Be Bold! Retire to Belize in 2017
Located on the Caribbean between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is one of the last remaining countries still blessed with an abundance of pristine nature. With over a third of the country set aside as a national park or protected reserve, Belize is a largely rural country with a laid-back and people-friendly attitude. And, thanks to generous policies instituted by the government, Belize is also one of the best countries in the world to move to, invest in, or retire to.
If you are considering moving to or retiring in Belize in 2017, here are a few things to know:
Initial Immigration Costs
Probably the easiest way to move to Belize is to take advantage of the generous terms of Belize’s Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program. Despite its name, the QRP program is open for qualifying individuals age 45 years or older who can demonstrate that they have a fixed income of $2,000 per month or more from Social Security, a pension, or other form of annuity. Qualifying individuals are then eligible to move their entire family to Belize as well as import all personal goods (including vehicles) tax and duty-free. To apply for the QRP program, it is best to consult with a lawyer. As general information, the program’s fees are quite reasonable, rarely exceeding $2,100 for a married couple.
Another factor to consider is transportation costs from your country and city of origin and Belize. Thanks to stiff competition in the market, all of North America’s major airlines now offer non-stop service to Belize, including American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest, and WestJet.
Cost of Living
Depending on your needs and lifestyle, Belize is usually far more affordable for the average retiree than in most cities in North America. Retirees in Belize usually benefit from reduced costs thanks to an abundance of good weather (that promotes health and happiness), organic, locally-grown foods, very affordable medical care, and a relaxed lifestyle. Other expenses like housekeeping services can be had at very reasonable prices, rarely exceeding $20 a day.
Typical Costs in Belize
With year-round sun and a warm climate, most fruits and vegetables are plentiful and very affordable in Belize. Other staples like rice, fish, chicken, and eggs can be found anywhere. Although Belize does not have any international fast food chains like KFC or McDonald’s, it has a countrywide network of food vendors selling tasty treats for $5 or less. Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant in Belize costs around $30.
For anyone wanting to retire and enjoy the good life, Belize pretty much checks all the boxes. Foreigners are welcomed and made to feel right at home, benefiting from generous government programs that make it easy to obtain legal residency without a lot of upfront fees.
One of the best places to retire in Belize is Orchid Bay. A master-planned, gated community located in Belize’s scenic Corozal District, Orchid Bay has villas, land, and condominiums available in an established community. For more information about Orchid Bay, please visit http://orchidbaybelize.com/.