From the Publisher's Desk
February 1st, 2005
"The state, it cannot too often be repeated, does nothing, and can give nothing
which it does not take from somebody."
- Henry George
Coming to you without your consent!
Continuation of Dr. Seymour Samson's January 2005 interview. Part II
PT Shamrock = PTS
Doctor Seymour Samson = DSS
PTS - That meal was outstanding. Absolutely cracking and delicious. Thank you.
DSS -Yes it was and you're welcome. I ate too much. Boy I'm stuffed.
Okay now, back to business. Where were we?
PTS - We were discussing second nationalities and a European Union residency.
DSS - Look I want it understood and perfectly clear that I am not pitching second passports or residencies here. YOU asked me. You're my pal and asked for an interview. I agreed because I believe I have something valid to say to your readers. If those reading this interview agree with some of my thoughts, they can act on them and hopefully they'll benefit. If not, that's no problem, because I'm not selling anything and not accepting new consulting clients, so there's
nothing for your readers to buy.
PTS - Agreed. But other than getting a second passport, what else can one do to protect their privacy, especially if they live in America?
DSS - If you live in America THERE IS NO PRIVACY, so get over it. Either live with it or leave, it's really that simple.
My advice several years ago was very different. There were some ways (and still are,) to protect your privacy in America. However there are now so many laws in place, that just getting up in the morning can see you breaking any number of laws that could get you in prison for a very long time indeed.
PTS - Okay then, what are some of those ways to protect ones self?
DSS - Having a non American mobile phone with an international roaming card (sim chip, i.e. mobile telephone number,) for very sensitive calls can help. Having and using one is certainly not against any current US laws. However understand that even using a non US mobile phone will have your calls recorded and taped by the NSA in a military base in Northern Maryland, near Delaware.
In addition it is important to understand that conversations conducted via any public telephone in America is recorded and the data is stored on numerous databases. This includes the number called or received, the length of the call and the actual conversation itself. If you do
make sensitive calls using a public phone booth, purchase a calling card for cash at a 7/11 like store some distance from your home or office. Make calls across town and use code words for sensitive subject matters.
Having an anonymous ATM card is helpful. So long as you enter or depart the US (and other Western European countries,) with less than US$10,000 or the Euro equivalent on the card and on your person in aggregate, there are no current reporting requirements. Be advised that such a card is considered a bearer instrument by most governments, especially the US, so govern yourself accordingly travelling with it.
PTS - Why isn't such a card not reportable?
DSS - Re-read my lesson above about reporting requirements demanded by the US government. The anonymous no name, no ID ATM card is not attached to any bank account that YOU have 50 percent or more control over. Get it?
PTS - That is excellent information for our readers to know.
DSS - Yes. Also having a decent privacy minded mail drop outside your home country is always a good idea. In fact it's imperative in today's world. You can get one in a name other than your own. That's not a crime in other countries, but it may be in America.
PTS - Any particular country or countries you'd recommend for a privacy minded mail drop?
DSS - So long as you asked for a country and not any particular provider, I don't have a problem answering that question.
London still offers the best opportunities. Just stay away from the American franchise mail services that require ID.
Surprisingly, Copenhagen and Johannesburg have a few excellent providers who are extremely privacy minded. One in particular offers a special service (for an additional fee,) that will send you a special code word via email in the event anyone is making inquires about your service with the source of that service.
I also like Japan, Hong Kong and a few other places in The Orient. All of those countries are low profile and won't attract the unwanted attention from the authorities with mail incoming to you.
Mail drops in places like Switzerland, France, Malta, and Andorra and also in the Channel Islands will raise red flags when mail is incoming to you. Ditto for Bermuda and the Bahamas.
In France, the law requires that you provide passport ID in order to open service. Austria, Germany and the Netherlands offer excellent service but their prices are higher than giraffes.
Third world countries like the Philippines and Thailand's mail service is crap, so I'd stay away from those kinds of places too.
PTS - Any other products or services you can recommend?
DSS - I love your (PT Shamrock's) no name or any name and no ID Virtuon credit card. I use mine all the time for my Internet transactions and think very highly of it.
PTS - Thank you.
DSS - And you know something, the old trusted camouflage passport still serves it purpose for checking into hotels, renting cars, etc. So that trusted product still has life in it.
PTS - What else?
DSS - Travelling today is not so much a joy as it was in years pass. Besides the seats are getting smaller and closer together (less leg room.) Plus the airlines are turning the fresh air down to the bear minimum during a long haul flight and that makes it unhealthy in most
instances. The extra security at check-ins is not privacy friendly either.
More important never ever never drink the water from the taps on the plane. It is extremely unhealthy to do so. Drink only bottle water on flights.
Fortunately in most parts of the world, excluding the US, one can still pay cash for an airline ticket without raising eyebrows or questions. Even in the UK, paying by cash isn't a problem.
If you're an American and want to visit your secret bank account in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Channel Islands or wherever, just purchase a roundtrip ticket (in the US) to London, Paris, etc.
Upon arrival in Europe purchase a RT ticket to your secret bank locale and pay cash. Travel to your bank's local and again pay cash for your hotel, local transportation, etc. DO NOT use your credit card for anything related to or in your secret bank's country. Don't even withdraw any cash there on your home country's credit or ATM card .Remember in the EU only the UK will place an entry stamp in your passport on arrival. Nearly all other EU countries do not stamp an
American, European, Australian passport entering or leaving. This includes Switzerland and the Channel Islands. That's a great privacy bonus if you use it correctly.
When you return to London or Paris for your return trip home, destroy any and all receipts, etc. regarding your trip to your bank's locale. Keep the hotel receipt you receive in London, Paris, etc. Use your credit card to pay for your RT flight to London or Paris and for your London or Paris hotels, etc.
All this is really PT 101. However you'd be surprised how many people get caught out on that one a year or two down the road. By their filling out a tax return and omitting any bank info, that's a crime (for American's and US residents.) The credit card or airline receipt to your bank's secret locate is the IRS' tip off, so I would be remiss if I didn't mention this. It could see you with serious consequences and even jail time so do govern yourself accordingly.
In addition there are tons of bargains to be had offshore as far as flights, hotels, resorts and exotic destinations are concerned. My significant other and I just returned from a cracking holiday at one of my favorite places. Ten days there including business class tickets for our long haul flight; an upgrade to a suite, breakfast and shopping like a bunch of drunken sailors cost us less than five grand Yankee. Now that's value for your money if I say so myself, especially with the US dollar way down as it is!
PTS - Indeed that is.
DSS - The point being, one should take time off to smell the flowers if you get my drift. A trip here and there once or twice per year can open your mind to new places and bring you new opportunities.
Throw in a biz that you can operate from a laptop anywhere in the world and you're a full fledge PT.
PTS - Agreed. But how can the average Joe do that?
DSS -Just having the desire is the first step in the process. So here's Ten Thousand Euros worth of advice, if one acts on it.
Start a laptop business as I call it, or a part time (PT) business that you can operate from a laptop computer from anywhere in the world. It's been my experience and that of most of my clients that it takes approximately two years to build that business up.
Travel here and there and take as many trips aboard per year that you can afford until you find a place that you really like and fall in love with.
Rent a place there for several months and really see if it meets your needs and fills your desires.
Continue working at your normal business or job until such time that your (PT) part time business generates enough income that equals your NET after tax income currently. As soon as that happens, leave for that place in the sun that you love.
There's no rocket science to that; one doesn't have to be an Einstein or such. It's really simple after all. Just leave but leave in such a manner so that you can return home legally and never have to look over your shoulders all the time.
However the problem most people encounter is DOING IT. Unfortunately there's normally some event, usually an unpleasant one that triggers one's exodus.
Don't wait for that to happen to you. Do it now! Leave freely, safely and legally so you can return to visit friends, relatives and loved ones and never have to look over your shoulders!
PTS - Okay that's excellent advice indeed. But what if one doesn't want to leave or can't leave.
DSS - There is no such word in my book as can't. Don't want to okay, I can understand that. But can't. Sorry I don't buy that excuse and that's exactly what it is, an excuse.
That said if you insist on remaining in America, then do not break any laws. Comply with all government regulations and laws, and pay all the taxes the IRS says you owe. Then you'll never have a problem.
PTS - That's very funny.
DSS - Yes but its true and solid advice.
If you consider that there is a 99 percent probability that within the next ten years, if it hasn't happened to you already, you are going to be involved in a very nasty lawsuit, a divorce or a very stressful and financially damaging dispute with the IRS; those aren't good odds are they?
PTS - Not at all.
DSS - Why then would you or anyone want to gamble on a one percent chance of something NOT happening to you?
So unless you agree to give up all your rights to privacy, freedoms and civil liberties, and agree to comply with each and every law and regulation; pay all the taxes the IRS says you owe, then it is a logical conclusion that you're going to have a major problem sometime within the next ten years, especially if you're an American.
PTS - Yes.
DSS - Then why, and that is the key, why, shouldn't one start doing something immediately to protect what they've busted they're ass working all their life for and protect themselves?
Are you willing to give up everything you worked for, believed in, including your good name, reputation and even your children?
That's a bitter pill to shallow and many can't hack it.
PTS - It sounds like its soul searching time here!
DSS - Indeed it is. But each person is different, with different wants, needs and requirements. Each person has their own comfort level and creature comforts.
Some persons and especially their spouses can't hack the PT lifestyle.
The problem I've experienced with many of my clients during the 40 years I've been doing this is most waits until negative events force them to make a move. In other words events force them to give up their creature comforts. In many cases it's too late. At the very least it places one at a disadvantage trying to deal and cope with the problem and costs a hell of a lot more money than had they took preventative measures in order to avoid it. The age old adage "An
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is certainly true.
PTS - Another excellent point.
DSS - I recall one client, let's call him Carlos. I genuinely liked Carlos. A real nice guy in his late 50's, good looking, but not particularly wealthy.
Carlos got into a battle with a vindictive and soon to be ex-spouse and was literally taken to the cleaners. Since his children were grown up Carlos was smart enough to get out of town before the doo doo really hit the fan big time and he lost everything.
After his exodus he had a net worth in the lower six figure range. Not a fortune, but certainly enough to live comfortably if he conserved and was frugal.
He went to the UK, a very expensive place to live to say the least. As he paid me my then two year unlimited but reasonable consulting fee, I advised him to conserve as much of his capital as he could until he got back on his feet and started earning some dinero, i.e. money.
It has been my experience through my clients, one falls into something and starts making money, good money within two years at the most, after making their exodus.
I made the suggestion that Carlos look into getting a London bed-sit. This is much like the American studio apartment. In London one pays rent by the week, as the landlord earns an extra two weeks income for the year that way.
At the time I was advising Carlos, one could obtain a clean, decent and respectable bed-sit in a decent area for GBP 50 to GBP 75 per week. In fairness to Carlos, he did look at a few bed-sits. However I'll never forget Carlos telling me when I asked him had he found a bed-sit yet; "Oh, I couldn't live in a place like that. I HAVE TO get a decent place."
Carlos went on to pay the GBP equivalent of US$3,000 per month for admittedly, a very nice one bedroom flat (apartment) in a decent area. I told Carlos I thought he was making a mistake because he was paying the equivalent of ten percent of his net worth per year just for a place to live. In a couple years he would run through twenty, perhaps thirty percent of his wealth just on an apartment or flat as they call it in the UK.
I informed Carlos that he could always move up to a better place from a bed-sit AFTER he started making some money, which I reassured him I was confident Carlos, could and would do within a few years.
After about a year Carlos starting worrying (he was a worrier for sure,) as his capital had started dwindling rapidity.
He asked my advice about a rather now infamous investment financier. I flatly told him to stay as far away from that person and his business as he could. That person's customers were having some difficulty getting their capital back from him. I recommended a safe investment bank (for a fee,) in Switzerland where he would earn a decent 15 to 20 percent return (at the time) safely and without much risk.
Carlos didn't want to pay my fee. He was wined and dined by the now jailed investment dealer. Carlos lost ALL his capital, everything and had to work as a bartender for a backhander (cash under the table.)
It got so bad for Carlos; he ended up living with a 60 year old woman from a third world country (in London,) and was very unhappy the last time we communicated.
I trust things have turned around for Carlos. But the moral of the story is to conserve your capital and BUILD up to want it is you desire. Living offshore with your own PT or part time offshore business is an opportunity and must be approached with the right perspective in mind if one is to be successful in life and live stress free.
PTS - That's was an interesting story. Any more with a lesson for us?
DSS - This one isn't about any client of mine. Rather a friend of a friend. This guy was a clever person. In fact he was too smart for his own good if you get my drift. But his problem and eventual downfall from grace was that he thought he knew it all. He thought he was the smartest person on the planet and had a huge ego and was most certainly arrogant about matters.
Mr. Bob as we'll call him, had a little problem many years back. He was forced to 'depart' his old world. However in fairness to Mr. Bob he did very well for himself in his new life.
One of many of Mr. Bob's problems was not only did he think he was smarter than everyone else, his huge ego got into his way of clear and rationale thinking.
He started doing things to attract unwanted attention to himself and always screwed his friends and associates and was never happy unless his cleaned the table, never leaving anything for the other guy. Not very a very good thing to do, especially if you have a problem, if I say so myself. Worse, he did so in a manner that attracted the unwanted attention of certain people from his old world.
I politely suggested that he should immediately stop doing the things that were bringing this unwanted attention to him. However his ego was so great, he just couldn't. He loved the attention and eventually he brought disaster upon himself by pissing off the wrong people.
The result? He got a late night visit from the crew cuts and only a huge bribe got him out of a free all expense paid vacation back to his old world for the next twenty years!
The moral of that story is to stay low profile, especially when you've had a problem before. And to keep you big mouth shut at all times. Be fair to others and always leave something on the table for the other fellow.
The authorities may come and go, but their computes never forget. Diarrhea of the mouth has been the downfall of many a person. So stay off the radar screens, keep your mouth shut and keep your personal and financial business to yourself. If you make good money, live a modest and low profile lifestyle and always be more than fair to the next person.
If you live in a third world country, be diligent of the police and the military as they are in many cases reasonable for the local kidnappings.
PTS - Any more analogies?
DSS - I've got 40 years worth of stories, but let's leave it with those two.
PTS- Okay then, which countries do you recommend for one to make their exodus to?
DSS - I couldn't possibly answer that question in general terms. That's too individual a matter for each person. However I will say this without mentioning ANY particular country.
There are some very well known and well written offshore newsletters with excellent ad writers that pitch great deals on the beach for peanuts in Central America.
Whether or not the places recommended is "paradise" or not is for each person to discover. However what I do advise your readers to be careful of is that in nearly all cases of any newsletter promoting such and such locale or another place, the newsletter is receiving huge undisclosed commissions for pitching that particular deal or deals. So caveat emptor.
On the other hand if a company is charging a reasonable referral fee for a residency program and discloses that fact, I don't have any problem with that kind of residency program. The potential client should take a few trips at different times of the year to as many countries as they think they'd like to become a resident and check them out personally.
Because there may or may not be a great investment opportunity somewhere doesn't mean that one should live there.
PTS - I agree with that thinking. But let me press my question again. Any countries for our readers to consider relocating to?
DSS - Personally I like Europe. But it's a very expensive place to live. For Americans obtaining extended stay visas and residency permits can be troublesome.
I don't care for Panama and Central America in general. But that's not to say it wouldn't or shouldn't be for someone else. In general other than a few places in South America like Paraguay and possibly Brazil, I don't care for Central and South America too much because of
the petty crime and all the kidnappings. In most parts (in CA and SA) you have to have 24 hour armed security guards so some asshole doesn't come crawling through your window whilst you sleep!
South Africa use to be paradise. However today the crime is so bad I'd be remiss if I ever recommended that country to anyone.
Asia is cheap with lots of young brown lovelies, especially for old farts like me. But language can be a problem for some and the renewing of visas in most Asian locales can be bothersome.
My thinking is fairly simple about residency and places to live. If you are an American and are going to live five years someplace with the intention of becoming naturalized and getting a second citizenship, why do it in some shitty place in Central America? You might as well do it in a respected Western European Union nation for about the same cost as in Panama or such, and end up with a AAA rated citizenship where you can travel worldwide without Visas on an EU
passport. That's just common sense to me.
But people, especially Americans get all caught up in advertising and the ad pitches are admittedly so appealing, people leave their common sense at home. So if they do make a move, it's to a place like Panama, instead of a European Nation where for the same period of
time, albeit a higher cost of living, you will end up with a superior citizenship and passport from a respected Western European Country and a far higher standard of living to boot. Then after 5 years with a new Western EU passport, they can live anywhere in the world they choice to.
Why people can't see that and do that is beyond me.
So it really comes down to one man's meat is another mans poison. The theory of being here and there for three months at a time appears to be ideal for the PT, but in the real world it is simply no longer practical, especially after 9/11 and its aftermath. My advice is get the EU citizenship and start now, then PT before it's too late.
Click here for the continuation of Part II of this interview.
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