Can I Buy Foreign Real Estate with my IRA or 401(k)?

Using Retirement to Buy Real Estate in Foreign Countries

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You know, a lot of people would like to buy property in other countries with their retirement funds and it’s just next to near-impossible using a custodian. Each country has their own rules. Some countries you have to be a member of a corporation in that country, maybe an attorney has to be part-owner– there’s all kinds of rules and regulations and the custodians just don’t want to be involved in that.

So with an IRA LLC, a checkbook IRA, or the solo 401(k) with an LLC attached to it, you are the manager and now if you are flying down to Belize, for example, and you want to buy that condo on the beach, then it’s the LLC doing the purchasing. So the LLC is the member in the foreign corporation or whatever you need to do. You have all the documents with you to sign, you’re the manager, you can wire the funds in there, you can open a foreign account while you’re there, buy precious metals while you’re there. It’s all available because the LLC is– you have that authority and the custodian, they just know that the LLC is owned by the IRA. What the LLC owns, as long as you stay within the operating agreement guidelines, is perfectly acceptable.

So the IRA LLC, the checkbook IRA, or our survival solo 401(k), are really the only two ways that you can own foreign real estate without a lot of red tape.