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US News piece on retiring in Belize

Posted By: iluvbelize

US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 04:28 PM

Originally Posted by Yahoo! Finance
How to Retire Comfortably for Under $1,500 a Month

Jason and Elizabeth Pearce moved from Canada to Belize three years ago. They bought a piece of property on the sea. A year later, they built a house. Today, they live in a beautiful Santa Fe adobe-style home with gardens all around.

The pair lives very comfortably, without wants or financial worries. They've had no trouble making friends in their new community because the folks in Belize speak English. They eat out three or four times a week. They barbecue lobster and filet mignon at home. They have reliable Internet to keep them connected to the outside world. By choice, they do not have a television. "I used to think that the news was important," Jason explains. "But not anymore." The retired couple has a maid and a gardener, each of whom visit once a week.

And here's the best part. Jason and his wife are living on their Social Security income alone. In fact, they're living on Jason's Social Security income alone. Elizabeth's Social Security check goes into savings each month.

Everyone's spending habits are different, but here's a sample monthly budget for a couple living a comfortable expatriate lifestyle in Belize:

--Rent: $300
--Utilities, telephone, and Internet: $500 (Your biggest expense in this country.)
--Groceries: $150
--Health insurance: $50
--Entertainment: $100
--Car expenses: $300

One of the most appealing things about Belize as an overseas retirement choice is that it can make sense even if you're nowhere near conventional retirement age. Through Belize's Qualified Retired Persons program you can establish foreign residency as young as age 40.

Belize is a beautiful little country. It's a peaceful, eco-tourist retreat home to more than 540 species of birds, 4,000 species of flowering plants, and 700 kinds of trees. Nearly 40 percent of the country is protected as parkland and natural preserves. Belize boasts the second-largest barrier reef in the world. This incredible underwater resource teems with colorful fish, coral, and unusual marine life, making the waters off this country's coast a fisherman's and diver's paradise.

Despite all these natural attractions, Belize has managed to remain largely off the world's radar. It's a small country of about 350,000 people. It's also a young country, having gained independence from Great Britain in 1981. There are a lot of market niches waiting to be filled. Living here, you'll discover that life can be not only super affordable, comfortable, and adventure-filled, but also full of potential.

Retirees in Belize are finding many interesting and sometimes lucrative ways to fill their days. Lara Lennon moved to Belize from Philadelphia in 2006 and developed a luxury swimwear line, Lemon Crush Belize. "Sitting on a friend's porch in San Pedro chatting about this and that in our tropical lives, I realized something: There existed nowhere in Belize a place to shop for dress bathing suits, the kind glamorous enough for a beach wedding or special enough for a honeymoon," Lennon says.

Lara's swimwear is now featured in luxury boutiques in Belize and internationally. Starting a business takes drive and determination, Lara admits, but she has found the experience in Belize rewarding. "Best of all, I'm right where I want to be--with my friends on a Caribbean island, enjoying life," Lennon says. "Only now in better bathing suits."

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/How-to-Retire-Comfortably-for-usnews-2643852806.html?x=0


Gives a nod to Lara too. Can't say I agree with the monthly budget for a couple LOL. But I do agree that its a beautiful place to retire!
Posted By: Mary1220

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 04:36 PM

Yes it depends on how you live.
If you live in SP I would recommend at least double that.
I have issues with these international magazines advertising places to retire for so cheap most of them are giving a budget for an 18 year old back packer. Most people that retire want to have a decent place to live and eat out a few times a week.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 05:34 PM

Amen Mary ....... $50 a month for medical insurance was a strange item - and $150 a month for groceries for two ...... sorry, not realistic unless you live on a farm with your own chickens etc.
Posted By: belizeonthebeach

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 05:35 PM

I want the $50 per month health insurance deal.
Posted By: Mary1220

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 05:58 PM

I think they are using prices if you live in the jungle and eat leaves and berries.
Posted By: belizeonthebeach

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 06:10 PM

That has to be a 1/4 m $ piece of beachfront property minimum not including the house and pool.
I doubt if you could rent that for $300 a month.
Maybe they meant $3000?
Posted By: Mary1220

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 06:31 PM

No they mean $300 that is why so many people come to SP or other parts of BZ stay only a few months then return home. Most come under the impression they are going to retire on $1,500 a month and are disappointed. I have read many retirement magazines and all give an unreal view of most places to retire. I have NO idea why they do this.
Posted By: JZB

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/13/10 06:42 PM

I don't remember it saying in the article these people live on Ambergris. Maybe they live in a tent in a swamp somewhere on the mainland and raise their own cows for fillet mignon? smile
Posted By: seashell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:09 AM

They obviously aren't into having any cocktails either.
Posted By: belizeonthebeach

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:11 AM

JZB---they did say San Pedro at the end of the article.
Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:26 AM

This Peddicord woman is the one that pedals this crap through "international living' with ridiculous stories about Panama, Uruguay and most any other place you can imagine.
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:26 AM

LOL SS smile
Posted By: Viking

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:46 AM

I read this also, funny thing is I have been thinking about moving there for a while so it really through me off. What I am trying to find is what the actual average rent is for an average place there in SP. I have looked at some places, prior to this article, so I was wondering where in the heck they were living.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:55 AM

Average? What is that?
Range from US$35 per week to US$5,000 per week
Take your pick
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 02:10 AM

Yer a big freaking help jesse, try to offer some ideas
Posted By: JZB

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 02:23 AM

Originally Posted by belizeonthebeach
JZB---they did say San Pedro at the end of the article.


I didn't see that. The article also says they go out to eat 3 or 4 times a week. ha ha! I do like the buzz this is giving the country though. Everyone's website is getting hit like crazy today!
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 03:13 AM

I suppose if you want to live in a shanty shack in DFC or squat in San Mateo you could do it. If you are looking for running water / indoor plumbing (never mind air conditioner) you might be in for a shocker....
Posted By: Short

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/14/10 12:15 PM

Retiring in Belize is relatively cheap for some

In the tourism world, Belize is well known as a small piece of paradise, with its beautiful cayes, Maya temples, diverse cultures, as well as exotic fauna and flora. We came across an article on Yahoo Finance, naming Belize as one of the top, most affordable places to retire comfortably. The article shares the story of a couple, Jason and Elizabeth Pearce, who moved to Belize from Canada three years ago. While Elizabeth’s social security funds go to their savings, the Pearce’s have since purchased land on one of the cayes and built a beautiful home using only Jason’s social security income. Apart from affordability, the article highlights Belize’s natural beauty which encompasses hundreds of bird, plant, tree species, a large number of protected areas, including the marine life inside the world’s second largest barrier reef.

http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/36933
Posted By: daejeon

US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/19/10 03:50 PM

Yes, San Pedro is mentioned here:

Retirees in Belize are finding many interesting and sometimes lucrative ways to fill their days. Lara Lennon moved to Belize from Philadelphia in 2006 and developed a luxury swimwear line, Lemon Crush Belize. "Sitting on a friend's porch in San Pedro chatting about this and that in our tropical lives, I realized something: There existed nowhere in Belize a place to shop for dress bathing suits, the kind glamorous enough for a beach wedding or special enough for a honeymoon," Lennon says.

Posted By: LaraTravelBelize

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/21/10 08:17 PM

yes, but it doesnt say the couple lived here, nor does it say the prices are in San Pedro. In actuality, the article is an excerpt from a book, and when it was sorta pasted together, they didnt transition that part.

Also, if you own your own home outright, a single person can retire on $1500 a month. You'll live frugally, but it's possible. I suppose the assumption of home ownership is incorporated?

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/21/10 10:53 PM

This article said that TWO people live on 1,500 a month ..... but apparently they do not insure their car or their "Santa Fe Adobe Style" house on the beach, nor do they wear glasses or go to the dentist. And they must be nudists, as they have no budget for clothes and shoes.

I'm sure they don't live on AC. We would definitely notice naked, toothless old people driving a car.

Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 01:46 AM

This subject has gone on for too long. Between the board and facebook, most of the posts are ours. Don't you get it compadres? There are people trying to scam us. I even got a personal message about this on my facebook. I asked them where they got my name and address and it was about that Expats Blog. That blog seems to be from some real estate concern inland. I would suggest that some of our very smart board administrators dump this thread
Posted By: SimonB

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 02:31 AM

Why? It's fun to see what some people will believe but then they get the reality when they read the message board so they don't get screwed over...
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 02:33 AM

Poor Gwen..suffering over so many problems....
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 02:39 AM

Get a grip.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 03:16 AM

The message board doesn't give reality as there are editors that sanitize it.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/22/10 04:08 AM

crazy
Posted By: tcoats

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 06:34 PM

Check out Lan Sluder's book about retiring in Belize. He very clearly breaks down the living expenses for a few different monthly price points, based on where you want to live, how many times a week you want to eat out, size and location of house, etc. His book clearly shows that it is much more affordable to retire on the mainland, in say Corozal, than on the expensive island. He points out that everything is cheaper on the mainland than on the island, including housing, food, services, etc. And the close proximity of Corozal, or points in northern Belize, to the Mexico border, is advantageous to retirees. Maybe the US News piece wasn't concentrating, or even referring per se, to Ambergris Caye prices. We all know the island runs on tourist prices. And why assume they were talking about the island? Some of us tend to think of AC AS Belize, when really AC is a very small part of the country of Belize as a whole. It is very conceivable that a couple could live on the mainland for $1500 US a month if they lived modestly. Using a meal as an example: when you can have a nice lunch of tacos or stewed chicken for $3 on the mainland, or a nice lobster or shrimp dinner at a nice restaurant in SP for $20, the savings really add up over a month's time.
Posted By: Cybercayecaulker.com

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 07:55 PM

The confusing thing about the article was that the writer used people like Lara, who live in San Pedro as example, and the photos definitely look like Ambergris Caye. The numbers they state don't work though for AC, but the reader doesn't know it. Those are definitely Corozal prices. As an example, I went into a Chinese restaurant in Corozal with a friend last week and ordered a chicken chow mein for $3 U.S. The same dish would be $6-8 U.S. on Caye Caulker for a smaller portion. So, it really is possible for 2 people (who don't drink or go out to eat much, or live on AC or CC) to live in Belize for $1500 U.S., but most of us spend way more for the lifestyle. I don't think most people who say they are clamouring to get here are really really ready to live in the 3rd world. They might think they are, but the reality of it is not as glamorous as the photos show.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 08:18 PM

This is all so correct. It never changes. One gets what they pay for. I would like it if this board promotes the idea above. This is the third world, even a frontier as some have called it. You can't build a poshy, posh condo, and pretend the world around you is posh.
Posted By: elbert

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 08:43 PM

yep.
I think this subject irritates everyone so much because were all a little miffed about prices we pay for things in San Pedro.
but my reality is I can retire on Social Security from the US if I'm a careful shopper and change my style a little.
I own my home ,its paid for, I'm also in the Belizean Social Security system and a citizen, don't have or need a car or car insurance.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 08:59 PM

I agree Elbert, Datallmon isn't retired yet, but hopefully, if we planned it right, we will be in the same position too. We are still divesting and paying down the house here. We are even looking for an inexpensive getaway place for cool summers.
None the less, most people are not in a position to do this....even though they think they can. The numbers add up.
Sometimes it isn't even the money...several couples have left here because it is hard on the women...shopping for decent food, cooking while sweating, the dirt, and just negotiating for basics gets to them. And, Jesse, my sheep farm in the States was harder...so drop your position...poor Gwen, so many problems...
Posted By: elbert

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 09:29 PM

I might add I'm HappyHappyHappy!
That counts for so much, this isn't the life for everyone. I often want to tell complainers to just f*&%in go back home, it pains the rest of us to listen to them.
International Living did a story on me and my experience here, it was exaggerated but basically true.
Designed to encourage people to chase their dreams and with no warning of the high percent of crash and burns.
I suspect some expeditors lurk in the shadows of this waiting to make a few bucks on the pilgrims.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 09:45 PM

Originally Posted by elbert

I often want to tell complainers to just f*&%in go back home, it pains the rest of us to listen to them.

Amen! Some people never stop complaining..about every little thing...and spread their misery all over the island.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:00 PM

Well , Jesse, you have accused me of complaining before, but if you look at what I have written, I'm not complaining. I'm just providing information. It really sounds, yet again, you are the one doing the complaining. So, I guess, you are the one spreading misery, all over the Island.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:06 PM

Gwen, I wasn't thinking of you particularly. After 18 years I know lots of people here. You need to get over yourself!
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:15 PM

Don't you realize if you are complaining about complainers, you are a complainer? I am so over myself... but if you would please explain those totally out of the blue " Poor Gwen" posts lately, I'll get over being dissed by you. By the way, Dave was joking last Monday, about the vacation being over. But it seems you jumped on something that doesn't exist. Misery, misery.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:20 PM

"Poor Gwen" referred to whatever problem you were having on the message board at that moment..I don't remember what it was. And another "Poor Gwen" had to do with your panic over my posting of some Eastern European fotos on my Facebook Page. I've eased that for you by unfriending you...so relax!
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:30 PM

There was no problem on the message board. So, the real story comes out. How childish.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:42 PM

Betcha feel kinda foolish now eh?
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 10:53 PM

Ha,ha,Jesse...or as they say on facebook....LOL. I don't feel the least bit foolish, I just couldn't figure out why I was being denigrated by you. I'm like Elbert, Happy, Happy, happy, as a person.
Now that I have exposed you were picking on me for no good reason, I would think you could feel foolish, if you don't, perhaps you are blinded by your own narcissism.
Posted By: champion

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:15 PM

I know what Elbert does for a living. Whats Jesse do? This may answer some of the questions.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:17 PM

Retired...and does the San Pedro Daily as a hobby.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:30 PM

Jesse is running for the title of "Old Sweetie" of Ambergris Caye. He's likely to win, too.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:31 PM

And Lan is the "Expert" from North Carolina
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:43 PM

Wow - if I were a moderator, I might have to edit these posts.... just sayin
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:55 PM

Aw, Jessie, you are an Old Sweetie!
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/23/10 11:59 PM

Thanks Lan....you are a sweetie too!
Posted By: PalapaBob

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 12:01 AM

I knew they were old pals!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 12:26 AM

Hey! Whaddaya mean "Old"?
Posted By: Mary1220

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 12:42 AM

Everyone from North Carolina is an expert.... smile
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 12:44 AM

So they say...
Posted By: jweber

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 12:54 AM

i was hoping some people would share thier cost experiences for living on ambergris. say you own your home nondrinkers ,in town once a week no ac
Posted By: sandyb

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:02 AM

I feel like we can live in San Pedro for less than the US. It still takes about $2000 US/ month for two tho. We own our condo but spend on sailing, diving, bar tabs, etc. The cost of everything is higher than the US, but you are satisfied with less. So just consider what you can't live w/o and go from there.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by jweber
i was hoping some people would share thier cost experiences for living on ambergris. say you own your home nondrinkers ,in town once a week no ac


Lots of luck finding anyone that meets those criteria.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:12 AM

I'm good for 3 out of 4 but do have an occasional drink..but mostly at home.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:16 AM

You should stay home more often.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:17 AM

6 days a week OK with you?
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:18 AM

The last time I looked, there were still 7 days in a week.
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:20 AM

Assuming you own your home (rentals vary based upon your needs / wants):

Food: >$30 BZE per day, based upon your tastes, etc. If you cook at home / have cereal and maybe do one local meal per day out.

Alcohol: 1 bottle wine > BZE $30, rum is cheap and beer is $2.50 if you purchase directly (normally $5 or 6 each in a bar.

Groceries and toiletries are gonna hit you hard - at least double what you might pay in the states IF you can find it. The local products may be less, say, sugar, eggs, flour, tortillas and rice.

Golf cart rental: $600 US / month (if you live North of the bridge you might find that you need one - we did and the cost of owning verses rental is about the same). If you are in town, you may want a bike or use taxis when shopping.

Utilities: based upon where you are (well water, cistern or city), electricity is high and phone/ internet much higher than the states (plan for at least double). Cable is reasonable.

Other items (like hardware store or clothing) is much higher - maybe 3 times what I am used to paying and the quality is lower.

For many items you might find that shopping in Chetamul is worth the trip occasionally.

It is difficult to judge these costs as everyone has different tastes, but we have found that daily living expenses such as meals and utilities were much higher than the states, with housing costs about the same.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:20 AM

The 7th day is mine..to go to Canuck's and use up my bar tab...c'mon down and I'll buy you a drink
Posted By: Mary1220

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:21 AM

It really depends. AC is similar to living in N.C. for the cost of living. Just my 2 cents. I live moderately but do support 3 children and found AC to be about the same. I am sure if I lived in LA or a big city AC would be considered cheaper than a big US city.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:21 AM

Here's an example then. It has pretty much been 90 to 95 degrees most days all summer. Humidity is 80 percent most of the time. Some people live without AC, and it's easier if you live right on the beach. If you live one house back the breeze is blocked. So, a lot of people AC their bedroom so they can sleep at night. It costs $400 to $600 Bz to do this. So some people AC fir a few hours and shut it off. Some people just use fans.
You can decide, what's comfortable. But in any case, given the 90 degree plus heat, every day, to live comfortably, it costs a lot. And, that is to AC one room. This isn't a complaint...it's just as hot in MD where I come from, but you can AC the whole house for less.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:23 AM

AC is for gringos
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:26 AM

Hello, we're gringos. And that's the point. People (gringos) are asking what it costs to live here.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:40 AM

I posted this before but since it came up again, it cost me at a minimum of $75K per year. Nice condo, 2-3 meals out each day, bar tabs etc etc
Posted By: Dane

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 09:13 AM

It is interesting how expensive you guys live. I built my house such that it is shaded, insulated, and cool inside and paid for. It is nice enough that we get tourists who have heard of it and want a tour,
One bedroom has aircondition. My elect utilities run about BZ$200, using my pump and 3000 gal rain vat and not buying water. The internet is fast enough at $50/mo. Eat out about half the time.
No cart.Ride bike. I call a cart taxi about 20 days a month. My personal guy drives me around $5x20 equals BZ$100/mo
Windsurfing is free.I get the gear from my small windsurf retail shop.
I go to the city once or twice a year.
We don't drink.
We live easily on US$1500/mo without trying.Lately we have only been here 6-8 mos a year. That costs around US$8-10K. Renting our house when we are gone has been bringing in US$6K or so a year, so the first half of winter is paid from that.
Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 01:28 PM

Originally Posted by Dane
It is interesting how expensive you guys live. I built my house such that it is shaded, insulated, and cool inside and paid for. It is nice enough that we get tourists who have heard of it and want a tour,
One bedroom has aircondition. My elect utilities run about BZ$200, using my pump and 3000 gal rain vat and not buying water. The internet is fast enough at $50/mo. Eat out about half the time.
No cart.Ride bike. I call a cart taxi about 20 days a month. My personal guy drives me around $5x20 equals BZ$100/mo
Windsurfing is free.I get the gear from my small windsurf retail shop.
I go to the city once or twice a year.
We don't drink.
We live easily on US$1500/mo without trying.Lately we have only been here 6-8 mos a year. That costs around US$8-10K. Renting our house when we are gone has been bringing in US$6K or so a year, so the first half of winter is paid from that.


We don't drink. Theres your answer.
Posted By: LaraTravelBelize

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 10:39 PM

ya, know...there are a LOT of things that absolutely make it possible to live in AC for $1500 a month. Ive done it for 4.5 years.

1) I own my home
2) I bought my beloved 1998 electric golf cart (poor girl does cost me about $50 USD a month on average in maintenance)
3) Four 5 gallon bottles of water, delivered - $7.50 USD for all 4 bottles (versus $9 USD for ONE in the states)
4) Property Taxes - $65 USd per year (versus $7500 i paid for same size lot in Phila)
5) Cart Insurance - $50 USD per year (versus $2200 i paid in the states)
6) Electic Bill per month (AC to sleep, electric golf cart, washer dryer, full size side by side fridge with ice maker) $100 USD per month (note: no heating bills)
7) If i MUST have a US product, ie Baked Doritos, they are about 30% higher than the states. If you like central american products, (some of which are FABULOUS) you'll save a bundle.

So yes, you really can live the dream, even in San Pedro.

Viva La Belice!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: Keller

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/24/10 11:07 PM

That doesn't add up to $1500/month. Boy you must drink alot! wink
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/25/10 12:17 AM

You know even with the electric being high in the summer, I forget there are two of us, so we do live for a lot less than the States. As Lara points out about low taxes, golf cart vs car, eating local style food most of the time, and things have to be cooked from scratch; those things save a lot. If the house was paid, and our house in the States were sold, it would be quite cheap.
Posted By: LaraTravelBelize

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/25/10 12:23 AM

Keller- ha smile when i moved here, just like everyone else, i spent a TON of money on going out. First year for most people when they move here is a drunken haze laugh

Amazing how much money i save now that i dont really go out much
Posted By: Platinum_Homes

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/25/10 12:38 AM

Hello Lara,

This is Will Moreno and its a pleasure to find you on here.
How have you been?
Posted By: LaraTravelBelize

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/25/10 12:46 AM

Hi Will smile
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/25/10 10:58 PM

Ha...Lara
What is this? What does he want?
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/26/10 04:02 PM

Must be looking for free advertising. After all if you want to say hi there is a pm button for that.
Posted By: Sugarbear

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 08/28/10 03:00 AM

This post is for Dane, I am inquiring about the house you have built. M wife and I are planning to retire to AC and we are starting to plan for this now and one of the big decisions is wether to build a home or buy a condo. If you do not mind could you pm me with a way that I could contact you.

Thanks, Greg Hebert
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/02/10 11:31 AM

There are three economies..period. Local. Gringo. Tourist. Tourists cannot manage the gringo way for long etc.. It is the for long part that trips up most folks. the Belizean oligarchs will share in your pecking order. You may move down a peg but rarely move up. If you plan to retire here well bring lots of money. Locals never really retire. Gringos die off pretty fast or move off faster, wiser, more patient and have left a ton of money behind. To be happy here you double down day one and cope. It can be done on $2,000 USD a month but that is relative comfort in a third world country. Come because you can afford to do so and are not trying to recreate 'home' on the cheap. Be a part of the community and if you et to really crossover you will be happy. Ex-pats are just that. Looking to have some fun and become part of a new community that is foreign to them and MAY take a lifetime to ever really understand.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/02/10 09:12 PM

Well, Timmy, I read your post...let it sit, read it again, now would like you to explain yourself, whichever Tim you are. First it sounds like you are drunk. Second it doesn't make sense. Third, try again if you have something say.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/02/10 09:18 PM

Gee I should be worried I guess, I understand Timmy's post.
Posted By: Dane

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/02/10 10:43 PM

'....Belizean oligarchs will share in your pecking order."
I don't think we have any oligarths on Caye Caulker.
I haven't seen any.
Greg my address is [email protected]
Posted By: Islenutt

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/02/10 11:37 PM

"....Belizean oligarchs will share in your pecking order."

It's all greek to me. wink

Seriously, I understood it also.
Posted By: seashell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 02:18 AM

I think I get what Timmy meant in that odd sentence, though I'm not convinced they "share". And my perception is that the rest of his post was pretty much spot on too.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 08:32 AM

Thx, Chloe.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 08:36 AM

They visit Caye Caulker. You can Belize dat but true no biggie there.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 08:39 AM

Tank you Islenutt. Simple to enjoy here with expectation in what you look to find.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 08:57 AM

Seashell be happy here. Everybody share a lil piece and some share more from others than others. Nothing sinister but it is just the way it is for true. No one want to be a gainer just make sure no one be the one to lose. Many groups be happy here and welcome but know it can take a while for some expat to be happy. Most do not stay and are not happy with things they simply cannot change because they came for wrong reasons.
Posted By: Rykat

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 02:12 PM

Originally Posted by jesse
6 days a week OK with you?


Try 8 !
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 03:33 PM

So, really there are more than three groups (tourist,gringo,well adjusted ex-pat).
And, with regard to gringo, it seems that the meaning of gringo here has become like the "Another Gringo in Belize" meaning. Someone who wants to run a scam and take away from people and the country. It doesn't mean that everywhere.
So, just like any community, it is complicated. But, the best is when everyone is caring for each other and respecting each other. And it's best in a small community if people aren't selfish or exclusionary.
Posted By: seashell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/03/10 11:00 PM

Timmy, I would have sworn I was agreeing with you.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 07:10 AM

I thought you were agreeing and you understood what was being said. You seem happy to be here and your expectations match the place.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 07:20 AM

Gwen, three economies. Many groups but they fit into one of the three. Just wanted to let folks know what to expect if they move here and try to live. There is a cost ($2,000 a month minimum) for some comfort in the third world. The other is to be in an economy that is the gringo economy. This is a part of the local economy but not the local economy. This the truth and it will help to managed expat expectation and this will help you stay and be happy as you begin to blur the lines more and more. But this will take years..most do not stay for many reasons. Money is a part and should be dealt with early and upfront so this is not a reason to stumble in your expat home.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 02:56 PM

I guess we will have to agree to disagree then. I think the economics is much more complicated. I think people are more complicated. And, I think what makes one person happy with their life, and how they live is different from another. Studies have been done on what makes a happy and successful retirement. Continued interest in ones life and good health are the top factors for a happy retirement. It isn't the money, but you need enough.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 03:10 PM

By the way, other than myself, and a couple of others I know personally; who else participating in this thread is actually retired and actually living here full time? I notice some particularly prominent ex-pat retirees aren't participating. My guess is that this has thread has become too irrelevant, or too off the wall.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 03:31 PM

Its just dumb.
Posted By: jweber

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 03:40 PM

i agree the thread seems to be off the wall at times
What we were looking at is cost of living in belize ,i realize there are different standards of living and different lifestyles
which will make the numbers jump all over the place.
I keep reading about people who leave as thier expectetions are not met,can any one elaborate?
we are looking at moving down within 2 years im hoping we do not have false expectations and we are doing our best to met any financial considerations.
being from canada we are still weighing the option of the retirement program,any input is appreciated
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 04:01 PM

Of the people I know who have left, it's the women that are most unhappy. Shopping for food and food ingredients drives some crazy. The quality of food isn't that good compared to what they were used to. Cooking takes up a major portion of time because there are few prepared foods. It's hot, when you live here year round it is very hot in the summer. Guys seem to be fat, dumb and happy hanging out, watching TV, fishing and snorkeling. Most women get bored unless they find a hobby or work in a cause. It's dirty with sand and salt blowing in all the time (unless you seal up and totally AC). A friend calls driving around in a golf cart "sauna and micro-dermabraision". What is fun on a vacation can drive people nuts, day in and day out. A lot of people don't retire well anywhere because it is too different from their previous life. With regard to the health and mind stimulation I reported earlier, that makes good aging; island life isn't conducive (read: is mind numbing) for both, for some.
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 04:16 PM

With all the condos, ex-pats, gringos, retirees moving there, it may not seem like such a different life in the future.
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 04:30 PM

Laurie, in theory that may be true. I think it will take a long time though. I lived in Hawaii for a couple of years. That is the first world, this is the third. Both are Islands though. Just take the food issue as an example. Hawaii only bothers to import and produce the best quality, and there is a demand for it. Here there is a demand, but the economy of scale is too small, and even with more ex-pats wanting more quality and variety the economy of scale will always be too small. For the twelve years I have been coming here,(two living here) it has improved a little, but now everything is more expensive. Demand hasn't improved quality, hardly at all. We have a little more variety.
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 04:34 PM

Many moons ago, when I conducted job interviews, there were always those candidates that, when asked: "why do you want this job?"
replied: "because I am ready for a change / not happy with my current one"

My philosophy has always been "run to" where / who you want to be with, as opposed to "running away from" where /who you want to be with. Can you guess who didn't get a second interview?

That said, the posters here have responded accurately, as everyone has their own preferences and lifestyle costs.

I had a difficult time adjusting initially to the lack of conveniences and frankly, didn't find the local expat community to be very welcoming to newcomers. We were told that we had to be here a year before making friends - in order for people to trust that you weren't going to abandon them (this does happen frequently, BTW). I just happen not to agree with the above approach.

That said, 3 years later, I feel very fortunate to be in a beautiful corner of the world and able to dabble around with new hobbies and meet new and interesting people. Need to cut out some of the drinking and adopting stray animals, but all in all, I am in the right place smile

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 08:17 PM

Maybe I can add a little to this conversation - not about costs of living, but about expectations and "the big move" - here goes:

Retirement - that is a massive lifestyle change. It requires major adjustments. Having an extra 10 hours a day to do "whatever" is more challenging than one might think.

Moving house - this is considered a 100% stress factor even if you just move a block away.

Moving to another town - add stress

Moving to another country - add even more potential mistakes, confusions, adjustments.

Add the four items above together and you get a full-blown life changing transition. No doubt most people have expectations about the outcome of almost any/every venture on which they embark. Usually some of what we expect happens and some does not. The more familiar we are with the venture the more often the results match our expectations. The more bold and different the adventure, the more likely you'll find things turning out differently than you expected. If you have an open mind you might find that the unexpected is really wonderful.

What I'm slowly getting to here is that you have to give things a try to find out how they are going to work out. Being prepared is good, but being rigid is a path to the nearest exit. Be patient and flexible and assume you don't have a clue about anything.

Lots of people flunk retirement. It has little or nothing to do with where they retire. They just miss work a lot more than they expected to.

Lots of people make successful moves to the wildest places. Probably the easiest moves are when you move for work - having a project, job or task gives you a sense of where you fit in, and gives you a context in which friendships are easily made.

I see so many folks get excited about QRP - but frankly I think that working here is half the fun. I would not "retire". My general recommendation is that if you are retiring "up there", don't box yourself into being retired here. Take a year of being here on tourist visas (you won't be able to work, but you will have tons to do to get settled), and then get permanent residency. You will have all kinds of possibilities that way and a perhaps a whole lot more fun.

When it comes to getting settled socially, maybe think of your retirement and move to the tropics a little like your grand-kids. Nobody is as interested in your grand-kids as you are. It's ok - that is just how it is. Enjoy the grandkids, enjoy your adventure in retirement in the tropics! Just don't expect that everybody you meet will be wanting to hear you talk about shipping containers of furniture or the cost of sour cream.

You may have to take the initiative in meeting people and building relationships. Invite people out to dinner or over to your house ..... they will come.

Take it slow and easy. Bring a good book and don't get too drunk. The rest will fall into place.

Posted By: Seachange

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 08:20 PM

Diane, you are very wise. Thank you for summing it up so well!
Posted By: GwenA

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 09:29 PM

Thanks Diane, you said it much better than I did.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 10:39 PM

Well said, Diane!

Posted By: elbert

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 10:45 PM

I'm not takeing any chances with retirement. I think I'll just keep
on doing what I do.
Posted By: Dane

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 10:59 PM

Well spoke
Posted By: seashell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/04/10 11:29 PM

If I hadn't/didn't spend so much time and money going to Belize and other world travels, I could probably retire today. But then . . .what would be the point? smile
Posted By: reaper

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 02:10 AM

I like retirement. I'm getting paid to read this right now while sipping on a cool drink.;-)
Posted By: gailtor

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 02:21 AM

Rich that isn't any change from before.. is it?

Oh wait, you are at home now..

cool
Posted By: elbert

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 02:43 PM

The future ain't what it used to be.
Posted By: jweber

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 02:47 PM

all these replies are extremely helpful,so ill push my luck and keep asking questions.lol
is there a site where we can find various duty and tax rates on certain items,we have lans book but i believe it is 5 yrs old now.
we are looking at bringing a solar power system in,someone had told me this is aduty free item but im not sure.
Where would you apply for apermit to bring golfcart or atv to the island.
Posted By: catdance62

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 03:16 PM

I agree with Diane--in "retirement" you have to do "something" to keep yourself busy, and to do "anything" in Belize, you have to have a work permit or be a permanent resident.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/05/10 04:29 PM

Duty-rate books are thicker than Webster's dictionary. Customs brokers are the experts on these things. Hiring one to get your stuff through customs is not only easier, but generally works out cheaper than doing it yourself.

Suggest before bringing anything of any kind into the country you check to see if it's already here. If it's already here then chances are somebody here can fix it. If it's not already here, chances are that nobody here can fix it (or if they knew how to there would be no parts) and you might as well not bring it.

Golf carts abound on the island - best to buy one that is here already.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/06/10 02:24 PM

Hiring a broker is not an option now it is required.
Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/07/10 12:36 PM

There is a website for the GOB that lays out all the categories and rates. I can't remember exactly what it is but if you look for it you should find it.
Posted By: Viking

Re: US News piece on retiring in Belize - 09/11/10 05:09 PM

Me and my family are planning on moving around the 1st of the year. We are very interested in being "expats" as we are always giving etc.. I do agree with snoopysmom, that not being friends with someone for a year just because they may leave is not a good approach, but I am x-military so I guess I am used to my friends leaving and / or leaving my friends.

If there is a good / best place / site for us to look for a cheap house to rent and for a job that you could point me to I would appreciate it. right now I am a Director in the financial servicing area.

Thank you. OH and reading through this thread, I have (I think) learned a lot. thank's to all.
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