Monday, April 13, 2015

Advice on Cash and Precious Metals When Bugging Out

Hi Fernando
I was just wondering, a quick question out of curiosity.
When you moved into the EU, you left Argentina with most of your
Did you bring precious metals, like bullions/ coins etc, or did you
sell them before you left?
Now, if you brought them, how did you do with the declaration of PM in
I live in EU as well, and I know that you are allowed to travel within
EU with PM, no problem (but some declaration in some countries and
quantities), but how does it work with lots of PM going in to the EU?
Do you know?
I have your first book (The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse), and I recommend it all the time. Maybe you
mention it in your second book "Bugging out/ relocating", but haven't
read it yet.
Take care, Pete
A checkpoint in Crimea.
Hi Pete,
I actually took very few belongings when I left Argentina. It was pretty liberating to be honest. Preppers love talking about all the stuff you need for your INCH bag (I’m never coming home bag) or kit. They are so attached to their “stuff”, the INCH bag discussion quickly turns into the INCH trailer as folks keep piling up the material belongings they can’t figure living without. Ironically enough, and as someone that actually did this “I’m never coming home” thing for real, I could have left with nothing at all in terms of gear and supplies. All I needed was the plane tickets, passports and savings to start over elsewhere.
Regarding your question, I didn’t have a problem because even though I was taking cash and some precious metals, I was all within the limit of what you can bring in without declaring.

How much cash and gold can you take to or from the United States or EU?
It works the following way. There’s no real limit as of how much cash or precious metals (PM) you can bring or take out of the US. What you have is a limit of how much you can travel with without declaring. In the case of US, that limit is USD 10.000 and that’s for cash, precious metal or any other “monetary instrument”. If you have more than USD 10.000 worth of cash in any denomination or equivalent monetary instruments you have to declare it and fill a form FinCEN 105 called "Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments" . This form is intended to stop terror funding, money laundering and drugs, and will of course raise a big red flag so you probably want to stay under 10.000 USD when traveling. Keep in mind, this limit is for the entire group that is traveling together. You can’t travel with other people, family members or associates, and distribute the money among everyone.
The European Union has a somewhat similar limit. In the case of the EU the limit is €10.000 or its equivalent in other denominations, or monetary instruments such as precious metals, diamonds, etc. The big difference is that in the case of EU, for persons travelling in a group the € 10.000 limit applies to each person individually.
At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to have different options and diversify.
You certainly need cash for getting around and precious metals are a great asset to have as well in case of a serious currency devaluation. If you have to travel, I would stay within the limit and use credit cards or debit cards instead. It’s a good idea to have a bank account in the country you’re planning to bug out to so as to be able to quickly transfer funds if things start looking bad. A foreign bank account can be your best financial asset when evacuating or bugging out abroad. If nothing else, open an account in Canada next time you’re visiting. It’s easy enough for Americans, you don’t need some fancy Jason Bourne secret swiss bank account.
When it comes to precious metals, one of the things I learned was that even a small amount of money in silver can get very bulky and very heavy.

Preppers like silver because its “cheap”, meaning you don’t need to break the piggy bank to put aside a couple silver eagles each month. Soon enough you can have a pile of silver, but this is not be as practical during an emergency as you may think. At a 70 silver ounces per 1 gold ounce ratio, gold coins are far more compact. Thinking of a scenario such as the one playing out in Ukraine, with checkpoints where you are likely to get stopped and “liberated” of any money that you may have, being able to hide your values is of great importance. 1/10th of an ounce gold coins are very compact, about the size of a dime, and a ½ ounce Gold eagle is about the size of a quarter. You could even hide them in your wallet along with your pocket change coins. A wallet with a couple 20 dollar bills and a few coins jiggling in the coin pocket of the wallet wouldn’t look all that suspicious. Stacks of neat plastic tubes full of silver Eagles are likely to be taken away at such checkpoints. People in Ukraine have hidden cash and other valuables in baby diapers. Small coins could even be swallowed. Gold rings and chains have been swallowed throughout history when escaping persecution. Again, don’t underestimate the importance of a bank account in a foreign country. It just takes a couple minutes to access your account on your cell phone and send money abroad, with a bit of luck you may be able to do so before all hell breaks loose and accounts are frozen. If you don’t have such an account, this won’t even be a possibility for you no matter how you saw it coming before the masses.
Diversify and be smart about your money for emergencies and worst case scenarios. In cases like these, planning and having a good strategy will go a long way and make all the difference in the world.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


Augustine said...

I wonder though if the billion coins are considered at face or metal content market value. After all, at the groceries store, an American Gold Eagle is good for only $50.

PompompomPooom said...

Good text.

About hiding gold. Metal detectors are quiet easy to buy nowadays and are very sensitive to gold.
Both governments and rogue private checkpoints will soon discover this. They may force anyone to go through a metal detector tuned for gold. And steal it if you forgot to declare...

gaga said...

Although you can take 5 or 10k euros out of the UK, a police or customs officer can confiscate any cash over £1000 any where in the UK, if he suspects its from criminal activity. You then be required to prove where it came from (a bank statement would suffice).

The customs officer told me anything over £20k would always be automatically confiscated.

X ray/Metal detectors at airports can see money. Metal strip remember...