Ultimate Guide to Belize Retirement


Take a brief glimpse into the emerging luxury real estate market of Belize with this short video presented by SANCAS Realty, the exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate for the tropical paradise of Belize. For more information, please visit http://sancasrealty.com.

Why Should I Consider a Belize Retirement?

Belize Hub’s Retirement Guide provides you with the latest and most accurate information on Belize retirement.

Have you ever dreamed of getting away? Perhaps you have worked your whole life and feel as though it is time that you did something for yourself? Or, maybe you just want to do something different, escape from your day-to-day life to somewhere exotic and beautiful, where the pace of life is a little bit slower and the weather is warm and sunny.

Or with today’s economy, you’re looking to stretch your pension, social security, or IRA as far as it will go. Either way, Belize retirement might be the right solution for you.

Retiring in Belize can be affordable, comfortable and adventurous. Not to mention Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America and is only a two hour flight from the US.

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program

Belize has one of the world’s best retiree programs and the government gives qualified retirees an exemption from taxes on all income derived from sources outside Belize whether such income is earned or passive and whether or not it is remitted to Belize.

How Can I Qualify For The Belize Retirement Program?

Anyone forty-five years and older can qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependents in the program. Dependents include spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person up to the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university.

To be designated a Qualified Retired Person under the program, applicants must receive a monthly income of not less than US $2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.

All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.

A Qualified Retired Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and duties on all income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.

What documents are needed for the Belize Retirement Program?
Birth Certificate:

A copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependant

Marriage Certificate:

If married and spouse is a dependant

Authentic Police Record:

An authentic police record from the applicant’s last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application

Passport:

Clear copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of applicant and all dependents that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages and the seal or stamp of the Notary Public.

Proof of Income:

An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of Two Thousand United States Dollars per month.

Medical Examination:

Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including an AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.

Photos:

Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependents

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

10 Reasons to Retire in Belize

Belize is an English Speaking Country

English is the official language of Belize (even though Spanish, Maya, Garifuna and Creole are also spoken) therefore you will not have a problem with language barriers.

Belize Real Estate prices

The most reasonable real estate in Central America and Caribbean can be found in Belize making it a low cost retirement destination in the region.

Belize’s Economy is Stable

The local currency is in Belize Dollars and the exchange rate is 1USD to 2BZD.

Belize also has a democracy with a well-established English Common Law legal system and the Belize economy is stable and welcomes visitors and investors to come and share in our growing economy.

Belizean people are friendly

Belizean people are not only friendly but also wonderful, spirited, polite and kind people.

Belizean food is delicious

Belizean cuisine is fresh, delicious and one of a kind and is influenced by the diverse ethnic groups that live in the country like the Maya, Creole, Garifuna, Chinese, East Indians etc.

Attractive Taxation Incentives

Belize offers attractive tax-sheltering incentives and there are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in Belize. The Belize government has also implemented the Belize Retired Person’s Incentive Program, a program that allows qualified foreigners to make application for long-term residency in Belize and, if accepted, to live in Belize completely tax free for life. Less taxes = more return on investment!

Proximity to the USA

Belize is conveniently located close to the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean islands, which makes for quick and easy access by plane from the U.S.

Belize is beautiful

Belize is one of the last unspoiled countries on the planet and has been rated time and again as one of the most beautiful countries in the world thanks to its pristine barrier reef, diverse flora and fauna and eclectic ethnic groups that live in harmony.

Belizean Laws are fair

Foreigners purchasing land or property in Belize are afforded the same rights as Belizeans regarding freehold property ownership. There are also no restrictions imposed on foreigners purchasing property in Belize and buying decisions can be made and executed quickly, with relative ease.

Belize Weather

The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round. In addition the intact jungle and rain forests provide relief in the hot summer months, while winter can be cool but never very cold.

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

Top 11 Reasons to Invest in Belize

Stability. Belize has a stable, democratic government, the economy in Belize is stable and balanced, the currency is pegged to the US dollar, the legal system is based on the British legal framework, and Belize is still an independent member of the British Commonwealth. Along with Costa Rica, Belize has the most stable political system in the region. Belize has always been a very peaceful nation.

Property Rights. As a Commonwealth country, property rights are protected in Belize through the traditions of English Common Law. In Belize, private property is respected and protected. Foreigners can own property in Belize, with exactly the same rights and protections as exist for Belizeans, with 100% fee simple title. There are absolutely no restrictions on foreign land ownership. Along with the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, Belize shares a legal system based on English Common Law – a familiar system for most investors.

Language. You don’t have to learn a new language, because English in the official language. Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America, making business and real estate transactions easy to navigate for English speakers. Everything from street signs, restaurant menus and newspapers, to official government documents and real estate contracts are in English. This makes Belize hugely attractive to English speakers as a second, retirement, or vacation home destination.

Currency. The Belize dollar is fixed 2 to 1 with the US dollar making it a very stable currency. The U.S. dollar is accepted anywhere and everywhere in Belize, and the Belize dollar has been pegged for decades at the current exchange rate of 2 Belize dollars to 1 U.S. dollar. Anything of substantial value, such as real estate, is priced in U.S. dollars. This means that prices in Belize are more stable for American dollar holders than they would be if the Belizean currency floated against the dollar.

 

Tax Friendly. Belize is a tax haven. The offshore financial services industry in Belize is highly regarded and well regulated; it is also quite advanced and well supported by the government. In addition, those who own real estate in Belize pay no capital gains or estate (inheritance) taxes. Property taxes are very low – just a fraction of what they are in Canada or the USA. Rental income is taxed at only 1.75% of gross receipts. Just for emphasis…no capital gains tax, and no inheritance tax!

Location. Belize is highly accessible from the US and Canada, and now from western Europe as well. Its proximity to Canada and the US creates short travel time and there is no jet lag due to time differences. (Belize is on Central Time.) Direct flights to Belize depart from Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Newark, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Toronto (seasonal). With the expansion of the runway completed at Belize International Airport, long-haul direct flights from Canada and Europe are expected to begin service in the very near future. International arrivals to Belize have been increasing drastically in the last 6 years – at an annualized growth rate of 11.1% (which is the highest in Central America).

Natural Beauty & Eco-Tourism. Belize has the 2nd largest and most fascinating and beautiful barrier reef in the world. The diving and snorkeling are consistently rated among the very best in the world. Over 46% of Belize is dedicated to National Parks and Marine Reserve, including United Nations World Heritage sites such as the 27,000 acre Balcalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve on Ambergris Caye. Belize is home to thousands of species of trees and flowers, hundreds of kinds of birds and butterflies. It has reefs and tropical rainforests, beaches and mountains, over 600 sites of Mayan ruins, and many rivers teeming with wild and rare flora and fauna. From diving to fishing, cave tubing to zip-lining, snorkeling to sailing, and exploring Mayan ruins, Belize is an ecologically diverse, unspoiled paradise. Also, Belize is one of the least densely populated countries in the western hemisphere.

Excellent Retiree Program. The Belize Residency Program enables foreigners to retire to Belize under a very favorable set of guidelines, with status as a Qualified Retired Person. This simple process exempts people from the payment of all taxes and levies on all income or receipts which accrue from a source outside of Belize (whether income is from work performed or an investment). This program also provides a duty & tax exemption on new and used personal and household effects (inc. motor vehicles, boats and aircraft). You must be over 45 to qualify, and be able to substantiate monthly income of at least $2,000 (USD).

Friendly People. Belize is home to the most genuinely and sincerely friendly people to be found anywhere in the world. You will hear this time and again from everyone who visits to Belize, and for good reason. While Belize is often referred to as “Mother Nature’s Secret”, and most people think that Belize’s natural resources are its greatest asset, the Belizean people are in truth the greatest asset Belize has to offer.

Tropical Climate. The climate ranges from sub-tropical to tropical all year long, similar to that of South Florida. As long as you’re comfortable with warm to hot temperatures, perhaps tempered by cooling breezes from the sea, you’ll like Belize weather. As a bonus, if you are on the Cayes, you’ll enjoy those cooling breezes even more so, and will find that the temperatures are cooler than on the mainland and the humidity less of a factor.

The Belize Tourist Board, a department of the Ministry of Tourism, is aggressively marketing and promoting Belize to the North American and European markets now that the airport can accommodate long-haul direct flights. While annualized growth at 11.1% (over the last 6 years) is the highest in Central America, overnight visitors to Ambergris Caye totaled 200,000 visitors. In comparison, that is the number of visitors to Cancun in any single month of the year!

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

10 Reasons to Live in Belize

In this infographics, Internationalliving.com, a website that covers topics that include retiring overseas, living abroad, international real estate, investment and travel share their top 10 reasons to live in Belize:

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

About Belize

LOCATION
Belize, previously British Honduras, lies on the East coast of Central America and in the heart of the Caribbean Basin. It is bordered by Mexico to the North, Guatemala to the West and South, and the Caribbean Sea to the East. Geographically Belize is located between 15° 52′ 9″ and 18° 29′ 55″ North Latitude, and 87° 28″ and 89° 13′ 67″ West Longitude with an area of 8,866 sq. miles including 266 sq. miles of islands.

The cayes or islands, the offshore atolls, and the barrier reef are the main attractions to Belize. The barrier reef, which is the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, is 185 miles long. The cayes and atolls provide great opportunity for SCUBA diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, sailing, and kayaking, and also serve as a habitat for both nesting birds and turtles. In the central part of Belize the land is higher. It is between 1,500 and 3,680 feet above sea level in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area and the Maya Mountains. Breathtaking waterfalls, historic Mayan cities and majestic mountains are but a few of the attractions that can be enjoyed in this area.

CLIMATE
The climate is subtropical, with a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The country has an annual mean temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is nicely tempered by the Sea breezes. The variation in weather further emphasizes the interesting difference in elevation, geology, plant and animal life. Summer high temperatures, are normally around 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter lows have rarely gone below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night.

RAINFALL
Normally, the rainy season is usually between June and November and the dry season is between February and May. Usually, the weather becomes cooler at the end of October and this lasts up until February. Average humidity is 85 percent. Annual rainfall ranges from 50 inches in the North to 170 inches in the South.

PEOPLE
The population of approximately 250,000 people consists of a mixture of Creoles, Garifunas, Mestizos, Mayas, Caucasians, Mennonites, Lebanese, Chinese, and East Indians. Belize has gained a widespread reputation for its friendly people.

LANGUAGE
English is the official language of Belize, Spanish is the second language and Creole is the commonly used dialect you will hear spoken throughout the country.

CURRENCY
The Belize Dollar (BZ$) has a fixed rate of exchange of BZ$2 to US$1. Most hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tour operators will accept U.S. currency, traveler’s checks, or credit cards.

TIME
Time observed year round is GMT-6, which is the same as United States Central Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Belize.

Contact us at info(@)belize.com if you need the best and most updated information on Belize Retirement.

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