Don’t let financing concerns hold you back from your dream of a tropical retirement. As long as you are eligible for the Qualified Retiree Program, you can reach your goal of retiring Belize Social Security. Learn more about the underlying costs and steps you need to take to retire comfortably in Belize.
How Much You Need To Retire In Belize?
Depending on your housing situation, savings and other factors, you should prepare at least $2,000 per month for your whole family. A smaller family may need less, but this is a good goal for single retirees, retired couples or small families.
Housing is a major expense that can affect how much you need to retire comfortably in Belize. Thankfully, you have a number of options to obtain a safe and secure home.
One of the most popular options for first-time expats is renting a one-bedroom unit or condo in a popular tourist area of Belize, such as Ambergris Caye. While a more costly area of the country, you can find a one-bedroom unit there for approximately $750 per month.
For a beachside condo, expect to pay at least $850 per month. Affordable housing options exist if you’re willing to be creative or live in a home that may not have all the comforts you’ve grown to expect in the U.S.
A Belizean home in a traditional neighborhood is far more affordable to rent, and you have the option of purchasing a home as well. You can make your Social Security retirement stretch even farther with a more traditional housing option, but you can still enjoy a comfortable downtown apartment or condo on an average Social Security check.
Receiving Your Social Security In Belize
Before planning your Belizean retirement with Social Security, here’s a quick reminder of the basic qualifications of these benefits. Be sure you are eligible for Social Security before starting your new life in Belize.
You must have paid into Social Security for at least 40 quarters, or 10 years, before becoming eligible for benefits. The typical age of collection is 65 if you were born before 1937.
If you were born after 1960, the typical age of collection is 67. As long as you’re eligible, you can begin collecting anytime between 62 and 70; you’ll simply receive a reduced retirement check if you begin collecting early.
Social Security is available for any U.S. citizen, regardless of the country you’re currently living in. However, as an expat, you may need to fill out a questionnaire to ensure you’re still eligible for benefits. Make sure the Social Security Administration has your valid mailing address in Belize to receive any questionnaires or other important information.
Steps To Deposit U.S. Social Security Into Your Belize Bank Account
There are two basic ways you can receive your Social Security check while in Belize. Choose which option best fits your retirement situation:
- Deposit your check in a U.S. bank account and wire funds to a Belize bank account
- Deposit funds in a Belize bank account
If you decide to deposit your check in an American bank account and then wire your funds, you need to choose a safe and convenient wiring service. Thankfully, there are many financial institutions and private companies that make it easy to send and receive money while abroad. Here are a few common companies to send your U.S. funds to a bank account in another country and currency:
- Western Union
How To Send Money To Belize
First, you’ll need to set up a bank account in Belize. Bring all your essential paperwork, such as your passport, visa and other information. Choose a bank that has a local branch near your new residence but is also a large national or international corporation for added safety.
Set up a transfer between your two banks. This will allow you to keep your Social Security funds in a U.S. bank, which can be safer than a Belize bank account. It’s a great option if you’re unsure whether you’ll stay in Belize or choose to move to a new country for your retirement.
The Social Security Administration also allows you to directly deposit your check into an account in 69 different countries around the world, including Belize. You’ll need to fill out a direct deposit form, which asks for your contact information in Belize and your Belizean bank account.
Once filled out, you’ll receive your payment in the form of Belize dollars. This makes it easier to spend money and make payments in Belize but can cost you more in transfer costs and exchange rates if you decide to move to a new country during your retirement.
Benefits Of Retiring In Belize On Social Security
The Qualified Retired Persons Program in Belize is an exciting way to spend your retirement years soaking up the sun and enjoying beautiful beaches and local scenery. When you choose to retire in Belize on Social Security, you can enjoy a number of benefits.
First, you can import many of your household goods and personal items without paying import duties. This includes larger items such as cars, planes and boats.
Find out if you can still work in consulting or other industries in Belize. The Qualified Retired Persons Program in Belize allows you to still engage in gainful employment. Your employment must be exclusively with non-residents of Belize, so any consulting or online work is a great option for retirees.
As long as you are eligible for Social Security and have at least $2,000 per month in income, you can enjoy a comfortable retirement in the warm, friendly and beautiful towns and beaches of Belize.