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SOVEREIGN MAN

Questions: Travel, buying property, moving gold, second passports

February 12, 2010
Pattaya, Thailand

I’m happy to report that I seem to be in the final throes of my Asian jet lag– I finally managed to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable hour.

I appreciate the emails that I received giving me advice about how to deal with it more effectively… honestly though, I think time is the best remedy for everything.  With jetlag, I take a “sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry” approach, and it will work itself out eventually.

Anyhow, as I am out the door and headed to the beach in a few minutes, I’d like to spend some time addressing your questions this week:

Kevin asks: “Simon, I want to purchase a round-the-world plane ticket in order to get a sense of which country I would feel most comfortable living in / retiring outside the US.  Do you have any recommendation on how to find an open-ended round-the-world ticket on the cheap?”

“Round the world” fares are a flexible, cost-effective way to explore the world. Each of the major airline alliances (Oneworld, Star, and SkyTeam) has an around the world program, and the rules are generally the same.

You have to establish your route in advance, i.e. start in Vancouver, travel to Tokyo, then Singapore, then Mumbai, then Abu Dhabi, then Istanbul, then Kiev, then Krakow, then Madrid, then Miami, then Los Angeles, and finally back to Vancouver.

The nice part is that the dates for each flight are completely flexible. If you start in Vancouver and fly to Tokyo first, you can spend as much time as you want in Tokyo. When you get tired of it and are ready to move on, you just call the airline and they will book your next leg of the journey (to Singapore).

There are a few rules– the entire journey can only take up to 1-year, and there’s usually a maximum of 16 stops in total.

Now… here’s how you save money: If you live in North America, try to start your journey in South America. Buy a 1-way ticket to Colombia or Brazil, for example, and begin the routing from there. You will save about $1,000.

Peter asks: “Simon, I’m really interested in Panamanian property; given where I see my country headed, Panama seems like a great place to set up, and I want to get out while I can. I bought the Black Paper, and I am considering going to this International Living conference in April. Do you think it’s worth it?”

Yes. I was friends with most of the IL staff in Panama over the last few years, and I knew the conference organizers quite well. They routinely put on informative events, and if you’ve been strongly thinking about buying property in Panama, the conference is a great way to pack a lot of objective exposure into a short period of time.

Incidentally I may be back in Panama by April, in which case I might attend the conference myself to meet with some subscribers and old friends.

Helen asks: “Simon, when can we hear back from you about the sustainable community, and on the second citizenship programs?”

We have about 750 survey responses from subscribers telling me what they would like to see from a sustainable community in Panama. Clearly this is something that needs to be done. My partner Matt and I are digesting the data and strategizing how we would execute this. I will provide details next week.

In regards to second citizenship opportunities– I plan on rolling out quite a bit of information later this month, probably the week of the February 22nd. Stay tuned.

“LookingToLeave” asks: “Simon, do you have any suggestions for someone who plans on possibly using physical gold as a way to move their wealth out of the U.S.?”

Transporting gold is a great way to move wealth– a mere six pounds is over $100,000. There are three things you need to keep in mind:

First, the US government (and Canada too) does not consider gold to be a monetary instrument, so technically it would not be reportable… but be prepared to tap dance in case some Neanderthal government agent becomes suspicious about it.

I say this because in my travels recently, nearly every border guard I’ve come across has wanted to know one thing: “How much money are you carrying?”

Second, don’t forget to check the regulations on your destination country. Some places, like Uruguay, require you to declare gold upon arrival.

Third, do not underestimate security. If you’re confident, you can carry it yourself, but consider engaging a company like ViaMat to securely transport it for you.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll talk again on Monday.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jai

    Simon – thanks for taking the time to answer Q’s from your readers. I note you have a Pte Ltd, presumably S’pore. I DIY’d last time, but I’m wondering if there is a fast, cheap service to get the incorp & visa now? Also, S’pore doesn’t seem to have LLCs yet, but do they recognize other country’s LLCs & open local commercial bank accounts?

    Having fun in Potty?

  • John

    Simon,
    Periodically you include information that could be very useful to your
    readers at some future date.
    For example, Viamat.

    Have you given any thought to providing a listing of important
    names, etc. ( separate from your daily e-mails ) that your readers
    could click on for reference ?
    Thanks.

  • Me

    One thing about “around the world” tickets is that you have to keep going in the same direction with no backtracking.

    On a different topic and one which will be “black market” in nature is that with coming exchange controls in Europe, the UK and US the market for moving money offshore will be one that grows exponentially. I know having seen this for myself and developed strategies for assisting people do this in South Africa in the past. Something to think about for entrepreneurs. Note I am not talking about doing things illegally although I have seen multiple strategies that fall into that category. Of course what is legal and what is moral are not always the same thing but that is another story.

  • hbs

    speaking of gold outside the US, why no recommendation for Switzerland? they may have given into the US privacy demands, but who cares as long as you’re not hiding from taxes? as far as security and trustworthiness of the vaults, the culture, the politics, I can’t imagine a better place. am I wrong?

    have you heard of Safewealth Group? it’s a referral service to a couple very liquid banks and an insurance company in Switz, and they have setup their own segregated gold vault in one of their chosen bank vaults. some highly recommend it, but some say it’s fishy.

  • Adams

    I have purchased a number of British gold soverigns. do I have to pay taxes on them and what is the international value ?

  • http://blog4moneyreview.com Richard

    As an aside to crossing borders, canadian coins are legal tender and as such must be declared if the face value of them is over 10k… I don’t know about the US coins… But at $50 per maple leaf oz, thats a lot of ounces you can declare and take across legally…

    Richard :)

  • “Cuban Pete”

    Hello Simon,

    I would love to hear more about the Sustainable Living Community in Panama. I’m planning for a Panama relocation in early 2011. I can assist with this project in a couple of ways.

    Myself and some business associates are interested in syndicating an Advanced Building Technologies (Prefab & Green Construction) Manufacturing Facility in Latin America through a JV with local investors, developers or the government. Panama and the Colon Free Trade Zone could be an ideal location. These types of building methods are far superior to traditional building methods and can easily lower the typical costs of construction and building turn-around times by 30-50%+.

    Additionally, I have contacts through a Top 20 Global Western European Bank and investors in the U.A.E. that offer a rather unique funding platform for Alternative Energy/Renewable Energy Projects. Exciting and attractive niche projects can obtain up to 90% LTV/LTC funding @ 6-9% Interest Only with payments made in arears and only nominal due diligence costs required for a LOC or contract to be extended. JVs are also possible.

    I’d like to be kept abreast regarding your proposed Sustainable Living Community in Panama and perhaps discuss my participation in the project through project construction, finance and/or marketing and/or lot ownership purchase.

    Best Regards,

    CX

  • SALES

    HELLO SIMON ,
    THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT INFORMATION .
    I AM AN EXPAT LIVING IN INDONESIA . COULD YOU PLEASE WRITE YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE INDONESIAN ECONOMY ?
    ALSO COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHERE TO BUY PHYSICAL GOLD IN SINGAPORE AND WHERE TO STORE IT ?
    THANKS AGAIN AND LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY ,
    ALAN / INDONESIA

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