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!
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?