Retirement Around the World – Belize
Published on October 18, 2013
Belize has been getting a lot of attention lately as a retirement haven and it’s not hard to figure out why:
- The official language is English
- U.S. currency is accepted and
- It’s relatively inexpensive to move there
Belize borders Guatemala, Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Since it is on the Caribbean Sea, the water is warm year-round. The flight from New York City to Belize City is a little over 4 hours, making it very attractive to Americans because they are able to be back in the U.S. quickly, yet they will feel like they are a world away.
Retirement for Belizeans
In Belize, if you are over the age of 14 and working, you are able to contribute to Social Security, but must apply yourself. If a person is self-employed, they are able to apply to become an insured person. Once a Belizean is an insured person, they can receive several different types of benefits. Some of the benefits are: the Sickness Benefit, Maternity Benefit, Retirement Benefit, Invalidity Benefit, and Survivors Benefit.
With the Retirement Benefit, a person can begin collecting between the ages of 60 and 64 if they retire from an insurable job; if they decide not to retire, they can still receive the Retirement Benefit, starting at age 65. Belizeans who do not qualify for the Retirement Benefit, may be able to get a Retirement Grant, which is a one-time payment.
Americans in Belize
Retiring to Belize is extremely easy to do; the government has set up incentives for people to retire there. If you are over 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least $2,000 then you can qualify for the Qualified Retirement Program, which lets you bring all of your household belongings tax free! You won’t have to pay taxes on money you made outside of Belize or on any money you inherit. Also, if you want to live in a place that has a small-town feel, Belize is just right. It’s only 180 miles long by 68 miles wide with a population of 300,000 people. The people of Belize are known for being friendly and will make you feel at home right away.
Medical care in Belize is keeping pace with the needs of American retirees. However, even though the local doctors are able to take care of minor ailments, it is recommended that if you have a major medical condition that you go to neighboring Mexico or Guatemala or go back to the U.S. for treatment.
The cost of living in Belize varies depending on where you choose to live and the type of amenities you want. Renting an apartment or house can be anywhere from $500 per month to several thousand dollars per month. Belize is known as one of the most expensive countries in Central America, so you are going to be spending more than in some of the surrounding countries.
Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world which makes the diving and fishing fantastic. Between the beaches and the jungles, there is always something to do. Some of the most popular activities in Belize are: hiking in the rainforest, exploring Mayan ruins, canopy tours, caving, kayaking and any water sport. It’s not just adventures that you can go to Belize for; there are plenty of relaxing activities. The beautiful beaches in Belize give you plenty of opportunity to sit back and relax while soaking up some sun.
Living in the beautiful country will get you lots of visitors, as your family and friends will flock to Belize for vacation instead of you having to go see them.
This little country makes it very easy for Americans to live a very comfortable life on very little money. Even though Belize is becoming a popular retirement destination, it does not mean that this is the place for everyone. Doing research before moving to any country is always an important step in choosing your foreign retirement destination.
The resources below contain helpful information:
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