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Retire in Belize

A Central American paradise that offers beaches, beauty and a fast track to residency status.
From left: The Mayan site of Cerros on Corozal Bay; a boat in Corozal. — Tony Rath Photography

 Let’s fast-forward to Belize’s unique appeal to U.S. retirees: It's the only south-of-the-border country whose official language is English. Until 1973 it was called British Honduras, and was a crown colony of the U.K.; it was granted full independence in 1981 (although Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state).
 Another goodie: It’s catching up to Panama and Costa Rica's retiree perks. Its Qualified Retired Persons program, known as the QRP, offers benefits and a fast track to residency status. 
 Squeezed between Mexico’s Yucatan coast and Guatemala to the south, sparsely populated Belize is a Central American paradise, with tropical jungle flora, endless white beaches, an aquamarine Caribbean sea, some of the world’s best reefs for snorkelers, fishing to die for, Mayan ruins, and even casinos. Most expats settle either on the largest island, Ambergris Caye, or in Corazol Town on the mainland’s northern tip. Ambergris Caye has the fancy restaurants and condos, including million-dollar properties. It can be as expensive as South Florida (Leonardo Di Caprio bought an island west of Ambergris Caye). The Corozal district, a few miles’ drive from the Mexican border, is far more affordable. Corozal expats live a laid-back life, with year-round outdoor play (boating, hiking, swimming, diving), but are still only 20 minutes from the malls and cineplexes of Chetumal, the capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
 After many visits to Belize, Atlantans Walter and Terri Fisher, 55 and 49, built a "concrete ranch house" with a water view for $125,000, including the lot. "The house was finished in 2007," Walter reports. "Last year we sold our house in the States, got off the corporate treadmill, and moved here. I drove down in my truck on my own, and Terri—and five cats—flew down. We're completely happy, though it’s tough being this far from family."
 A former educator, Audrey Shabbas, 68, moved to Corozal from Berkeley, California, with two of her four children three years ago. "We looked at Nicaragua, but Belize had what we wanted—water all around," she says. "We bought a home with one-third of what we got for our Berkeley house—and it’s three times as wonderful. I'm very blessed to be here."

Read the entire article here: Best Places to Retire Abroad: Belize 
Photo credit: Tony Rath


Beth said...

I think you are quite insightful.... I sort of agree with you but what about the expat haven in Cayo?

Lorenzo said...

Well of course Cayo is also a great place for expats to retire.. matter of fact, the enitre country of Belize is a haven.. we have expats all over.

Belize Diving said...

Hi Dude,

Belize is home to an interesting mix of over ten different cultures, including Garifuna, Maya, Creole, Mestizo, and German Mennonites. Belize also lays claim to hundreds of ancient Maya temples, large tracts of intact tropical rainforest, and this hemisphere's longest barrier reef. Thank you...

Travel Planner said...

If you hear a feedback from expats in Belize, majority would give a positive response about their satisfaction for staying in Belize. Most expats get a kick out of visiting to Corozal Town or Consejo.
Belize is just giving a perfect place for expats and this attracts more people to be there as well. Belize is so determined to give the best for the expats to be fulfilled with their decision of staying there.

Thanks for sharing..

iffatali said...

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. Flights to kinshasa

Petter Joe said...

Helpful article. Good for the people how need information about this. Thank you. Petter Joe

Bloomer Blowe said...

It is really nice to spend the retirement age in a place that you've wanted.Thanks for posting.

retirement accommodation

John Scherber said...

Don't overlook Mexico! After 15 months of criss-crossing Mexico, my new book looks at Americans and Canadians who’ve chosen to avoid the big expat colonies in San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. What they’ve found is both diverse and surprising. The book is called Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path. There’s a sample on my website:

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