Escape Plan

The Retire Overseas Escape Plan

Want to get out…start over…move on?

One day post the U.S. presidential elections, here are your best options:

1. Invest in the apartment of your dreams on the Continent

 If Continental living is your long-term plan. Do it now.

First, your U.S. dollars have more buying power in euro-land right now than they’ve had in two years. I wouldn’t bet on this continuing indefinitely, but, today, you have a window of opportunity to stretch your Greenbacks in this part of the world.

Second, markets are down across Europe. Prices are soft, and sellers are open to offers.

Third, foreigners can finance.

Where would you like to retire? Paris…Rome…Florence… Madrid? Buy a modest apartment in your favorite Continental city today…with financing. Put enough down to ensure that rental income from month one is enough to cover your mortgage and all related expenses (insurance, taxes, building fees, utilities, and rental and property management fees). Rent the place out until you’re ready to move in yourself. This works for nearly any retirement horizon, but the further you are from that red-letter day, the more time you have to use someone else’s money (your renters) to pay down your mortgage.

2. Buy a building lot

in the country where you eventually want to end up. This makes particular sense if you’ve got a three- to eight-year retirement horizon, because it allows you to buy early, even pre-launch, in a new retirement community overseas, meaning you should get the best possible price on your lot. Then, by the time you’re ready to retire, the community should be fully built out, all amenities and infrastructure in place.

Unless you want to use the place for vacations in the meantime, you’re far better off buying the lot now but waiting until your retirement is, say, a year off to build your home. Buying or building a house today means carrying costs each year between now and when you eventually retire.

This strategy can work nearly anywhere, but is particularly appealing in a place like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Panama, or Uruguay…all highly affordable retirement havens with great weather (Panama City aside) and no shortage of developers working hard to cater to the foreign retiree buyer. Furthermore, those developers are hungry right now. Show up today with cash, and you’re certainly in the driver’s seat.

3. Think really exotic…and cheap.

How could you escape today…even if you’re young and not super-wealthy? Look beyond the typical overseas retirement havens to more exotic choices…like India, Bali, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. These are places where you could retire comfortably on just a few dollars a day.


Kathleen Peddicord

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