It’s been two-and-a-half years since we posted a similar article to this. In just that short time, the national average gas price has gone up from $2.86/gallon to $3.72/gallon, a 30% increase. This is our updated list of where to bug out to.
That which mathematically cannot continue will not continue. Western countries, led by the United States and Europe, are in deep economic trouble. Massive debt levels are strangling their economies, and once great nations like Greece and Spain have been reduced to third-world status with staggering unemployment levels and almost daily violent riots.
Those that say it can’t happen in the US are dead wrong. The value of the dollar has been slowly eroded over a century, but now that decline has accelerated and is destroying the savings of hard-working honest Americans. This erosion in dollar value is also threatening the reign of the dollar as the world reserve currency.
The ramifications if it is dropped as the reserve currency should not be underestimated, especially by Americans. At this stage of the game, the dollar only has value because of its supply and demand. A tsunami of supply has been flooding the banks since the 2008 financial crisis, while the global demand is dwindling as nations like the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China) have begun internal trading without dollars.
Meanwhile, Western nations (NATO) are entangled in endless wars that have nothing to do with protecting their nations. The so-called war on terrorism has led to spending huge sums of tax dollars building Big Brother control grids within these countries. In turn, any sense of civil liberties or individual freedom citizens had at one time is being snuffed out for perceived security.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since we posted a similar article to this, 5 Best Countries to Escape America’s Decline. In just that short time, the national average gas price has gone up from $2.86/gallon to $3.72/gallon, a 30% increase. Whose savings or wages went up by that amount?
Besides the threat from inflation, for the past two years Western governments have been operating on a “crisis management” approach, applying band-aids to a festering disease and they’re running out of band-aids.
In other words, it’s obvious that the United States and the West more generally are headed in the wrong direction for anyone who cares about peace, liberty, and economic stability.
Some say it’s cowardly or unpatriotic to abandon a sinking ship and escape to a better setting. Some say it’s important to stay and fight the corrupt system. Yet it can’t be denied that collapse is coming whether it happens in slow motion or abrupt upheaval. The ship is sinking and the corrupt system will collapse with or without you as a passenger. No amount of fighting can stop its inertia.
Luckily, there are some nations that still value these principles and moving to them is not nearly as difficult as you may think. It starts with making a simple decision to live by your principles and find a pleasant and accepting environment to spend your limited time on this planet. Do you want to be stuck in negativity while the system collapses around you? Or do you want to be surrounded by joy, peace, and freedom?
Some changes have been made to our previous list of desirable locations. The criteria for determining the best safe haven countries has remained: social stability, economic freedom and opportunity, freedom of self-expression, relative self-sufficiency, reasonable cost of living, ease of visas and residency, and insulation to Western collapse.
Here is our updated list of the 5 best countries to move to before the West collapses:
The secret is out about the opportunities in Chile. Two of the most renowned “escape artists”, the Sovereign Man Simon Black and the Dollar Vigilante Jeff Berwick, both agree that Chile is the best country to escape to. Each is developing vast expat communities in Chile (SovereignValley.com and GaltsGulchChile.com). Chile is a fully developed country with modern cities and a rich countryside with stunning views of the Andes mountains from almost any location. Wikipedia tells the whole story; “Chile is one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations, a recognized middle power and an emerging economy. It leads Latin American nations in human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state.”
Chile maintains a lower cost of living than North America especially for rent and fresh food. Americans can get a tourist visa (good for 90 days) on entry to Chile for a cost of $160. Residency requirements in Chile are relatively flexible. Escapees can qualify for a Chilean Retirement and/or Income Visa by proving an income of between $500-$1000/month. Entrepreneurs can get residency by starting a business and foreigners can easily get a visa by working for a Chilean company.
Uruguay was number one on our list last time around and it’s a close second this time. Uruguay, also in South America, is considered one of the freest, most libertarian countries in the world. This small peaceful country has the charm of Europe, modern infrastructure, a stable economy with agricultural self-sufficiency, world-class tourism activities, and a healthy banking system. Uruguay maintains the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. The banking system in Uruguay still has some privacy protections (though less than in the recent past) and attracts many foreign investors including slews of Argentinians who are escaping their current inflation crises. While personal use of all drugs is already decriminalized in Uruguay, it is set to become the first nation to officially legalize cannabis. Finally, Uruguay is striving for energy independence through renewable sources by 2015 which adds to its overall stability.
Living costs are much lower than the United States, especially for rent, health care and food. Americans can buy real estate and own businesses, and they have a free automatic 90-day visa to explore Uruguay. For residency, expats only need to have a proof-of-income of $500/mth to qualify.
Thailand is a beautiful peaceful country with a rich Buddhist culture, an excellent climate, and has the lowest cost of living on this list. Thailand is technically a kingdom with harsh laws against speaking ill of the royal family, yet there’s a significant amount of personal freedom on the ground due to the country’s organized chaos. Food and trinket kiosks, taxis and most small businesses are regulated by the word-of-mouth free market as opposed to government restrictions. This newly industrialized country is welcoming to Western expats who can enjoy a high level of modern comfort for much cheaper than almost anywhere else in the world with great food and $10 massages. Thailand also has world-class health care for pennies on the dollar compared to America. The beach town of Phuket, the comfortable city of Chiang Mai and small towns like Pai have become very popular with expats. Thailand is a great central hub to explore the rest of Southeast Asia.
Foreigners cannot technically buy property in Thailand, but they can buy condos through contracts that act similar to 50-year renewable leases. Americans are given a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival and it’s easy to get extended visas for a small fee. Retirees can get residency by proving around $2000/mth income only after they stay on extended visas for a couple of years.
Malaysia is the most developed country in Southeast Asia besides the city-state of Singapore. Malaysia has a booming economy, a well-educated population, excellent infrastructure, fantastic public transportation, and nearly everyone speaks English. It’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is one of the most affordable and cleanest modern cities in the world. Wikipedia says Malaysia has “one of the best economic records in Asia” which is “relatively open state-oriented” but with the state having a “declining role in guiding economic activity”. Malaysia has had a self-sufficient economy well before their tourism explosion in recent years. Now it is one of the most optimistic countries to be in. Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and religions living in complete harmony with each other and offering diverse foods and festivals. Forbes named Malaysia the 3rd best country in the world to retire in 2013.
The cost of living is not quite as low as Thailand, but significantly cheaper that North America, Europe, or neighboring Singapore. Fully-furnished 3BR apartments in Penang (highly desirable area) are around $650/mth. Foreigners can open bank accounts easily with just a passport and proof of a local address, they can own property (a rarity in the region) and run a business. Free 90-day visas are given on arrival and they aren’t too strict about quick border runs to renew them. Residency can be gotten through starting a business, getting a job, or showing a bank deposit of $50,000 for retirees.
Yes, Mexico. Not Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Panama like everyone else would say (although those deserve honorable mention). Panama uses the US dollar, Costa Rica’s bureaucracy can’t get out of its own way the last few years, and Ecuador is politically unstable and cheap for a reason. Mexico has gotten a lot of horrible press because of violence from the war on drugs, but that typically occurs in isolated areas and will begin to simmer down from the growing liberation of marijuana north of the border. Mexico is a large country with many stable attractive places for expats to live peacefully and ride out any economic storm comfortably. Mexico is an economic powerhouse and, although they rely heavily on trade with North America, they maintain a high level of food and energy self-sufficiency and have a much freer economy than the US. Also, Mexico’s national debt is about 43% of its GDP compared to America’s 106% debt-to-GDP. Healthcare is an entirely free-market system with both public and private options for a fraction of US prices but with similar high-quality care.
Mexico’s cost of living is significantly lower than North America with average rents being around $500 for a 3BR house. Americans are given 180-day (6-month) visas on arrival and can easily get extended rentista visas with proof of monthly income of $1,000 for an individual and $500 for each dependent.
Tell us what countries you think are the best safe haven nations and why…
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