They want to experience and explore new and exciting things in other countries, which is why most retirees love to retire in foreign countries far away from their home country. However, there is still the question of whether they can afford the cost of living in their desired country. You don’t have to wait until you have saved up millions of dollars before traveling; Belize has a lower cost of living than most countries in America.
Cost of retiring
Belize like any other small country has a cost of living lower than that in the United States. To live comfortably in Belize, where you are going to live and how you are going to spend your pension determines your cost of living. You should make wise decisions when you want to rent a house, pay for food or pay for transportation; these little things make a difference in your monthly expenses. However, it is pertinent to note that the costs of these items vary on your location in the country. You can survive on a monthly budget of $1,200 to $1,500, provided you manage your expenses well.
Housing and feeding for retirees
Where you live determines the amount you are going to spend on rent and food. Wherever you choose to live, you are still going to spend less money on living expenses. The average cost of rent in Belize is lower than rent in the U.K. and the U.S. If you are going to retire in any city in Belize, you will have to pay about $300 a month as rent for a one-bedroom apartment or $200 for a similar apartment outside of the central part of Belize. However, living on a Belizean island like Ambergris Caye cost more. Rent costs are higher and meals a lot more than in other parts of the country.
Fortunately, Belize provides two types of primary residency for retirees. Expats may choose to acquire permanent residency or apply for the Qualified Retirement Persons (QRP) program in Belize. If you are thinking of going for a permanent residency then you should know it requires a foreigner staying in the country for at least 420 days in a year without traveling out of the country for up to 14 days.
To qualify, you must live in the country on either a visitor’s visa or a tourist card. With a permanent residence status, you may travel in and out of the country without restrictions, work in Belize without a work permit and apply for citizenship after five years. The Qualified Retirement person program is for persons above 45 years of age who are eligible to travel, with or without their spouses and children. If you are accepted into the program, you may travel in and out of Belize, and have the ability to deposit $24,000 annually into a Belizean bank account. One con of this option is that retirees are not allowed to work.
Belize has a healthcare system, which runs two options; public and private health care. Either of the two is affordable and easy to access. As a resident in Belize, you are open to various public clinics but limited access to private ones. While public clinics offer minor health care services, private clinics provide medical care for more severe cases.
A retirement community
A popular coastal town to retire in Belize is Ambergris Cay, an island close to the coast of the country with more than 15,000 residents. Despite its high cost of living, it offers favourable conditions for people seeking the calmness of coastal environments. There are other cities you can live in, every city has its perks and cons. Remember to hire a financial advisor to go through your plans for retirement in Belize.