Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!
Within the next 18 years, 80 million Baby Boomers will retire. Today over 500,000 retired US citizens live outside the US collecting their Social Security at the embassy or consulate. Why? Because the cost of living is attractive, and they may be able to keep the lifestyle they are accustomed to.
Where People Retire Abroad
Where are they looking to move? Some are looking at Europe or the Middle East, but most are looking at Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador, to name a few. Each country has its own attractions that appeal to permanent residents. South America has easy access to the US, which is another factor for the decision to retire there, and the cost of living is less than in the US.
There is a wonderful opportunity for you as a Realtor® to help these people with advice and collect a referral fee. Even if you do not have the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation, you can find real estate agents in these countries who have this designation and you are assured of a referral fee and their ethical professionalism.
The Challenges of Buying International Property
You can also help get your clients prepared and make them aware of questions they need to answer before starting their retirement outside the US. It is easy to find a property you like and can envision living in and being happy. But the property is in a different country with different rules.
You cannot assume that the rules and regulations are the same as in the US. So please prepare your clients with these questions they should ask the developer or real estate agent overseas.
- How far is the shopping area from the property?
- Are there paved roads, street lights, and telecommunications?
- How about hot water?
- Can I live comfortably without speaking the local language?
- How close is the medical care facility?
- Are there homeowner associations, and what are the fees?
- If you are buying in a new development: is the company financially solid?
- What are the title guarantees?
- How long am I allowed to stay in the country?
Don’t lose out on helping your clients make the move! Be proactive, help them with their decision-making and refer them to a qualified real estate agent or developer.
How about preparing an ad: “Are you thinking of retiring outside the US? I can help!” You can use real estate postcards or flyers to get the message out!