10 Reasons to Retire in Belize
1. There is a lot to do. Belize is perfect for those who love simple, outdoor activities. At Orchid Bay, you can walk along the beach, go saltwater fishing, swim, snorkel, dive and more. There are also many opportunities for adventure and exploration. You can hike the Mayan mountains, discover ancient ruins and canoe along the jungle rivers.
2. Your wellbeing is improved. Belize is obviously not as industrialized in regards to healthcare facilities and technology. However, simply by getting away from the polluted air and processed food of the cities in the States, your health and level of happiness can improve. The climate in Belize can help with aches and pains, arthritis, blood pressure and obesity.
3. The local culture is rich and diverse. There are many different types of local people in Belize. The Maya were one of the most fascinating and advanced races of their time, and their history lingers in the ancient temples and ruins throughout the country. Hispanics, Garifunas and Mennonites have also all made a home in Belize, and each has its own unique customs and way of life to explore.
4. There are no crowds. Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. At about the size of Massachusetts (which has a population of 6,400,000), Belize has a population of only about 300,000. This means that outside of the cities, you can drive for miles without seeing houses or people.
5. You can use American money in most places. Although the US dollar is not the official currency of Belize (the Belize dollar is), most establishments will accept US currency as a practical matter. For decades, the currency rate in Belize has been two Belize dollars to one American dollar. Because the Belizean currency does not float against the US dollar, prices in Belize are much more stable for the American dollar holder.
6. Property rights prevent you from losing your property. Belize uses the same system as Canada and the United States when it comes to property rights. Based on the traditions of English Common Law, squatters are not allowed on your land, even if it is unoccupied. This has sometimes been a problem for expats in other countries, and they have great difficulty getting squatters off their land. However, the legal system in Belize makes sure that property is respected and protected.
7. There is escape from the consumer culture. While this may be somewhat aggravating when trying to find a fast meal at dinnertime, a life without so much stuff can be freeing. You will not find a Sam’s Club or Burger King in Belize, but if you really miss them, they are only a short drive across the border to Mexico.
8. The government is democratic and stable. Unlike Mexico and many other places in Central America, you do not have to stress about a violent revolution or coup with the government in Belize. Because Belize is a part of the Commonwealth, it operates as a democracy. The citizens of Belize are also highly involved in the political process, with a voter turnout of close to 80% in the last election.
9. The attitude is laid back and stress free. Unlike the fast-paced and high demand lifestyle in the states, Belizeans’ way of life operates much more slowly. Living on ‘Belize time’ means taking your time and knowing you can always get to it tomorrow. People in Belize are less concerned with deadlines and punctuality and more with appreciating the present moment.
10. The price is right. Generally, expats living in Belize find that they can live better in Belize for cheaper than in the States or Canada. Many retirees have said they can get by on around $2,000 a month, all while living on a seafront property. Although electricity and gasoline (and imported goods) are more expensive in Belize than abroad, housing, insurance, household help and medical care are much cheaper.