Three Letters Re: Don’t Stockpile, Get Global — Conversations with a Rhodesian Expat and Being Financially Global

Good Morning James,
I couldn’t disagree more with Peter’s preparedness methodology. By the very definition of “refugee” that is just what he will will be and we would be if the USA goes down. I would rather be here trying to survive and rebuild as opposed to trying to live in some other country trying to get my money from a Chinese bank after a currency and societal collapse. Put your extra cash into silver. Regards, – Jim A.


I was surprised at Peter’s suggestion that people (or more specifically Americans) would be ‘safer’ living abroad than in the USA. The poster of the article cited the crisis in Zimbabwe’s mob attacks on white farmers / land owners for his support of living abroad in an apartment. The poster mentions opening a bank account in China but then states that is ‘difficult to get one’s money out unless one knows someone in China’ that certainly doesn’t sound a well thought out plan on financial safety. I don’t know anyone in China and even if I knew one person in China what if that contact disappears? He suggested placing funds in several other nations but didn’t mention that many countries now do not want to open a US citizen bank account because of the onerous financial laws based in the USA and imposed upon other nations.

Obtaining ‘dual citizenship’ was suggested but it takes a minimum of four years plus he failed to mention the long arm statutes of the US government to claw back the former US citizen’s assets for several years after achieving an alternative citizenship. Nothing was mentioned that in some other nations, it is not legal to purchase supplies of one’s well being. Some of the other nations require that the American produce evidence of being adequate funds to enter their country and to sustain themselves. I call this as a major ‘mark’ for an American living abroad — whether one becomes a citizen of the new country or not, an American will be seen as wealthy and thus a target for kidnappings. I was reading some place of an American woman who was stuck in her Central American safe zone when the businesses refused to accept her US dollars for payments of goods and services. In
Brazil, one of the nations suggested as an alternative nation for a dual citizenship, that nation has been urging its business owners to force all American dollar holders to take them to a bank to be exchanged into the local currency. Great! What a mess if one’s source of income is based in US dollars and suddenly the host nation refuses transactions/ exchanges of US Dollars?

I would personally hate to be an American living abroad when that nation and its people turns hostile to all foreigners. I would hate to be stuck in some awful high rise apartment surrounded by a sea of humanity that riots in the streets if their currency collapses (think: Argentina). Many of these other nations have roving gangs of bandits and, as troubling as the US gangster groups are, they are nothing compared to being a foreigner living abroad who encounters the highway bandits.

Take a look at the discussions taking place throughout Europe. They are talking about panic plans to shut down border crossings for as long as two years and to prevent currency movement. Image living in southeast Asia and trying to get access to one’s bank account in France if this shut down were to take place.

Then there is the cultural problems and the possible language problems. My parents spoke numerous languages and when they lived abroad in Europe, they were met with significant rudeness by Europeans who disliked Americans. My parents’ language accents were such that they would have sounded like natives, unlike my speaking abilities it would clear to everyone that I was speaking the foreign language with an American accent.

A friend’s son is currently living in Brazil and he is horrified by the abject poverty of the people. Where he is living in Brazil, they are having a severe drought which is so bad that he is only capable of hauling water in a bucket and taking a sponge bath. Living like the locals? – “Just Me”

That was an interesting article by Peter H. so I will send it out to friends. Being mobile makes sense.  Stockpiling many things will just tie you down if you have to relocate if things get crazy (riots, looting, mayhem etc).  There is little protection from mobs descending on a farm/retreat with only a small number of people to protect it. – L.A.M.

JWR Replies: I disagree with you, L.A.M.. If you carefully you pick a retreat that is truly remote and off the beaten track, then it won’t be in the path of urban refugees or looters. And if your retreat is well-defended, then looters with common sense will move on to easier pickings, rather than take casualties.

Also, we need to consider that the farm confiscation mobs in Zimbabwe that Peter mentioned were state-sponsored, so the police and army were no help to the landowners. (In fact, in many cases they helped transport the ZANU-PF thugs to the farms!) Unless our own government gets grabby, then we will have at least limited recourse to the law–and local law enforcement–to help back us up.