What exactly is a sovereign individual? How does such a person live his or her life? In this essay, Bob describes the life of “George Spelvin,”a typical Sovereign Society member.)
George Spelvin awakes each morning in his modest home in the suburb of a major American city. (At his request, we can’t say which city, and, as you probably guessed, “George Spelvin” is not his real name.)
We call his home “modest” because, while it is immaculately furnished and contains state-of-the-art security features, from the outside it does not appear exceptional. George’s neighborhood is middle class and quiet. He has a nodding acquaintance with his neighbors, but socializes only with a choice few friends and business associates whom he really trusts. And even they don’t know a lot about George.
Even though George has a rumored net worth well over seven figures, the outside world sees only an unremarkable individual.
After he showers and shaves, he sips his morning coffee (strong with a dash of chicory) and glances at the morning papers that are delivered to his door (but not with his name on the delivery label). He doesn’t dress in designer clothes or shoes, and he doesn’t wear a Rolex watch. That’s the way George wants it.
If you sat next to George on an airplane, he would be courteous if you initiated a conversation, but he wouldn’t discuss his personal or financial status. To a stranger, he would describe himself as “retired,” and leave it at that.
A House is Not a Home
George’s home is not listed in his name. The title is held by a trust registered in Panama. On the trust records, no beneficial owners are publicly listed as a matter of local law. The local trustee is listed, but this attorney does not answer inquiries about the trusts he represents, unless they come from a local court after a hearing.
Indeed, at George’s home address, nothing is listed in his name; no utilities – cable, water or electric. In fact, George rarely receives mail at his home address. It all goes to a nearby “mail drop” service. (Even the mail drop doesn’t know his real address.) For his most important correspondence, George uses a mail drop and forwarding address in a foreign country with privacy laws far stricter than those in the U.S.
When George speaks over the telephone, he always assumes someone is listening. They probably aren’t, but that thought serves as a reality check on what he should and should not say.
Meanwhile, George’s home is equipped with a sophisticated security system. He knows that a determined adversary could defeat it, but they would have to work very hard to compromise his protection.
George also employs an assistant. Before hiring him, George used a private investigator to look into his background. And he regularly reviews his assistant’s personal and financial status – George never wants his aide to be compromised in such a way as to compromise his boss.
Both work in George’s home office. When connected to the Internet, they use an anonymizing” service to thwart surveillance. And all important emails and attachments are encrypted.
A Dead-End for Snoopers
George drives a mid-priced car, although customized with leather seats and an upgraded audio system. Like his home, the car isn’t listed in his name. Instead, it’s titled in the name of a corporation where liability for any accidents might lie. George declined purchasing a vehicle with a GPS because he had no desire to have his whereabouts tracked every minute of the day. And George avoided financing his car, because he didn’t want to have nosy credit agency sniffing around in his financial affairs.
George also avoids giving out his Social Security number, although he has noticed that this supposedly confidential number is now in ubiquitous use as a common ID. He even avoided disclosing it when he applied for his driver’s license by telling a motor vehicle department clerk it was against his religion to use the number.
While George maintains a U.S. bank account with sufficient assets to pay for current expenses, he keeps the bulk of his wealth offshore. There are bank accounts in a number of countries, and he has international business company registered in Panama.
Not even his trusted assistant knows about these accounts; all details are maintained with a trusted offshore attorney, with whom George corresponds through encrypted email. Both George and his attorney conduct important business under the legal protection of lawyer-
client confidentiality, although they know this traditional concept of privacy is under siege by inquisitive governments everywhere.
George is certain of one thing. He always makes sure his taxes and related U.S. reporting requirements are in order. For everyday accounting matters, he uses a U.S. accountant practicing in a foreign country. For more complex legal questions, George uses a noted U.S. international tax attorney, one of the few who are well versed in offshore asset protection and tax matters.
Whenever George travels internationally, he uses his U.S. passport when entering or leaving the United States, as the law requires. But when he travels in other nations, he uses his second passport, one issued by the Republic of Ireland. Because his grandparents were born in Ireland, he automatically qualified for Irish citizenship and passport. George’s Irish passport gives him the right to reside and do business in any EU member state – an invaluable asset for business and investment purposes, as well as for the purchase of foreign real estate. And dual nationality is fully consistent with American law.
George, a lifelong U.S. resident, has now applied for residency in Uruguay. As a fallback, he is considering Switzerland as a part time residence, with a warmer alternative in Panama’s pensionado program that favors foreign retirees. He may even eventually consider what has been called “the ultimate estate plan” for Americans – giving up his U.S. citizenship. Since he already has an Irish passport, losing his U.S. passport doesn’t seem like such a daunting prospect.
What’s ahead for George? “I’m not sure,” he muses. “I don’t like where America is headed –toward more government control and less freedom. And I don’t like the fact that I’m one of the very few Americans who seem to be concerned about it. That’s why I’m considering my own ‘Escape from America,’ where I can freely express my ideas and pursue my aspirations.”
Through our publications, conferences, books and networking, The Sovereign Society guides members in every aspect of the sovereign life – offshore banking, investments, privacy, travel, residency, citizenship, passports, visas and more.
George partakes of them all.
P.S. George knows that the heavy hand of government is one of the single biggest threats to protecting and growing his family’s wealth over the years ahead. At the Sovereign Society, our Investment Director Jeff Opdyke has spotted another growing threat from governments around the world… the elimination of paper money. Around the globe, governments are working to move currencies into a digital form – one that they can closely monitor and control. To find out how you can protect yourself – and profit – from the coming “Death of Cash,” click here for Jeff’s latest report.
Expatriation: The Only Legal Path to Eliminating U.S. Taxes
Why Keeping Your Money Tied to the Dollar is Too Risky
Uruguay: #1 in the World for Personal Freedom
How to Profit from Capitalism’s Final Phase