Living in Belize: Pros and Cons of Life in Belize for Expats
Do you want to retire in a place that is serene, calm, and peaceful?
Do you want to be somewhere with greenery on one side and waves crashing on the beach on other?
Do you want to be at a place filled with friendly people who are also good company?
Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? The great news is, there is a place like that on Earth, and it is called Belize. For people who want to retire to an affordable yet amazing beach, living in Belize is the ideal place.
Life in Belize
Showcasing some of the nature’s best gift to man, Belize is known as Mother Nature’s Best Kept secret, and we call it the tropical paradise. Belize will offer you fun and enjoyment, and provide you with so many enthralling new experiences. There is so much to do in the waters and on the lands. Figuring out your pastime is going to be so difficult because you will have so many choices.
Expat Life in Belize
But like everything else, good is always associated with bad, and living in Belize does have its cons. But if you ask us, the cons are under shadowed by the pros. Yes, they are there but you can compensate for them really well. After all, there is a reason why Belize is considered as one of the best places on earth to retire, and if the cons were significant, it would not have earned this title.
History of Belize
We will first talk about the advantages, and then we will discuss the disadvantages. By the time we are done, we are sure you are going to agree with us.
The Pros of Living in Belize
Belizean government offers a Qualified Retired Persons or QRP program
The Belizean government is really keen to help all the retirees and made things more than easy for them by offering the Qualified Retired Persons or QRP program. As long as your age is 45 or greater, your monthly income exceeds $2,000 and you fulfill a few other minor requirements, you can live in Belize for any month of the year. This provides you with numerous tax advantages, which we discuss next.
You enjoy numerous tax advantages
Under the QRP program, you can enjoy several tax advantages. The first $10,000 you earn are exempted from taxes if you are a resident. You can even avoid taxes completely if you transfer your assets or income into a Belizean International Business Corporation or IBC.
The costs of living are not that high
The costs of living in Belize are not that high. All services such as household help, cable TV, medical expenses and food are quite economical. As for housing, that varies, but you can very easily find homes that will be a lot more reasonable than the ones in US. So for instance, if you have around $20,000 you can buy a three-bedroom house, which will be completely set up for you to use. As for renting, that is around $200 per month. You can even build a brand new home for yourself, and this will cost you something between $50,000 and $100,000.
The national language is English, which makes communication easier
Choose to retire to any other place, and you will have to learn the local language there. Retire to Belize, and English will do just as good because it is the national language in the country. Other languages like Spanish are also spoken, but they do not hold the status of a national language.
Media, radio, and television are also based on English, and everyone in the market speaks the same. Even the schools follow the English language. It will be easy for you to communicate with the locals and become friendly with them right from your first day ever.
Belize can do wonders to your health
It does not matter if you grow old, you will still want to be healthy, and Belize makes this possible. There are so many fresh fruits and veggies for you to eat such as oranges, pineapple, mangoes, and grapefruits. If you are a non-vegetarian? You can try out the chicken and meat, which are of the finest quality.
Unlike the US, Belize is not polluted and the air is crisp and clean. Combine this with the tropical climate and the beauty of nature, and you are not going to be burdened by stress, depression, or so many other similar problems that you have to face here.
There is just so much to do in Belize
Belize does not only offer you beauty, it lets you indulge in numerous activities. Canoeing, snorkeling, traveling back into history, walks on the beach, there is just so much that you will not know where to start.
The Cons of Living in Belize
Utilities cost more than the average rates in US
Food and housing may be reasonable, but the same cannot be said when it comes to utilities. Compared with the Unites States, internet access, mobile service, gas, electricity, and telephone are more expensive.
Taxes may be exempted, but you still have to pay some of them
If you earn an income in Belize, you will have to pay taxes at a rate of 25%. However, this tax will be incurred after you have earned an income of $10,000. If you are a non-resident, this will not apply, and you will have to pay taxes right from the start. Moreover, if you transfer real estate, you also have to pay taxes, and you will have to pay taxes on any properties that you do own.
Security exhibits concerns
There are some areas in Belize where criminal rates are high and you may also become a victim. Learn to avoid all these areas; you will not have any difficulty in adjusting your life.
Hurricanes are common
Hurricanes are common in Belize, and you should have coverage. This serves as an additional unwanted expense.
Earning residency is a lengthy process
If you want to become a permanent Belize resident, you will have to go through an extensive procedure and even pay a significant amount.