Moving Out of the Country - How To Evaluate Possible Locations - Caleb Jones

Back in this article, I discussed the parameters I was personally using to determine a new place to live when I move out of the slowly collapsing US in or before 2025. That article also lists the countries and regions I was interested in and definitely not interested in.

To summarize the aspects I was (and still am) looking at for a future country to move to, I have these five measurements:

  • Non-horrible long-term economics
  • Low odds of war and civil unrest
  • Low or zero terrorism
  • Not reliant on any other countries with those above three problems
  • Mild climate

Recently, International Man published an article with their own set of criteria they believe people should use to find a safe haven. The criteria are similar to mine but with some extra added aspects.

The first one is to determine which countries have minimal trade with at-risk countries.

For example, the smaller ASEAN countries tend to buy more from each other than they do from the EU or US. Their exports tend to be the same. Similarly, South American countries tend to buy more from each other than from the US or Canada. They tend to “buy Spanish.” Even products like Coca-Cola and Hershey’s chocolate tend to be made locally under license, rather than imported from the north. This means that an economic debacle in North America will have little impact on such countries.

Very smart.

The steps they recommend in determining this (besides your own online research) are:

1. Visit the country, go to a grocery store, and look at the labels of the food to see if they are sourced locally or by nearby non-Western countries (rather than distant at-risk areas like the USA or Europe).

2. Ensure there isn’t a very high percentage of tourism that contributes to the country’s GDP. To quote the article, “Many countries have very few visitors from at-risk countries and, as such, won’t miss the loss in business if it dries up.” 

3. Investigate which countries tend to go to war. That’s an easy one.

In both world wars, most countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America sat out the wars. This is significant in that these countries are more peaceable places to live if a major war breaks out. But, additionally, they’re likely to continue their level of prosperity, as they’re not draining their coffers to pay the devastating cost of war.

As you know, I already did this research. This is precisely why I’m still looking at South American countries like Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile as possible places to live in, get a second passport in, or base my business in; they stay the hell out of all these stupid wars that the USA/Europe seems addicted to.

The second aspect they recommend is to determine which counties will actually benefit if there is some kind of economic collapse or strife in the Western world.

In a time of monetary collapse, there are always people who choose to exit rather than remain in a problem jurisdiction. Most of them tend to be those who possess enough wealth to make the exit easy. From the standpoint of the destination country, this means an injection of wealth and investment, which in turn means that the destination country prospers more than it did in normal times. Such countries are rife with opportunity in such times.

I already talked about the exodus of millionaires from their home countries here, so this is already beginning to happen. (I heard Doug Casey say recently that he has no idea why anyone with assets would still be in Europe.)

Frankly, I still think most non-Western countries will experience some economic disruption if the entire West, or a significant portion of it, collapses. When Europe finally goes under, I think you might “feel” a little bit of this even if you live in SE Asia or South America. Yet, I’ve already explained before, we’re talking about an issue of degree. If you live in Eastern Europe while Western Europe goes under, you’re fucked. But, if you live in Chile or Cambodia, you may have some trouble in your investments and international business, but you’ll still come out okay, particularly if you have a diversified Alpha 2.0 financial structure by then.

Some countries (especially empires) rely on muscle to establish and maintain their position in the world. Many other countries (particularly smaller ones) tend to focus instead on providing opportunity to attract new residents. In difficult economic times, the former group tends to be hit hard; the latter group tends to thrive.

I think this is a slight overstatement, but I still more or less agree with it. Again, I point to countries in SE Asia, Oceania, and the southern region of South America as good examples of this. They don’t have massive armies to bully the world with, so they’re forced to think creatively and cooperatively if they want to economically prosper.

Those who live in prosperous countries tend to visit other countries from a tourist standpoint. However, if one’s home country is in decline, it’s wise to spend those tourist dollars by travelling to countries that are potential alternative homes and, whilst there, instead of going to the beach bar for daiquiris, spend time examining the lifestyle for residents, cost of living, business opportunities, etc.

Yep, I start this process next year in 2018. Starting then, and for the next few years, I plan on visiting several countries on my short list as places to move to when I make my final exit in 2025 (if not sooner, particularly since Trump seems intent on carrying on with Bush-Obamism, and a socialist is likely coming right after him). I will go to these places not to be a tourist or have fun, but to ruthlessly evaluate them as places I’d enjoy living in for 5-10 months out of the year for the rest of my life. New Zealand and Argentina are first on my list. It will be an eye-opening experience I’m sure. Can’t wait!

16 Comments on “Moving Out of the Country – How To Evaluate Possible Locations

  1. Search for “And why you want to go to country to live that has a strong exonomy? I live in Ukraine with crashed economy and I love the value of the US dollar I bring here

  2. Thanks, Caleb. Your updates on this are always welcome. Just the other day I was wondering where Bogota and Lima are in that. Also, is Asuncion still om the race? I don’t think you’d enjoy ita climate. 🙂

  3. I wonder if Thailand is still on CJ’s list? I’ve been eyeballing it for roughly 2 years now. Another of my favorite bloggers, Victor Pride talked living there a lot. It seems that SEA and South America are the two sure fire places to move to.

  4. And how will you do for your ‘women life’?

    Besides hopefully one OLTR who may come with you, you will need to recreate from scratch your rooster of FB (and/or MLTR if no OLTR). All your coming back lsnfte, the fruits from your effort of the past decade, will vanish.

  5. Search for “And why you want to go to country to live that has a strong exonomy? I live in Ukraine with crashed economy and I love the value of the US dollar I bring here

    Good point. That’s why I don’t need to move to a country with a strong economy, just not one that’s too horrible. One of the biggest reasons I’m looking at Argentina so hard is the cost of living is so low.

    where Bogota and Lima are in that

    I don’t link I’d like the climate in Colombia. Plus I will likely be moving with an OLTR, and most Western women are going to be extremely uncomfortable with the concept of living in Colombia. Peru is fine, but not as compelling as Chile or Argentina.

    Also, is Asuncion still om the race?

    Yes but it’s lagging behind. It’s likely going to be too rural and boring.

    Perhaps you should add possible future weather changes in the country you’re planning on moving to.

    Haha. Nope.

    I wonder if Thailand is still on CJ’s list?

    No. Too hot and humid. Other than that it’s great. SE Asia will be my Country D area, for investing, but not for living.

    And how will you do for your ‘women life’?

    Besides hopefully one OLTR who may come with you, you will need to recreate from scratch your rooster of FB (and/or MLTR if no OLTR). All your coming back lsnfte, the fruits from your effort of the past decade, will vanish.

    Likely an OLTR will come with me, and I’ll find 1-2 new FB’s in each location I live / spend time in (sugar babies a strong possibility since I will be in my 50’s by that time, and to save time). My current roster won’t “vanish” since I will spend around 3 months a year in the USA for quite a while. Plus my needs for women in terms of quantity has gone way down in the last few years.
  6. Yep, I start this process next year in 2018. 

    That’s awesome Caleb! I’m planning to leave Germany by the end of this year and then travel and get to know many different countries next year. I wanted to start with South America, too. If you do a seminar next year I will definitely join.

  7. Great article.  I started the social side of this 3 years ago.  Booked a 1 month trip to Guatemala.  Since then, I’ve been feverishly studying Spanish and traveling through Latin America about 3 weeks per year.  I’m actually in Valancia, Spain right now.  I’d say, Colombia has the hottest women, who love men and flirting with men the most.  It’s also really cheap.  But the cuisine sucks.  Peru had awesome food, but parts of Peru are freezing.  Mexico has great food, but Mexico has it’s political unrest.  I’ve heard horror stories about real estate investors from U.S. in all of those countries running into trouble.  I would probably rent a house eternally.

     

    You can live decent on $1,000 a month in all of those countries.

  8. I’d say, Colombia has the hottest women

    Agree 100%. Oh. My. God. Every time I see a Colombian woman when I travel my mouth hits the floor.

    I’ve heard horror stories about real estate investors from U.S. in all of those countries running into trouble.  I would probably rent a house eternally.

    I’m going to follow Five Flags, which means I will not own anything, including a house, within the future country I live in. Too risky. I will just rent forever, and (if I can) rent out the place when I’m abroad. (Though I plan on owning international real estate as an investment, particularly in SE Asia.)

  9. From a native New Zelanders POV, I would like to make comment on having NZ as your first choice CJ.

    For:

    – Relatively clean and unpolluted. But not to the extent that the tourism industry would have you believe.

    –  Freedom. It is very free here. No signage everywhere ala USA “No Trespassers” etc. you can hunt, fish and supply yourself with food and water easily.

    – The USD to NZD exchange is still good for you guys.

    – Overall friendly attitude.

    Against:

    – Ugly women. No, I’m serious. The number of times I’ve spoken to male tourists who comment on the poor quality stock we have here is unreal. Thick set, bossy, bolshy, ‘big’ type women. 2/10 Max.

    – The political climate is very left leaning, with mini CNN type media outlets. Quite a few whiners and bludgers. (Yes the current government is right, but it’s VERY central right.

    – The island mentality can get to you after a while. NZ is apx the size of California, but with 4 million people. Space is good. Slightly dull compared to other 1st-sigh world countries.

    Funnily enough, I am going through the same exercise myself. I know where I’d love to live for the women (Eastern EU), but realise that’s not a bolt hole region.

     

    Anyway just wanted to add some local knowledge.

     

     

     

  10. I think I’m missing your point about Western women being uncomfortable in Colombia. I’m guessing it’s something other than the jaw-dropping women there. Do you mean because of drugs/past civil war? I’m pretty sure that’s confined to small areas.

  11. For:

    – Relatively clean and unpolluted. But not to the extent that the tourism industry would have you believe.

    –  Freedom. It is very free here. No signage everywhere ala USA “No Trespassers” etc. you can hunt, fish and supply yourself with food and water easily.

    – The USD to NZD exchange is still good for you guys.

    – Overall friendly attitude.

    Against:

    – Ugly women. No, I’m serious. The number of times I’ve spoken to male tourists who comment on the poor quality stock we have here is unreal. Thick set, bossy, bolshy, ‘big’ type women. 2/10 Max.

    – The political climate is very left leaning, with mini CNN type media outlets. Quite a few whiners and bludgers. (Yes the current government is right, but it’s VERY central right.

    – The island mentality can get to you after a while. NZ is apx the size of California, but with 4 million people. Space is good. Slightly dull compared to other 1st-sigh world countries.

    Yep, I agree on literally all the above and it matches with everything I’ve heard.

    My current plan is to spend 5.5 months a year in NZ, not all year. That should help mitigate the negatives.

    I think I’m missing your point about Western women being uncomfortable in Colombia.

    You seem to get very defensive every time I mention Colombia. Relax dude. It doesn’t matter.

    I’m guessing it’s something other than the jaw-dropping women there. Do you mean because of drugs/past civil war?

    Yes. When Western women hear “Colombia” they hear “drug lords and drug wars and killing and death.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s confined to small areas.

    Correct, but Western women aren’t informed about these things (nor do they use logic to form most of their opinions). Tell your Western girlfriend that you two should move to Colombia because it’s perfectly safe and the bad stuff is only confined to a few areas, and she’ll still say, “Oh HELL no!”

  12. I didn’t want to come off as defensive. Rather, your point merited some elaboration. I’d never thought from your perapective given that in Spain people are more on top of Latin American affairs.
    I have no relation to Colombia. Living in Madrid, I don’t ever need to go there to enjoy the best Colombia has to offer. 🙂

  13. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Colombia the last few years and I can say that it is probably not the best option for most by the criteria that Caleb is using. I personally am very much in love with the country for some specific reasons that would not apply to most folks (although everyone will probably find that it is amazingly beautiful and the people are some of the nicest in the world) and for that I will be planning to live there in the future.

    Some points:

    The women: From what I have experienced this is the most overrated and mythically hyped thing about Colombia (other than the drug thing). The women there are not so much hotter than other women, but they do have a few things going for them in that there is a very nice gene pool that gives a lot of women there (but certainly not all) an endowment of very even facial features and good, curvy bodies, there is a culture of beauty that makes good clothes, cosmetic surgery and beauty care a common thing, and the very kind nature of Colombians in general makes the women seem irresistibly, heartbreakingly sweet and genuine. Added to that there is a macho male culture that is very Alpha 1.0/angry beta in all the worst and most misogynistic ways. This makes women there very appreciative of foreign men who manage to be masculine and confident yet kind and non-judgmental, and who can appreciate women in roles other than the traditional sex object OR asexual caretaker OR submissive house servant.  There is also a style thing there where women tend to have beautiful very long hair, often down to their ass, combined with nice tight pants. Drives me crazy.

    However, there is almost zero culture of physical fitness or healthy diets in Colombia, so that there are often extremely (and I mean jaw-droppingly perfect, once in a lifetime kind) beautiful girls, but fairly out-of shape, only formerly-hot women. This is a big problem, as many of the ‘hot babes’ you see walking down the street are actually girls who are only 13-17 years old. Women in tropical regions may indeed tend to reach sexual maturity faster but they are still mentally and emotionally children and it’s still wrong for an adult to have sex with children; I certainly have no desire to do so and neither does any other normal guy (age of consent is 14 in Colombia though).

    Certainly there will be more hot women in the big cities, but for me the really receptive women tend to be found in the smaller towns. I still love Colombian women and have fallen for quite a few, and they have an openness and passion that women in the US are sadly lacking, but from an objective standpoint I wouldn’t say that overall they are that much hotter than the women in a typical California town, and for older women who take care of themselves and still look hot into their 30s, 40s and beyond Colombia has nothing on California.

    Drugs: Outside of the party scene in cities I see no evidence of rampant drug use or availability in Colombia. Narcotraffickers and narcoterrorist guerilla groups like the FARC have touched the lives of almost every Colombian. The stories are insane and tragic, justice is scarce. Most Colombians want nothing to do with drugs and all the violence they have brought to their country for generations.

    Violence: Outside of a few pockets of instability and organized crime-related slayings Colombia is extremely safe and violence free. The outside perception is very skewed by the historical problems but today Colombia is much safer than surrounding areas of South America. Don’t go looking for trouble in bad neighborhoods, don’t be a political activist, don’t buy drugs and don’t deal with organized crime. You’ll be OK.

    Climate: Pick your preferred climate. Bogotá sits at 8,600′ and is perennially cool to cold. Medellín is at 4,900′ and is called the ‘city of eternal spring’ for it’s amazingly pleasant conditions (daily high is about 82F, low is about 62F). The lower cities like Cartagena and Cali are more tropical and hot. Colombia has it all from lowland steamy jungles to alpine ice fields and treeless moors. Most choose to live in the temperate zones between 4,000′ and 7,000′.

    The fact that Colombia is still viewed as a risky place by outsiders may be it’s greatest advantage right now for foreigners who want to live there. The prices are still extremely cheap and opportunity for tourism business is still great. A ‘best-kept secret’ for the right folks.

  14.  

    I have a lot of interest in this topic and am actively looking. But unlike you guys who’d be leaving after building your wealth, I still need to build wealth while in my destination. I have quite a bit of cash already but am not satisfied or ready to retire yet. I’d be moving permanently as well.
    Places I have in mind: Lima, DF and China, Singapore. I thing Asia would be a better place for building wealth than L.A. I can get a cushy job in Beijing through my boss’s connections and would even have a little status. Although my Chinese colleagues here tell me they don’t like to go back!

     

    There is a guy in his mid twenties who runs a blog called “My Latine Life”. He like’s it there (DF and Lima mostly) but he complains that you can’t really blend in in there, people try to scam you and that nothing works etc. He also says Bogota can be dangerous for a solo person. I’d like to know what you guys think on these topics. I personally wonder how unlikely it is that any of these L.A. countries turn into the next Venezuela in teq drop of a hat.

     

    Interestingly I’ve been thinking about Berlin too but it seems Caleb won’t approve.

     

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