Nov. 5, 2014, Paris, France: 10 questions to ask when shopping for real estate for retirement overseas...
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Buying real estate overseas is fundamentally about diversification. This is true whether you buy for investment or for retirement and argues in favor of buying for retirement rather than renting. Buying your new retirement residence overseas means moving money out of the United States and putting it into another market and, potentially, another currency.
Moving all your money out of the States and into a new retirement residence overseas doesn't alone bring you the diversification you should be seeking right now. However, using some of your capital to purchase a retirement residence in the place where you want to live and putting other of your capital to work in another market (that perhaps uses a different currency) gets you not only diversification but also what amounts to a rent-free retirement.
Another advantage of buying your retirement residence overseas rather than renting it is that it helps you to "take the plunge." It allows you to move your life forward, unequivocally, embracing the new adventure. Many who rent before they buy do so to be able to maintain a property back home, "just in case." While this can be sensible, it's also an anchor, a drag. It can divide your attention and keep you looking backward instead of ahead to your new life. Keeping one foot on the pier and the other on the departing boat can land you in the drink. You may remain only partially committed, which will be a handicap.
The bottom line for the retiree-buyer, is to follow your instincts, not only with regards to what to buy overseas but also when answering the question, should you buy at all? You know yourself, your motivations and preferences, and how well you've researched your chosen destination. You know your level of commitment, your level of readiness, and your tolerance for risk.