In the current investment climate, foreign real estate represents a more important opportunity than ever before, for both the investor and the retiree. Investing in property overseas is one of the best options available today for diversification (of market, of currency, and of asset type); for asset protection (it is difficult or impossible for a U.S. plaintiff or creditor to seize an apartment in Panama City, say, or a beachfront lot in Belize); for privacy (foreign real estate remains one of the few offshore assets a U.S. citizen is not required to report to the IRS); and for safe haven (a property investment overseas can double as a holiday home and an escape hatch). Like real estate anywhere, foreign property is a hard asset that, unlike stocks, for example, can't go to zero. Buy right, and you have something of intrinsic value that not only can benefit from capital appreciation over time and potentially throw off an annual yield, but that also can provide personal enjoyment for you and your family. That is, an investment in a piece of real estate in a foreign country is a chance for both profit and fun, and the most successful purchases are those where youre able to marry these two agendas. While investing in real estate overseas carries more important upside and advantages today than ever in our history, it also comes with particular and unexpected challenges and pitfalls. And, while many books have been written on how to invest in U.S. real estate with success, little credible information or advice has been published to help the small individual investor enter foreign markets safely and successfully.