Would you like to move to Belize? If so, you might have a lot of questions about life there. What is life like for expats in this small country?
In this LIOS Podcast, Kathleen and Lief will answer just that.
While Belize offers many upsides for expats, no place is perfect. For Kathleen and Lief, these are some quirks and downsides of Belize:
While English is the official language of Belize, you may encounter some minor language barriers. This is due to the pidgin English spoken in the country. Usually, Belizeans will switch to an English you can understand, but don’t be surprised if you have to pick up on the creole.
Asking for directions might be very confusing. There may be no streets named or left/right indications when you ask for directions. This can be frustrating for many.
It is well known that infrastructure is not Belize’s strong suit. Belize only has three highways and they’re two ways streets. Infrastructure in Belize is improving, but still very lacking and not like the one you would find in the developed world.
Having a car is expensive because the import duties and gas taxes are high. Also, you’ll need a strong 4×4 car in Belize. Maintaining said car may be one of the most expensive things in your budget. It is possible to live without a car on the mainland, but if you want to go elsewhere, you should consider a car.
Like mentioned before, import duties are generally high in Belize. In this case, the QRP visa offers an advantage. With the QRP program, you’re allowed to bring your household goods and a car duty-free. However, you need to remember that this is a one-time deal.
Property tax is very cheap. This can be good but it has a downside. The low property taxes mean that there is not a lot of resources allocated for infrastructure, health care, etc. Also, when you buy real estate in Belize you have to pay an 8% transfer tax if you’re a foreigner.
This is not a strong suit for Belize but it is slowly improving. Local health insurance companies have plans that cover you in Belize but also in Guatemala and Mexico. Many go to these countries to get treatment. Also, you could opt to go to the U.S. if you need medical treatment since it’s so close.
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