In the previous article “Complete Cost of Retiring in Belize,” we examined the total cost of living in Belize. The total includes factors such as QRP application, legal expenses, transportation and moving costs. However, many retirees also wonder what they need on a month-to-month basis to live in the country.
If you are wondering if you can live on US$1,500 a month in Belize, the answer is yes! You may have to be careful about how you spend, but that budget is very doable.
Example US$1,500 Budget
This is a sample budget based on realistic costs living in Belize. It shows what you can expect to spend on monthly expenses while keeping your total costs around US$1,500.
|Example Budget To Retire Belize 1500 Monthly Costs|
|Expense||Monthly Budget in $USD|
|Internet & Phone||$100|
|Eating Out/Other Entertainment||$150|
This budget assumes that you own your home. Renting is typically between $450 and $600 in Belize. Of course, you can skip the homeowner’s insurance and property taxes if you are renting.
Although the above budget is not for a lavish lifestyle, it isn’t for a spartan one either. There is money for help with cleaning the house and taking care of the garden. Additionally, it plans for eating out sometimes and buying luxury items from time to time. It is possible to reduce the budget even further if necessary. However, $1,500 per month is a reasonable amount to live on in Belize.
Best Places To Live When Spending US$1,500 A Month
If you want to keep your expenses down, it is important to choose a manageable place to live. Nonetheless, you want to have access to entertainment, healthcare and other important facilities.
The largest city in the country is very doable on a $1,500 a month budget. Some sources place the cost of living for an expat or retiree in the city at around $1,058. While that budget may be a little tight, you should be able to easily make our example budget work there.
This district in Western Belize is very affordable. It is a little more oriented towards locals, but plenty of expats choose to live here. You could likely make a budget of US$1,000 work here if you were careful and used only local resources and goods. With US$1,500, you will have plenty of room to enjoy life.
This area is a little more expensive. However, if you own your home outright and are careful, you can enjoy this island for around US$1,500 per month. The most expensive cost by far for most people who live here is rent, which can be around US$800 per month. If you avoid that, you will be in good shape to make a smaller budget work.
Most Expensive Places To Live
Of course, there are some places you will want to avoid living if working with a tight budget. If you want to live in San Ignacio or Corozal, you will likely need closer to US$2,000. Similarly, San Pedro, a relatively expensive part of Ambergris Caye, will require more than US$1,500 per month. Caye Caulker is another popular spot for expats that will likely run over the example budget if you live there.
Expenses You’ll Need To Avoid
There are some luxuries you will likely need to skip to retire in Belize with US$1,500 a month. You’ll likely want to avoid imported foods, as these can be very expensive. Take advantage of locally produced foods and local restaurants, both of which are high quality and very enjoyable.
Additionally, you will likely want to avoid paying rent. Although rents in Belize are not very expensive, it is much more manageable if you can sell your current home and buy a new home in cash. This will make stretching the rest of your savings much easier.
Belize provides public healthcare to residents including expats and foreign-born retirees. You will likely be unable to pay for health insurance or private, specialist care on this budget. However, you can always return to the U.S. to use Medicare for a few days per year.
Generating An Income
One option for making your savings go further is to generate an income doing something you enjoy. Semi-retirement is a great way to live life to the fullest. This will help you live in some of the more expensive places such as Caye Caulker.
A lot of people who move to Belize work remotely for organizations in their home countries. This can be a very lucrative way to earn some extra income while keeping a low cost of living. These are some tips for making the most of remote work:
- Make sure you have access to good Wi-Fi. Just because somewhere has Wi-Fi doesn’t mean it is a strong connection.
- Don’t forget to schedule some time to enjoy retirement. Try to plan your day so that around noon and early afternoon you can enjoy the amazing Belizean weather.
- Organize your work before moving to Belize. It will be much easier to find and secure opportunities in your home country.
If you follow these tips, you can work a short week and enjoy living in Belize while making your budget stretch further. With remote work, you can live in Belize even on the smallest of savings.