What is Offshore??
What exactly is “offshore”?
For such an exotic term, it’s actually quite a simple concept.
Going offshore means doing business in any country that isn’t the one in which you live.
For some people, that means banking internationally. For others, it’s about setting up a business in another country. And for others, it might involve more formal asset protection strategies, such as trusts.
Another way to think about it: For everyone else in the world, the United States is offshore. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Isn’t it “illegal” or “shady” in some way?
Much of the mainstream media would have you believe that, but no, using recognized legal protection strategies that don’t happen to be based in your home country are not illegal or shady in any way.
That said, there are people out there who use international structures to do illegal or shady things. But just as a knife can be used to hurt another person or to prepare dinner, so it is with such structures.
They are neither good nor bad. They are just used in different ways by good or bad people.
Why should I go offshore? After all, there are many other wealth-protection measures I can take without moving my assets out of my home country.
Thirty years ago, you could have put together a good protection plan using domestic structures and been pretty safe. You still can, but if you really want state-of-the-art protection, you need to consider moving a certain percentage of your assets offshore as well. Times have changed, and so have the protective strategies. There’s a whole world of possibilities with exotic-sounding names that literally didn’t exist 30 years ago – offshore asset protection trusts, offshore limited liability companies, and offshore captive insurance, just to name a few.
Such opportunities simply aren’t available in most western countries.
Not only that, but the courts here in the States and internationally have shown an ever-greater bias against people with assets. Lawyers and creditors have been given the ability to pierce even the best US-based strategies.
By (properly) taking your assets offshore, you gain three main things:
1. Increased privacy: From virtually every threat out there (in very select cases, even from your government).
2. Protection from creditors: No more biased judges awarding your hard-earned dollars to the guy with the best lawyer.
3. Potential tax advantages: With the proper structure, going offshore can even help you defer income taxes.