The first site I encountered on retirement was which does state $2,000 but in the ton of other sites I encountered I seem to remember a few claiming ďupdatesĒ to that. I can make the $2000 but some of the ďupdatesĒ mentioned $1,000 if you are single. So far I havenít found an ďofficialĒ government site with specifics but since I could make the higher figure, itís just a point of interest. Of more interest to me is the reality of retirement. There was a site claiming you could get by on $450/month and a book on this if I wanted to spring for it. So, even if itís true for single people all you need to qualify is the $1,000 Iím curious how realistic that is.

As far as the ties are concerned, I have one brother in Alaska, a brother and aunt in Seattle, and my stepmother in Phoenix. I live in Florida. Thatís it. Trust me, you would have to hold a gun to my head to get me to Alaska (no offense Mike, I just HATE the cold) and I may spend as much as 5 days every two years or so in the other two locations for the holidays. Teeny family and itís only holidays I spend with them.

On expats, the only concern there is I wouldnít want to be isolated from them. Not knowing the communities other than what I read, it doesnít appear to be an issue. It seems the largest group is on AC but that seems to be the most expensive, too. Just curious there, too.

One of the BIG questions is: QRP or not QRP. I have no particular interest in working but I recognize I may have to. But thatís why Iím curious how realistic $1,000/month is. If it is realistic in say, Corozol, why would I want to work if I donít have to? Iím certainly not against contributing/volunteering and would expect to do something like that. QRP is only a question because of the exemption on duty, i.e. the boat. I know there are plenty of boats there but if I already have one, and I am the original owner, why buy something used there?

I lived in Panama for a while and itís just not near as good a place to hunt tarpon. I donít expect to do that 24/7 but itís the freedom to do so at that pace if I want that is the draw. I have plenty of other interests but if I canít do that Iíll keep looking.

One other question Iíll add at this point has to do with musical instruments. In my time in Central and South America I carted around a guitar and with no a/c it was rough on it. I know a lot of the hotels have a/c but how common is a/c for residents? I have a couple not so cheap instruments I canít live without but humidity can be an enemy.

Oh, and the reason I donít just stay here in Florida is that WITHOUT a job, it would be a struggle to make it on $2,000/month without selling the house. That IS an option but if I have to do that, why not Belize? The job market has been horrible and projections for 2003 are worse than 2002. With the declining market my rollover continues to lose value unless I annuitize real soon. Thus all the curiosity about Belize now instead of later.


Webster: "gonzo" = freewheeling or unconventional especially to the point of outrageousness