Live, Invest and Retire to Belize

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More Good News From Belize

BelizeSeaIn the 18 years since we first visited this country, we’ve joked perennially that “the good news from Belize is…no news from Belize.” This is a sleepy Caribbean nation with but 300,000 people and three highways.

On the other hand, little Belize offers a whole lot of what many tourists, retirees, and investors are looking for: sandy beachfront, both along its mainland coast and encircling its offshore cays. Prices for a bit of sand on Ambergris, the most developed of Belize’s islands, are through the stratosphere, and values along the mainland, especially south around Placencia and north at Corozal, are following suit.

Still, Belize, both its coast and its way of life, can be a great buy. We favor its interior Cayo region, which boasts Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest.

For non-Americans, Belize offers the opportunity for tax-free living. Legal residency is easy to obtain through the country’s Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program. Foreign residents pay no tax in Belize on non-Belize income. Thus, be you British, German, Australian, or Irish, for example, you could become a QRP and reduce your overall tax burden to virtually nothing…

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Belize at a Glance

Population 294,385 (July 2007)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)  $2.336 billion (2007)
GDP Per Capita $7,800 (2007)
Inflation Rate 2.8% (2007)
Currency Belizean Dollar (BZD)
Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar Belizean dollars per 1 U.S. dollar (Mar 2008)
Languages English (official), Belize Creole English,  Spanish
Capital Belmopan
Population of Capital City 12,300 (2004)
Time Zone  GMT minus 6
Seasons Tropical; hot and humid;rainy season lasts from June to November
International Dialing Code 501
Electricity 110/220 V / 60Hz; Plug Types: B, G
System of Government Parliamentary Democracy
Name and Party Affiliation
of Current Leader
Dean Barrow
United Democratic Party
Income Tax Rate for Residents 15% to 45%
Property Tax 2% to 9%
Capital Gains Tax None
Inheritance Tax None
Rental Income Tax
Transfer Tax 3% to 10%
Sales Tax 9%
Restrictions on Foreign
Ownership of Property
None
Local Chamber of Commerce www.belize.org/bcci/
63 Regent St
P.O. Box 291
Belize City
Tel: 501-227-3148
American Chamber of Commerce www.amchambelize.org
5 1/2 Miles Western Highway
Cucumber Beach Marina
Belize City
Tel: 501-222-4344
Primary Exports Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish, molasses, wood.
Residency and Visa Requirements Tourist Visa: automatic 30 days upon entry, renewable for up to 6 months
Residency: visa extended every 3 months for people living in remote areas away from the Immigration Office, potentialinvestors, and business people
Citizenship: After 5 years of legal residency
Special Benefits for Foreign
Residents or Retirees
Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Act includes tax-free import of household goods, including vehicle, boat, or airplane; no Belize income tax
National Airline None
Preferred Contact

 

 

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Live And Invest Overseas

Live and Invest Overseas is the world's savviest source for top opportunities to live better, retire in style, invest for profit, do business, and own real estate overseas. Established in 2008, the Live and Invest Overseas' editors and correspondents have more experience researching and reporting on top opportunities for living well, investing for profit, doing business, and owning real estate around the world than anyone else you'll find.