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10 Reasons To Live, Retire, And Invest In English-Speaking Belize

Top 10 Reasons We Like Belize As Much As We Do

Belize is a little country with a population of fewer than 350,000 people, most all of whom speak English. Part Caribbean, part Central American, it’s mostly wide-open spaces with a long coast and a sprinkling of small islands just offshore fringed by white sand and swaying palms.

This is one of the least densely populated places on earth. In Belize, you enjoy plenty of elbow room…and plenty of opportunity.

Belize is also peaceful, democratic, and stable. The country has generally no beefs with the rest of the world. Really, few other than scuba divers, sports fisherman, and Caribbean sun-seekers give Belize a second thought.

The country flies under the radar, and Belizeans (and those of us who appreciate what it has to offer) like it that way. Belizeans are fiercely independent folks, proud of their young democracy. More than 70% of registered voters turn out for every election. The political process in this country is dynamic, grassroots, and underfunded. That last being an especially good thing. Underfunded politicians are the best kind.

Maybe the reason Belizeans are so engaged in their political process is because they prefer to be in charge of their own destinies and aren’t interested in handing over any real power to government. This translates to few laws and little restriction.

Definitely Belizeans take a hands-off approach to living in general. Nobody interferes in his neighbor’s business.

Here are other reasons we like Belize as much as we do:

  • It’s a quick flight away from North America. It takes 2.5 hours to fly to Belize City from Miami or Houston…
  • The climate is subtropical. Temperatures range from 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the region…
  • Belizeans mind their own business but are also warm and welcoming to travelers and expats. This is a friendly country where it’s easy to feel at home…
  • Belize is an easy place to establish yourself. You can show up and settle in. Seriously, it can be that simple. Renew your tourist visa every time it expires for a year, and you’re a legal resident…
  • Belize, though, also offers a more formal residency program, called the Qualified Retirement Person (QRP) visa, that comes with tax and other benefits of the kind typical of pensionado visas throughout the region…
  • As the language is English, Belize can be an easy place to do business. Folks here speak English and write contracts in English, too…
  • Belize is an easy place to set up a corporation in the form of this country’s tax-free International Business Corporation, or IBC…
  • No restrictions are placed on foreign ownership of property, the property purchase process is straightforward, and there are no squatter’s rights…
  • You don’t have to worry about exchange risk. The Belize dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed rate of 2:1, and U.S. dollars are interchangeable in the country. If you arrive with U.S. dollars in your pocket, you don’t ever have to change money if you don’t want to…

My favorite part of Belize has always been its interior Cayo region of rivers, rainforest, and Mayan ruins. However, I do also appreciate the quintessential and affordable Caribbean lifestyle on offer out on Ambergris Caye. This little white sand-fringed island is home to an established and growing expat population in San Pedro Town and has long been my favorite place to kick it in the Caribbean, as they say.

Infrastructure in Belize isn’t a strong suit; however, this country has figured out a great air system for crisscrossing it. You can get from the Cayo to Ambergris, from Placencia to Corozal, and from Belize City to anywhere with the help of frequent, quick, and affordable in-country flights. I guess they thought they had to do something given the limited options for getting around down on the ground.

I’ve often shown up at the airport and bought tickets on the spot for flights leaving within the next 20 or 30 minutes for wherever it was I wanted to go. I’ve even had the experience, more than once, of the airline holding a flight for me when I called to say I was on my way to the airport…almost there…please can you wait? It’s not that I’m special. They do it for anyone if they can.

Belize’s super-easy approach to traveling around it by flying over it has given me an idea. We’ve bought a piece of land in Cayo where we’re planting trees and gardens and building a farmhouse. What if we coupled that with a little beachfront condo out on Ambergris? We could hop a flight from Cayo to the beach anytime the inclination struck…and rent the place out when we weren’t using it ourselves. The rental market in San Pedro is active and expanding, and I like Belize in general as a place to park capital long term.

Lief and I are returning to Belize later this month to scout current options.

Kathleen Peddicord

 

Continue Reading: Driving From The United States To Belize

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