“Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

The looming retirement of some 40 million American baby boomers is about to make prime retirement real estate as rare as hens’ teeth … and worth a fortune. If you want to tap into this opportunity, the first thing you have to do, the Oxford Club experts say, is expand your mind … and your boundaries … a little.

In other words, think about buying property outside the United States. The idea is simple. Buy land today in some prime offshore location at $500 to $5,000 an acre. Ten years or so down the road, you should be able to sell some of it for up to $50,000 an acre to the boomers when they realize they can’t afford the retirement lifestyle they desire in the U.S. — and keep the rest as your own retirement haven.

As you probably know, MMF has already “locked in” his little corner of paradise at the Rancho Santana Resort in Nicaragua. (See Message  #640.) And I’m thinking of doing the same.

To me, this seems like a true win-win investment. Prime real estate — oceanfront lots in a location like Nicaragua, for example — can only go up in value as demand increases.

But the opportunities aren’t limited to Nicaragua. Rio de Janeiro also offers a great chance for big gains. Currency weakness there has caused the price of beachfront apartments to tumble … from roughly $40,000 about a year ago to roughly $10,000 today. In a few years, those same apartments could easily appreciate five or even 10 times.

And then there’s Panama City, Panama, where prices for prime residential properties have been basically unchanged since 1990. With Panama’s large population of expatriates, favorable banking and tax laws, and ideal climate, upscale apartments there will be a natural choice for boomers looking for places to settle.

But where do you get the information you need before investing offshore? You should always invest in what you know. And that can be a daunting task if you’re thinking about buying real estate in Nicaragua, Panama City, or Rio.

It makes good sense to visit any offshore locale before buying. It also makes sense to talk to experts … and get expert help on such matters as tax consequences and any legal wrinkles involved in buying offshore property.

The Oxford Club offers guidance in these areas. So does International Living, a monthly newsletter filled with information about offshore investments and retirement locales.

Investing in offshore real estate is an opportunity well worth investigating today — even if you’re not yet ready to actually do it.

Just don’t wait too long.