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#469130 - 07/28/13 11:26 AM Belize – A Retirement Destination
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Retiring Way, Way South of the Border

When Steven and Robin Fine started searching for a place in Latin America to spend their early retirement, they looked at spots in Mexico and Costa Rica, both popular destinations for American retirees. On a trip two years ago, they decided to stop by Panama, too.

"We thought we would like Panama the least," Mr. Fine, 51 years old, a former communications executive said, "but we liked it the best."

The combination of luxury apartment buildings, good restaurants and modern hospitals drew the couple to Panama City, where 1½ years ago they spent $1.1 million, plus about $250,000 on renovations, on a 48th-floor penthouse with a view of the Pacific. It is now their full-time home.

The Central American nations of Panama, Belize and Nicaragua are increasingly competing with Costa Rica and Mexico for North American retirees and second-home buyers. New luxury developments, outfitted with spas, restaurants, marinas and golf courses, are on the rise. Builders say they are using more high-end materials and adding upscale amenities designed to appeal to affluent American buyers.

These countries offer packages of residency and breaks on taxes and fees that imitate Costa Rica's pensionado program, which was introduced in 1971 and helped set the groundwork for a boom in retiree emigration from North America. Nicaragua added such a law in 2009, offering foreigners with retirement incomes tax breaks on everything from cars to construction materials. Last year, Panama, which has a long-established retiree program, created a path to citizenship for retirement residents and introduced a new residency program for people under retirement age that has lowered requirements for investment in property, business and other ventures.

"The message of this law is simple," said Panama City-based attorney Manoj Chatlani of Panama Offshore Legal Services. "It's 'Come to Panama.' "

The number of Americans who collect Social Security in Panama jumped 65% to 2,164 between 2006 and 2011, the latest year for which there is information. In Nicaragua, the figure more than doubled in the same period, from 595 to 1,322. Belize's number, too tiny for the Social Security Administration to track in years past, was 560 in 2011.

Panama's explosive growth—gross domestic product increased by an average of 8.5% annually since 2008, according to International Monetary Fund estimates—has drawn American workers and businesses to Panama City over the past decade. Now, local developers are courting another population, focusing on building amenity-rich planned communities outside the city to appeal to North American retirees.

Boquete, a town about 40 miles from the Costa Rican border, offers high-end gated communities, an established expat community, cool mountain temperatures and tropical-rainforest landscape. Justin Harper, co-owner of Playa Chiquita Development Corp., is developing about 200 acres of virgin land 20 miles east of Boquete. The community, Bella Vista del Mundo, has 76 lots and plans for a boutique hotel, spa, pools, tennis courts and horseback trails. Single-family homes with mountaintop and Pacific Ocean views can be built by the developer for about $400,000.

David Hatton Urriola, 43, moved to Boquete three years ago from Kansas and set up Panama Connection Real Estate, which provides tours, relocation help and real-estate sales to expats. Among properties he is currently marketing is a 6,716-square-foot house on 34 acres, once used as the summer home of Panama's military leader, Manuel Noriega, who is serving a 20-year sentence in El Renacer prison in Panama City. The house, listed at $2.3 million, is a 25-minute drive from where an international airport is being expanded.

On the east side of Panama City, a 700-acre community called Santa Maria Golf & Country Club is being built to include 4,000 colonial-style houses, townhouses and condominiums, and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus's company. The homes, yet to be completed, sell for about $278 a square foot, a "top price" in Panama City, said Kent Davis, broker at Panama Equity Real Estate.

"Santa Maria is a product that hadn't existed in Panama before: the luxury suburban community—more American-style larger lots," Mr. Davis said. Most pre-delivery buyers have been Panamanians; local agents say they expect American interest to rise as the development nears completion in five to 10 years.

Belize, a small, English-speaking nation with a population of about 330,000, has been popular for years as a scuba-diving and ecotourism destination. High-end properties had to be custom-built until the early 2000s, when developers started putting up "single homes here and there," said Hugo Moguel, president of the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize, which is launching the country's first multiple-listing service in August.

Now, developers are attempting to sell Belize as a luxury-living place to retire. New developments include Sanctuary Belize, a 14,000-acre development slated for completion in three years that will have 2,000 residential lots, 250 condominiums and townhouses, and a 220- to 250-slip marina. The buildings' poured-concrete construction meets Dade County, Fla., hurricane-resistant standards, said Luke Chadwick, a partner in Eco-Futures Development. Developer financing is available.

Of the 600 lots Sanctuary has sold so far, 80% of them have been to Americans, he said. The core demographic is "50 to 65 year olds, either in retirement or planning for retirement," Mr. Chadwick added. Lot prices range from $149,000 to $1 million for an acre overlooking the Caribbean, he said.

Tom and Tricia Herskowitz moved into their 7,000-square-foot compound in Sanctuary this past September, lured by the boat slip and Caribbean access. "The fact that the country is English speaking and is a Commonwealth country was attractive to us," said Mr. Herskowitz, 68, a retired executive and business-school professor.

Amid growing tourism—and aided by the lowering of a foreigner transaction tax in 2006—there has been a boom in luxury-condo developments, especially on the island of Ambergris Caye, popular with expats.

"There are beachfront condos going up that are going to feature elevators, which didn't exist in Belize before. Most of the buyers are baby boomers and they are aging," said Dmitri Ioudine, owner of Coldwell Banker Ambergris Caye Ltd. Local builders say building materials have improved as local suppliers bring in higher-end materials.

Despite their inroads with American retirees, these countries still don't attract the same numbers as more established destinations, such as Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2011, more than 50,000 Americans collected Social Security in Mexico and more than 5,000 in Costa Rica. But Mexico's well-publicized drug war and escalating violence are starting to push Americans to look at new places for retirement.

Central America, however, has its own problems with crime. The U.S. Department of State labeled the crime rate in Nicaragua "critical" and the murder rate in Belize "extremely high," though concentrated in Belize City and not in tourist areas. In Costa Rica, petty crime such as theft and "smash and grab" muggings have increased in the past couple of years, along with home invasions.

In Panama, murders and gun violence have decreased in recent years, but reported rape and theft have increased. "Panama remains relatively safe when compared with other Central American countries, yet crime rates are higher than one would encounter in most of the United States," says the State Department's 2013 report.

Dan Prescher, who leads conferences by International Living, a provider of information for people interested in retiring abroad, says urban crime rates can exaggerate safety issues in other areas of a country. Still, he warns that public security isn't always adequate in the region.

Nicaragua is the latest country to attempt to grab North American interest. In Guacalito de la Isla, a 16,070-acre coastal development—with 600 residences, a pool, restaurant and gym—is under construction. A two-hour drive from Managua's international airport, the project includes a plan to open a small airport by 2015. The first homes—28 single-family houses—will be turned over to owners in September. The four-bedroom, four-bath pool houses sold for between $700,000 and $750,000, said Jeff Lawrence, director of real estate. A luxury hotel-resort on the property, Mukul, opened in January and has helped boost sales, he said.

"The buyers right now are 85% Nicaraguan and 15% U.S. based," Mr. Lawrence said. "There is an education hurdle for us to convince people that Nicaragua is safe and is a tropical paradise."

Wall Street Journal


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#469131 - 07/28/13 11:30 AM Re: Belize – A Retirement Destination [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

A secure, comfortable retirement is every hard worker’s dream. But, retirement can be a very costly and nerve racking experience if not planned properly. In many countries, a person may work for 40 years or more and still not be able to retire because they could not set aside money in a retirement fund. The U.S. allows workers to contribute to a 401K or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which ensures that there are funds set aside for the golden years. However, if there is no plan for the retirement funds after, the funds can last just a short time.

Proper planning involves deciding how and where you will live after you reach retirement age.  It is about choosing the right type of investment that will ensure your sustainability for the rest of your life. In most cases, it is all about living in your version of paradise.  If you’ve started thinking about your perfect retirement destination, well Belize should be your number 1 choice.

Belize offers many perks as the ideal retirement destination. Apart from having English as its primary language and being a key location to the rest of the world, it is a piece of paradise or as we often refer to it “mother nature’s best kept secret”. Belize provides a little something for everyone.

The location in the country you decide to retire in will determine the type of lifestyle and pace you want whether it be laid back or hectic.  In places like Punta Gorda, time seems to stand still, while in Belize City, life moves a bit faster. There are parts of the country that offers retirees the options to spend their days fishing, diving and sailing.  Then there are those who prefer to remain on the mainland closer to the unexplored Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, waterfalls and natural rainforests. The beauty about retiring in Belize, is the fact that you don’t have to compromise one for the other. You can experience the fast pace, slow pace, island life and mainland hustle; as they are all just a stone’s throw away from each other.

If you are considering Belize as your perfect retirement destination, here are a few tips that can help you when doing your retirement plan:

1. One of the nicest things about Belize is the weather. With an average yearly temperature of 84° F (29°C), it’s always warm, yet comfortable. Coastal sea breezes, as well as our jungle and rainforests keep you cool even in the hottest summer months while winters can be cool but never very cold.

2. The cost of living in Belize is very low, thus a retired couple with US$2,000 a month can live very comfortably and still have a great lifestyle in Belize. The fixed exchange rate is US$1.00 to BZ$2.00, which allows any couple to live a normal life on a much smaller income especially if they have already purchased a home in Belize.

3. Belize offers those who are considering retirement in Belize, the Qualified Retired Persons “QRP” Program.  This is a special program that offers those who are retiring in Belize many special benefits such as:

  1. No taxes on income generated outside of Belize
  2. Duty free import of personal and household effects
  3. Duty free import of one vehicle, light aircraft and boat

To be designated a Qualified Retired Person under the program, applicants must receive a monthly income of nothing less than US$2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize. To keep your “Qualified Retired Person” (QRP) status, you must spend just one month of the year in Belize.

4. Health care is affordable in Belize. There are several hospitals throughout the country. Belize City offers you the choice between public and private hospitals. In most cases, medication and treatment for common minor illnesses are quite inexpensive. However, for specialized treatment of chronic illnesses, many expats travel to neighboring Guatemala or Mexico, or even fly back home to make use of their health insurance plans.

5. Some retirees are fortunate enough to retire early and are still quite business savvy. If you are interested in starting a business in Belize, the requirements are fairly straightforward and the benefits are endless. Agriculture, tourism, citrus, banana, sugar, manufacturing, and oil are all industries that are outstanding in Belize. So a retired investor has many options to choose from if they choose to invest in a small business.

6. Belize has affordable parcels of land. Seafront properties which are the most expensive type of properties can be found for as little as US$10,000 depending on where it’s located.  Inland properties are cheaper and are often sold in larger quantities. There are also developments such as Sanctuary Belize, Grand Belizean Estates, Carmelita Belize, and Orchid Bay that offers land and homes for sale giving you the opportunity to get a head start on your retirement or vacation home. Prices in Belize are generally much lower than many parts of the world such as the United States, Canada and Europe.

7. Belize is also a banking haven.  It is one of the easiest places in the world to open an offshore account. If you are planning your retirement in Belize it is advisable to open an offshore bank account to enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.  An offshore account will allow you to maintain  your funds in USD and it can also assist in providing you financing for land or for building your ideal retirement home.

8. You can also retire feeling secure that your assets are fully protected. Belize has become a premier jurisdiction for asset-protection trusts. So you can relax and enjoy your golden years knowing that your assets will remain protected for your loved ones.

Belize has become one of the most desirable retirement destinations in the world, not only because of its climate and beauty, but for its affordable cost of living. Are you interested in retiring in Belize? If so, we can help.

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#473732 - 10/01/13 10:53 AM Re: Belize – A Retirement Destination [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire

Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere's longest barrier reef -- a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture.

For many people, Belize is only the white sand beaches of the popular island of Ambergris Caye, with its world-class fishing, diving, and snorkeling. But Belize has so much more to offer.

Let's start with a little history and geography...

Belize was known as British Honduras until 1973, and the country gained full independence from Great Britain in 1981. It's bordered on the north by Mexico and on the west by Guatemala, and both neighbors have played large parts in Belizean history. For example, because mestizo refugees from Mexico's caste wars came to Belize in the 1800s, Spanish is almost as common as English in Belize's northernmost districts.

Thanks to its colonial roots with Great Britain, Belize is an English-speaking country, and that helps make it a perennial favorite with both tourists and expats, many of whom consider Belize to be one of the best overseas retirement destinations in the world.

In fact, Belize is a great place to retire if you're not comfortable learning a new language. Depending where and how in Belize you choose to live, your monthly budget may range from about $2,000 per month and up.

(By the way, the going rate for household help in Belize is $2 to $3 an hour. It's very affordable to hire someone to clean your house, work in your garden, cook for you, or do household maintenance work.) So if you're thinking of starting a business in Belize that requires employees, you needn't worry about expensive labor costs.

As for health care, most expats choose to go to nearby Chetumal or Mérida in Mexico for major health issues, but we've heard increasingly good reports from expats in Belize about local health care.

Belize offers a national public health care system that legal residents can take advantage of. This provides you access to services and care offered by public hospitals. You'll find these public hospitals in every district. There are good-sized private hospitals in Belize City, and you can purchase private health insurance to be treated there. The cost of your policy will depend on whether you also opt for international and/or U.S. coverage.

Belize isn't huge... only 8,800 square miles, but it's blessed with 149 miles of Caribbean coastline, all of it protected by the second largest barrier reef system in the world... the source of the country's fame as a fishing, diving and snorkeling paradise.

There are only a little more than 300,000 people in Belize, and that gives the entire country a distinctly small town feel. Even Belize City, the largest population center in the country, has just a little over 70,000 people. And 40 percent of Belize's population is 15 years of age or younger, so there's a youthful energy everywhere you go.

There are other factors that contribute to Belize's popularity. It's close to the US and Canada--just a two-and-a-half hour flight from Miami. The Belize dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar two to one, so currencies conversion issues are easy and never vary. And the U.S. dollar is freely accepted anywhere in the country.

It's easy to buy real estate in Belize. There are no restrictions on non-citizens owning property and no capital gains taxes, although you will pay a transfer tax, also known as a stamp tax, usually about 5 percent of the property's value. Annual property taxes are also very low, usually anywhere from $50 to $300 or so, depending on the value of your property.

It's easy to open a bank account in Belize -- there are several to choose from... and most pay interest rates of up to 6 percent on U.S. dollar deposits.

Another reason for Belize's popularity is its politically stability... politics, in fact, is a national pastime here. Remember, the country is only 30 years old and the population is small. It's easy to run into your political representatives on the street and share your opinions with them. And in Belize, everyone has a good-natured opinion about politics!

Belize's court system is based on British common law, familiar to most of us. And unlike the rest of Latin America, measurements here are in inches, feet, miles, and acres -- so no metric conversions are necessary. Put all these things together, and it's no wonder that Belize gets so much attention from people looking for someplace with great weather, lots of activities, and a lower cost of living than they had back home.

Huffington Post


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#474521 - 10/09/13 11:19 AM Re: Belize – A Retirement Destination [Re: Marty]
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Belize: Two Of The Most Popular Retirement Spots

Ambergris Caye is Belize's top tourist destination. And it's easy to see why. Turquoise waters, swaying palms... And the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere. The reef system is home to an underwater sinkhole called the Great Blue Hole, and to hundreds of other idyllic islands, snorkel and dive locations. And Ambergris Caye is the jumping off point to it all.

If you love water sports, this is the place for you. If you're a fisherman, you can hook a pretty big fish in these waters, but be warned that you may be hooked yourself. A growing number of foreigners are calling this island... and nearby Caye Caulker... home.

The larger of these two islands, Ambergris Caye is Belize's center for ocean sports during the day and for partying at night. It's the largest of the 200-plus islands off the country's coast. Most of the island's 12,000 residents (about one-third of which are expats) live in San Pedro, the only town on the island.

Don't worry -- it's easy to find your way around town. The three primary streets are called Front, Middle, and Back Street. And along them you'll find shops and businesses, and lots of fun bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Getting to the island is easy, too. You can take a ferry from the mainland for $15 one-way from Belize City and $22.50 from Corozal. The island is also serviced by hourly scheduled flights from Belize City's international and municipal airports and from Corozal. Flights take just 15 to 20 minutes and offer a breathtaking view of the Caribbean, including lots of little deserted islands.

The San Pedro airport is in the middle of town and it's easy to get from there to wherever you're going... either on foot or by taxi or by golf cart, the preferred means of on-land transportation.

What's life on the island like? No shirt, no shoes, no problem is the unofficial slogan here, if that gives you an idea...

For good or bad, development is well underway. New hotels and residential communities continue to be built both south and north of town. North Ambergris, separated from the south by a river channel, and now with a new bridge, is starting to achieve critical mass. Previously totally off the grid, there is now electrical power.

The new hotels are very up-market. It's not unusual to pay $400 per night or more in high season. And remember, everything is imported, including food... except fish, of course. For sure, this is not a backpacker island. Items in the grocery stores and the upscale wine shops are expensive... you may get sticker shock. Liquor and wine will cost you twice what it costs at home, although local rum is affordable -- usually less than $10 a fifth. And the local Belikin beer is inexpensive and tasty.

The march of progress has been good to San Pedro in that there is now a new medical clinic. The San Pedro Polyclinic II, on Manta Ray Drive, was opened thanks to the long-time efforts of the San Pedro Lions Club. There are several other clinics on the island, too, as well as pharmacies and doctor's offices, although for any serious medical issue you'll need to go to a hospital in Belize City or to nearby Chetumal in Mexico.

A couple of other things to know about life on the island: the climate is sub-tropical. Weather is much like south Florida, and most of the year, temperatures will range from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Offshore breezes add to the comfort level, although it can be humid. But it never freezes or frosts.

And yes, Belize is in the hurricane zone. Hurricane season is roughly June through November, although September and October are the most likely months for hurricanes. Still, if it's of any comfort, the statistical odds of a hurricane hitting Belize are less than for the U.S.

So how much does it cost to live on Ambergris Caye? Ambergris Caye is the most expensive address in Belize. But still, it should cost you less to live here than most anywhere in the US, Canada, or Europe. If it were us, we'd budget $3,000 to $3,500 a month to live here comfortably, including rent of $1,200 a month.

If you choose to live on neighboring smaller island of Caye Caulker, your monthly budget will probably be lower -- perhaps as much as one-third less.

There's really not much to spend money on in Caye Caulker. Aside from a few gift shops, shopping is limited. For groceries, probably Chan's Mini-Mart, down from the public pier, is the largest. For medical care, a doctor and nurse are on duty at the Medical Clinic. Atlantic Bank offers an ATM machine. Restaurants and bars tend to be more casual and less expensive on Caye Caulker, too. And this is exactly why some people prefer this island--it's still a charming, laidback small village atmosphere with a Caribbean vibe.

Only about 1,400 people live on Caye Caulker. And the tourists who go there are definitely more of the budget, backpacker variety. Bicycles or walking are the preferred modes of transportation on this tiny island. And restaurants and bars, as we said, are definitely low-key.

What about crime? There's not much to be afraid of on either Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye. Most crimes are petty theft or crimes of convenience so it makes sense to take care of your things and not to flash large amounts of cash or jewelry. Ambergris Caye has seen rising crime levels as more tourists come to the island. Unfortunately, that happens everywhere in the world. Just use common sense, and as with any place, you'll quickly learn the areas to avoid.

Both islands are a delight. We've been traveling here for nearly 25 years now and we always love our visits. But island living isn't for everyone. But if you love the water and want to be just a couple of hours from the U.S. by air in a place where the mantra really is "no shoes, no shirt, no problem," this very well could be your place.

Huffington Post


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#478955 - 12/04/13 10:26 AM Re: Belize – A Retirement Destination [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

3 Places To Live The American Retirement Dream Overseas

Perhaps you like the idea of stretching your retirement dollars as far as possible (who doesn't?) and reducing your cost of living and of health care, while at the same time enriching and enhancing your quality of life, but you're not up for learning a new language or putting up with the day-to-day challenges and frustrations of life in the developing world. Fair enough. "Going local," as it were, in a new life overseas, isn't for everyone.

That doesn't have to mean that you have to give up on the idea of enjoying the benefits of retiring to a new country. In a handful of places that have emerged in recent years as top expat havens, it's possible to enjoy many of the advantages of being retired overseas without having to cross over to what could be called a "local" lifestyle. These are places where the American lifestyle has been exported and where the day-to-day living probably resembles in many ways what you left behind back home.

Here are three top choices for exporting the American Dream with you when you retire overseas, three places where sizable communities of foreign, mostly American, retirees have established themselves and are rapidly expanding. Living in one of these three places, you could enjoy affordable and top-quality health care, an affordable cost of living, and the adventure of starting over somewhere new, but you wouldn't have to learn to speak Spanish if you didn't want to and the culture shock would be very controlled.

#2: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

"Walk down the street on Ambergris Caye," a friend, Peter, who lives there says, "and you hear the music of the Boomers all around--the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin...

"These folks, the Baby Boomers, who have been moving onto the island in growing numbers for years," Peter continues, "had a great time in the 1960s, listening to their music, growing their hair long, and getting stoned all the time. Then they became the most boring people on the planet. They made a lot of money by ignoring everything but hard work.

"Now they're looking to reclaim their lives. They're finding their way, in retirement, in bigger and bigger numbers, to places like Ambergris Caye, Belize, where they're listening to their music again, growing their hair long again, and spending their days stoned again."

Peter is joking about that last bit, but the point is that Ambergris Caye has what a lot of North American retirees are looking for right now, making it another of the most turn-key and user-friendly places in the world to retire overseas.

For many, the retirement dream is all about the Caribbean. If your retirement fantasies are similarly aquamarine and sandy, take a look at what Ambergris has to offer. The diving and snorkeling, the color and clarity of the water, and the abundance and variety of the sea life here are hard to beat. This is quintessential Caribbean that is also increasingly supported by the comforts of home many retirees appreciate, from a health club to bagel shops, ice cream parlors, and regular wine tastings.

Huffington Post


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#495212 - 09/01/14 10:54 AM Re: Belize – A Retirement Destination [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Belize climate and tax advantages make it a retirement destination

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.

  1. 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.
  2. If you have children, the schools are English speaking and highly regarded by locals and newcomers alike.
  3. 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.
  4. The Belize economy has a very low inflation rate when compared to the rest of the globe.
  5. 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.
  6. Whereas many property investments are rapidly losing value in the U.S., property values are increasing in many areas of Belize.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Food is much more affordable, especially seafood and fresh produce which is available year round due to the tropical climate.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

By Larry Waight, Communities Digital News


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