From Software Millionaires, Humble Farmers, And Eco-Adventurers To Volunteers,
Privacy Seekers, and Retirees Looking To Stretch Their Retirement Budgets While Enjoying The Adventures Of Their Lifetimes...
Savvy, Independent-Minded People From
All Walks Of Life Are Opting For
Low-Key, English-Speaking Belize
In Ever-Growing Numbers
Here's A Road Map To Help You Decide If Belize Could Be A Fit For You, Too
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
We first alerted you to the many charms of little English-speaking Belize in 1987. In those days, it was mainly scuba divers, sport anglers, and independent free spirits who invested or made new homes in Belize. Back then, Belize was pretty rough around the edges. And both Belizeans and expat residents preferred it that way.
I was in Belize recently, and, boy, what a difference 20-plus years have made! You could say the tides have shifted...
When John McAfee, the well-known anti-virus software multi-millionaire, packed up, left the United States, and moved to Ambergris Caye, we couldn't help but shake our heads.
From barefoot fishermen to the rich and famous? Why is Belize now attracting people from such diverse walks of life? Some are famous, ridiculously wealthy public figures...others are just normal folks like you and me.
The common denominator I can identify among everyone finding his (or her) way to Belize's shores today--from scuba enthusiasts and eco-adventurers to missionaries and billionaire investors--is a desire for a simpler, freer, more private way of life.
With everything going on in the world these days, Belize's back-to-basics lifestyle is almost irresistibly appealing.
And it's attracting a new breed of investors and expats eager to stake their claims. They come seeking escape from the doom and gloom back home. They come seeking the freedom to live their own lives and to make their own way. They come in search of privacy, for themselves and for their money. They come in search of paradise.
And they're not disappointed. For example...
Who Are All These Expats Seeking Escape And Safe Haven In Belize?Eve's a great example. She spends five to six months a year living part-time on Ambergris Caye, Belize's best-known and most-developed Caribbean lifestyle choice. Every winter, Eve and her husband look forward to escaping the grueling Canadian winter in San Pedro Town, where they own a small condo on the beach. It's perfect for them. Eve's constantly in town, where she knows everyone. She spends her time volunteering. There's no shortage of opportunities to get involved with the local community here, and Eve takes full advantage. You see her everywhere, at every social event, always with a smile on her face.
Ambergris Caye is quintessential Caribbean, offering all the azure water, white sand, and swaying palm trees your island-loving soul could ask for. It's also the most expensive lifestyle choice in this country. But don't worry. You have many other desirable but lower-cost choices, as well. More on those in a minute...
Residency That's Ultra User Friendly AndAnn Kuffner, our Belize Correspondent, was originally attracted to Belize for its diving. She wasn't even thinking about retirement when she made her first visit to the country.
But, the better she got to know Belize, the more she came to appreciate the advantages it offers the would-be retiree. Ann and her husband Mike bought a piece of land on Ambergris Caye, built a home, and, eventually, looked seriously at Belize's residency options, including its resident-retiree program.
Their conclusion? Belize is hard to beat, not only for the Caribbean lifestyle it offers on its cayes, but also for how easy it makes it for a foreign retiree to make Belize home.
And a QRP retiree can be as young as 45 years of age!
Today, Ann lives in Belize full-time with her husband. He's a full-time resident; she's a QRP. They made their decisions as to which residency option they wanted to pursue independently and, as a result, have been able to take full advantage of the residency benefits Belize has to offer.
Ann and Mike pay no US income taxes on income they earn while living in Belize. Because they're Americans, they retain a tax obligation Stateside, of course. However, because they're Americans abroad, residing full-time in Belize, they can earn up to US$180,000 of income each year that is U.S. tax-free. And, Ann is not liable for taxes in Belize, either, since she's a QRP.
Plus, thanks to their residency statuses, they were able to ship their personal belongings and household goods into the country duty-free...
No Translation Required!Linda is a professional artist who first visited Belize on a catamaran charter. She and her boyfriend had attended a conference in Panama in 2004. They drove all around Panama and considered settling in that country, but Linda didn't feel comfortable. The idea of learning Spanish was just too daunting for her. She couldn't talk to the locals, so she felt unable to connect with them.
But Belize was a different story from the day they first arrived. Every day the couple was able to dive, snorkel, and fish among Belize's beautiful Caribbean cayes, all the while making friends with the local Belizeans. Linda felt safe and welcome from the start.
After her initial visit, Linda worked out a swap with a resort on Ambergris Caye so she could return. In exchange for free accommodation, she completed a number of paintings for the resort owner. And, during that five-week trip, she made her decision. Belize would be her new home.
Linda returned to her old home in Monterey, California. It took her a year to sell her house and her art gallery and to prepare for the move. Today, Linda is a fully delighted full-time resident of Belize, where she has opened two art galleries. She divides her time between Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio and loves both locations and the wonderfully relaxed lifestyle they afford her...
The Sustainable LifeBelize is also a top choice if you're interested in a "sustainable life"--an opportunity to live off the grid, completely self-sufficient.
Good friends in this country have been living the sustainable life for more than three decades, since long before it was a fashionable idea.
That was more than 30 years ago and, today, Mick and Lucy have developed their Chaa Creek property into the most impressive and most applauded rain forest eco-resort in the country, rated the Best Eco-Resort in all the Caribbean by Caribbean Travel & Life four years straight.
A visit to Chaa Creek qualifies as a luxury experience these days. However, it's still very possible to have the back-to-basics, off-the-grid experience that first attracted Mick and Lucy to this part of Belize so many years ago.
Today, the Cayo District, is the fastest-growing area in the country. The lush tropical rain forests you find here, the abundant freshwater rivers, the largest underground cave system in the Western Hemisphere, and the fertile Belize River Valley once supported hundreds of thousands of Maya. Today, they support 21st-century adventurers and environmentalists looking to escape to a simpler, sweeter life.
One Of The World's Most User-Friendly JurisdictionsBelize is a tiny country, about the size of Massachusetts, with a population of just 330,000 people. The entire country is like a small town. It's easy to become part of the community here. Everyone's friendly. Welcoming. Very willing to lend a hand and to make an effort for a neighbor.
But it's not only your neighbors who'll go out of their way to make your new life in Belize easy, comfortable, and everything you want it to be...
Take local politicians, for example. In Belize, they mingle. They're happy to talk to you, even to listen!
Take a walk in downtown San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye any weekend, and you'll likely run into Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia, relaxed and barefoot. When he's out, as he often is, the Prime Minister likes to stop to chat with his constituents. Most are his relatives, friends, and neighbors.
Easy access to a local politician like this really makes a difference, believe me, when you need assistance on a business or an immigration issue.
Local politicians are easily accessible in this country...and so is the local banking industry, which qualifies as seriously user-friendly.
Belize banks are safe, secure, and private. This is one of the most appealing offshore banking jurisdictions in the world right now. Small, low-key, and off-the-radar. Those are the best descriptions for the Belize banking industry. And, in times like these, low-key and off-the-radar are both big benefits when it comes to banking.
Belizeans value nothing more than personal freedom, privacy, and respect. The independent Maya were the first to inhabit Belize. Centuries later, renegade pirates, in search of privacy, settled here. Then the Mennonites emigrated to Belize. They came for religious freedom.
This tradition of privacy and security is nowhere more important than in this country's banking industry.
Belize is a true banking haven, a jurisdiction that prizes banking secrecy. Anyone in the Belize banking industry who violates the country's secrecy laws goes to jail for a minimum of 18 months. Trust me. You don't want to spend 18 months in a Belize jail.
Ironically, the recent meltdown of the world's biggest banks has been a turning point for little Belize. Before the crisis, no one cared about bank liquidity rates. Today, the fact that all banks in Belize are required by law to maintain liquidity rates of at least 24% gets investors' attention...for good reason. Belize banks sailed through the recent global industry meltdown without worry. Belize bankers sat back and shook their heads at the shenanigans going on in other jurisdictions around the world, feeling rightly a little smug that their depositors' money was safe.
It's super-easy to open a bank account in Belize, as a resident or a non-resident. You don't even have to make the trip down to the country. Belize is one jurisdiction where you can open an account long-distance.
No need to be a millionaire either. You can open even a non-resident account in Belize with as little as US$500...
Your Own Piece Of Belize ForIt's easy to purchase property in Belize, too. And the opportunities on offer are tempting...from deeply discounted beach condos on Ambergris (being offered by highly motivated sellers right now) to emerging-market buys in the Cayo, where you can own in a private riverfront community, for example, for as little as US$20,000.
As Little As US$20,000
Not ready to buy? You can rent in the Cayo and elsewhere for as little as US$200 per month.
Meaning you could enjoy a rich and comfortable retirement in one of the world's most appealing offshore havens today with a retirement nest egg of US$1,000 per month or less...maybe much less...
In Belize, Both You And Your Assets Are SafeBelize offers two structures specifically designed to help keep your assets safe. The Belize International Business Corporation (IBC) and the Belize Trust are both solid parts of a plan to protect your assets, including from frivolous lawsuits.
We're not suggesting you do anything that is not legal or 100% compliant, of course. My point is that you can create a structure in Belize that is fully legal and compliant...and also rock solid.
Entrepreneurs Most WelcomeSavvy investors looking to keep their investments and their assets safe are finding their way to Belize's shores in growing numbers...
As are entrepreneurs looking for opportunity.
If I had to choose a single word to describe Belize, it'd be "potential." Belize is a frontier. A land for pioneers.
The Belize government is doing its part to make modern-day pioneers feel welcome. Opening a business in this country is straightforward and relatively red tape-free. As an entrepreneur in Belize, you enjoy significant tax advantages when you structure your business properly.
Remember, all transactions take place in English. Plus, Belize's no-nonsense legal system is tied to the high court in Great Britain. This gives many investors and business-owners the comfort of familiarity.
As a result, Belize is enjoying an influx of Americans, Canadians, French, Italians, Brits, Irishmen, Jordanians, even East Europeans, all making their way to this country to stake a claim.
One of the best-known among this group is Francis Ford Coppola, the award-winning American movie director. In the early 1980s, Coppola visited Belize and, like so many others, fell in love. Like so many others before him and since, he wanted a little piece of Belize of his own. He purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge.
Mr. Coppola was drawn to Belize by the beauty of the country itself. But, in time, he came to appreciate the advantages of setting up a business here. And he continues to invest. Coppola bought a second inn in Belize, this time in Placencia, in 2001. The Turtle Inn, located on a white-sand beach that dissolves into the clear Caribbean Sea, "is a personal joy," Francis says. "It features any number of original ideas and details, which, I confess, continue to delight me. I made the resort as rustic as I love and as luxurious as I could."
The open-arms business climate encourages this kind of innovation and imaginative investment.
Where In Belize Might Suit You Best?Belize is a tiny country, but its geography belies its diversity. Perhaps the biggest challenge as you consider all the opportunities that Belize has to offer is determining where in the country might suit you best.
What part of Belize calls to you?
Are you drawn to the pristine sugar-sand cayes and the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean?...
Or would you feel more at home amidst the lush rain forest, the mountainside waterfalls, and the rivers that meander through ceremonial Mayan caves in the Cayo?...
Maybe the lively and growing communities, both expat and Belizean, of San Pedro Town and San Ignacio would suit you?
Would you prefer a simple, close-to-nature lifestyle, living fully self-sufficient and off-the-grid?...
Or are you more inclined toward an active, vibrant community in a town that has colorful festivals, trendy restaurants, expat-run cafes, and lively beach bars?
Are you an entrepreneur looking for a niche to fill? Or a would-be volunteer, looking to give back?
Are you seeking a low-cost, easy-to-obtain retirement residency...part-time escape...or a second passport?
All these things and many others are possible in this beautiful little country.
So, again...how do you choose how to make the most of all the opportunity Belize has to offer right now?
How Do You Determine if Belize isYou get help from the experts.
Right for You?
You seek out direct access to comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date intelligence and insights. Not information. You can get all the information on Belize you want free from google. That's something else.
I've been spending time in Belize for nearly 25 years at this point, and, over those two-plus decades, I've developed an extensive network of in-Belize friends, contacts, and resources, experts all at living, investing, and doing business in this country.
And, when we decided to create our new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit," I called on them all.
To Create Our New "Live and Invest in Belize Kit," I've Called On All My Top Belize ExpertsContributors to our brand-new, hot-off-the-virtual press "Live and Invest In Belize Kit" include:
Part-time Belize expat, Amma has written our new "Live and Invest in Belize Manual" for us. After four years living and doing business in this country, Amma knows Belize from the ground up and the inside-out. When we decided to publish the definitive guide to Belize, we knew that Amma was the woman for the job...
Full-time Belize expat and regular Belize Correspondent for our publications, Ann and her husband have bought land, built a house, started a fitness club, and participated as partners in a condo development on Ambergris Caye. In our new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit," Ann speaks, therefore, firsthand about living, investing, and doing business in this country...
Longtime friend, part-time Belize expat, and full-time Belize developer, Phil Hahn's interests in this country are focused on Corozal and the Cayo. In both regions, Phil has been involved in the development of expat-focused communities incorporating the ideas of "New Urbanism" and self-sustainability...
President of Caye International Bank, Peter Zipper has more than 25 years experience in the international banking industry. After spending much of his career in Switzerland and Austria, what's Peter doing in Belize? As he explains it, if you want your money to be secure these days, the big-name jurisdictions are not the right choice. You should be looking at Belize precisely because it has managed to remain largely off the world's radar...
Another longtime friend, Joel Nagel is an attorney who has focused his long career on international tax, banking, and asset protection issues. He has also focused his attention on the jurisdiction of Belize and is the most expert attorney I know when it comes to strategies for protecting your assets through vehicles available in this country...
Plus 28 Live Recordings From 18 Other Belize Experts On Everything From Establishing Residency And Finding a Rental To Purchasing Real Estate And Shopping For Health InsuranceIn addition to intelligence, insights, recommendations, and advice from this core group of Belize experts, for this all-new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit," we're also including the recordings of 18 other Belize contacts and resources made over the two-and-a-half days of our recent Live and Invest in Belize Conference in Belize City.
This is an invaluable collection of live presentations (28 recordings in total) by all our top Belize experts that you can listen to and reference as often as you like.
This Is the Easiest, Most Efficient Way to Launch Your Belize AdventuresYou could go it alone. But that takes time and money. And, going it alone, without the judgment and the advice of others who've already been spending time and money in the place you're considering doing the same, is risky. You could spend a lot of time and money and still make a fundamental error in your approach.
And we've already talked about the value of information. There's a reason you can access so much of it free on the Internet these days. Information without judgment comes free because it's worth nothing.
You don't need to struggle or to take your chances on your own.
That's why we've put together our all-new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit." In total, this is a collection of 31 resources, including:
This Is All The Nitty-Gritty You Need To Make The Wisest Possible DecisionThe "Live and Invest in Belize Manual" alone is an invaluable tool. But it's just the start of our new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit." This one-of-a-kind collection of resources addresses every critical question you'll face as you consider options and opportunities in Belize, such as:
Therefore, for a limited time only, I'm making our new "Live and Invest in Belize Kit" available for only US$198.
That's a savings of more than 50% off the retail value.
Months of research, scouting, and on-the-ground reconnaissance have gone into creating these one-of-a-kind resources. In other words, we have a great deal invested. You can understand, therefore, why we won't be able to continue to make this collection of resources available at this discounted price for long.
Again, you have only a limited time to act. After that time, the price will increase.
Publisher, Live and Invest Overseas
P.S. This is your limited-time chance to gain access to the most complete and current guide to opportunities for living, retiring, investing, and doing business in Belize available anywhere. If Belize is on your radar, as it should be, I urge you to act now.
Order your copy of our just-published "Live and Invest in Belize Kit" right now and save more than 50% off the retail value.
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