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How many times have you thought about investing or creating a new life “offshore”? What do you need to know before you move your money, or your family, or both, away from the perceived safety of mother homeland? Is it a realistic option? Is it complicated? Is it legal?
First, a definition of “offshore.”
Offshore is anything that is not “onshore” within the boundaries of where you presently live. In other words, any place outside your homeland is considered “offshore.” Every country is offshore to every other place. And each jurisdiction has its own ever-changing laws and political aspirations.
With over 190 countries worldwide, and over 6 Billion people globally, there is a huge world outside the boundaries of where you call home. How many of those countries, capitals, and leaders can you name or locate on a map right now? To how many have you traveled? And how many cultures do you understand?
I share with you some interesting global facts that affect your assets every day.
If the world was reduced to a village of only 100 people, proportionately, the village would consist of 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 5 U.S. and Canadians, 8 Latin Americans and I South Pacific. Forty nine would be female and 51 would be male, with 82 non-whites and 18 whites. Eighty nine would be heterosexual and 11 homosexual.
Amazingly, 5 of the villagers would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth, and all of them would be U.S. citizens. What’s more, 80 would live in substandard housing, 24 would not have any electricity, 67 would be unable to read, 50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation. Thirty three of our 100 inhabitants would be without access to safe water and 1 would have H.I.V. One would be near death, 2 near birth, 7 would have access to the Internet, and 1 (only one) would have a college education.
If you look at our village of 100 from this point of view, the world takes on a whole new meaning.
And if you have never experienced a war, the cage of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or a famine, you are better off than 500 million persons in this world. If you can attend a church, synagogue or mosque without any fear or threats of the consequences, you are better situated than almost 3 billion people worldwide.
If there is a meal in your refrigerator, you are dressed in clothes and shoes, live with a roof over your head, you are better off than 75% of the world population. And if you have a bank account with money in your pocket you belong to 8% of the well-provided people in the world – yes, 8%. Since you can read this newsletter, you do not belong to the 2 billion people who can not read.
Asset protection and offshore living and investing should take on a whole new meaning when you look at the world as a village of 100 people and consider their make up.
It is true the world is a varied and different place, and offers much to discover and learn. Maybe this is why moving capital and people offshore is so “foreign” to so many people. It shouldn’t be, but I hear the same question repeatedly by those I consider educated and well-reasoned people:
Is it legal to go “offshore?”
The answer is “yes”, it is perfectly legal for most of the western civilized world to move family and property outside of their homeland.
And the reasons for going offshore are many. In most cases, even when you continue to live at home, you can legally open up an offshore bank account for increased financial privacy and enhanced asset protection.
Plus, when going offshore you have the opportunity for increased investment protection and diversification from fluctuating currencies, since you have many currency choices rather than limiting yourself to your local currency. You can freely hold US Dollars, or Euros, Swiss Francs, British Sterling, Japanese Yen, or Canadian, Australian or New Zealand Dollars, and most other currencies from around the world.
And owning alternative currencies or other global investments can be held right at home, or offshore.
International investments make sense because they are in tune with the deepest aspects of reality. Nations and borders are “illusions” defined by contemporary local political agendas. Too frequently those agendas are the flavor of the month determined by the political party in control at the moment.
Economics and human nature pass beyond these artificial barriers…. as they should. We call our global actions free trade, but they are more.
International investments, global living and multinational trade are nature’s expression of how people should be…human beings trading with one another, not Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Australians, British and so forth using past ideals to separate themselves. 
If you're thinking of going offshore – your person or your property – you're not only “legally” in the right, you're a lot wiser individual if you take advantage of global opportunities. Your right to go offshore is one of the most fundamental requirements of freedom….. and you don’t need a law to give you that right!
Over the long run, nations, politics and borders are illusions, and social and political change is inevitable. It is important to recognize the changes happening before us right now so we can learn to adapt to borders controls and regulatory regimes that interfere with the free movement of people and capital.
And unfortunately, the future appears even more restrictive as more draconian laws and tighter controls are constantly being implemented interfering with the basic right of free movement of persons and property.
What is important is that you recognize in advance the pitfalls and traps before going “offshore” to avoid bureaucratic nightmares.
Avoiding lawsuits, identifying the best and worst jurisdictions for offshore trusts, international banking, wealth preservation and privacy, living offshore with tax free income, border and currency controls and trends, dual citizenship and second passports, new global tax burdens, denouncing U.S. citizenship, avoiding common asset protection problems, and much, much more, are just a few of the topics I intend to cover in more detail in upcoming newsletters.
These are also the topics I have spent years in researching and compiling in my new book “Offshore Living and Investing”…just in case you are interested in learning more.
Let me know if you have some ideas and topics you would like covered in future newsletters, and I promise to do my best to include them on the wish list for future topics.
Until next time, if you have something worth protecting, take steps today . before it’s lost forever.
David A Tanzer, Esq.
JD, BSc, Ph.D (Hon)

(C) Copyright 2008 David Tanzer all rights reserved. For more information visit or email to David is the author of “How to Legally Protect Your Assets” and “Offshore Living and Investing.”

David A Tanzer & Assoc., PC.

Vail, CO USA:
Tel. (970) 476-6100
Fax (720) 293-2272

Auckland, New Zealand:
Tel. (64) 9 353-1328
Fax (64) 9 353-1328

Brisbane, Australia:
Tel. (61) 7 3319 6999
Fax (61) 7 3319 6999

(Licensed to Practice Law in U.S. States & Federal Courts;
Assoc. Member Auckland, N.Z. District Law Society - Foreign Lawyer; &
Assoc. Member Queensland Law Society, AU - Foreign Lawyer)