“Kathleen, my wife and I are in our mid-50s and have been hashing over our retirement plans. We’ve been on several cruises and would like to find something in the Caribbean that is somewhat out of the storm-belt. On one cruise, we stopped in Roatan, Honduras, and, in that short amount of time, we fell in love with the place.
“That got us thinking about island retirement. For now, our thinking is to find someplace that is nice and in a high rental district so we could rent it out (except when we want to vacation) and let it pay for itself until we are ready to retire.
“Can you direct me in how to get started? I’ve spoken with an agent via e-mail in Roatan, but I’m still not sure of the best course of action.”
— Vernon B., United States
You seem to have this covered. You and your wife have identified the retirement lifestyle that will suit you best. Following on from that determination, you’ve identified an overseas haven where you think you’d like to live. And you’ve made initial contact with a real estate agent in that market.
Next steps? Find a good rental and property manager. This is key, as your plan is to rent your place out until you’re ready to occupy it yourselves.
Also, speak with an attorney and a tax accountant in Honduras to understand the legal and tax implications of owning a rental property in that country.
I can tell you from anecdotal reports from contacts in this part of the world that the Roatan market is down and soft. This is a good time to be shopping. Finally, note that Roatan is not outside the “storm-belt.” Roatan sees hurricanes. You have to decide if you’re ok with that or not.