Best Places to Live in Belize for Retirement + Investing

If you are close to retirement and find the urge to live away from the quick-paced metropolitan, then look no further. Belize is just the country for you. Having an English common law and English as its national language, Belize is a huge favorite for many retirees. This Caribbean land highlights everything from a low living cost to stunning coastal islands.

Belize features various tropical islands with distinguishing aspects, such as Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker Belize City, Corozal, and many other islands with turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. It is not only a hot tourist attraction but also an ideal place to live amongst many ex-pats and retirees.

Why Retire And Invest in Belize?

Every person dreams of leading a wholesome life after their retirement. With Belize offering natural landscapes such as beaches and jungles, a warm climate, tropical food, and affordable expenses, who wouldn’t settle here? Moreover, the existing vibrant ex-pat community makes it easier for you to feel at home.

Cost of Living in Belize

Expenses in Belize lie on the more affordable side of the scale compared to the life of a retiree in the US. Economical is the word that would describe the cost of living in Belize. Belize also comes with a very fruitful produce of edibles thanks to its marvelous climate, hence the low cost. Despite the costs of living varying from island to island, $1500 to $1800 monthly would be sufficient to make both ends meet handily in this country.

Healthcare in Belize also costs fairly less than that in the US. The Belizean government supplies free public health care to the residents provided the care is given by the state-run facilities.

Homes in Belize range anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the location or island you live on. Ambergris Caye, a well-known island, resides on the hefty side of expenses. On this island, $2000/month would be needed to sustain your expenses, but in other areas such as Corozal or Cayo, anything between $1200-1500 would suffice.

Belize Retired Person Incentive Program

Belize presents a stimulus for retirees considering settling in their country. Known as the Qualified Retired Person Residency Program; QRP, this program is an eye-catcher for retirees. To qualify for this program, the person must be at least 45 years old and have a periodic payment of at least $2000 from a business or outside source.

This amount will have to be deposited in a licensed financial institution in Belize. To gain permanent residency, the person will have to live in Belize for at least 30 consecutive days in a year.

The QRP allows the person to enjoy multiple entries in the country, exemption from household taxes, owning personal transport, convenient access to land to construct their home, and many other benefits that are too good to be true.

Income Potential

In Belize, most of the ex-pat community depends on their pension. However, some do invest in Belize to earn. A vast majority of the economy of Belize is dependent on the tourist population’s spending, which is what makes it the best income potential.

Unlike most developed countries, Belize owns no multiple listing service, which makes it hard to estimate what to expect concerning the type of property you want to purchase. Some people who invest in Belize also rent out the property they own. Another great income source is a food restaurant at a busy tourist spot.

Ownership

Property dealing in Belize is mostly a treat for people as even tourists can own land with a fee-simple title. This means they are entitled to complete ownership of the land, and none of it is held back by any bank or other institute.

Some of the condos in this country are owned via strata tiles. This allows land ownership, such as owning the second floor without owning the ground unit.

Currency

In Belize, both the Belizean dollar and the US dollar are accepted. For investments and purchases, mostly the US dollar is used, whereas when buying/selling goods and groceries, Belizean dollars are common. The Belizean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar at BZ $2 to US $1. Expenses in Belize lie on the more affordable side of the scale compared to the life of a retiree in the US.

Is Belize Expensive? How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

Belize, in comparison to many first-world countries, is much cheaper. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Belize is roughly 31% lower than that of living in America. Rent in Belize is also around 75% lower than that of the US.

 

The Best Places to Live in Belize

Placencia

A destination with paradise credentials, Placencia is a 16 miles long peninsula located at a distance of 3 hours’ drive to the south of Belize City. Housing a population of about 5000 people, the majority of whom are ex-pats, this area offers a tranquil and laid-back lifestyle for its residents.

There is Maya beach, a beautiful white sand beach with more cultural sites to its north. To the east, there are untouched beaches and to the west is the spell bounding view of the Mayan Mountains chain. Due to its less population, there are fewer housing options in this area, yet it’s not hard to find an affordable place.

Including rent, $2500 monthly would suffice for a couple to live in this region. Purchasing land here would start around $50,000, whereas fully furnished condos could cost roughly $250,000. The lifestyle and living costs are also low, and much of the food is based on the fishing done by the locals.

With the optimal temperature of this region alongside its lush wildlife, breathtaking water lagoons, and eye-catching views, Placencia is highly recommended for those who prefer a peaceful way of life.

Cayo District

If you’re not much of a beach person and yet still want to settle in Belize, the Cayo district is a go for you. Surrounded by lush forests, rivers, and waterfalls, the Cayo district can offer a peaceful outdoorsy lifestyle.

If Placencia seems expensive, Cayo district offers a much more reasonable cost of living. A 2-bedroom home costs around $130,000 to $140,000. The hotels and houses for rent in the region are also more economical. The Cayo district has a climate of the upper 70s to 80s most days of the year.

This district shelters 26,000 people roughly. The people of this region are known for their adventurous spirit and friendly nature. Fishing in any one of the numerous rivers, even in the middle of the night, is common. The Macal River hikes near the Mayan ruins and is a breathtaking take-off point for canoe trips.

Ambergris Caye

Belize’s most popular district, Ambergris Caye, hosts a population of 16,500 alongside the Caribbean Sea towards the Northeast of Belize. This district, even though only a mile wide and 25 miles long, turns out to be the main center of attraction for many ex-pats.

Featuring sandy beaches and mangroves towards its coast side, Ambergris Caye offers many water-based activities such as fishing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. The warm waters are a great source of harmony. Additionally, Ambergris Caye also has the liveliest nightlife. Residents find it fairly easy to get to their favorite restaurants or spa homes via walking, biking, or using the golf cart to chill out. There are also live music spots, concerts, and BBQ parties at the beach every Sunday.

Ambergris Caye is one of the priciest places to live in Belize. Because of its growing popularity and small area, housing on this island isn’t as easy as the other places. However, getting a condo might be simpler. The condos cost $1000 per month, making the monthly income to meet all basic requirements between $2900-$3100 for a couple.

Using fresh produce and local food from the vendors is a big save on the additional taxes of the otherwise imported food. The climate on this island is mostly mid to upper 80s around the year, exempting the month of May, where it may reach up to the 90s.

Caye Caulker

Located in the Northeast of mainland Belize, Caye Caulker is another popular ex-pat favorite. This island is five miles long and only a mile wide, with a population of approximately 2000 people, and located only 30 minutes away by water taxi. The motto of the people here is to ‘take it slow,’ and if you find yourself abiding by this, Caye Caulker is calling you!

Caye Caulker is very well known for its water adventures. This island is a popular site for beginning kayaking or snorkeling. Being less than 2km away from the Barrier Reef, this place is much loved by snorkelers and scuba divers. Not to forget, the agreeable climate of temperature ranging from the mid to upper 80s around the year adds to the leisure in this area.

The cost of living in the Caye is lesser than in Ambergris Caye. Housing for rent is easily available since the area has resisted major commercialization to preserve its natural beauty. Houses for purchasing are available anywhere between $110,000-$140,000.

Corozal

Bordered right next to Mexico, the town of Corozal is situated 84 miles to the north of Belize City. With a population of around 11,000 people, this district hosts a reasonable number of the ex-pat community. The major reason behind this is affordability. Rent here costs around $500 monthly for an apartment and sometimes might be as low as $300! Housing here is also pretty cheap, ranging between $100,000 to $20,000.

Food is mostly the fresh produce available in local markets, making it very reasonable in terms of prices. While Corozal might be a small town, if any of the residents here wish to have a busy, fun-filled day, the neighboring town of Mexico, Chetumal, is their go-to place. This also gives them access to the advanced healthcare available in Mexico at a short distance.

Corozal’s temperature is mostly upper to mid-80s from March to October, while from May to September, it reaches the low 90s. These temperatures make Corozal a stunning bay to enjoy freely throughout the year. Even though Corozal itself does not feature any beaches, the natural beauty here is no less.

The wall that separates the Bay from the sea has various places to climb down for swimming and cooling away any stress. Other activities include fishing in the largest fishing village of Belize, the Mayan area, and bird watching in the Shipstern Nature Reserve, which houses various endangered species.

Belize City

Once the capital of Belize, Belize City is the largest city in the country. Located at the mouth of the Belize River, this peninsula is fairly advanced and one of the best-connected cities in the country, as it’s the only one with an airport. Other than that, there are vehicles here, something quite uncommon in many other states of Belize.

For those who want to move to Belize for industrial purposes or with kids, Belize city is a great place to stay. With schools, colleges, a great public transport system, and other traits of a proper city, this place is the industrial and financial hub of the country. Belize city also offers a great number of entertainment options.

Apart from being the center of dining and nightlife entertainment, adventure can be found in the form of snorkeling, cave tubing, and rich historical and architectural attractions like the Mayan ruins. The balmy weather of around mid to upper 80s most of the year, except May and June when it can be 90s, also helps enhance the city’s mix of modern and historical richness.

Belize City hosts people, tourists, ex-pats, and natives. Many different languages can be heard out on its streets as people continue to mingle with each other. Hotels are abundant in the city, making it easy to find a place to live. On the city’s outskirts, you can find most homes and other properties to buy and live. Land in this area costs around 20k USD, whereas houses range from $300,000 to $400,000.

Best Places to Live in Belize: FAQs

  1. Where Do Most American Ex-pats Live In Belize?

In the picturesque lands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Even though life in Ambergris Caye is expensive as compared to other states, it still is cheaper than that in the US, which is why many ex-pats still settle there. These 2 districts feel most like home to the locals of the US or Canada.

  1. Is Retiring In Belize A Good Idea?

Belize, with its tranquil waters, laid-back lifestyle, and low cost of living, is ideal for anyone who wants to retire in a dreamland. In addition, the Qualified Retired Persons Program also makes sure to provide many financial and other benefits to retirees that are beyond belief.

  1. Is Belize Safer Than Mexico?

With its laid-back lifestyle, Belize is a safe place to live with a remarkably low crime rate. Mexico, due to being a large state comes with the con of being less safer than a smaller and simpler state like Belize.

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