Tips For Expats And Retirees In Belize

Seven Things You’ll Be Glad Someone Told You About Life In Belize

March 21, 2014, Belize City, Belize: Expats Jim and Kathy Suits offer tips for the would-be retiree and expat in Belize. Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Why did Jim and Kathy Suits move to Belize last year?

Kathy wanted to be living someplace warmer than Tacoma, Washington, where the couple had been living. Jim wanted to be someplace where the government wasn't interfering with his day-to-day life.

So Jim and Kathy made a country short list. Where might suit them? They focused on Mexico, Panama, and Belize.

"We decided Mexico was too dangerous, with all that's going on there," Kathy explained to the group at our Live and Invest in Belize Conference this week. "We came very close to choosing Panama. We actually almost bought a house there. But when that deal fell through, we decided to take a look at the third country on our list before making a final decision.

"When we got off the plane our first trip to Belize, we knew immediately that this was the place for us," Kathy continued. "It just felt right right away."

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Belize Is A Small, Underdeveloped Country

A Sober Look At The Challenges Of Life In Belize

March 20, 2014, Belize City, Belize: The biggest challenges of life in Belize have to do with a lack of infrastructure. Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Yesterday, I waxed sentimental about the little country of Belize and why we continue to recommend it so enthusiastically.

Today, let’s take a more sober look.

I couldn’t be in Belize City for this week’s Live and Invest in Belize Conference, but Lief and our daughter Kaitlin are there, running the show and providing me with from-the-scene updates.

Kaitlin reports that Belize expat Amma Carey opened yesterday’s sessions with a presentation on “logistics and practicalities.” As Amma explained...
  • Belize has four highways—one that goes north, one that goes south, one that goes west, and the Hummingbird Highway. You can assume that all other roads are dirt or gravel...
  • Any vehicle you buy or rent should be four-wheel-drive, because, again, most of the roads are dirt. As well, though, you don’t want a vehicle that’s too big. The in-town roads are narrow!...
  • Buses are safe, cheap, and colorful...but not for everyone. You never know what might be in the seat next to you—could be a box of puppies or a crate of chickens...

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Why Belize Is A Top Live, Retire, And Invest Overseas Haven

Escape, Reinvention, Independence, And Adventure

March 19, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Belize offers a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself and start your life anew.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

My first trip to Belize, coming up on 30 years ago, was organized courtesy of the Belize Tourism Authority. I was a starting-out travel writer; the BTA was looking for press. This was well pre-“Survivor,” pre-“Temptation Island.” The only people who knew this tiny country existed way back then were divers and backpackers.

And Morley Safer. Around this time, Mr. Safer broadcast a “60 Minutes” segment from Belize, in which he traveled the Belize River in a small wooden boat. From that humble perch, on the river, looking up into the camera, Morley declared:

“The good news from Belize is…no news from Belize.”

The sentiment stuck. It was repeated to me by several I met during that first scouting trip, and, over the years since, I’ve borrowed it many times myself.

Today it comes to mind again as I sit down to write to you of the Live and Invest in Belize Conference taking place as you read this. This must be…I don’t know…maybe the 30th Belize event I’ve sponsored. What can I tell you about this country…about the conference taking place in Belize City this week…that might qualify as new, interesting, and worthwhile?

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Why Do Americans Retire Overseas?

We Must Be Pretty Weird Because, You Know, We’re Expats

March 18, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Countries generally live better on the inside than they look on the outside.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

In my experience, most countries look better, and live better, on the inside than what we'd predict from the outside.

Consider France, for example.

Outside France we read about strikes, the world's highest taxes, a broken welfare state, and Arab riots. We hear of snotty innkeepers, arrogant food vendors, and pickpockets who target tourists.

Yet once inside France we enjoy red wine and leg of lamb, the Louvre and the Pompidou. We wander through a thousand years of European history. We still hear about things like subway strikes, but we find that those things rarely affect us.

Or consider Argentina. From outside Argentina we read about travel restrictions, currency controls, import controls, an arrival tax targeting Americans, media censors, and a terrible crime problem. From the outside, Argentina looks exactly like the mess it is.

But once we're in Buenos Aires we eat thick steaks, dance tango, go to the opera, and sit at beautiful sidewalk cafes. We spend a morning at the Costanera Sur, perhaps the world's finest urban wildlife refuge.

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Advantages Of Living, Retiring, And Investing Overseas

Live, Retire, Invest Overseas? What’s The Point?

March 17, 2014, Panama City, Panama: CNN and BBC offer one view of the world; Live and Invest Overseas offers another.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

What is it I think I’m doing…the CNN reporter wondered of me on Friday?

This business…this life…what is the point, he wanted to know?

I tried not to sound defensive as I offered the simplest response my brain could muster in an instant.

What’s the real answer to that question? I was distracted all weekend trying to figure that out.

In January 1985 I took a job with a little publishing company in Baltimore, Maryland, where I’d grown up and gone to school and had no plan, at the time, ever to leave. I was an English-lit major who wanted to write. The publishing industry in Baltimore was small, and if I didn’t find a place for myself in it soon enough my father intended to find me a job in the computer industry instead. That seemed a more sensible path to him. Surely I couldn’t count on making a living as a writer.

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.

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