Top Reasons To Retire In Belize

retire in belize to gorgeous landscape

The gorgeous landscape of Cayo, Belize

As an Expat Relocation Consultant and Property Manager in Belize, one of the first questions I ask my clients or prospective tenants is, “Why do you want to retire in Belize?”

It’s important for me to know, because I want to make sure they have practical and valid reasons.  It helps me answer their questions better. And if for any reason they have a mistaken notion about Belize, I can easily correct them before they move here and it’s too late!

Over the years of working with clients, here are their top reasons for retiring in Belize:

 

You’ve had a dream

 

Many people have worked their entire lives with the idea that one day, they will escape the rat race and move to paradise.  They can’t wait to waive goodbye to the materialistic and news-centric culture they are from and embrace a laid back and simple lifestyle. Belize is one of the most casual and slow-paced countries in Central America. So much so, that you may not know what to do with yourself for the first few weeks. But that feeling won’t last long.

 

Warm weather year round

 

Let’s face it – the older we get the colder we get.  Why do you think so many retirees live in Florida? But Belize has become the new Florida, and it’s not hard to see why.  With an average year round high of 84 degrees, you can leave your jeans and coats behind.  Instead, your new uniform will be tank tops, shorts and flip flops!

tourists sunbathing in san pedro, belize

Tourists sunbathing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

 

Retirement strategy

 

With the cost of living growing every year in North America, many retirees are starting to wonder how long they can hope to subsist on their pensions or savings.  Finding a more economical region to live in, for some, is their only option. In Belize, my cost of living decreased by 85% compared to what I was spending in California.  An average couple can live quite nicely on $2000-2500 USD, even on an island such as Ambergris Caye, as long as they don’t adopt an extravagant lifestyle and cling to their North American ways.

 

English speaking country

 

By far, this is the number one reason why people choose retirement in Belize. And it makes sense too. Relocating is stressful enough without throwing into the mix having to learn another language.  This one factor can make your assimilation in Belize a much easier process.

 

Within reach of the Canada and the U.S. for trips back home or for visits by family and friends

 

Belize is a mere two-hour flight to Houston, TX. Canada is just a few hours further. Interestingly enough, most expatriates find this an important fact to help appease their family, not necessarily themselves.  When you tell your family and friends you’re moving to a foreign country, you may not always get a favorable reaction. Letting them know you’re not going to be that far away can help immensely.

 

Live close to the beach and mountains

 

Belize’s exotic and tropical ambience will soon enough present you with so many activities, you won’t know where to start.  This diverse country has rivers, rainforests, ruins, beaches, the second largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, over 500 species of birds, a zoo, and much, much more.  Being in touch with nature is good for the soul, and there’s plenty of that to nourish yourself with here in Belize.

 

Belize is an easy, inexpensive, centrally located Caribbean haven with wonderful weather and warm, friendly people. (see: Things about Belize).  If Belize isn’t on your list of places to retire, now that you’ve learned more about it, why not?

 

About Sharon Heibing

Sharon Hiebing is an American dream-devil who put everything she owned in three suitcases and moved to Belize. She now lives in a beautiful house on the Mopan River in the Cayo District of Western Belize in a little village called Bullet Tree Falls. She runs an online Expat Relocation Consulting business, as well as a local service company, Red Roof Property Management, which provides residential house and vacation rental leasing and management services to property owners. She enjoys writing, hiking, and wine!

19 Responses to Top Reasons To Retire In Belize

  1. dr al July 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM #

    you seem to rather conveniently ignore that for several years in a row that on various global retirement destinations Belize is not#1 or even in the top 5 or 10 depending on where you look. Care to explain why Cuenca, Ecuador is top and anywhere in Belize is not?

    • Sharon Hiebing July 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM #

      Actually I wasn’t ignoring it at all. It’s just not relevant. When I was deciding to relocate to a foreign country, the last thing I was checking was some random Top 10 list. Instead, I had certain “non-negotiable” criteria that needed to be met, and Belize fulfilled them all. That’s what I teach my Relocation clients – don’t pay attention to the media hype – find the country that best suits your needs based on your must have’s.  For me, that was Belize. For others, it may be Ecuador, Colombia, or Australia. There’s no right or wrong place to retire, as long as it meets your needs and the immigration laws will allow it.

  2. Cynthia July 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM #

    Good points. Has anyone you know ever gone down and returned home because they didn’t like it?

    • Sharon Hiebing July 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

      Yes, I actually have had a couple of clients that returned home. One couple  because they felt their teenage daughter was not getting the quality of schooling she could receive in the States ((they weren’t retired obviously). The other because, in the end, he was much more conditioned to the American way of life and had a hard time living in a foreign country.

  3. Bums on da Beach March 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM #

    So did you relocate or did you retire? It seems like you are actually doing a lot of work for someone that came down on the QRP.

  4. Sara Johnson August 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM #

    What about someone who does alot of online business. How is internet access and speed?

    • C Juan August 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM #

      Hi Sara,

      It really depends on where you are located in Belize. If you are in a city or town, such as Belize City or San Ignacio, there is access to a 4G network via Digicell, or a fast landline service. Several other independent companies also offer fast internet via satellite. If you live outside of a town, Smart offers internet via a USB modem which is accessible anywhere the Smart mobile signal reaches. However there are definitely still areas where internet is not available, especially more off the beaten path.

      • Sara Johnson August 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM #

        Thanks for the reply! I guess I need to research more where I would like to stay. Course Ambergris Caye looks nice! 🙂

        • Lorenzo Gonzalez August 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM #

          Hey Sara, it’s always recommended that you come down for a short visit before you move permanently 🙂

          • Sara Johnson August 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM #

            I agree!! Nothing beats checking it out first hand!

  5. sonja October 24, 2014 at 1:11 PM #

    Hello.
    I am looking for a warm climate Feb,March,April.2015.
    Furnished apartment to include amenities,not to exceed $1000 per month.
    I am solo.Widowed and retired.
    I need to feel safe and a bathtub is required.No bottom floors.
    Can you make any suggestions.
    Many thanks.

    I am Canadian

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez October 31, 2014 at 1:29 AM #

      Hi, are you looking for a place near the beach or inland. Inland is plenty cheaper.

  6. Raxo December 28, 2015 at 9:12 PM #

    I am a Doctor with licence in Peru but I live in USA, can i open a small practice in Belize ?
    I would like to be close to the beach but on an elevated area.
    Thanks

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