Forbes Magazine’s choice of Belize as a top retirement spot confirms the tiny Caribbean country’s reputation as not only a desirable place to visit, but as a great place to live, Chaa Creek’s business manager Peter Tonti said.
“It’s been a best kept secret, but the word is getting out that Belize is a great place to spend not only an affordable tropical holiday, but a happy and healthy retirement, too,” Mr Tonti said.
The current (November 2012) online edition of Forbes Magazine features Belize as one of “15 Top Foreign Retirement Havens.”
In its introduction, Forbes’ photo feature states that, “Living overseas is different from just visiting. Before you retire to a foreign country, consider not just the weather and cost of living, but also healthcare; safety; tax and visa requirements; and how friendly the country is to foreigners. Here are some possibilities,” and then goes on to list fifteen of what it considers the world’s best retirement choices.
The authoritative magazine, known for astute investment advice and articles on subjects such as international trade and monetary news, recommends Belize and said that, “Belize has tropical rain forests, mountains and beaches. As an incentive to retire there, it offers people 45 and older who have a retirement income of at least $2,000 per month, a tax exemption on all income generated (through work or investments) outside of Belize.”
Mr Tonti said there are also other factors that make Belize a desirable place to live. “If you’re smart, your money can go much further here than at home and you can enjoy a lifestyle that, to my mind, is priceless. The weather is almost perfect, regulated by the Caribbean breezes and a huge expanse of rainforest covering most of the country, so with annual temperatures averaging around 81°F (27°C) and not much fluctuation between seasons, it’s never too hot or too cold.
“English is the official language of Belize, so it’s very easy to get along in, and with the Belize dollar pegged to US currency at two Belize dollars to one greenback, and US dollars accepted everywhere, money is easy to work out.
“Land is abundant, and can be purchased by foreigners, so there are plenty of lifestyle options, from having your own farm, beachside condo or to living in one of the secure Belize retirement villages that are popping up around the country. And, with the US mainland a couple hours away, it’s easy for friends and relatives to come and go,” he said.
“In fact, one of our affordable, all-inclusive Belize Vacation packages would be by far the most efficient and most enjoyable way of checking Belize out. We can get you from the inland communities to those on the Caribbean coast and islands such as Ambergris caye with everything in-between during one seamless, casually luxurious holiday. And, because of our network of friends and colleagues and other resources, our packages are usually more affordable – and a lot easier – than doing it yourself,” he said.
Mr Tonti said that guests can get more information about Belize through online sources such as the Belize Travel Blog, BelizeFirst.com or the Belize Tourism Board website, and by contacting Chaa Creek directly.
“Many of us came here to visit and never left. I think if people come here with the intention of looking around, they’ll quickly see why,” he said.