As a proactive Real Estate Investor I have quantifiable evidence that opportunities abound. In fact, wherever I go and for whatever reason, I can’t stop myself from seeing opportunities in real estate.
Real estate is a proven model. Everyone around the globe needs a place to live, work, play and lay. From cradle to the grave, this holds true.
Think about it.
In countries that have an advanced infrastructure such as the U.S., its people are born primarily in hospitals… a piece of real estate that is owned by someone (or a group of individuals), the space is leased to someone, and then the costs are passed on to someone (a.k.a., the patients) so the owners and leasing entities can earn profit.
When we as babies are taken home from the hospital, we aren’t typically taken to a field but rather to a home, which is rented by our parents or owned by our parents. Again, that’s called real estate.
We grow up, we involve ourselves in a variety of activities for entertainment and socially bonding purposes. Whether that’s going out to dinner, bowling with the family, watching movies at a movie theatre or any other activity, that activity takes place inside a piece of real estate. Someone owns it; someone is the landlord; someone profits from the money you pay to play.
As we age, we may take jobs in buildings, also known as real estate owned and operated by other people. And then we move to our golden years where we may be housed in first retirement communities, then assisted living facilities and then perhaps more long-term care facilities. All of these are guess what? Yep! Real estate.
Finally, and while this may be hard for you to think about (but also a great business opportunity for the right investors), we need a final resting place. That is our final involvement with real estate, which is taken up on property owned and operated and profited from by other individuals.
This happens the world over. Even in third-world countries, where different types of investment opportunities can be found that cannot be found on U.S. soil or the soil of more developed countries.
You don’t have to invest in your own back yard!
If everyone everywhere the world over requires a place to live, work, play and lay, what does that tell you? It should tell you that you aren’t harnessed to your own back yard for investing. While some people prefer to do that, there are excellent cashflowing opportunities in other states and other countries!!
As I look back over my time as a real estate investor, if I were to only do deals in California where I live and base my business I’d be severely limiting myself and my ability to create continual cashflow due to the gut-twisting high cost of properties in this state, especially in southern California.
(Some say we have to pay for the sunshine and near-perfect year-round weather, but that doesn’t mean I have to invest here.)
If I were to give you a single reason why I invest in various states on U.S. soil I couldn’t do it. There are many, many reasons. Similarly, there are several reasons to invest in real estate in other countries. For example, Belize.
Here… take a look at its beauty…That’s where I am participating in a large luxury resort village development project. There are significant benefits to me as an investor to look at Belize. Plus, it’s a heck of a nice place to live, work and play. (Not so sure about the lay part.)
In this post I take you into the reasons why investing in properties outside the U.S. is smart. It’s not just about the cashflow either.
Investing outside the U.S. offers exciting opportunities.
In episode #74 of my Cash Flow Diary podcast in iTunes, my guest Simon Black and I discuss the value of the U.S. dollar. We discuss how when the dollar collapses that those who are investing in Real Estate currently, particularly outside the U.S., will be in good shape.
Though the topic is controversial, there is a fear around the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. That’s what I talk about in the first blog post in this special series. As I mention in that piece, when you look at the data, the numbers don’t lie.
If there is one thing above all else that I can absolutely validate as a Real Estate Investor it is that the truth is always in the numbers!
The truth in this case is that our U.S. economy, government and banking system are in hot water and may well be heading down the drain at an alarming rate. If we walk this ugly dog a little further down the path we can easily see that our government is upside down, weighted down by its growing debt.
What comes next won’t be pretty, and you need to look at Investing in Real Estate as a way to protect yourself and your family against the ill effects that will come with the collapse. In short, having a diversified portfolio of properties gives you great big bargaining chips. Investing outside the U.S. is worth consideration.
What does Simon Black say?
My friend Sovereign Man Simon Black suggests investing in “productive agricultural Real Estate” and to invest outside the United State to do so. I couldn’t agree more. Here he is with me and the other instructors at an event in Lithuania. (He’s the happy guy in the front.)
Simon is a pretty smart cookie and pretty great as a global investor. He says that blueberries make for an excellent investment. It is a crop that isn’t going to bring cashflow right away, but it is also not a crop that will deplete the soil the same as what you see in the way we tend to farm here in the U.S. The cool thing is that after its first couple of years the blueberries become a continually cashflow-producing crop! It then makes total sense that a smart guy like Simon would love this crop as an investment because real estate is all about supply and demand.
With changes in farming trends here in the U.S., there’s a rise in demand for farming along with flat or decreasing supplies. It makes sense that Simon currently heads a $35M productive agricultural real estate project in Chile. Why not? After all, grains in the U.S. are being monopolized by large corporations and margins are lower for seasonal crops. These crops can be grown in a lot of places… like Chile or other countries outside the U.S. A lot of crops can succeed in geographic regions with tropical or Mediterranean climates.
Farming and productive agricultural real estate Investing aren’t the only reasons to go outside the U.S. Not by a long shot! For example, investing in Belize where opportunities abound.
Why Do I Like Properties in Belize as an Option?
Belize is one of the most beautiful locations on the planet. The food is excellent and bountiful. The people are friendly. The workforce is plentiful. The U.S. dollar goes far. It’s a great place to retire. And there are tax benefits open to foreign investors that can’t be found in the U.S.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]A country on the Caribbean coast, between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize offers a mix of tropical forests rich with wildlife, majestic mountains, mysterious Mayan temples, and diving and fishing experiences beyond compare. In a single day you can go from tropical forest to the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Plus…
- Belize is a two-hour plane flight from five major U.S. cities.
- Belize hosts several major airlines serving the country from the U.S. and Central American countries.
- Belize is the only English-Speaking Country in Central America (Real estate contracts are written in English).
- Belize is part of the British Commonwealth and is a Democratic government.
- Belize is tax-friendly. Those who own real estate in Belize pay no capital gains or estate taxes, plus Property Taxes are much lower than what they are in the U.S.
- Belize has an established infrastructure and friendly to international business.
Yeah… But what about the economy of Belize?
Belize has a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, tourism and services, with tourism as the number-one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine products, citrus, sugar, bananas, and garments. Belize’s economy depended on forestry until well into the 20th century. When the supply of accessible timber dwindled and logging became too unprofitable in the 20th century, the country’s economy shifted to new sectors.Cane sugar became the principal export and recently has been augmented by citrus, bananas, and apparel. The cultivation of newly discovered crude oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects as well as challenges. Here’s a quick look into the different economic markets of Belize:
- Agriculture – The expansion and improvement of agriculture is one of the principal aims of national development planning.
- Fishing – Belize has a viable fishing industry that includes the export for fish mainly to the United States, Mexico and Jamaica. Fisheries exports include lobster, conch, aquarium fish, smoked fish, shrimp and
- Forestry – Reforestation and natural regeneration in the pine forest, and artificial regeneration of fast-growing tropical hardwood species are in progress.
- Energy and Telecommunication – Significant foreign investment is being put into these sectors.
- Tourism – With a diversity of adventure opportunities unmatched by any other country, the Belize people have protected over 46% of the country as parks and natural reserves, which draws tourists with disposable income to enjoy the tropical climate, the Belize Barrier Reef (longest in Western Hemisphere), 127 Offshore Cayes (islands), the Mayan Ruins, the private islands of Belize, the beautiful rain forests, fishing, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving opportunities like that which can’t be found in any other part of the world, swimming and very friendly native people.
So, do people like to retire in Belize?
The short answer is YES… and for a lot of reasons.
The Belize Residency Program enables foreigners to retire to Belize under a very favorable set of guidelines, with status as a Qualified Retired Person (QRP). The simple process exempts people from the payment of all taxes and levies on all income of receipts which accrue from a source outside of Belize (whether income is from work performed or an investment). This program also provides a duty and tax exemption on new and used personal and household effects, including motor vehicles, boats and aircrafts. You must be able to substantiate monthly income of at least $2,000 USD a month.
Ambergris Caye is the topmost retirement destination in Belize.
Of course, Belize is not the only place I’m looking at outside the U.S. There are lots of other countries. For example, I got to visit Lithuania last summer and will again this year for Simon Black’s young entrepreneurs’ camp. Lithuania is beautiful and the country has good investment opportunities.
If you didn’t catch my video diary entries about my trip to Lithuania, be sure to log in to your membership and watch. I learned a lot about the differences in our culture here in the U.S. and that of Lithuania. For one, I came to the conclusion that I’m a lot taller than the typical Lithuanian person. At least the accommodations seemed to be built for a bit shorter person. To appreciate this statement, you’ll have to see the footage, but my head almost hit the ceiling in my accommodations. Let’s just say my space was compact and I am not.
While I was at Simon’s camp, I met a lot of great people. Not just the other instructors, but the young entrepreneurs who came to learn a few things. Here’s a group picture so you can see them, too.
Last year I spent time in Estonia, too. That’s another great country which has amazing opportunities. Just like in Lithuania, I met amazing people in Estonia with whom I’ve created long-term relationships, which is something that creates even more opportunities as we discuss doing various deals together both in their country and mine. Talk about networking on a global scale, there you have it!
And here’s a newsflash…
You can invest in real estate wherever you travel… inside and outside the U.S. You don’t need to be a resident of that state or country, but you do have to educate yourself of the rules of investing.
Just like in any deal, you want to do your due diligence.
Never ask IF you can invest; ask rather HOW you can achieve that goal. Once again, there is proof everywhere we plant our feet that someone is doing real estate transactions; they are participating in real estate on some level. Find where you fit in.
Again, we all need a place to live, work, play and lay. The great thing about being a real estate investor is that there are literally opportunities everywhere. They could be in your back yard, in other states or even in other countries. There are benefits that come with each focus.
You can use a variety of investment strategies, too. It’s likely you can’t do bigger deals on your own, but the good news is that there are investors that you can access everywhere… even in other countries if you’re there visiting.
Finding investors is the same process the world over. Take a look at the 39 Perfect Places to Find Investors and see if you think those same places could be found in other states and other countries.
Download it free here: https://cashflowdiary.com/39-places-free-download
Once you find the investors, you’ll need to know how to talk to them and explain the benefits of working with you in your deals. They will let you use their cash and/or credit if you can learn to speak their language. I developed a tool to help you, and it can be used on the back of napkin.
I use it to this day, and I teach others how to use it, so why not go grab it if you haven’t already? You can find it here.
All of this said, one thing’s for sure. If you don’t get started in real estate investing, you won’t ever do a deal… not in your own back yard, not in other states and certainly not in other countries. You know what that means? If you haven’t entered the learning curve yet, it’s time to take the step.
Like I always tell people, it’s NOW o’clock… it’s time to move at the speed of instruction!
*Source for statistics used in this article: http://www.coldwellbankerbelize.com