Are You Planning Your Retirement?


By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Whether you are young or close to your retirement age, it is important to plan for it. The big question is what do you need to do to retain your standard of living for many years to come after retirement when you may not have as much money available as now. And as you know, the life expectancy nowadays is much longer.

Did you know that nearly one of five U.S. citizens decides to retire outside of the country according to the survey by TD Waterhouse? Today over 500,000 retired US citizens made the decision to reside in another country.

You may ask why: there may be family reasons, but mostly because the cost of living is more attractive and gives many the same lifestyle they are accustomed to.

Some are looking to move to Europe or the Middle East, but the majority decides to move to Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, or Ecuador, to name a few. But you have to be aware, as each country has its own attractions to appeal to permanent residents, they also have different laws about taxation, owning properties, residence rules. How easy will it be for you to collect your Social Security in the new country or use your health insurance? These are important questions to ask.

You may have purchased a couple real estate properties in your life, but you cannot assume that the way real estate transactions are conducted in other countries is the same. Maybe you want to go on vacation a couple times before making the final decision. But it is important is to ask a lot of questions:

  • Where are the shopping areas?
  • Does my new home have hot water?
  • Can I live comfortably without speaking Spanish or whatever the local language is?
  • Are doctors and hospitals readily available?
  • If you are buying a new development: is the company financially solid?
  • How long are you allowed to stay in the country?
  • What are the ownership rights on real estate properties?
  • If you decide to purchase a new or pre-owned property, consult a Realtor with the International designation CIPS, as they have connections all over the world with agents who have this designation.

About Christel Silver

Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. In 1985 she was licensed in Maryland and Washington, DC as a Realtor and later as a Certified Residential Appraiser and Associate Broker and has been in Florida since 2001. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) and again for 2018 as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Silver is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. She served the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter as President, as Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, and as a member of the Board of Directors for two years. She is the Global Ambassador for Austria and Germany in 2019. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit