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Retired To Carmelita In Cayo, Belize

From First-Timers To Old Hands–How Kathy And Jim Retired To Belize

Feb. 3, 2013 Belize City, Belize: Kathy and Jim Suits retired from Washington State to Carmelita, in Belize’s Cayo District, where they’re embracing a sweet, simple, back-to-basics life in the company of fellow and like-minded American retirees.

“As soon as we got off the plane in Belize for the first time,” Kathy Suits says, “we immediately felt comfortable. It felt like coming home, even though we’d never been here before.”

Today, Kathy and her husband Jim are full-time Belize expats. They participated in this week’s Live and Invest in Belize Conference, but not as attendees. Kathy and Jim came to tell all their fellow readers in this country for the first time about their own experience progressing from Belize first-timers to old Belize hands.

Move to Cayo Belize

Like everyone in Belize City this week, Kathy and Jim began their Belize adventures by attending a Live and Invest Overseas Conference. During that event, four years ago, they were intrigued by Phil Hahn’s presentation on the community he was, at the time, just beginning to create out in the Cayo at Carmelita. After the conference, Kathy and Jim traveled out to see Carmelita with Phil. It was everything they had expected and more–a green and verdant part of this country where people embrace a sweet and simple lifestyle. Kathy and Jim were hooked. They bought a lot on the river.

When they discovered Belize, Kathy and Jim were both already retired from the U.S. Air Force and were operating the financing planning and income tax preparation business they’d started. They sold that business last year, then, six months ago, made the move to Belize they’d been planning for and dreaming about for so long. The relocated from Washington state to San Ignacio, Belize.

“We feel like we’ve retired to Mayberry,” Kathy explains.

Kathy and Jim are renting a house in San Ignacio until their custom Carmelita home is complete, later this year. They visit the site several times a week, checking on construction progress. Their new home, when it’s finished, will look out over the river and feature a large kitchen and living area with adjoining bar. This living space will open onto their pool and deck, facing the river below.

“We’ve designed the place for lots of company,” Kathy says. “I love to cook, and Jim is perfecting his bar-tending skills.”

The couple is already earning a reputation as the community’s on-site welcoming committee. Speaking on behalf of all fellow Belize expats, we can’t wait to be invited over for the housewarming party!

Ann Kuffner

Image source: Ian Mackenzie

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