How do you evacuate with wealth on your person in a manageable form without getting yourself robbed/killed after SHTF? Are there lessons we can learn here from Venezuela?
Well, protecting “wealth” was not exactly something I had to worry about. I had a little set aside in savings, yes, but that was gone in a blink. I didn’t have silver, much less gold to take abroad with me. But having gone through a communist-style post guard and learning about the hundreds of stories where those guys ransacked wealthy passengers dumb enough to flash their shiny jewelry in the nose of those guys, I can provide some advice.
The first thing you need to know is that customs at the border will be brutal.
Laws at the border can be and will be enforced. The ruling mafia issued “laws” that “allow” them (against our Constitution, which guarantees private property) to imprison someone because of “strategic materials trafficking,” or whatever their conception of that means. For those of you living in democratic countries, this may sound exaggerated. It’s not. I’m being forgiving with my descriptions here.
People have been in trouble with the NGs because of wearing a large amount of jewelry. Even though it’s private property, the loose term “strategic materials” was coined by the communist invaders to give the uniforms in charge the “justification” to rob people blind. Of course, these “materials” NEVER end in the country’s pockets, but in the uniforms’. Your choices were to surrender your goods or go to jail. The world just looked to the other side as this happened in Venezuela, while in Ukraine, all kinds of military support are being sent. This is the sort of thing Venezuelans have been dealing with for a long time. You won’t find anyone in the streets with a gold watch or brand-name designer shoes. The only ones who can afford that belong in the mafia.
That being said, if, God forbid, you are in need to flee away from your homeland someday, there is a lot of planning to do.
But what sort of scenarios can cause one to realize they need to flee to safety?
- Businesses start to shut down one after another, and suddenly your job is at risk or lost without hope.
- If you are a business owner, and income starts going south while expenses go up.
- Inflation rises beyond expectations.
- Freezing bank accounts over a determinate amount. Trust me, governments will seize people’s money without any concern in a heartbeat. If you believe this is not true, and cannot happen in your country, then why are you reading this in the first place? Just read this little reminder from Greece.
- Society starts to show signs of turmoil and unrest: looting, shootings, and increasing levels of violence.
All of this has been seen to some degree but can present anytime, and to an extension, that would make it very hard to manage, and the lack of control can escalate fast.
The concept of diversification.
This has been quite important in my own prepping process. Basically, don’t put your eggs in the same basket. By doing so, you reduce the risk of losing everything if things go the wrong way. Easier said than done, isn’t it? That’s why you need to dedicate time to study and research to this topic.
Now let us consider the following items, should you need to evacuate with enough resources to start over somewhere else. Oh, and I speak from experience here: choose your destination wisely, do your homework, and select two or three good options before deciding on one.
Ultimately, though, you can narrow your decisions down to two broad groups:
- Location – Are you fleeing away? To where?
- Where you are going to put your money?
- Offshore accounts/trusts
- Precious metals
- Gear, tools, and equipment
- Art and collectible items
Get a patch of land to go to in a country you choose.
Owning a safe haven abroad outside of your current country’s borders is a very interesting and desirable step towards protection against SHTF. Unless things get really ugly, and unless you bought a McMansion instead of a good, comfortable but modest house, suited to the normal standards without too much flamboyant stuff and (maybe) built an underground facility for (ahem) “wine and cheese,” foreigners should be reasonably safe in most countries.
It’s not the same telling the customs officers “I’m here for a short vacation,” as it is smiling and saying, “We are just heading down to our vacation home.” By going the vacation home route, it means you trust in their country, that you bring money with you, that you’re going to invest, and that you won’t be a burden nor another mouth to feed for the government they work so hard for. In some countries, you can find a nice hacienda for little money, so why don’t you go old school all the way and put some valuables there?
Oh, and of course, the land itself has always been a traditional means to preserve wealth.
(Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on emergency evacuations as you think over this subject.)
Open an offshore bank account in the country you choose
If you have enough wealth to protect, opening an offshore trust is going to be a need. Countries like Belize, Saint Kitt-Nevis, and other similar ones offer good advantages in this regard. There are several options here, as usual, but this is one of the most appealing. You don’t need to move any money physically, and the important steps can be done online if you want. Their governments offer some degree of protection for this capital, too.
Make sure you know the laws for doing this before you do something illegal, though.
Physical gold and silver
Let’s face it: traveling between countries with physical valuables like gold is a very risky business. And even these little tricks have their caveats. I can say, as a metallurgist, using rhodium or physical platinum will fulfill your needs here for a dense, easily transportable means of wealth.
In every country, you could find where to exchange these precious metals for cash. I know, because back in the worst of the crisis, merchants were eager to get their hands on all the certified precious metals they could find. Usually, no questions were asked and one would be paid in local currency. An advantage of things like rhodium is…well, it is not gold, and most people won’t even know what it is for, nor where to sell it. And as you’ve done your research previously, you will have already contacted someone in your destination that could be interested, given the case.
Just as a side comment, if you are evacuating a disaster area within your own country, there is a LOT of places you can conceal 1 gram gold bars (just be creative, they are small and flat enough) or a few silver ounces. Krugerrands are universally accepted, too, and they can come in several sizes suitable for concealing. This is not an ideal means to evacuate with money. If you’re crossing borders…well, anything can happen.
No matter how well hidden you believe some gold coins can be, a scanner will find them, and then you will be in serious trouble. Just make sure to read and understand every law concerning the possession of precious metals and bringing them with you into the country.
This being said, there is a historical fact that we can’t avoid: the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic did not move people towards using gold. The system used was bartering! This takes to one of the next items to consider: gear and equipment.
Gear and equipment
This should be considered part of your strategy, as well. I take it as a diversification means: gear is income-generation tools. Woodworking tools, a CNC machine, a rotary lathe – these are all money-holding tools. Anything that allows you to generate some income belongs to this classification.
A special comment here. Even if the internet goes down sometime in the future, there are economically efficient ways to sell and purchase basic products, supplies, and staples, like a local or even regional level radio packet BBS. This is “old” technology that was rapidly displaced by the almighty internet, but personally, I find it quite useful if (or when) a severe disaster happens and the internet is shut down for a while.
I don’t know how likely that scenario is, but after 2020, I’d rather invest a little time and maybe throw in some resources to get the electronics and such I need sooner rather than later. With this, we can set up a bartering network via HAM, no matter the country you’re in, as long as you hold a HAM license. That will be further explained in the future, though.
Art and collectibles
Without being a specialist, I can say this would be a good method to store wealth. Artwork will usually increase in value over time. However, you’ll have to figure out how to get this into your final destination of choice. A friend of a friend here used this strategy successfully.
She would buy pieces by local artists and would add them to her luggage. The airfare and amount for the artwork would be paid by the buyer at her end destination. She was the mule. A couple of sculptures, and mostly paintings out of their frames were her primary means of doing this.
Papers: Funds, bonds, stocks
The risk with these is the same that with every other security printed on paper. It could be incredibly valuable…or not. My knowledge of financial issues is quite limited, but experience and common sense tell me not to invest too much in this sort of value unless you know what you’re doing. You should never invest money you can’t afford to lose, as well, so take that as a guideline.
Nowadays, we have the means to store a good amount of wealth digitally. However, before getting into this, do your own research. You don’t need an IT degree, but cryptocurrency can seem relatively complex at the very beginning, and it deserves your time and attention. Just don’t be scared about the mechanics involved. You can buy them now with your debit card online, just like you make a payment in some of those wonderful systems we use, and the amount will appear in a few minutes in your cryptowallet.
Many places now accept them as a payment means, and their usage is quickly spreading. There are plenty of currencies, but as usual, stick to the most popular and well-known: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano. Just read a little, and you will be able to decide what you want to put your money into.
The advantages to protecting a good amount of money, though, are good enough. In a package the size of a thumb drive, you can store millions of whatever currency you want. Cryptos are very likely to go up in value just because they were created with the purpose of substituting an ancient fiat currency system and designed to become scarcer on time. The negative part is, you’re going to NEED the Internet infrastructure to work, obviously.
I have to mention one unexpected wealth storage means – vehicles.
I know people here that have invested in several vehicles, using just one as a daily driver, and storing the others. Low mileage is key, and usually, these “investment” cars were sold like warm arepas, especially after the brand new car assembly facilities closed.
What are your thoughts on how to evacuate with wealth?
I truly hope you find this useful, and as usual, I hope as well that you never find yourselves in need. That if you decide to flee away, it will be for your own will and pleasure, not because you´re forced to.
Thanks for your support, and remember,
Do you have any additional thoughts on how to evacuate with your wealth intact? Please share them in the comments.
Note From Daisy: I recommend Bobby Casey’s Global Wealth Protection services if you are looking for professional help with this. I don’t get a commission – I can tell you from personal experience that he’s excellent and I want to pass on his information.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.