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Launching A New Life: Retirement In Belize

Why Carl, Carolyn, Ed, And Harvey Are Launching New Lives In Belize

I wish I could be there for all the fun! But somebody’s gotta’ mind the store.

So, while I’ve remained behind in Panama City this week, Lief is in Belize City hosting our Live & Invest in Belize Conference. He is joined by more than 30 Belize experts, expats, contacts, colleagues, and friends, who, together, are introducing the assembled group to the many benefits and advantages of life in this little English-speaking country in the Caribbean.

Because I couldn’t be in Belize City with the group myself, I asked Belize Correspondent Ann Kuffner, resident in this country, on Ambergris Caye, for five years, to keep you (and me) in touch with the goings-on…

“Carl,” Ann wrote overnight, “is in Belize City this week with us for his second Live and Invest in Belize event. Last year, he explained, he hesitated to approach me or the other speakers. He just wasn’t comfortable yet with the whole idea of moving to a new country.

“This year he contacted me via e-mail before the conference and asked if we could arrange time to speak one-on-one. I encouraged him, assuring him that this is what we are here for! In the meeting rooms of the Ft. George Hotel this week, we’ve convened about three-dozen Belize experts, all of us on hand to assist the attendees, answer their questions, and work through their fears about moving overseas.

“Carl joined my husband Mike and me for breakfast Monday morning. It’s great fun to watch as he embraces the opportunities before him. I can see that he is beginning to grasp how exciting it can be to make a move like this…to reinvent your life in a new place.

“Carl was a paralegal in his professional life and continues to work part-time on the side. He also trades online. But now what he’d like is to find a way to give back. He’s looking for opportunities to volunteer in Belize. Meantime, he’s not sure which location in this country is right for him. He’ll be going to visit Carmelita after the conference and then traveling over to Ambergris Caye to join the Grand Baymen tour group. He is staying on in Belize for a month and really intends, this trip, to figure out a plan. He is glad that he came back for a second LIO conference, because, now, he’s ready.

“Carl isn’t alone. Several other attendees in Belize City with us this week have been to other LIO events. As they’ve realized, there is so much to learn, and now, for them, this second (even third) time around, so much more is sinking in. Some have returned with a spouse or significant other, recognizing that that’s key…to make this kind of decision jointly.

“Carolyn and Ed, for example, are a 70-something couple from Michigan. They’ve sold their home recently and are working through the adjustment to being free now to pursue adventure. They’re here at the conference this week to prepare to explore options for living part-time in this country. Like many others I’m speaking with, they want to take time to look at both Ambergris Caye (Caribbean island) and the Cayo (in Belize’s interior). Carolyn and Ed, again like so many readers I’m speaking with, are taking things one step at a time, getting comfortable before making a commitment.

“In fact, I met Carolyn before this week’s conference, on Ambergris Caye last February, when she and Ed spent a few days at Grand Baymen’s resort in San Pedro. We chatted at the pool one day. When I found out she lived in Michigan, I told her I grew up in Detroit. She was a teacher there, she said, at an all-girl Catholic high school.

“‘Ah, I graduated from an all-girl Catholic high school,” I replied. “Dominican.”

“It turns out, that’s where Carolyn taught! She was a young nun at my school when I was a student. When she explained that she had been Sister Serena, I remembered her right away. She was an attractive, lively young nun, one of our favorites. Not long after that she left the convent and eventually married. What a small world!

“Harvey Kidman, another attendee here in Belize this week, is a man on a mission. Harvey sets up and runs non-profit vocational schools around the world to teach locals skills that will help them to earn a living. Harvey has been living in Afghanistan for the last few years, where he set up several schools with help from USAID and other organizations.

“Now Harvey has targeted Belize. He likes what Belize has to offer, both politically and from a doing-business point of view, and he is here this week to find out if this country is interested in the kinds of program he wants to create.

“After hearing Arturro Lizarraga, who spoke today about opportunities in Belize’s Free Zone, Harvey was encouraged. He and Arturro are meeting for dinner to discuss Harvey’s plan further…”

Kathleen Peddicord

Your New Life In Panama

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