Living in Belize
High on its list of desirable traits, is the temperate climate and coastal breezes typical of Belize. With lows rarely below 60°F and summers fairly steady at around 86°F, Belize offers the consistency of just two seasons, wet and dry. For U.S. retirees, one draw to Belize is that its citizens speak English as a first languages, and the countries laws, similar to those in the U.S. are based on the British legal system.
Bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south, Belize sits on the Caribbean Sea and offers tropical marine life, beaches, the world’s longest barrier reef outside of Australia, and the Maya Mountains. Easy access via cruise ship or air from many U.S. cities makes it an easy destination to reach. A flight from Houston is just two hours.
Cost of Living
While Belize is not the lowest cost country in the Western Hemisphere, U.S. expatriates will find it easier to stretch their retirement dollars there than at home. In 2013, a couple could live well for $1,500 to $1,800 a month, including cable television, entertainment, with maid and gardener services, and $3,000 a month is more than adequate for most couples, even when factoring in the higher prices in Ambergris Caye (an island) or Placencia.
Although minor concerns are easily addressed by the Belize healthcare, it is not on par with nearby countries like Mexico and Guatemala. Expats often make the short trip to the Yucatán State of Mexico for more advanced services.
Safety and Stability
While Belize City has a higher crime rate due to its gang activity, most retirees do not move to the capital and so are less exposed to its crime. The government of Belize is stable and is addressing both the crime and the healthcare issues. Its economy has one of the lowest inflation rates in the world. The official currency of Belize is the Belize dollar with 2 BZ$ equal to 1 US$ since 1978. Belize has a lower tax liability than many countries and with special rates for retirees, U.S. expats may find they have a lower tax liability than elsewhere.
With its exceptional barrier reef, fishing, snorkeling and other watersports are a draw to most visitors. Consider diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize or dive with whale sharks. The Mayan ruins and its famous rainforest offer exotic flora and fauna as well as classic ancient culture.
You can take a Western Caribbean cruise with Norwegian cruise line out of New Orleans, which is a 3 hour drive from the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Living in Belize information provided by the Jason Will Real Estate Team, headquartered in Old Town Daphne, AL 251-866-6464.