I’m always up for a good idea, and one recent bit of information that sparked my interest was the special report issued by Florida Tax Watch in April recommending the establishment of a retirement visa for foreigners as a way of helping revive Florida’s vital real estate industry. Citing the fact that Florida’s housing market contributed over $125 billion to the nation’s GDP in 2007, a move such as this one would make sure to revitalize our state’s stagnant economy. It would also improve our overall contribution to the nation’s economy, particularly since Florida has three times the percentage of foreign buyers as the United States as a whole.

Florida Tax Watch, a Tallahassee-based group devoted to “improving taxpayer value, citizen understanding and government accountability,” used an economic modeling analysis tool to estimate the impact such a retirement visa would have on Florida’s economy. It estimates that the move would increase home buying activities among non-nationals from the current 10 percent of all sales in Florida to 30 percent, creating, as many as 339,000 new jobs over ten years, and as many as 45,000 jobs in year one.

With the new Administration focused on new initiatives to stimulate and diversify the economy, this may be the perfect time for us to ask our Senators and Congressmen to initiate this new Retirement Visa and aid the recoveries of the U.S. and Florida. Write on.

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