My husband and I wanted to be ready for an affordable and truly enjoyable retirement. And we wanted it sooner rather than later, too. But being at the tail end of the baby boomers, we knew we had to get ahead of the curve and seek out a retirement spot before the real estate prices got out of reach.
Last year we attended the International Real Estate Forum 2010 in Toronto. We were eager to learn, inexperienced as we were in foreign investment. Learn we did…not only about the important factors to consider before buying, but also about tempting opportunities in South and Central America and in Europe…chances to invest in land, developed properties and businesses.
We became really interested in a rental condo in Fortaleza, Brazil. It had great potential. Our only concerns were that we couldn’t speak Portuguese and, having never invested outside of our home country, we didn’t yet understand all that it would entail. Still, we made the decision to buy and then navigated our way through the hoops. We had to get a Brazilian taxation number, learn how to move money between countries and examine contracts.
Looking back it was a lot of work. But we would do it all again. We got great advice from our Brazilian lawyer and tremendous support from the team, who will be managing the rental of our unit.
Furnishing the unit ourselves would have proven difficult and they decorated it tastefully and within our budget.
We recently went to visit our little piece of Brazil. It was an amazing time. We were able to wrap up a few important legal aspects, inspect our property and check out our new neighborhood.
We loved it! The condo was clean, well designed and had an amazing view from the balcony. The weather was fabulous, especially for someone who can’t wait to get away from snow. The food was excellent, reasonably priced with lots of variety.
After seeing the neighborhood around it, we saw the potential for our property to appreciate as more improvements are planned for the city.
We bought our Brazilian condo strictly as a way to build our retirement fund. Having visited there, though, we’ve decided that living in Brazil is a wonderful proposition.
Our condo is presently rented out, but who knows? We may make this our future address. In any event, having made this first leap overseas, we will continue to look for more foreign investments, as opportunities arise and finances allow.
Editor’s note: For the International Real Estate Investment Forum 2011, it’s back to Toronto to convene a panel of experts with property deals from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Uruguay, and elsewhere. Find out more here.