“Kathleen, I have been taking your course and really hope it works for us. We have picked Belize.
“We wanted Costa Rica, but decided it would be just too hard to do what we want there. Belize is English. I spent the last 20 years living in a place where everyone spoke French and do not want to have to start retirement in another language. So Belize is in the running. We are going in October to check it out.
“My question is this: Does Belize have problems with garbage? Also, can we send our pensions to a Belize bank and live and shop in Belize dollars? Should we keep a U.S. credit card for bigger purchases?”
–Jennifer W., United States
Garbage can be a problem in Central America in general, worse some places than others. It’s a bigger problem in more populated areas, especially in Belize City, for example. You’ll need to pass your own judgment on how big a problem it is in the place where you’re thinking about settling.
You’ll have to check with whoever is paying your pensions to find out whether they can be direct deposited into a Belize bank. If you are talking about Social Security, the answer is yes, it can be.
Next, yes, you could withdraw cash from your Belize bank account and spend those Belize dollars locally. And, yes, you could transfer other funds from the United States to Belize as needed.
Finally, yes, you should keep a U.S. credit card. In fact, we recommend keeping two when you move overseas, no matter where you move. You should always have a backup.
“Kathleen, I just saw your story in the Washington Post! I am proud of you!
“You had a lot of influence on our moving to Transylvania six years ago. We are very happy and have traveled to over 50 countries from here.
“Thanks to you!”
–Guy and Maria J., Americans in Romania
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