore and getting out of town soon?
If you seriously think it’s time to escape from America, we should talk. You can contact me (serious inquiries only) for consulting services on our consulting page. If you’re considering residency or visa services, we can help you with that too.