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#315055 - 12/17/08 11:38 PM Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris?
filmmaker ben Offline
Hey all,

I've been going through your forums compulsively for days, and it seems like you people are having WAY too much fun. A suspicious amount of fun, even. Frankly, I'm jealous.

My girlfriend and I have been looking for a place to move to in the Caribbean (or nearby), and a friend recommended I check out Ambergris. Everything I've read (both in this forum and elsewhere) makes me think Ambergris might be a great match for us--but I thought I'd ask you first: what do you feel are the downsides of living in Ambergris?

Thanks for your help!


#315056 - 12/17/08 11:45 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: filmmaker ben]
Moose In Belize Offline
That all depends on you and your expectations. Can you provide more information, such as age, occupation, financial situation, hobbies, etc.
Moose Keep an open mind and something good may fall in.

#315062 - 12/17/08 11:56 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Moose In Belize]
filmmaker ben Offline
Sure. We're mid-twenties, living in NYC, and currently doing all we can to save up before making the move.

Having been in NYC for a number of years, we're ready for a substantial change. We're avid snorkelers and scuba divers, and we realized on a vacation last year (Vieques) that, technically, we could actually LIVE on an island.

I don't expect dreamy paradise--we've spent enough time in the Caribbean to know how expensive utilities can be, how limited the grocery stores are, etc. That said, we would like a place where we don't feel like we're going to robbed (a luxury not all islands can offer).

Job-wise, we're flexible. I don't know the logistics of securing a job in Belize if you're a foreigner, but we're both fairly savvy and open to just about anything. And, as I mentioned before, we're currently saving up with the hope of not needing to secure work immediately.
Island Films | www.islandfilms.bz

#315068 - 12/18/08 01:29 AM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: filmmaker ben]
reaper Offline
A friend of mine, Alex, posts here as Caye Connect. He moved to Belize with his lovely wife from NYC a few years back. He's the guy to talk to.
As for what I have seen over the years it comes down to having a unique business, a big bank account and a very strong relationship.
A lot of people come to Belize without really knowing what they are getting in to.
Visit AC for a few times of up to a month or two first.
There are some great folks that have made it that post here and will probably pm you.

#315070 - 12/18/08 01:35 AM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: reaper]
Otteralum Offline
totally jealous. be diligent in your research and try before you buy. best of luck.
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

#315095 - 12/18/08 11:02 AM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Otteralum]
Tim Callanan Offline
Start now by reading "Don't stop the carnival" !
Tina's Island Life

#315101 - 12/18/08 01:39 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Tim Callanan]
Diane Campbell Offline
Also read "High Adventure".

Taking time off to have an adventure in your 20's is pretty fantastic and often allows you to be more grounded when you get serious about career and business etc.
It also can have the effect of postponing your financial plans & savings so that when you approach 60 you are faced with the fact that you can't retire.
It all comes down to the fact that if you play you pay.
Not unfair, but often unexpected.

#315107 - 12/18/08 02:27 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Diane Campbell]
Peter Jones Offline
There is also the other side that many people who either have retired or are approaching it, with their pension arrangements apparently secure, are finding that their supposed financial security is illusory.

Especially in today/s economic climate, spend it while you've got it, don't "invest" and don't save. Let the future take care of itself, because it will anyway. There is no guaranteed security any more - even "gold chip" banks have gone bust.

#315108 - 12/18/08 02:40 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Peter Jones]
Diane Campbell Offline
Not everbody plans a retirement with "pension".
If you are self-employed you make your own investments and plans, and the sooner you do the more room you have to make adjustment.
Saving is not a bad thing if done wisely - in fact it's an important part of planning. Even animals do it.

#315115 - 12/18/08 03:30 PM Re: Downsides of being an expat on Ambergris? [Re: Diane Campbell]
Peter Jones Offline
I'm using "pension" as a generic term. Far more people who've made "their own" arrangements have lost out recently, compared with those with established "pension" (ie. future annuity) arrangements, though they're also far from secure.

But what constitutes "wise"? It's clear that in America for one there's little effective regulation to rely on (I'm thinking of Madoff) so how much diligence must an individual apply?

A recession/depression/slump takes no prisoners.

Though none of this particularly applies to Ambergris Caye or indeed Belize. So far it appears to be a more stable and predictable environment than the major "first world" countries.

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