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Did you know that there are over 200 million individuals in the world living outside their nation of birth?
Do you know what country was voted as the best place your bank balance would benefit from most when going offshore?

Or where individuals with children felt their safety had improved by 90% since moving to this international city for global business?
If you're yearning for a change of address, or offshore diversification, you might want to consider what individuals from around the world have to say about their experiences when relocating family and money to a new venue. Unapologetically, we do not follow the herd, and our goal is to maintain a broad perspective by what others have to say.
Offshore Is (still) Legal
How many times have you thought about investing or creating a new lifestyle 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 political boundaries where you currently live. In other words, any place outside your homeland is considered offshore. Every country is offshore to every other place. And each individual living in those jurisdictions have their own personal aspirations in an ever-changing global environment of political, social and economic norms.
People move around the globe daily, weekly, monthly - all the time. It is a dynamic world with borderless opportunities. Individuals that move from one country or another are commonly referred to as 'expats' or 'internationals', both complementary terms. Most don't give up their existing citizenship or take on a new one. Some do.
With over 200 countries worldwide, and some 7 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?
One international institution annually tracks the movements and opinions of some of these international travelers. And these expats have plenty to share that you wouldn't find in main stream media.
The HSBC annual survey reveals some very interesting facts. The most recent annual survey are from thousands of international expats reporting according to a wide range of criteria, including economics, experiences, and even raising children.
Expats from around the world rank Singapore, New Zealand, Sweden, Bahrain, and Germany the top best five countries for expats. Closely followed are Canada, Australia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland to round out the top ten.
Americans in particular will be surprised that when considering all categories, how international individuals ranked different countries around the world. The United States ranked seventeenth just ahead of India, and behind Russia ranked sixteenth.
So forget about the Russia bashing by the narrow minded politicians and media reports. Many Asian countries - even Russia - represent where the action is today. Even India should no longer be considered a backwater, out of touch country, as they have successfully launched a mission to Mars.
In scoring, expats cite healthy diet options, working environments, social life, local shops and markets, safety and security, and local cultures that provide superior experiences overall. Expats living in the top ten countries are enjoying a very high quality of life and little trouble integrating with the locals.
When it comes to education for children, Germany still reigns supreme, with high scores in child education, quality of childcare, and child health and well-being. Expat parents note that Germany’s educational system is cost-effective, and high quality. Deutschland also received high scores in economics, helping the nation to place high overall among all criteria.

And Switzerland is still labeled as a 'beacon of growth', and applauded for financial optimism by new expat inhabitants due to its strong fiscal policies and financial markets.
Individuals living in Hong Kong (ranked 11th) with children felt that their safety had improved by 90% since moving to this fast paced city for global business.
Of the 39 countries represented and surveyed by the expats, the US is still considered hampered by poor scores in economics and living experiences, yet the local work culture, cultural diversity, and access to quality education as positive. Surprisingly, the image of the US as the 'land of opportunity' among new arrivals to the US still rings a familiar tune.

If you are considering going 'offshore', there are a huge number of factors to consider. And in the book Offshore Living & Investing, 2nd edition, I share many interesting and important international factors - and international living and investing tips - that affect your assets every day, found here. 

The world is likely a very different place than the local media represents it to be.

For example, 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 North Americans (US and Canadians), 8 Latin Americans and 1 from the 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. 
And amazingly, 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, and 1 (only one) would have a college education.
Importantly, wealth creation is shifting quickly from western cultures to eastern cultures. If you don't understand the true make-up of the world - and that you are living in the Asian Century - you don't understand the dynamics of what's going on today.
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. Where do you fit into the global village?
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 some individuals. It shouldn’t be, but I hear the same question repeatedly by those I consider educated and well-reasoned people: Is it still legal to go offshore?
The answer is an astonishing 'yes'. Contrary to scare tactics of living or moving money offshore your government and the media pump daily, it is perfectly legal for most of the western civilized world to move family and property outside of their homeland. And for the moment, that still includes Americans.
The reasons for going offshore are varied. In most cases, even when you continue to live at home, you can still legally open up an offshore bank account for increased financial privacy, enhanced asset protection, and offshore investment diversification. 
It might be a little more challenging today for Americans investing offshore while living at home, but it is still legal. And it's worth the effort for peace of mind and safety from so many threats.
Plus, when going offshore you have the opportunity for increased opportunities for asset protection, investments, and currency diversification. In fact, there is a world of currency choices offering superior opportunities rather than limiting yourself to your local currency.
You can still hold US Dollars offshore, but you are also free to hold Euros, Swiss Francs, British Sterling, Japanese Yen, or Canadian, Australian or New Zealand Dollars, and most other currencies from across the globe. And while the US dollar was once 'the' global currency for trade, today, the Chinese Yuan (RMB) alone is now approximately 20% of all global trade quickly taking over the US$ role (only a few years ago it was 0%).
And owning alternative currencies, or other global investments, can be held either offshore or right at home. In either case, an international trust is an excellent way to accomplish these objectives, and much more.
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 influenced or determined by the politics du jour.
In reality, today, economics and human endeavors pass far beyond artificial political boundaries…. as they should. We call our global interactions free trade, but they are much more. Sovereign individuals know how to go international, and you can too.
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 – moving or investing – 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 damn 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, currency controls, and regulatory regimes that interfere with the free movement of people and capital...your freedom of movement.
But unfortunately, the future appears more restrictive going forward as more and more draconian laws, nationalism, and tighter controls at the border are constantly being implemented, interfering with your basic right of free movement. 
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 locations for international 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, renouncing citizenship, obtaining new citizenship and passports, avoiding and mitigating common asset risks, and much, much more, are just a few of the topics you can learn here.

These are also the topics I have spent years in researching and compiling in Offshore Living and Investing … just in case you are interested in learning more. 

And too, more on asset protection can be found here in how to Legally Protect Your Assets, 2nd edition. 

Or go here for more tips, or here for more past articles on the basics.

Or if you wish to discuss your personal situation in strictest confidence, start here.
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)
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)
The comments herein are not intended to constitute a legal or tax opinion regarding any specific legal or tax issue as additional issues may exist; does not reach a conclusion with respect to any specific legal or tax issue addressed herein or any additional issues not included; and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding legal or tax obligations or penalties with respect to issues in or outside the scope of matters discussed herein.

(c) Copyright by David A. Tanzer & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, and pursuant to the laws of all countries, no part hereof may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, electronic or otherwise, without the prior written permission of David A. Tanzer & Associates, P.C. Reprint in whole or part strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is granted. International Copyright protected under the Berne Convention, Universal Copyright Convention  and laws of all other Copyright protected countries, and consistent with the World Trade Organization TRIPS.
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