Hi guys, Barry in DR here. I have been exchanging some comments in an interesting thread with a guy called Melik…. sharp guy. Keeps me on my toes. His latest comment is a perfect reason for this new post, because I think it may be on the minds of many of you.
In response to my “Stay Focused Don’t Be Fooled By The Side Bar Issues“, this is what Melik had to offer.
Your post is too simplistic. It is not DENIAL that keeps people where they are….its FAMILY! Think of holocaust survivors…the few who made it left whole communities behind. Most just stuck around (for each other) and prayed things would get better instead of worse.
I think of my 70 yr old mother who depends on us to get her groceries and take her to the dr. Think she’ll move? Not a chance. Think I should abandon her in case TEOTWAWKI happens? Not likely. Shes my mum and we love her.
He brings up a very valid point. It is not just denial that results in inaction. Family obviously plays a huge role in a life decision like expatriation. But his comments also open the discussion up to a more indepth analysis. First, my response to Melik to get us started.
I agree that for many the underlying issue is FAMILY… or at least the inability to see how the family might adapt to change. I agree that the combination of commitment to family and denial was what kept most Jews in their communities, only to be swept up into concentration camps during the holocaust. But were they better off? Was the community better off? What if more families had chosen to venture out and leave when they still had the opportunity. Would those families and communities have been stronger as a result of leaving. Certainly less of them would have died senselessly.
My goal is to help a few people see outside the box. Is it comfortable to look outside the box? Probably not. But is it wise…. maybe. Take a situation like yours. Are there actually benefits to life in this area of the DR for a family like yours. Maybe. We do have groceries here… fresher and less expensive. We do have a comfortable yet low cost of living. We do have pretty good healthcare. Unlike the US, here a 24 hour caregiver and aid is affordable if you felt the need. Would things REALLY be worse for your family, including your mum? True, it may be uncomfortable to leave friends behind and to get acclimated to a new culture…. but would it be worse? Would it be worse than what many predict for the US and other “first world” countries if the SHTF.
And NO…. I am not suggesting you or anyone else abandon anyone…. instead, save them from the ravages of a collapse in a country that is ill prepared for such dramatic change. This is not for everyone. Only you can decide for your own family.
I get it that many people believe it is “risky” to pick up their belongings and family members and make a move out of their home country. I get it. It seems to be a bit different for different reasons and for different people… for some it is family issues, for others it is fear of loss of their assets, for others it may be concerns about healthcare, others may worry about opportunities to earn money and some may even be worried about losing lifelong friends. I get it.
Like most other things in life…. solutions to these fears (even if the worst should happen) are often far less complicated than you might first think. But I understand that unless you can alleviate those fears you may be as frozen in inaction as those poor unfortunate souls that ended up senseless victims of the holocaust.
Maybe if we tackle these fears in a systematic and practical way you may find it a bit easier to think outside the box for your own family.
Who Says It’s Permanent
No matter what you decide to do regarding protecting your family and your assets from the financial collapse in your home country, it is unlikely that your decisions have to be permanent. If you decide to move to a rural backwater in your home country or to a tropical island like the north coast of the Dominican Republic.. either way, you can always move back whenever you choose if you discover that it is just not for you. If you purchase a property and later decide it was not the right choice for you… sell it. If you do move some of your assets offshore and later decide you would prefer for them to be back in your home country…. transfer them back. If you do choose to bring an elderly parent or spouse with you to the island and later decide that you need to be back in your home country for very specialized healthcare…. then go back either temporarily or permanently. Like I said… it doesn’t have to be permanent if you don’t want it to be. Think of it as a temporary reassignment to weather the storm if that makes it more comfortable for you.
We Are Not Rich
So who said you needed to be rich? Not me. There are many opportunities to keep your cost of living low in the Cabrera area of the DR. Without even knowing where you are living now, I can predict that you can live as well or a little better for a little less here. For example, we don’t spend a dime on air conditioning or heat where we live. Property maintenance and yardwork is laughingly inexpensive. Our utilities bills are lower because we live a simpler life. Our communications cost about the same and we freely talk to people in the US and around the globe regularly. Food costs for locally grown or caught foods are considerably less. Land and home costs are comparable or perhaps a little less than a typical town in the US and certainly much less than the west coast and larger cities. Gasoline is about the same. Clothing costs tend to be lower both because of the weather and the more casual culture. Healthcare costs are a small fraction of comparable care in the US. Taxes are low. Property taxes are very low. In short, your US dollar or Euro or Pound goes pretty far down here. But despite all that, if you decide it is too expensive or not what you want, you can always head back home for the cost of an airline ticket to Miami or other city of your choosing.
We May Not Like It or Fit In
Unlikely, but if you somehow end up feeling that way you are a one-way airline ticket away from any country you choose. On the other hand, if you find that the more relaxed and casual lifestyle does suit you… think what you have gained in peace of mind and comfort for your family.
We Will Miss Our Friends and Relatives
Well the other side of that is maybe you will become the vacation or escape route for your friends and relatives. Just like you are one airline ticket away from home, they are also one airline ticket away from you and most of them would appreciate the opportunity to chill out on a deserted beach and partake in some of the local cuisine. If they don’t enjoy it they can always hop a plane and fly home. If they convince you that you don’t like it either…. hop a plane and fly home. Also, with today’s technology, you can video skype with friends and family for practically no cost at all. Many have found that they have more communication with family and friends after moving than they did when they lived down the street.
I hope I have gotten my point across. While the effects of inaction may be permanent…. I doubt any action you take to help protect your family and your assets by setting up a home in Cabrera Dominican Republic needs to be permanent.
Hope that helps a little. It’s off with some other guests now. Barry in DR.