The term offshore banking can cause a different reaction in different people, based on their experiences with the industry. For the Average Joe, offshore banking may seem shady and illegal, especially since it’s featured as such in plenty of movies and other pop culture mediums. To a person educated in the ways of finance, the idea holds more value than you might think.

Have you considered breaking into the world of offshore banking? The benefits of such a pursuit are definitely worth it. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of offshore banking.

It’s Completely Legal

First, let’s clear the air about the legality of holding offshore accounts. It’s completely legal to hold your money in offshore accounts. However, it’s illegal to keep that money hidden from your government’s tax agency. In fact, many of the movies and TV shows that depict offshore accounts as illegal are because the person who owns the account is keeping it hidden. If you decide to open a foreign bank account, you won’t have to worry about the authorities knocking down your door or freezing your assets, unless you decide to not report that money appropriately.

Greater Privacy

Now that you know that offshore accounts are legal, you can learn about the numerous benefits these kinds of accounts provide. First of all, a foreign account gives you greater privacy in a world that seems so happy to dig into your financial history. International bank accounts often have stricter laws about who can access your financial information. In many cases, only a criminal investigation can bypass those laws. Ultimately, this allows you greater discretion with the way you use your money.

Political Protection

It’s no secret that the governments of the world are usually in some kind of disarray. This can mean ruin for your finances, especially if your home government suddenly decides it wants to go in the direction of bail-ins and capital control. When you keep some of your money in an international account, your government can’t easily tap a button and seize your assets to help bail them out of whatever pickle they may be in at the time.

Greater Peace of Mind

Having at least some of your money in an offshore account can also provide a greater peace of mind, especially in turbulent and unsure times. Think about it this way: offshore accounts are actually insurance policies. Again, it’s no secret that most banking systems are unsound and unpredictable. Putting your savings somewhere else is one more layer of protection that can help you sleep easier at night.

Medical Access Abroad

You might be surprised to know that having money in an international account can also give you easier access to medical care while abroad. You may seek medical care in foreign countries for a variety of reasons, but that money still has to come from your pockets. If your home government has already implemented capital controls, you won’t be able to use the money in your home bank to pay for your medical care abroad. Having money in your offshore accounts gives you that flexibility.

Do Your Research

These are only some of the benefits to owning an offshore banking account. As you start to consider opening one, be sure to do your research so you know about all your options. That way, when you finally make a decision, you can be sure it’s the right one for you and your assets.