With the recent, high-attention efforts in the last few years of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service cracking down on individuals not reporting their funds placed in overseas bank accounts, international investors are right to be worried about whether someone is watching their financial transactions in close detail. However, international investing and overseas banking is not an illegal activity per se, and there are a number of opportunities for protecting the value of saved money and making it grow overseas. The U.S. financial market simply does not hold the keys to all there is in profitable investing.
Numerous Investment Opportunities and Tools Exist Globally
Belize is one of a number of popular financial destinations, not only because it is in the tropics and makes a desirable location for retirees but also because the location offers a number of financial benefits. Because it is outside of the U.S., living in Belize generally represents an opportunity for little or no taxation in-country. The Latin country also has a solidified banking industry that maintains accounts for both domestic and international bank account holders privately, continuing a reputation for not compromising the financial information of its investment customers.
While U.S. citizens will still be required to report their bank interest earned overseas back to the IRS annually via a tax return, mainly because U.S. law requires them to do so regardless of location, their financial assets are like other retirees’ monies from other countries and can be invested safely in Belize without issue. This allows foreigners transplanting to the country to enjoy the far lower cost of living in Belize, making their retiree assets stretch much farther than if they stayed back in the U.S. or their home country. Further, because the tropical location is far warmer, medical costs due to cold, influenza, and similar cold-weather sickness or discomfort tend to be far lower than retiring in Chicago, for example.
Currency-wise, the Belizean currency exchanges at a 2-for-1 ratio to the U.S. dollar, so investors automatically see a boon in greater currency assets when depositing in the country’s banks.
Residency in Belize is Easy
It starts with a 30-day visa which can then be extended to a 6-month residency permit. After five years of viable residency without issue, foreigners can choose to apply for Belizean citizenship if they want, solidifying their ability to stay in the country permanently. Again, these are personal choices that each person needs to consider on their own, but there are also financial advantages in citizenship as well.
Monies deposited in Belizean banks fall under the general banking rules for dividends and interesting earnings. However, investors can also place funds into Belizean investment by purchasing property, partnering in developments, or establishing businesses. The most viable for retirees, of course, tends to be property purchases. This does mean, however, taking some time to understand how the in-country real estate market works first before plunking any money on the table.
Belize offshore investment is not some secret, nefarious activity. The country’s financial system and banks do provide retirees a way to move their foreign funds in-country so they can make their hard-earned savings last longer in their senior years with the country’s lower cost of living. It also provides other international investors an opportunity to make their money work better for them versus back home in the U.S. or other countries. As with any investment tool, independent research matters and people should always do their homework first before transferring valuable funds. This avoids rookie mistakes by investors that come from simply not paying attention to potential fees, rules and inherent risks.