I am always concerned about my own economic future (or lack thereof) when I daily check the world financial news. We in the United States are, or at least should be, concerned about a possible impending economic crisis due to overspending by our government. It is the largest increase in national debt in a two year period (2008-2010) in the history of the nation. We however have an advantage, at least temporarily, that European Union nations do not have. Our government has the ability to print money and postpone the upcoming payday coming due on all these outstanding debts. That is not really a good thing, but at least in the short run, it slows down the impending danger.
Five European countries, known by the acronym PIIGS are not so fortunate. These countries are: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Recently serious concerns about the changing economic balance sheets of these five European Union countries have increased. These PIIGS are feeding too much at the economic borrowing trough. Pigs eat and wallow in "slop". It appears that these countries have been doing the same. They have been eating too much monetary slop lately. They have now reached the point where they are borrowing money just to pay the interest on the money they have already borrowed. They are not the only ones either. It appears that the United States, Great Britain and many other non-EU countries are not far behind them.
So, what does this have to do with me and you? Possibly nothing, but if past history is any indicator, we had better start looking for ways to protect our assets before they are confiscated; albeit through legal taxation, to pay for our countries' overeating at the slop trough. Some of us have very little to protect while others can count their assets in the millions. In the United States, 2011 will bring a whole new round of taxes with which we have to contend. There are always legal ways to protect assets for those who are in the know. Some are strategies that can be used in the States and others must be used abroad.
As a student of expatriate living concerns, I find that more and more individuals and families are looking for a less expensive destination than that of their homeland. Some do so due to their continually decreasing assets and some do so looking to protect and maximize the assets they have been able to accumulate over the years. I personally have always enjoyed periods of expatriate living. It was never about the money or assets. I simply enjoyed the experiences of living in another culture and learning about different lifestyles.
However, as the effects of world economic changes hits each of us -- some sooner than others -- we may all begin to look to other political, economic, and geographical areas for the benefits of offshore residency. Expatriate living is fast becoming accepted as a way to hedge your bets, live more economically, and have a fuller, more relaxed lifestyle. Offshore banking, offshore investments, offshore businesses, and expatriate living are all considered viable ways of ameliorating the effects of the global economic crisis. We can and should learn from the European Union PIIGS.