Something the US overseas investor may not know (and it's good news) is that the IRS has no interest in foreign real estate holdings. Overseas properties often do not even have to be reported to the IRS.
Unlike other worldwide income or assets, US owners of second homes for either personal use or investment purposes are not subject to US taxes on the property itself; in most cases they don't even have to be declared to the authorities such as with the recently introduced IRS Form 8938 required to be submitted by a US citizen with foreign financial assets of more than $50,000 on the last day of the year or of more than $75,000 at any point during the year. Learn more.
However, bank accounts in foreign countries are dealt with differently and a separate Form TD F 90-22.1 needs to be filed annually by the end of June by US citizens with over $10,000 in any bank account during the year. Get in-depth information on this particular topic and other financial, banking and tax issues by subscribing to Lief Simon's letter which is a monthly 'intelligence report' that can save you a lot in lost earnings. Download five free vital reports after signing up.
You don't have to be rich to take up the idea of buying real estate offshore whether your reasons are profit or asset protection. Opportunities exist at all price levels. But you do need a strategy for where to buy, when to exit, and how to take your profits.
Lief Simon has been taking this strategic approach – to business, to investing, and to life in general – and showing others how to, as well, for more than 19 years. He left the States at age 24 and first headed to Chad in sub Saharan Africa to work for an oil drilling company. He's done a lot more since, having lived and worked in six other countries: Argentina, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Ireland, France and is currently based in Panama.
Almost 20 years of living abroad has taught Lief how to 'internationalize' his life by diversifying his assets, business ventures and his investments. He has been both an active investor and also a businessman, launching and running operations and commercial ventures in ten countries: local businesses – 'bricks and mortar' and internet-based – including international franchises.
Real estate developments have been a significant part of this: multi-million-dollar property portfolios, over two dozen rental properties, buying and selling properties in many different countries; the next deal that closes will be his 19th.
None of his activities have involved shady deals that might break U.S. regulations – or the law of any other jurisdiction either, as far as he is aware. As much as he enjoys spending time overseas, he does not want to be an exile unable to return to the United States to visit friends and family!
No one would have the time or expertise to accomplish so much alone. Lief has also relied on a network of reliable, expert and trustworthy contacts. These include attorneys, bankers, tax consultants and other advisors, both in the USA and also in the legal jurisdictions where he spends time and money. They are the people who help keep his finger on the pulse of important developments and changes – as they happen. It's an invaluable resource with "fly-on-the-wall" intelligence from the world's top offshore havens, shared in real time by someone with real world, firsthand experience.
For an extremely small investment, Lief is willing to share this invaluable resource with others who don't have the time to spare or ability to acquire this. All that is required is to sign up to receive regular updates from Lief Simon (his real name).
Lief's main aim is to increase his options – never cutting any of them off. Follow his lead and you'll be able to come and go as you please. Although this takes some thought and planning, it's not as complicated as many would have you believe. The biggest challenge is accepting that the targets are always moving and being made aware of them as soon as they happen.
A small annual subscription to The Simon Letter accomplishes this. It's a lot more than a letter – more like a personal intelligence service.
By the way, you don't have to be a millionaire to be able to bank, do business or invest offshore. There are different levels to this game. Only you will know what makes sense for your circumstances and what's within your own comfort zone.
Your first move could be the simple opening of an overseas bank account without leaving the United States. You can do this from home with no minimum deposit. That alone puts you in a position to diversify into real estate, buy precious metals, form an offshore corporation, even move overseas and eventually perhaps foreign retirement. You can even acquire second citizenship – as Lief has.
With many places in the world available as retirement locations, staying in your native country is optional. As long as you do not mind a flight or two each year to stay in touch with family and friends, retiring in a foreign country is a great alternative. Better than staying put in the same place you have been for years. It gives you the chance to see new places that you once only dreamed of visiting.
With the internet available in almost all destinations, keeping your finances in order is simple as well. Knowing you will have enough money saved that you can comfortably live on is important and being able to invest or trade online while living out your retirement years can help you add a significant amount to your net worth; these extra dollars could come in handy for trips to visit friends or to have family come and visit you overseas.
There is no greater freedom than being able to live life the way you want while still earning cash. During the days of higher interest rates, most retirees had enough saved up that their interest payments would give them enough cash to live off comfortably. Those days are no longer here, and might not be back for a while.
Retirees living abroad can invest easily through various online brokers. As long as there is an internet connection, online stock brokers will help their clients, no matter what time zone they are in, to place stock, bond or mutual fund trades. The internet is so global that it is hard not to have access to an online broker, and all you need is a smart phone, tablet or laptop computer to trade forex, stocks, commodities, futures or options.
All good online brokers provide their clients with support and guidance in picking their investments. With the use of instant messaging there is no longer the need to call your broker if the country you are in has a bad phone connection. Instant messaging a financial advisor will help you be able to allocate your assets to where they will earn the highest return. Brokers will also provide online video of investing techniques that will help the retiree find an investment style that suits their needs. Some of these brokers will also allow their clients to trade the currency markets in addition to the normal equities and fixed income markets.
With many free forex indicators and online video classes, retirees living abroad might turn to foreign exchange as a source of income. The foreign exchange market is a bit more challenging than the stock and bond markets, mostly due to the nature of how the market functions. This is not to say that it might not be right for you, it just requires more time to learn and understand.
No matter where you turn to invest, it is always prudent to do your research. Online brokers will provide more than enough third party research tools for any investor to make an informed decision. This will allow the retiree a greater chance of making good stock picks for their account. Trading will allow anyone close to retirement age, or at retirement, the ability to earn additional income on their own schedule.
The one thing you must remember is that once you start traveling to other times zones, the market will open at different times. If you chose to retire in Europe rather than the United States, the market will open between five to six hours later. If you choose to move to Asia, the market will open during your evening and stay open through the night. It is up to the investor to decide what time zone your future home may be located in and plan accordingly to what market center would best fit your needs as a trader or investor.
If you do not require much sleep in your later years, then trading the markets can be done at anytime day or night. Most investors should choose to trade the U.S. markets because of the volume traded each day and the quality of U.S. brokers to choose from. There are other markets to trade, however, the amount of stocks available to invest in is far greater on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ than other markets around the world. No matter where you choose to live, the financial services sector will cater to your needs.
The information and technology age we live in will help you immensely if you decide to retire in a foreign country but still wish to invest for a living.
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