A lot of people contact us because they are thinking of expatriating in order to retire and enjoy a life by the beach. But we also hear from families who are worried about the current state of affairs in their country. Europe is becoming more unstable as time goes on, and terrorist acts are becoming more frequent and violent.
The Orlando massacre is an example that hit very close to home for us. Fifty Americans died that day, because a crazed Islamic Extremist decided to take as many lives as possible. Our advice is to protect yourself and hedge your bets. This type of horrible crime can happen anywhere, but when it starts to happen more frequently, it's time to GET OUT.
What does this mean? Our advice is to PROTECT YOURSELF by giving yourself and your family OPTIONS. Sometimes this is the difference between life and death.
I'm reminded of the story of Emanuel Theodor Heilbronner (the founder of the Dr. Bronner Family of Soaps, which you have probably seen everywhere). Dr. Bronner emigrated to the United States in 1929. His family was Jewish, and he pleaded with his parents to emigrate with him for fear of the then-ascendant Nazi Party, but they refused. His last contact with his parents was in the form of a censored postcard saying, "You were right. —Your loving father." His parents were killed in the Holocaust.
Don't be afraid to prepare, and have a back-up plan. If necessary, make plans to GET OUT. Plan in advance, and that way, you can be ready if the proverbial *** "hits the fan."
Another good example to learn from is the case of Venezuela. Never, in modern history, has a country destroyed itself and its potential so quickly and spectacularly as Venezuela. I grew up reading about Venezuela--did you know that they used to call it, "The Jewel of South America?" And now, look at it. The citizens are eating rats, dogs, and cats. The people have no food. The government is broke and completely corrupt. Infants are dying in hospitals of completely preventable diseases. The country has been destroyed from within in less than 40 years. Countries can decline very quickly, especially if their governments are corrupt. Venezuela is now on the brink of collapse. The people who COULD get out, already DID get out. The rest have been left to die or starve.
So how can you plan for the safety of your future?
Save your money. Don't buy the new car your were planning to buy, or that new house. Save a nest egg and use it to show "investment potential." This is the key to getting dual citizenship. Countries love it when you show that you have an ability to invest.
For example, to apply for Permanent Mexican Residency, you only need to show proof of bank statements with a monthly income or pension greater than the equivalent of three hundred days of general minimum wage in Mexico City (73.04 MXP). This is approximately $1,300 USD for the past six months (considering a rate of exchange of 17 pesos).Many Americans have pensions, Social Security, investment income, and even self-employment income totalling this amount. There are several other ways to obtain Mexican Citizenship and Residency, but proving that you have a stable monthly income is the easiest way.
Other countries have similar rules.
Be cautious, and get dual citizenship. Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize are all expat-friendly and have huge existing expat communities that can offer advice and support. As second choices, Ecuador, Chile, and Panama are all relatively stable and cheap. In Asia, the Philippines and Thailand are also good choices.
Learn conversational Spanish. French is also useful as a second language. Explore the purchase of property--there are beachfront lots available all over Baja California that are affordable and have good potential. You can purchase an RV and take a trip down the Baja coast and see what I mean. It's a nice drive and you can see the potential for an "escape" plan if you need it.
OUR ADVICE: Always have a BACKUP PLAN.
No website or company has paid a fee to be mentioned in this blog. Any suggestions you see are based solely on our own experiences and personal preferences.
Just a middle-class family with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
If you have a question for us, please contact us directly using our email here.