Retirement in Belize: Where & How to Retire in a Tropical Destination
If you’re looking for an ideal tropical destination to retire, it’s hard to beat Belize. With sunny weather, plenty to do and see, a low cost of living, and advantageous residency programs, it’s no wonder that Belize is an increasingly popular place to retire or invest in a second home in the Caribbean.
One of the top spots for expat retirees in Belize is the country’s northern Corozal District. Benefiting from cool breezes, close access to the top spots on the mainland, and just minutes away from the Mexican border and Ambergris Caye, Corozal District has a thriving expat community with lots of social events.
With no cold winters to deal with, heating bills in Belize are at a minimum, and cool breezes from higher latitudes mean less air conditioning. Belize is famous for its abundance of fresh, organic produce, meaning that retirees eat better for less money. Hiring help around the house like a housekeeper or cook rarely costs more than $30 a day.
Belize is also the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Beyond making it easy to speak to locals, having English as the official language also makes it easy to understand contracts or enforce property rights in local courts.
Thanks to the country’s generous Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program, it’s now easier than ever to retire in Belize. The program requires that only one member of the family be 45 years old with a guaranteed monthly income from a pension or retirement account of $2,000 or more. Because many people from the United States have IRA or 401k plans instead of pensions, the QRP program also makes allowances for individuals who can put down a $24,000 deposit either once annually or paid in monthly installments.
The QRP program generously requires eligible individuals to spend a minimum of just 30 days in the country. The program also entitles individuals to the importation of household goods, cars, trucks, boats, and light planes duty and tax-free for the first year of their residency.
There are a few restrictions on QRP retirees, including the inability to work in Belize or employee Belizeans in a local business. But the program does allow individuals to conduct any business activity as long as the bulk of its operation occurs outside of Belize.
A master-planned, gated community ideal for expats looking to retire or buy a vacation home in the Caribbean, Orchid Bay is an established community offering condominiums, land, and villas in one of the most beautiful locations in Belize. Visit their website for more information on Belize real estate and retirement.