Located just a short flight (2-5 hours) from major cities across the United States and Canada, Belize is a peaceful, democratic country with beautiful beaches, pristine rainforests, and a relaxed pace of life that is becoming a world class destination for expats to retire with their families. Belize is also the only country in the region where English is the official language, so adjusting to life in this country is a mix of new and the familiar.
Belize’s currency, the Belize dollar (abbreviated BZD), is permanently pegged to the American dollar at 2:1, so you’ll never have to worry about complicated currency exchanges. The population is relatively low (around 360,000 people), a mix of expats, Creole, Maya, Mestizo , Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean culture), and Old World Mennonites, so there’s plenty of interesting culture to learn about and explore.
Belize Offers Low Cost of Living For Expat Families
Belize also has a very low cost of living. The country’s balmy weather and fertile soils mean that fresh-caught seafood, citrus fruits, bananas, and other tropical produce are affordable, delicious, and widely available. Imported items are more expensive, but these can be easily found at low prices at familiar retailers like Sam’s Club and Walmart just across the border with Mexico.
Belize has been an independent country since 1981. Before that, it was a British colony, and the country has preserved its judicial and political system. Foreigners have equal rights with locals when it comes to buying, renting, or selling property, and the government makes it easy to gain residence in the country.
Belize Makes It Easy to Obtain Residency For Expat Families
For qualifying individuals age 45 and older along with their families, the QRP program imposes just a 30-day minimum residency requirement and allows you to import all of your personal goods completely tax-free, including cars, boats, and light aircraft. Anyone with a valid American or Canadian passport can enter the country for 30 days, and it’s easy to renew your stay for an additional 30 days for a small fee. After one year in the country, you can qualify for permanent residency status.
Belize is primarily rural, but the country has four highways that make it easy to get to just about any location in around three hours. Offshore, Belize is home to hundreds of islands set like jewels along the length of the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is popular for snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing.
The premier community for prime real estate in Belize is Orchid Bay. Located right on the water across from Ambergris Caye, the number one tourist destination in Belize, Orchid Bay offers tropical warmth, Caribbean beauty, and tranquility without sacrificing any first world comforts. Completed villas, condominiums, and an entire village of beachfront casitas are available at Orchid Bay along with prime lots ready for development.
For additional information on retiring, moving to, and living in Belize with your family, visit Orchid Bay’s website today.