IF you have been watching the international news you would have seen that Costa Rica had a major volcanic eruption.
Tracye and I live about 50 or so miles as the crow flies from the volcano.
Now this may sound strange, but Tracye and I thought it was pretty cool. No we were not right up on the volcano, but close enough to have some ash fall on us.
Yea, we are kind of weird that way. Tracye loves earthquakes too and we have had some good sized ones down here. The nice thing is with all the quakes they have down here, Costa Rica has learned how to build to withstand earthquakes.
The last one we had I was sitting here typing like I am doing and all of a sudden I was seeing my screen kind of slowly rock and my chair doing the same thing. Once I realized what was happening I called out to Tracye and asked if she felt that and she came back “ YEA !! THAT WAS COOL!”
That’s my wife and that is why I love her and her adventurous spirit.
In fact, here is a picture of her grabbing an 18 foot crocodile tail when we took her dad on a crocodile tour. She threw me the camera, ran to the back of the boat and told me to shot the picture.
The guy in the red cap saw her do it, so he had to do it too. I proceeded to take a picture of him so that I can show how big that crock was that Tracye just had to grab the tail of. That’s my wife and why we make such a great pair.
Volcanos and Earthquakes
It was interesting, when I posted on Facebook that we are having a volcanic eruption we got a lot encouragement and folks praying for us.
But I also got multiple emails from people asking about earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes and such in relation to living an expat life.
I have to admit to my laziness because I copied and pasted pretty much the same response to everyone…
What about economic collapse, riots, no hope of getting ANY food from the grocery store, total loss of freedoms, hyperinflation that is un-imaginable, crime so bad you wish you would have left the US when you had the chance and the list goes on.
It will not be any fun if you have to face this in the US.
So which is worse? Willing to face a MAYBE volcano and occasional earthquake or the coming economic collapse and all that goes with it?
We need to get real with ourselves and worry about reality not what might happen.
Like it or not an economic collapse WILL happen. If I put odds on economic collapse verses a volcano, I have to say that I would take the odds facing a Volcano and earthquake than the odds facing an economic collapse.
By the way, a volcano? I am living it right now. What you are facing terrorizes me more than the odds of what Mother Nature wants to throw at me.
It is all perspective.
Shift your perspective at what you are facing there, not what you might be facing here.
Hope this helps.
Folks, Tracye and I are excited about Panama because what we thought we could do here in Costa Rica, we can do there in Panama, that being a “spear-head” that can help blaze the trail for others to follow.
That is the mission that Tracye and I still believe in and why we believe that God sent us here. We did not leave the wall, we just relocated to a better vantage point.
We know that there are people that God is calling out and He is also calling people to stay. But right now I am addressing those who feel called out. I addressed those who are called to stay in last week’s article “Find Your Spot – Relocate Within The US“
Because Costa Rica tightened its immigration laws we were not able to help many people. We helped a few, but not as many as I felt I was able to help relocate.
I am going to let you in on a secret; you do not have to be rich to relocate. What you do have to have is that sense of adventure and a willingness to make it happen. If you take the step out of the boat, God will direct your path. You just have to be willing to trust Him.
Right now Panama is throwing its doors open to people because they need skilled labor and people to bring their businesses down to Panama. Panama is looking to the future. They do not have a 5 or 10 year plan, they have a 100 year plan.
So if you have that entrepreneurial spirit, Panama wants you.
Addressing The Concerns
I know that there are concerns and let me try to hit some of high points I get in emails.
#1 – When the US fails, it will cause the rest of the world to fail too.
This is a common excuse and the problem is that people do not realize that the US is going to be far worse than outside the US.
See one of the major issues is that the US is facing a SERIOUS lack of food when the economic collapse takes place. When the shelves at Walmart empty, there are not little magic food fairies in the back making more food. When it is gone, it will be gone and restocking will take a while, that is if your store gets restocked at all.
Where here in Central America there is an abundance of food. I have bananas, plantains, papaya, mangos and lemons growing in my back yard. Across the street my neighbor has a whole mountain side of food growing from coffee, to all that I mentioned, plus pineapple, beans, peppers, and much more.
We are coming into mango season and that lasts about 6 months. There are so many mangos growing that they are like zucchini, you can’t give them away. They hire extra street cleaning crews to sweep up all the mangos that fall on the roads to prevent cars from slipping on them and crashing.
Chickens are everywhere, eggs are cheap and they sell them by the kilo, pork and beef are also cheap. And that is here in Costa Rica. In Panama prices are half of what it costs here in Costa Rica and yes everything grows there like it grows here. Food is plentiful.
In the US food will not be plentiful.
Either you will be priced out of the market because it is so expensive, or your store will not have any food to even sell. The same thing happened in Argentina, and just so you know. Argentina is on a same sort of longitude as the US. It isn’t the tropics and their weather and environment is a lot like the US. So when they had economic collapse, they ran into the same problems that the US will run into.
This is one of the top reasons why we chose Central America.
Yes, Central America will feel some pain. But it will not take as long for Central America to “bounce back” to some semblance of normalcy, 30 -90 days if that long. Because the US does not have adequate food production, it will take much longer to bounce back.
It does not matter that the dollar crashes, cash will be king and people are going to still use the dollar because it is what they are used too. History proves this fact, just look at the wheel barrels of Reich Marks people wheeled around. Look at the Zimbabwe two trillion dollar bill that buys a few eggs and some milk. So the dollar is not going to disappear.
To put it simply, when the economy falls, the US will have much further to fall than outside the US where they are still living a 2nd and 3rd world lifestyle.
#2 – Can I Own a Gun?
It is funny how often this is asked.
Yes, in Panama you can own guns once you get permanent residency. This is why we are excited because Panama has created what is called “Most Favored Nation” visa. It is a uber fast track to permanent residency. This way people can work on the economy, own businesses, etc. and this is what Panama needs in abundance.
Panama is widening the canal to support the super large ships and super tankers. There is talk that once this project is done they will be raising funds to build a fourth lane. Panama has a 100 year plan for positive growth and solid economic stability. SO even if the US economy crashes, it will not affect Panama because of the canal. Global trade and shipping will go on no matter what.
So getting your permanent residency is very possible for anyone of any age and once you have that, you can own guns.
You can also bring your guns into Panama once you do some legal paperwork. It takes a little longer, but you can do it. But purchasing a gun in Panama is pretty easy once you are a permanent resident.
# 3 – Can I Work or Own a Business?
Yes, once you get your permanent residency you can get a work permit that is good for your entire life and this enables you to own your own business and also get a job on the economy.
NOW… incomes down in Panama are not what people are used to earning in the US. But the cost of living in Panama is so much lower.
But if you own your own business and it is a skill that is needed, you will do well, especially if you gear your business to the expat community. Sugar and Spice is a gringo owned bakery and restaurant that is ALWAYS full and we were amazed that all we heard spoken was English. So find that niche.
For example, you are an auto mechanic. You could come down and start a mechanic business that caters to the client. You bring your tools and such to the client’s home and work on it there vs them bringing their car to you.
What is strongly lacking is an understanding of being a “service industry.” The better you can provide more “service” to your client, the more clients you will have. Why? Because in Panama and Central America as a whole, they do not get the whole “service is king” idea.
Expats are used to getting good service because that is what they were raised with, but it is lacking in the Central Americas.
I say all this because if you provide excellent bend over backwards service, your company would have more clients than you could handle. This is a fact.
So yes, you can work on the economy, but why not have a business where you can earn more than the standard wage? There are plenty of niche markets to leverage. You just have to figure out which one is right for you.
I am writing all this because I want you to know that we know there are people God is calling out of the US. Tracye and I have had the dream of helping people relocate and finally in Panama we can make that dream a reality, where in Costa Rica we had our hands tied.
I have started an email list of people who are interested in learning about how to be an expat, live the expat life and succeed at being an expat.
Boquete Panama, where we are relocating, more and more conservative Christians are moving there. Our real estate agent, who is a Christian, said that he believes the Boquete is a special place and Christians are being drawn to it.
If you are interested in being on our list (for free), please contact me. I have already sent out our first newsletter where I ask people to please send me their questions and try to keep the questions short.
If you want to be on my list, just let me know and also send me YOUR questions that you may have so that I can answer them in the coming newsletters we will be producing.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SO let me ask you… which would you rather face, a volcano and earthquake or face the coming economic collapse that will take place?
Here is a final thought that I want to leave you with.
There is a old Russian proverb that says ” When it happens you will know that it is true, by then it will be too late.”
Don’t let your concerns of Volcanos and Earthquakes stop you, if you do, it may become too late.
By Ray Gano
Panama is still the easiest place to obtain residency
By Simon Black – Sovereign Man
I’m starting to feel like a proud uncle. I flew in to Panama yesterday afternoon and thought, “look at how much you’ve grown!”
Things were so different the first time I came to Panama in 2004.
It was quieter. Underdeveloped. Backward. And cheaper. You could buy an oceanfront condo for $50,000 in the nicest part of town.
Over the years as I’ve traveled back and forth here (and even lived here for a spell), it was obvious how much Panama was growing… and how quickly.
Between the rapid increase of trade, the Panama Canal expansion, and droves of foreigners moving here looking for a better life, Panama’s GDP growth was one of the highest in the world throughout the last decade.
You can see it on the ground. The skyline here in the capital has entirely transformed, and the city itself has become cosmopolitan (yet still entirely affordable).
Expats here live very well. English is widely spoken, the medical services are excellent, a high standard of living is available at a reasonable cost, and the nightlife is fantastic—from top quality restaurants to more exotic adult adventures.
Panama was one of the first countries in the world to establish a program specifically aimed attracting retirees.
They promised special discounts and a number of attractive benefits to anyone who could demonstrate a certain level of retirement income.
The program worked, and foreigners showed up en masse. (Although many retirees are still waiting for some of those promised special discounts…)
Over the next several years, the government established all sorts of immigration programs hoping to attract investors—from forestry to agriculture to finance.
(With a whopping 52 ways to obtain residency, it’s clear the residency visa requirements in Panama are incredibly easy.)
Then in 2012, they created an even easier way to become a resident: simply letting people in.
They called it the Friendly Nations Visa. And it’s just about the easiest way in the world to obtain residency in any country.
The list now includes over 40 countries, including the US, Australia, most European countries, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and several Latin American countries.
Citizens of any of these countries can obtain residency in Panama extremely easily by merely demonstrating ‘economic activity’ in the country.
This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to do any business in Panama; you can satisfy this requirement by registering a Panamanian corporation and making a reasonable deposit at a local bank.
Conveniently, you can include children up to the age of 25, disabled relatives, and dependent parents in your application.
And once you submit your residency application, you’re free to leave the country and come a few months later to collect your documents and ID card.
Moreover, you don’t have to actually live in Panama. You don’t need to maintain a home.
In fact, Panama’s immigration code now only requires that the visa be renewed after two years (which should be done in Panama). Aside from that, you don’t really need to spend any time here.
But then again, this is a really great place to spend time. And there are nonstop flights to cities all over the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, so it’s a great place to travel from.
Another pleasant thing about Panama is its territorial tax system.
In other words, Panamanian residents and companies only have to pay local tax on their Panamanian-sourced income.
If you operate a hotel or restaurant here, you’re going to pay tax. But if you’re an independent investor or run a business (especially online) that generates income outside of Panama, you won’t pay a dime.
I know, just imagine—being able to waltz in here, obtain residency easily, and then have to suffer through a very high standard of living in a cosmopolitan city while paying no tax. The horror!
There is a catch, though.
Just like with everything, residency programs are subject to supply and demand dynamics.
Panama’s economy will eventually start to cool off. Real estate prices will get too high. And we’ll hear grumblings about “foreigners driving the prices up.”
It’s inevitable. This program won’t be around forever.
Here’s the bottom line: having a second residency makes sense. It’s a great insurance policy to keep in your back pocket.
After all, if things ever get so bad where you live that you feel like you need to get out of Dodge, you don’t want to start figuring out ‘Where do we go?’ while you’re packing your bags.
Having a plan B makes sense. And a second residency is part of a Plan B—especially when it’s so damn easy to establish.
Panama is a great option to consider. And given that it probably won’t be around forever, I’d definitely encourage you to learn more about it and decide if it’s right for you.
(Again, there are other options—Chile, Philippines, Andorra, Belgium, etc.)
Panamanian residency is one of the prime cornerstones of this product; you’ll learn what you need to know before making a decision, as well as WHO to contact.
In addition, you’ll get great recommendations for offshore banking and gold storage.