Why U.S. “Refugees” Should Flock to Uruguay

At George Truesdale Elementary School in Washington DC, where I was a student in 1949, we were taught how to get under our desks should there be an unexpected flash of an atom bomb.

What worried me personally was an article in the now defunct Collier’s Magazine with a two-page color illustration showing what Washington would look like if a direct A-bomb hit the U.S. Capitol building. My humble row house at 5111 7th Street NW, with me in it, would be enveloped in a fire ball that left nothing but scorched earth.

I share this childhood memory because current events being what they are, 2011 is the year that smart Americans should consider establishing an offshore refuge—just in case.

A-bombs aside, consider that events could suddenly turn so bad that you and your family might have only days, perhaps hours, to flee to safety.

Where would you go? I have a recommendation.

I have written about scores of countries in my many books, but one in particular stands out: Uruguay.

Uruguay used to be South America’s best-kept secret, with a few smart neighboring Argentines, Brazilians and Chileans dropping in to enjoy the pristine beaches, the appealing cities and the happening nightlife.

A few years back when the peso crashed, Uruguay became a lot more affordable, sparking interest from foreigners. Uruguay has a lot to offer. The main drawing cards, like Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Este and Montevideo, have long been tourist centers. But in the interior gaucho country, in Tacuarembó, and throughout the river towns, you’ll probably be the only gringo in town (especially during the non-summer months).

The country is an open, free market economy, with no exchange controls or foreign currency limitations. In fact, 80% of bank deposits in Uruguay are held in U.S. dollars or euros and banks welcome foreigners’ accounts. The country is a regional financial and logistics center, and it has a reasonable, strong financial privacy law.

If you’re seeking a tax haven, a financial or even a residential haven—Uruguay offers a lot.

Acquiring Uruguayan citizenship is a straightforward process. Full citizenship can be granted in three years for couples or families or five years for single persons. But you must become a resident first.

Obtaining residency during the first year is easy. Among other things, you need proof that you have an annual income of at least $6,000.

Editor’s note: Bob Bauman recently made a video about about protecting your wealth and freeing yourself from unnecessary taxes and government oversight. Watch it here.