BELIZE, August 31, 2014 – Belize’s year round warm climate makes it a number one vacation, and now retirement destination. The Qualified Retired Person’s Programme provides exemption from taxes on income and import duties for expats living in Belize, adding to its attractiveness that includes plenty of recreational options as well as daily familiarities, like an easy currency exchange, for Americans.
Following are 15 reasons to consider becoming an expat that makes Belize their new home away from home.
- There is no need to learn a new language before you move to Belize. Belize is a former British colony and while Spanish is commonly spoken, most in Belize are bilingual and most media, signs and documents are in English.
- If you have children, the schools are English speaking and highly regarded by locals and newcomers alike.
- Like Mexico, the U.S. dollar is still accepted nearly everywhere except for government offices. Currently, the Belize dollar is locked in at 2 BZD to 1 USD, so figuring costs is a snap.
- The Belize economy has a very low inflation rate when compared to the rest of the globe.
- Access to the internet and smart phone support is improving. Internet access and mobile phone service are still more expensive than in America, but this should change in the future as the infrastructure continues to improve and competitive pricing begins to set in. A way around this is to set up satellite services, which are available for only a little more than U.S. prices.
- Whereas many property investments are rapidly losing value in the U.S., property values are increasing in many areas of Belize.
- The legal system is familiar. Based on British law, incoming Americans are not confused by local legal standards as they are by other South American systems.
- There are no restrictions for foreigners who want to buy property in Belize. Whether you are a foreigner or a native, you have the same property rights and your property is securely yours unless you abandon it for 20 years or fail to pay taxes.
- It is much more affordable to live in Belize. Medical care, entertainment, gardening, insurance and property taxes all cost less in Belize than in the United States.
- Food is much more affordable, especially seafood and fresh produce which is available year round due to the tropical climate.
- Food is higher in quality. Beef is grass fed, chickens and eggs are free range and fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are cheap and available all year.
- Living in Belize is healthier. Those who retire in Belize report living a much healthier and more active lifestyle due to the availability of affordable fresh foods and beautiful climate which encourages physical activity.
- Belize real estate is much more affordable. Roughly $20,000 will buy a modest, prefabricated three bedroom house, fully equipped with plumbing and power. More substantial homes which are designed to handle the occasional severe storms will cost between $40 to $80 a square foot. If you are considering where to retire in Belize, the beach is affordable; with the cost of a waterfront lot runs from $40,000 to $110,000, a huge discount compared to southern California or Florida property. Rent runs around $400 a month for a decently sized home.
- You won’t get bored. Belize retirement homes offer plenty of exciting activities from exploring the great outdoors and ancient Maya ruins to making new friends. There is always something to do in Belize that provides far more interest than vegetating on a sofa in front of the TV.
- The natives are friendly. Belizeans put friends and family first, which creates a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. Many citizens of Belize have relatives in North America or have even lived there themselves, so they don’t mind giving tips or showing newcomers how to live or retire in Belize in style.