As we have welcomed big numbers of new readers recently… and as many of us find ourselves spending much more time indoors than usual, connecting with the world virtually more than ever… I’d say it’s a good time to regroup.
But maybe you’re not interested in the Old World… and Mexico doesn’t strike your fancy…
Where else should you consider?
Belize has been one of my favorite places on earth since my first visit more than 30 years ago… and this country remains at the heart of some of my fondest daydreams.
And, as our current global circumstances remind us to prioritize places with year-round sunshine, abundant fresh water, and fertile ground, Belize becomes more attractive than ever.
Would Belize be the right place for you to think about reinventing your life overseas?
You’ll have to answer that question for yourself. To prompt your thinking, here are the top 9 reasons this beautiful land on the Caribbean stands out as a top option for living or retiring overseas:
Everyone speaks English. One of the biggest challenges you can face when making a move to a new country is communicating with your new neighbors. Anywhere you might think about moving, including Belize, you’ll have to learn to overcome and adapt to cultural differences. A language difference makes that and everything else, from giving directions to a taxi driver and filling a prescription at the pharmacy to getting your broken hot water heater fixed and negotiating for the purchase of a new home, a whole lot more difficult. In Belize, you don’t have to worry about learning a new language if you don’t want to.
The whole country feels like a small town. The small population makes it easy to become part of the community, and both locals and expats who’ve settled here are welcoming and willing to lend a hand or make an effort for a neighbor.
This is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. With its barrier reef (the second longest in the world), rivers, sandy coast, offshore islands, Mayan ruins, and inland rainforest, Belize offers every kind of adventure you can imagine. And thanks to a developed infrastructure of in-country flights (the only infrastructure in Belize that could be described as “developed”), you can hop around from one landscape to another easily and quickly. Spend the morning snorkeling on the reef offshore Ambergris Caye then hop a flight to Cayo for an afternoon of cave tubing on a rainforest river.
A Caribbean beach lifestyle at a bargain price compared with the cost of living in other Caribbean destinations. Inland, in Cayo District, the cost of living is lower still and becomes even more affordable the more local you make your lifestyle. A couple could live comfortably in Cayo on a budget of as little as US$1,500 per month.
The country is blessed with abundant year-round sunshine. Rainy season extends from June to November, but, even during those months, skies are sunny more than they’re not. The reliable sunshine makes for happy, healthy living and also a great growing environment. Many living in Belize grow their own vegetables in small kitchen gardens, and everywhere the landscape is lush.
Belize is safe. Some small areas of Belize City suffer from a drug trade, gangs, and the activities that come with those cultures. However, those are localized neighborhoods. Avoid them. Otherwise, Belize is one of the safest places on earth and far removed from 21st-century troubles.
As it has throughout its history, Belize welcomes foreigners and today makes it easy for any foreigner who wants to stick around indefinitely. You have two super user-friendly options for becoming a permanent resident.
Belize remains off the world’s radar. Nobody is targeting Belize or intent on stirring up trouble here. Most of the world doesn’t give Belize a second thought. In today’s world, that’s a plus.
It’s possible to live in Belize tax-free. Foreign residents pay no tax in Belize on non-Belize income.