What Expats moving to Belize need to know
Want to retire in Belize? Here are some things you need to know:
Belize – White sandy beaches. Tax-friendly too. Located on the Caribbean Sea between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a hidden gem.
Activities The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, makes this country a paradise for diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating. You’ll find mountains, jungle and Mayan ruins too.
Residency Requirements Many retirees migrate to Belize because of its Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRP). To participate you must be at least 45 years old and have a monthly income of $2,000 or more earned outside of Belize. Because you are technically retired, you cannot apply for a work visa. You can, however, conduct business on the internet or outside of the country. This visa affords you permanent resident status.
Taxes The QRP Program offers tax advantages. As a retired resident you are exempt from income, capital gains and estate tax. You also pay no tax on up to $15,000 of imported goods.
English is the National Language Belize is an independent nation and a British Commonwealth Country. English is the national language, which makes relocating and getting established easier than in Spanish speaking countries for many Americans. They also have a legal and judiciary system similar to ours, which is familiar and reassuring.
Easy travel to the U.S. The International Airport outside of Belize City offers 2-hour non-stop flights to many U.S. cities—Dallas, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and more. There are several domestic airports making all parts of the country easily accessible.
Expat Communities There are large numbers of expats in popular destinations. Belize has 173 miles of Caribbean coastline dotted with beach communities to suit various budgets. Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Corozal, are the most preferred by retirees.
Internet Service Infrastructure is continually improving. Services in the more populated areas are reliable. Off-the-beaten-path they might not be consistent. Internet service is spotty and often slow outside the main thoroughfares. Main roads are well-maintained. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for travel to more remote areas.
Health Care Regional hospitals are adequate for routine medical care. More serious cases need to be seen in Belize City. Many choose to fly to Mexico or the U.S. for major procedures or serious illnesses.
Belize has astounding natural beauty seen in its coastline and the flora and fauna of its interior. For the retiree looking for the simple life, Belize may be just the place for you.