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So… why Chile?

September 29, 2011
Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

I want to address a question we’ve received a lot lately about Chile– why did I select Chile for the site of our resilient community, and how can I be certain that the government there won’t go crazy too?

Look, there’s no such thing as risk-free… and I would never want to convey to anyone that Chile is some libertarian utopia. However, given the needs of the resilient community that we’re developing and the available options in the world, Chile does stand head and shoulders above the rest.

I’ve covered this in much more detail in Sovereign Man: Confidential, as well as at our Panama conference early this year, but to briefly recap:

– Debt and unemployment levels are low, and the country has maintained consistent growth due to its resource wealth and export-oriented economy.

– Chile has a limited government, especially compared with North America and Europe. Chile has neither the funding nor the cultural inclination to staff hundreds of agencies with the power to confiscate assets, micromanage people’s lives, or ‘protect’ them from every possible threat.

– Chile lacks the massive body of regulations that have turned the US (and much of Europe) into a nation of criminals. I don’t want to imply that rules and bureaucracy don’t exist… but there’s really no comparison.

– Chile is a safe, modern country with a thriving middle class. This isn’t some feudal domain where 99% of the people are peasants living in abject poverty; in Chile, people have plenty of opportunities to work hard and build wealth.

– Chile is one of the most entrepreneurial places in Latin America, and there are plenty of opportunities for foreigners to cash in.

– Chile’s immigration policy is very friendly towards foreigners, and the tax structure makes it easy to pay low or no local income tax.

– From the Internet architecture to the privatized highway system, infrastructure in Chile is excellent.

– In 2010, Chileans faced an earthquake disaster in an orderly, civilized way. These are the kinds of people you want to be around in a crisis situation.

– Chile is a very independent, freedom-oriented country where the government is afraid of the people, not the other way around. People in Chile have little tolerance for government overstepping its bounds.

– Cost of living is reasonable. Standard of living is high. Medical care is excellent.

Overall, while no place is perfect, I view the risks in Chile as quite low and the benefits as quite high– especially compared to crumbling economies up north. This is a major factor in why I selected the country for our community.

Certainly there are things I don’t like, and I’ll cover those another time.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anon Cowherd

    Please stop hawking other people’s shit in the content of your blog posts.

    And is Chile _actually safe_, or is it “safe” as long as you:

    1) Don’t go to places X, Y, Z (that you don’t know of before living there for a while).
    2) Always keep your money in a waist-bag.
    3) Wear your backpag on the front side.
    4) Never walk outside after X o’clock
    5) Never walk alone after Y o’clock
    6) Watch out for pick-pockets all the time.
    7) Or maybe never go anywhere without an armed escort.

    .. Or is it Actually Safe? 

    You see, I was told online that China “is fine”, as long as you: 1 – 6. But that’s not really fine, is it? Westerners just have a tendency to understate the world’s problems, as if they were all somehow _their_ fault.

    • Mike Gropp

      Extremely ironic, I just got back from walking across Beijing alone from 11pm to 1am on a Sunday night. Been in China for over 1 1/2 years. Thieves in China steal motorbikes, bicycles, etc, all while you don’t look. I’ve never heard of an ex-pat being threatened or violent crimes (local on ex-pat.) The worst and most violent crimes committed in China are by the government.

      Chile… I have no idea. I’d like to know; I’m going to ask when I visit some pals that are down there.

  • Jonathan (Music of Massage)

    Thanks for the explanation on Chile.  I’m disappointed we missed it last time we were in South America (lived in Ecuador for three months), so will have to make sure we get to Chile the next time we are in South America.

  • Ray Burke

    I wish I wasn’t such a skeptic.

  • Roger Poirier

    Hi,  here is video you gonna like.  Il lasts about 3 minutes and says a lot of what we think.

  • Mike Gropp

    So… why not Paraguay?

    Paraguay VAT, personal, and corporate tax are all 10% or less.
    Chile VAT is 19%, and personal and corporate max at 40% and 17-40% respectively.

    See for details, or use google.

    • ATWDream

      Paraguay have no beach. Landlocked. Extreme heat in the summers.

  • Smytor

    What bothers me about Americans locating in a foreign country is that, like other immigrants, Americans tend to show up in groups and create compounds within which they try to recreate the kind of life they left behind, and Americans often have more money than the locals, and so can afford to buy property and set up things just as they like while employing the ‘natives’ as servants and workers, often while considering themselves to be superior to them.  This usually results in Americans being followed by a trail of native sycophants, seeking to profit from them, all the while despising them.  Not to mention the fact that our country has been involved in recent foreign wars, and has committed atrocities against native populations in pursuit of these wars, creating a bad rep and a number of very angry people in certain parts of the world.

    If I were going to live in a foreign country, I would know in advance as much as possible about the language and culture, I wouldn’t throw money around, I would live inconspicuously in the same manner as the locals, and I certainly wouldn’t express any ideas about America being the ‘greatest country in the world’.  Unfortunately, I would probably be subjected to the same prejudice by the locals that has been created by other Americans, but hopefully I could overcome it, or choose a place unfamiliar with Americans, if there is such.  I might add I’ve found in my travels that small villages well off the tourist trail are often unconcerned about a person’s national origins, and one feels comfortable there.

    Thus far, Simon hasn’t expressed any of these concerns, and so I’m not sure how he deals with being a foreigner in other lands.

    • ATWDream

      I completely agree with you, Smytor, regarding immigrating to other countries, only to limit interaction with the locals. I do not see the point in that leaving one’s own country, only to move in with your compatriots in the new country. Sure, it is easier to relate with you compatriots when first trying to integrate into the new country. But staying in a compound with them does not make much sense.

      It’s one thing if the people in your compound are thought of as coming from a poor country, and are still needing help from each other in the new country. But if the people in that compound are thought of as “rich foreigners”, who obviously think they are too good to be around the locals, there will be resentment. And if this SHTF in that country as well, the people in that compound will be much easier to target.

      When I do make my escape, I will do exactly as you describe. Get to know the language and culture. Live amongst the locals. Away from the touristy spots. Make local friends. In other words, live life.

  • Colin

    Come to Chile…it’s a good place to be.

  • Erinrogers

    Paraguay VAT, personal, and corporate tax all cap at 10%.

    Chile VAT 19%, and personal and corporate cap at 40%.

    So… why not Paraguay?

  • Zerohead

    Any place is better than the US or UK and their nanny states!

    I live in Malaysia, and it’s certainly far from perfect, but migration breeds opportunity, and being a foreigner is also very opportunistic.

    Godbless the ex-pat life! I’ve been out since 1995, and I ain’t never coming back!

    • Betcsbirds

      So did you keep your U S citizenship?  Do you have a work or some other type of visa in Malaysia to stay there legally?  i’m totally ignorant on this, but it’s intriguing!

  • Warwick2012

    What’s your take on Colombia then, Simon?

  • Carlos

    Great Article, lot of opportunities around the world, best one just only need a cheap Internet access, support, a great place and start generating income anyplace.

  • jondaw

    @Mike Gropp 

    Paraguay offers opportunities, especially in farmland. Or a run up to Asuncion to buy cheap electronics, perhaps. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for an expat re-location residence.  It is very third world, summers are hot as hell, flat as a pancake, an absolute cultural void. If you know Spanish well, are savvy, then yes, you can make money. It’s the wild west.

    Chile is a whole other ballgame. It is clearly the country where most Americans would feel most comfortable–but you could say the same for Uruguay and Argentina (although you have to know your way around in BA). But it is not like going to Australia or New Zealand. You really should know at least some basic Spanish–by which I mean the language, not tourist phrases. It is not Cabo or Cancun which are tourist venues for Americans. You are far from the States.

    Is Chile “safe?” Yes, it is safe. Is it safe to stagger out of a bar or disco at 3 in the morning? Is New York, or any big city safe under those circumstances? Do you incur a risk of pickpockets in crowded situations? Of course, where don’t you? Are you likely to be a target of violent crime under almost all normal circumstances? No. On the whole, Chile is a law-abiding, orderly country.

  • Bucharest Expat

    I still want to know how much something like this will cost – how one can become a resident.

  • Seneka

    Just spent 3 months living in South America. Mostly Argentina with some time in Chile.

    Words that come to mind to describe Chile? Clean, advanced, polite, friendly, orderly. Also they have some good wine and surfing. It a world away from some of its neighbors such as Ecuador.

  • sophia

    I am planning to move to Chile or Argentina in the next 6 months. I am considering a lot in the Casey “La Estancia de Cafayate” in Argentina, but would consider a lot in Chile too. I know all about the Argentina community, which is fairly well described in their website. Where does one find details, prices, lot boundaries, ammenities and other information for the Chile resilient community?

  • checkthetruth

    We guaranty a one year temporary visa and permanent residence visa after 1 year.
    50 hours of Legal and Visa assistance with a Chilean attorney
    Hotels and Housing Help
    Employment Help (We will hire you if you can´t find employment!)
    Spanish Classes (30 hours included)
    Transportation to appointments
    City Tour
    Bilingual interpreter available
    Contract includes transportation to appoinments accompanied by a translator. Clients are repsonsible for all food, housing, entertainment and additional fees.

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