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Patricia Tan – Perspectives – International REAL Estate

Patricia Tan

Are You Ready?

By Patricia Tan

A growing number of U.S. citizens are choosing to live in other countries. Are you ready to join them?

In 2016 more Americans than ever before surrendered their passports and chose to renounce their U.S. citizenship. The latest statistics available for 2017 also show that the numbers are continuing to climb. But this is only part of the picture. An ever-increasing number of Americans simply choose to live in a foreign country while retaining their citizenship. The decision to relocate may be based on personal, economic, financial or lifestyle choices, but it is most certainly not a decision to be taken lightly.

Many Americans look to establish homes in countries where the cost of living is lower, and where their retirement funds will go further. This could mean moving to a “less developed” country, but such a move is not for everyone.

Pat Tan condo photo

I talked with a U.S. developer who offers ex-pat communities in several countries including: Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile and Ecuador. He agreed that a move to one of these countries must be carefully considered. Over the years he has seen many successful transitions, but also some that have failed. Based on those experiences, his company developed 15 “Must Ask” questions to help people decide if such a move is likely to work for them.

Are you ready to move to a foreign country? Try the quiz below and find out. You don’t need to answer “yes” to all of the questions, but allocating a score to each answer will help you assess your own suitability. The higher your score, the more likely you are to make a successful and long-lasting move.

Pat Tan Beachfront photo

Scoring:
1 point if you answer no/below average
2 points if you answer sometimes/average
3 points if you answer yes/above average

1) Are you usually one of the first to try new things, new foods and new experiences?

2) Are you able to relax, willing to adapt to a slower, easier going pace, or the even the faster pace some destinations may dictate?

3) Are you a self starter who doesn’t wait for someone else to get things done?

4) Are you willing to learn the basic phrases of a new language? (Of the countries we listed above, only Belize boasts English as their official language)

5) Do you make new friends easily?

6) Are you an optimistic/glass-half-full kind of person?

7) Are you financially secure enough that you don’t need to work? Or could you be if your cost of living was much lower?

8) Are you open to new adventures and activities?

9) Do you have a hobby or interest you really want to pursue?

10) Are you comfortable being a minority in a new country?

11) Are you flexible, and easy going enough to deal with long lines/delays/bureaucratic delays?

12) Are you genuinely interested in getting involved in a new community and joining clubs/activities?

13) When faced with problems, are you creative in figuring out how to overcome them?

14) Do you respect different cultures and realize you will be moving to THEIR country?

15) Are you healthy enough (mentally and physically) that you do not need constant medical attention?

For those higher scoring readers, the world offers a number of options and retirement destinations. Many target Americans in particular, and build U.S. style resort communities for full time living, like the ones pictured here.

patricia-tanPatricia Tan was born in England, and her career in international sales and marketing led her to live and work in many countries around the world before moving to Sarasota in 1997. Patricia is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), and Transnational Referral Certified (TRC). She is involved in global activities of the Sarasota, Florida and National Association of Realtors, and currently serves as NAR President’s Liaison to U.K. Her real estate business operates from Coldwell Banker on St Armands Key, where her focus is to bring international buyers to the local market. She regularly makes marketing trips to Canada, Asia and Europe, to promote Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Sarasota area in particular. Patricia may be reached at 941-504-9232 or Pat@PatriciaTan.com.

Copyright © 2018 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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