Global Real Estate Investing

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The Noose Is Tightening — Here’s How You Slip Out

Putting your money into foreign real estate is becoming a more appealing strategy all the time. Thanks to a crazy piece of pork in the recently passed U.S. HIRE Act, currency controls in that country have been seriously tightened.

You know, of course, that you have to report any financial accounts you hold outside the United States with a value of more than US$10,000. Now, though, foreign financial institutions are required to report on the investment activities of U.S. citizens.

It’s been increasingly difficult for some time for an American to open an international account abroad, and Switzerland recently has taken the position that it doesn’t want to do business with Americans, period. Not worth the hassle.

Options for Americans to protect their assets abroad are going to continue to disappear. If you aren’t already holding a sizeable portion of your assets outside your home country, I strongly recommend that you make this a priority agenda.

A portfolio of international real estate holdings should be an important part of your strategy. First, if you’re an American, it is one of two assets you can hold offshore without triggering a reporting requirement to Uncle Sam (the other is gold). The real estate you hold in another country is your own business.

Plus, it’s unseizable. The IRS might be able to take your foreign bank accounts (the new legislation makes this easier than ever). But how are they going to take your condo in the Philippines?

When Kathleen and I left the States more than a dozen years ago, we made the conscious decision that we would remain fully compliant from a U.S. reporting and tax point
of view. We did not and do not want to do anything we shouldn’t do, certainly nothing outside the law.

And that’s not what I’m suggesting to you. What I am suggesting is that it just makes sense to do everything
you can to protect the money you’ve earned and the assets you’ve accumulated. And holding some of your wealth in international real estate is an excellent way to do that.

You don’t have to be super rich to take up the idea of buying real estate overseas to protect your wealth. Opportunities to buy land, houses, and apartments, for both investment and personal use, exist at all price levels.

I write to my Marketwatch members regularly with details of specific current real estate investment opportunities, and I shared a particularly appealing current opportunity in Belize with you in my dispatch last week.

Lief Simon

Continue Reading: Census Day In Panama or Real Estate Investing In France

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About Author

Lief Simon

Lief Simon has lived and worked on five continents and traveled to more than 60 countries. In his long career as a global property investor, Lief has also managed multimillion-dollar portfolios of rental properties, for others and for himself. He offers advice on international diversification in his twice-weekly Offshore Living Letter and monthly Simon Letter dispatches.