Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire
Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef — a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture.
For many people, Belize is only the white sand beaches of the popular island of Ambergris Caye, with its world-class fishing, diving, and snorkeling. But Belize has so much more to offer.
Let’s start with a little history and geography…
Belize was known as British Honduras until 1973, and the country gained full independence from Great Britain in 1981. It’s bordered on the north by Mexico and on the west by Guatemala, and both neighbors have played large parts in Belizean history. For example, because mestizo refugees from Mexico’s caste wars came to Belize in the 1800s, Spanish is almost as common as English in Belize’s northernmost districts.
Thanks to its colonial roots with Great Britain, Belize is an English-speaking country, and that helps make it a perennial favorite with both tourists and expats, many of whom consider Belize to be one of the best overseas retirement destinations in the world.
In fact, Belize is a great place to retire if you’re not comfortable learning a new language. Depending where and how in Belize you choose to live, your monthly budget may range from about $2,000 per month and up.
(By the way, the going rate for household help in Belize is $2 to $3 an hour. It’s very affordable to hire someone to clean your house, work in your garden, cook for you, or do household maintenance work.) So if you’re thinking of starting a business in Belize that requires employees, you needn’t worry about expensive labor costs.
As for health care, most expats choose to go to nearby Chetumal or Mérida in Mexico for major health issues, but we’ve heard increasingly good reports from expats in Belize about local health care.
Belize offers a national public health care system that legal residents can take advantage of. This provides you access to services and care offered by public hospitals. You’ll find these public hospitals in every district. There are good-sized private hospitals in Belize City, and you can purchase private health insurance to be treated there. The cost of your policy will depend on whether you also opt for international and/or U.S. coverage.
Belize isn’t huge… only 8,800 square miles, but it’s blessed with 149 miles of Caribbean coastline, all of it protected by the second largest barrier reef system in the world… the source of the country’s fame as a fishing, diving and snorkeling paradise.
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