A tiny nation has a population of around 400,000. Belize stayed as a British Colony from 1862 – 1981. It explains why the official language here is English. Belize is a stunning nation and several vacationers find their heaven here.
But living in a place and vacationing there are two pretty separate things. If you’re planning to make a move to Belize then you’ll have to carefully consider the pros and cons of living here.
Most of the ex-pats living in Belize have a very practical idea of the pros and cons. They adore the lifestyle here which comes off as adventurous, friendly, and multicultural locals and ex-pats, affordable prices of living, stunning beaches, and ease of speaking English. But, the heavy crime rate and very limited access to quality healthcare fall among some of the cons. To know more about the advantages and disadvantages, go through the lists set out below.
The Pros of Living in Belize
1. QRP(Qualified Retired Persons) Program
The government in Belize is very interested in helping all the retirees and has made things pretty simple for them with the offering of Qualified Retired Persons or QRP programs. You’ll be able to live in Belize any month of the year if your age is 45 or greater, your income every month exceeds $2,000 and you complete a few other minor necessities. This also lets you have several tax advantages.
2. You Enjoy Numerous Tax Advantages
You’ll be able to enjoy many tax benefits under the QRP program. If you are a citizen, the first $10,000 you earn is excused from taxes. If you turn over your assets or income into a Belizean International Business Corporation or IBC, you’ll also get to completely avoid the taxes.
3. The Costs of Living are Not That High
You won’t find the costs of living in Belize pretty high as all services including household help, cable TV, healthcare costs, and food are somewhat economical. When it comes to housing, that differs, but you’ll easily find houses that are much more affordable than those in the US.
So for example, if you have about $20,000 you’ll get to purchase a three-bedroom house, which will be totally set up for your use. When it comes to renting, that is about $200 monthly. You can also build yourself a brand new house, and this will be priced somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000.
4. English is the National Language
You’ll have to learn the local language if you make a choice of retiring to other places. This is why retiring to Belize can be the easier option as English is the national language in the nation. Languages such as Spanish are also spoken but they’re not as well known as the national language.
Every person in the market area speaks English and the media, radio, and television are also English-based. The schools here are also following the English language. Right from your first day ever in Belize, you’ll find it easy to communicate with the locals and become friendly.
5. Belize Can do Wonders for Your Health
Belize makes it possible for you to focus on your health. With plenty of options for fresh fruits and veggies such as oranges, pineapple, mangoes, and grapefruits. For the non-vegetarians, there are choices of the finest quality chicken and meat.
The air in Belize is crisp and clean without hints of pollution, unlike the US. Adding to this, the tropical climate and the allure of nature, you can be sure of not being burdened by stress, depression, or any other similar problems.
6. There is Just so Much to do in Belize
Along with offering beauty, Belize also lets you indulge in several activities. Traveling back into history, taking walks on the beach, canoeing, snorkeling, there is always something for you to do in Belize.
The Cons of Living in Belize
1. Utilities Cost More than the Average Rates in the US
Even though the food and housing options are affordable in Belize, it’s just not the same when it comes to utilities. Internet access, mobile service, gas, electricity, and telephone are pricier in comparison to the United States.
2. Taxes may be exempted, but you still have to pay some of them
You’ll be expected to pay taxes at a rate of 25% if you’re earning a wage in Belize. However, this tax will be sustained once you have earned an income of $10,000. Being a non-resident, this will not be the case for you, and you will have to pay taxes right from the beginning. Also, if you take the real estate, you also have to recompense taxes, and you’ll be paying taxes on any properties that you do own.
3. Security Exhibits Concerns
There’s a risk of being a victim as there are some places in Belize where rates of criminal activities are high. Learning to avoid all these areas will make you safe from any difficulty in adjusting your life.
4. Hurricanes are Common
You should make sure to have coverage as Hurricanes are common in Belize. This comes as an additional unwanted cost.
5. Earning Residency is a Lengthy Process
You will have to go through an extended series of steps if you want to become a permanent Belize resident, you might also have to pay a significant amount.
Cost of Living in Belize
1. Connectivity and Utility
The connectivity in Belize is quite good, and the internet can run you about $60 to $100 monthly. All this including cable TV with many different channels and also the premium movie channels which can be found in the U.S.
You’ll have to pay around $65 monthly for utilities such as water, and electricity which is about similar in the U.S.
The most pricey places of Belize where ex-pats live are Ambergris Caye, Placencia, and Caye Caulker. Ambergris Caye stays at the highest end of the real estate market. At present, under $200,000, you’ll find many listings for the resort-style living, pool, with a sea view.
3.Food and Drink
You’ll easily be able to eat home-cooked local food for around $5 everywhere in Belize. The national dish here is stewed chicken, rice, and beans, mostly with a plantain. A few people eat it daily and for $5, it is readily found at every food stand and restaurant.
For only $2 to $3 per drink, you’ll be able to find local beer, rum, and vodka at bars while imported liquor and wine fall on the pricier side.