I have been a Chile consultant for many years. One thing that has always puzzled me are the ironies seen in the kinds and classes of people that want to migrate to Chile, as well as the turmoil or frustration that so many of them face.
Can and Do
First off, there are those that can and do come to Chile, at least to get a Plan B residence established. They are wealthier people, normally with assets over US$2 million, with some exceptions of single men that can get by on less, or they have pensions between US$5,000 and US$10,000 per month (which is more than enough to live in Chile). They are usually libertarians or constitutional conservatives. They want a freer, saner life than their increasingly beleaguered existence in the “Land of the Free” or some other Northern Hemisphere welfare state. They are not “turned on” by the likes of Obama, Bush, Hillary or Trump. They often have substantial assets out of their home country and thus already have a foot out the door. They are well-studied on the issues and make educated choices about where to immigrate and how to handle life. I will call this fortunate, “will do” group the top 20%. They are wise, as Proverbs 27:12 says: “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.”
Can but Won’t
Next, there is the group of well-to-dos or upper-middle class folks that toy with Chile or emigrating, but never seem to get around to doing anything about it. They are masterful at making up excuses why they have not and will not act in their best interests to minimize political, economic and violence risk by setting up residence elsewhere in the world. “If the USA goes down, so will every other country in the world” or “I do not want to learn another language at my age” are favorite “reasons” why they would rather stay and perish or fall into an even more crass slavery than they presently find themselves. They dabble in expatriate literature and are genuinely concerned what the world will be like under the regimes to come. But they are not scared enough to actually act; unrealistic optimism always seems to win the day. They are more worried about being near family. Or they just think that maybe things will not be so bad. They are, in a word, “boxcar bait.” Those that can get out at the last minute will end up being “raft people” because there will not be enough seats on airline or boats to get them out when they want to leave. Full of endless excuses and procrastination, I hold out little hope for these people. I will call this mildly-arrogant, procrastinating, “will not” group the middle 50%. Their epitaph will read: “Could have escaped, but failed to do so.”
Would but Can’t
Finally, there is the most tragic case of those that really, truly want to leave but cannot do so. They simply lack the basic resources required for their family size to leave and/or resettle, and have little hope of working in Chile to earn enough to do so. They see the danger and want to flee but are trapped. Their situation is sad. They have often done their homework and want to come to Chile. They call me but, alas, there is little that I can do for them. Why is this (relatively large) group so much more insightful than the aforementioned reluctant group with resources? Who knows?
People from each of the three groups tend to be well-educated. The difference seems to be in courage, logic, sensibility and insight, as well and financial feasibility. People in this last group are willing to do whatever it takes to get to Chile but it is simply not enough: they do not have the Spanish or cultural skill sets to prosper in Chile, nor do they have the capital needed to start a business here. They are stuck on the sinking ship and, worse yet, they know it. The best they can do is keep researching and looking for that windfall that will send them where they want to go or at least open the door to get there. Otherwise, they uncomfortably await judgment day. A lot of grief and hardship are ahead of them. I will call this hapless, doleful, “cannot” group the bottom 30%. As Job said (14:1), “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
Where do You Fall?
Where do you fit in? Are you satisfied to be in that group? If you want to change, what can you do about it?
The first thing that any of the aforementioned folks should do is get my newly revised book and read it cover-to-cover. Anyone considering coming to Chile for real should devour the 1,665 pages it contains. As a newcomer you simply cannot get enough information about your new country. The new edition is like having six different books on relevant Chile topics in one volume. Sections can be read and re-read as needed. The US$149 will be paid for many times over in efficiency gains alone, not to mention orienting you in the direction which is best for you and thus saving you many hours of research and reducing time-wasting activities that often affect expatriates.
Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com: