Before I post Part IV, I want to pause and recap the huge amount of ground already covered in parts one and two of this series (See links below to read and catch up). Previously, I showed that the most common assumptions preppers base their relocation decisions on are completely false and actually counterproductive to outright dangerous. The research I presented is groundbreaking within our community because it completely overturned the very foundation of what many have spent a lifetime basing their preps around. Understandably, some people within the prepper community have received the new information as radical heresy and immediately took to the defense. When new information is presented to any community, this visceral reaction is to be expected. After all, it challenged their entire basis for their preps and in this case, proved that much of their foundational assumptions were based on bad information.
As I pointed out in Part Two of the series, people are creatures of habit and do not like change. Unfortunately, this closed minded, inflexible mindset can get you killed. It is exactly the type of mindset a prepper must avoid. New information must be vetted and independently analyzed, but embraced if proven valid even when it disrupts the status quo. Preppers must be adaptable and embrace the latest technology, tactics, and data or be left obsolete. In researching and writing this series, I had to ask how the community “got here.” This was all the more intriguing after seeing how wrong we were on such major issues. Although in good company with many other “experts,” the current prepper dogma seems to have primarily originated from books written by James Rawles. Although I have never met Rawles, I have read his books and enjoy his site. I believe Rawles is a learning man and has the best intentions at heart, but the fictional scenarios he presented when actually analyzed are just that; fiction. This is not meant to discount everything Rawles has contributed or to disrespect him anymore than when one scientist discovers something new and updates a previous theory from a different scientist. Unfortunately, many have already acted upon the advice of Rawles and others without first conducting and/or seeking independent analysis of their plans. I hope these articles will go far to correcting and updating the strategies of others before they heavily invest in unnecessary and counterproductive strategies.
In spite of this, the research should not be taken negatively. It is actually very good news because it showed people have far more “good” options for relocation than previously believed. The “300 miles from an urban center” rule is utterly false. You don’t have to relocate to a remote region to gain the major benefits of prepping. The few exceptions to this are extreme cases such as major nuclear war. If you are prepping for that scenario, I showed that it makes far better sense to simply move beyond the borders of the US instead of grasping to what would be in actual practice a totally futile plan of living underground in a bunker. Also very positive was that the research is very conclusive in showing the “golden horde” doesn’t exist. The facts are that the likelihood of your house being overrun by a wave of refugees is negligible.
Equally positive is the feedback from the articles. Most people received the information very well and are already getting the word out and incorporating the new information into their plans. They have shown the ability to learn and adapt, which are critical elements to survival. Of course we have the disgruntled and closed minded that “already know it all,” but they are the minority and will ultimately weed themselves out through bad decisions. I want to quickly address a few of the comments I have seen in emails (which I do appreciate irrespective of your position) that relate to relocation plans that include residency abroad.
I particularly am entertained by the people that think there is no other “first world” country beyond the borders of the US and that it would be too expensive to move. The US is still the best country in the world, but some contingencies we prep for simply do not offer good options unless we expand our horizons beyond the borders of the US. Having a backup plan that includes a second passport is essential when the SHTF for anyone serious about not just survival, but surviving well. South America in particular has some of the most beautiful land anywhere in the world and places like Chile have a near perfect climate for agriculture and a self-sufficient lifestyle. Further, the major cities in countries like Chile and Uruguay look and feel like old world Europe and most people speak English, Spanish, and German. Other cities like Panama City, Tallinn, Singapore, and Hong Kong are fully modern cities and offer a host of economic benefits far better than anything here in the US. Right now, the US dollar is strong in comparison to foreign currencies so you can get great deals on real estate and plane tickets are cheap. You can also live at a much higher standard on far less than in the US. Your American skills are also in high demand in nearly any field you work if you are willing to travel. Even better, you can incorporate overseas and keep the money you earn instead of having over 60% or more stolen by the same government that is using your tax dollars to oppress you.
You don’t have to stay overseas, but if you do stay most of the year, you get a foreign income tax exclusion that allows you to make your first $100,000 tax free! To put this in plain language, establishing a foreign residency and incorporating a business in an economically vibrant country like Chile would be the same as giving yourself a 60% pay raise overnight. That money alone would be more than most could save in a decade and could be a stand alone retirement plan if properly invested. How you can afford not to exercise this option is my question. The people that think the rest of the world lives in shanty towns with no running world are completely ignorant and should travel more. Ironically, many of those people that parrot this garbage live at a far lower standard here in the US than the people and countries they have written off as crime ridden cesspools of poverty, corruption, and violence. To illustrate, a few “smart” people like the billionaires of the world and the elite have long known this and almost all of them have multiple residencies so that they can shield their assets and live overseas better than they do here in the US. This really is a no brainer.
Establishing a second residency outside the US is not just for surviving a nuclear holocaust, which it is very good for, but also any type of economic collapse, which is now extremely likely and relatively imminent. The benefits of having a second residency and the ability to open foreign bank accounts in well capitalized and managed foreign banks in places like Hong Kong and Singapore are immense. Do not neglect this critical prep because it is by far one of the most important. When the economic collapse does happen and US assets are frozen, the dollar is debased, and capital controls go into effect, this will all be very apparent…and too late. In fact, it may be the single most important prep you can undertake. A second passport will shield you from an economic collapse and allow you to prosper in bad times instead of just barely surviving. In plain language this is what it will look like. Those that didn’t take my advice will be out of work and unable to access any funds, make purchases, or travel. Their lives will for the most part be miserable and they will lose everything they earned. Precious metals like gold and silver have their place for local barter and hedging your savings, but simply will never be liquid enough to conduct any serious business and probably will be domestically outlawed and confiscated. You also are not going to be able to make car payments and cover the mortgage with them. The people that did take my advice will have full access to their money and will be able to buy whatever they want at bargain prices to include real estate. This is because they will still have liquid assets (money with value that is easily transacted globally) while everyone else doesn’t. They will also retain their mobility and be able to travel anywhere in the world and still have access to their money. This means while everyone is trapped here starving, you can go to a good place with your family, make lots of money while living well, and then come back to the US in a better position to help and rebuild if you so desire.
I have also talked to many people that are prepping for a major terrorist attack. Although I think the chances of a terrorist attack with the ability to have anything beyond a very local impact is very small, it is still worth discussion. In particular, the places in Central and South America are not being targeted or attacked by terrorists and are not in danger of getting annihilated by a nuclear device. Again, why is it you would travel for hours or days to take the family too live in a bunker away from people? It is for their safety and survival. For a short duration crisis this still makes reasonably good sense. However, for any major crisis or systemic collapse of the US, it is a bad plan. So I ask, why run very high risks and rely on a plan with a high chance of failure that by default still leaves you in danger. Instead, for less money and time preparing, you could take your family to a place that is very safe and you can continue with a good quality life unimpeded. When evaluated from an unbiased position, all other options appear ridiculous in comparison if your intent is protect what you have and live well no matter the crisis. It is only your innate aversion to change that impedes any one of you from taking the smartest and most critical steps possible as a prepared person.
I fully expect my modern revision of what an effective survival strategy looks like to be questioned, challenged, ignored, and outright assaulted. This is necessary vetting. However, in the end, I know brighter minds will prevail. Just like how my work to dismiss the myth of the lone survivor in favor of the necessity of the group and community has now fully taken root within the mainstream of preppers, I predict within the next couple years, well-informed preppers will be laughing at the notion of moving to a “redoubt in Idaho.” I also expect to see a point where every bug out bag includes a second passport. In the interim, look for Part IV in the series, which will address the most fatal error preppers can make during mass civil disorder and insurrection. It will be a must read because most of you are probably making that very mistake.
By Guiles Hendrik
September 3, 2016