1. Belize has some of the lowest taxes, and most generous ex-pat policies of any country out there. 
  2. Land is inexpensive.
  3. You own the land outright.  The title is yours to pass down to your children.
  4. Wildlife is abundant and beautiful and there is so much wide open space.
  5. It is beautiful and has lots of waterfront available.
  6. Everyone speaks English.
  7. The legal system is British, making it easy for expats to understand how it all works.
  8. You can use US dollars.
  9. It is politically stable. 
  10. There are no wars in Belize.  It's like a central american Switerland.
  11. There's a huge US Embassy in Belmopan.
  12. Taxes are outrageously low.
  13. It is very easy to get to Belize from any of the major US cities.  For example, it's a 3-hour flight from Houston TX!
  14. The benefits for ex-pats are enormous - read on!
  15. There are many more benefits - clean air, little to no government interference, and so much more

 

Be sure to contact me (Lola) directly at goldenone1959@yahoo.com about the property should you have an interest.

 

Links to Information About Belize

 

Check out these links to learn more:

 

http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/belize-attracting-real-estate-recovery-57407.aspx

 

http://southernbelizerealestate.com/southernbelize.htm

 

Article:  Why Belize?

 

Authors: Bill and Claire Gray are the authors of Belize Retirement Guide: How to Live in a Tropical Paradise on $450 a Month as well as numerous special reports and articles on Belize. They host a radio talk show The Expat Hour and publish a free newsletter on relocating to Belize.They conduct an annual Belize Relocation Tour, for those interested in relocating to Belize and maintain a helpful website of information for those considering Belize.

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN IN 2007 AND SOME THINGS ABOUT BELIZE MAY HAVE CHANGED.  HOWEVER, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, MOST OF THIS IS STILL ACCURATE. Double-check anything you have a question about. (Lola)

Why would anyone want to move to an obscure place like Belize?
Until the past few years, most of the world had never even heard of Belize!
In this article I hope to introduce the reader to Belize and will outline
why we find it to be one of the most enchanting, inexpensive, and
unique places to live.

We moved to Belize from Southern California in the late 1980's.
As friends and family have asked us for years, "Where in the world is Belize?",
 and, "Why Belize?" Before I go in to all of that, let me share some
key information, and facts about Belize with you.

HISTORY AND POLITICAL STATUS

Belize is a Central America nation, nestled right below the Yucatan,
Mexico its border to the north, and on the south and west, it is bordered by Guatemala. The Caribbean Sea is to its east, giving Belize 174 miles of
coastline. Belize is about 250 miles south of Cancun, Mexico.

About the size of the state of Massachusetts, it has a land mass of 8,866 sq.
 miles of territory, including 266 square miles of islands.
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Belize was a British colony known as British Honduras for more than a
century. It became a self-governing colony in January, 1964 and it was
renamed Belize on June 1, 1973. It became fully independent in 1981.
Belize considers itself to be culturally both Caribbean and Central American.
Belize has a parliamentary form of government, like England, with a prime
minister at the helm and it operates under the English common law
 legal system.

BELIZE IS POLITICALLY STABLE - CERTAINLY AN ANOMALY FOR A
CENTRAL AMERICA NATION!

Belize is much like a Central American Switzerland. It doesn't go to war and
doesn't get involved with the problems its neighbors have suffered over the
years. There has never been a war in Belize; even its currency has never
been devaluated. While civil wars raged in Guatemala, El Salvador and
 Nicaragua, Belize remained untouched. Belize is politically stable - certainly
 an anomaly for a Central America nation!

With a population of about 300,000 Belize has the lowest population
density in the Central American region, and one of the lowest in the world.

THE ENVIRONMENT


...........WITH THE NOTABLE EXAMPLE OF HAVING THE ONLY JAGUAR RESERVE
IN THE WORLD AMONG ITS PROTECTED AREAS.

According to the most recent vegetation surveys, about sixty percent (60%)
of Belize's land mass is forested, with only about twenty percent (20%) of the
country's land subject to human uses (i.e. agricultural land and human
settlements). Savannas, scrublands and wetlands constitute extensive
parts of the nation's land cover. As a result, Belize's biodiversity is rich,
both marine and terrestrial, with a host of flora and fauna.

Belize reef

About thirty-seven percent (37%) of Belize's land territory falls under
some form of official protected status. As such, conservation activities
remain an important priority in government policy with the notable example
of having the only jaguar reserve in the world among its protected areas.
Belize is best known for its marine environment, in particular, for having the
longest living barrier reef in the western hemisphere and the second longest contiguous reef in the world, after Australia.
Divers flock to Belize to enjoy its underwater attractions. Belize, as a
consequence of its medley of cultural attractions, unique marine and
terrestrial biodiversity, and conservation efforts, is fast becoming a hotspot
for travelers seeking eco-tourism and adventure vacation experiences.

ECONOMY

Agriculture and tourism are the back bone of Belize's economy. Sugar cane
exported to the US is the biggest crop, with bananas to the UK a close
second and citrus following that. Seafood is also a big export, with Belize
supplying the Red Lobster chain in the US with their succulent Caribbean
Spiny Lobster.

The gross domestic product of Belize was US$2.3 billion in 2006.
The Belize dollar is pegged to the US dollar at BZ$2=US$1, the currency
has never been devaluated.
 
EDUCATION

Public education in Belize is compulsory to age 14.The Belize school system
is based on British education, which is broken into three levels: primary,
secondary, and tertiary. Rather than use the US grade system Belizean
children begin their eight years of primary education with two years of
"Infant" classes, followed by six "Standards." High school is divided into
four "Forms". After that Sixth Form called "College" in Belize is a two-year
course, where a student can earn an Associate of Arts degree sanctioned
by the United States Association of Junior Colleges.

Schools in Belize are more strict than the US; students adhere to a dress
and grooming code and wear uniforms daily. Most of the public schools in
Belize have a religious affiliation and charge a monthly fee of around $15.
Some private schools are also available at varying costs, the Island
Academy in San Pedro, for example, charges about $300 a month.
A number of ex-pat families home school their children.

The University of Belize has satellite campuses around the country and
offers various 4 year degree programs.

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT BELIZE IS THAT IT IS AN ENGLISH SPEAKING
COUNTRY, THE ONLY ONE IN CENTRAL AMERICA.
THE REASONS WE FIND BELIZE TO BE ENCHANTING,
UNIQUE & INEXPENSIVE!
Travel Time

An important aspect to many of us when relocating to another country is
travel time back and forth to our home country. Face it, there are always
family emergencies, kids graduating from college and Christmas visits.
So who wants to spend 15 hours traveling at holiday time, or worse yet, in
times of emergency. One of the great things about Belize is its ease in
travel - getting to and from Belize is lot easier than one may think. There
are several major international airlines serving Belize, specifically
American Airlines, Continental, Delta and US Air. These airlines operate to
and from several US gateways in Dallas, Houston, Miami, Charlotte
and Atlanta. Flights are direct, nonstop and take under 3 hours. For the
more adventurous, Belize is accessible by road and is approximately 1,350
miles from Brownsville Texas.

Language

Exotic locations are great to visit, but not to live, if no one understands
you or you them! One of the best things about Belize is that it is an
English speaking country, the only one in Central America. This is because
Belize was once a British colony, so naturally the national language became
English. So all the schools teach in English, the banks use English, all
government forms, as well as road signs are in English.

Belize views

Spanish, Garifuna and Maya are secondary languages spoken in various
parts of the country, as well as Low German which is spoken in the
Mennonite communities. Many Belizeans are multi lingual, but all speak E
nglish.

This makes Belize a perfect match, language wise, for a gringo; you can get
along just fine with English alone, but you'll have opportunity to learn
another language if you want to.

Commonality with North America

Another great thing about Belize is that it is not that foreign of a foreign
country! Because Belize shares common roots with the US, Canada and
the UK, there are many things that are the same. For example, Belize's
legal system is based on English Common Law, not the Napoleonic Code
like Mexico and other Latin American and European countries. And,
thankfully to many of us, Belize is not on the metric system like almost
everywhere else in the world, but is still measuring in pounds, ounces
and miles rather than liters, grams and kilometers. All of these factors
help to make Belize seem not so foreign and certainly make it easier to
adapt to as a second or new home.

Belize Time means Laid Back Time

In Belize things are laid back-way back. It is a fabulous place to just relax.
No one is in a hurry to do anything-ever. It's called "Belize Time" and
everything in the country runs on it. Many find that the slow pace in Belize i
s just their speed. They, possibly for the first time in their lives, completely
unwind and enjoy life.

Weather

My idea of great weather is no winter, no snow and no heating bills.
The average year round temperature in Belize is a balmy 79 degrees.
Homes in Belize do not have insulation or heating systems, because it never
 gets cold. The sun shines virtually everyday of the year. On the other hand,
there's really no need to cool your home with air-conditioning either,
for if your house is built right, the breeze coming off the Caribbean
will do that for you.

II'S GENERALLY SAID THAT BELIZE HAS THE LOWEST COST OF LIVING IN THE CARIBBEAN.

Healthy Lifestyle

Apart from having unbelievably clean air and water, it is very easy to
have a healthy lifestyle in Belize. Increased exercise and activity come
naturally when one walks or rides a bicycle to most of the places they
need to go. Year-round ocean swimming will be such a pleasure you
won't think of it as a prescription from the doctor. And, nothing loosens
up arthritic joints quite like paddling around in 85 degree water,
especially in the middle of January.

Belize yachts

Eating the simpler, healthier, unprocessed foods that are abundant in
Belize, fresh fish and tropical fruits, for example, help many people lose
weight without even trying when they move to Belize. We have seen
many a gringo drop 30 pounds quite effortlessly after moving to Belize.

Health Care

A real necessity to those considering moving anywhere is high quality,
low cost private medical and dental care. In Belize, all medical and dental
treatment is first world (facilities and trained medical personnel), highly
affordable and always accessible. Even free medical care is available to you
 as a foreigner through Belize's socialized medicine system. Medical
insurance is available and very reasonably priced.

Child Friendly Nation


Children are everywhere in Belize as it is truly a kid friendly country.
Families are traditionally very large with 6 to 10 children being the norm.
Belizeans are accustomed to a bunch of kids running around and so the
nation maintains a ‘welcome mat' attitude toward children......and, speaking
from experience, Belize is a great place to raise kids. They can enjoy
a care-free, truly fun childhood like something out of Tom Sawyer.
And best yet, it is a safe country for children!

A Very Inexpensive Place to Live

It's generally said that Belize has the lowest cost of living in the Caribbean.
You can enjoy a high standard of living on a small amount of money,
something you can't do in much of the world anymore. If you've got to get
by on a small fixed income, Belize is a great place to do it. A couple can
still get by living on $1000 a month in Belize, that's for the basics, and
if you've got more of course, you can live higher on the hog!
However, you'll enjoy the same sea and sun even on the lesser amount.
Belize rainforest

Prices in Belize are very stable. In recent years, the annual rate of inflation
has been around 2.8%. Many prices on goods and services have stayed the
same and some are even going down because Belize is less isolated
than it once was.

For example, living on or very near the ocean does not have to be expensive
 in Belize, likewise with having a maid and/or a gardener. The same goes for
personal services and even medical and dental care. Insurance of all types
 and taxes are very low. US cable TV, up to 85 channels is about $15-$20
a month in Belize. Some foods considered high priced gourmet items back
in the State are inexpensive in Belize, like lobster, for example.

Communications and Services

It is easy to stay in touch in Belize as it has an excellent telephone system.
It's a state-of-the-art fiber-optic phone system that was a going away present
from England when Belize got independence. You can call Belize from
anywhere in the world and vice versa and have an excellent connection.
And, you can get high speed internet in Belize.

Belize has an excellent postal service, based on the English postal system.
There are daily mail shipments from Belize to Miami and vice versa.
You can usually expect to get mail from the U.S. in about a week to a week
and a half after it's mailed. This is phenomenal considering the track record
of Latin America countries on a whole, where sending and receiving
mail is akin to dropping it into an inter-galactic black hole.

BELIZE OFFERS PERMANENT RESIDENCY STATUS TO FOREIGNERS
FROM ALMOST ANY COUNTRY. THE COST IS $1,200 FOR A COUPLE,
AND IT TAKES JUST ONE YEAR OF LIVING IN BELIZE TO QUALIFY.

Personal Freedom

In Belize you can enjoy true personal freedom....the kind that is evaporating
 back ‘home'. In a time when many living in developed countries feel they are
 losing freedoms and rights, a country like Belize may be just what they are
looking for. For example, in Belize there are no bans on smoking
(which may or may not appeal to you), there are no restrictions on what
you can or cannot build, and you only need a permit to build if you are
within city limits, and then the permit is free.

Belize fisherman

You don't need a fishing license, unless you plan to fish commercially,
and you can light a bonfire anytime you like. You can also buy medication
without a prescription. Gringos living in Belize feel a sense of freedom they
didn't have back home, and describe the government as unobtrusive.

.....THE GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE WILL GIVE YOU LAND PRACTICALLY FREE! ONCE YOU RECEIVE PERMANENT RESIDENCY........

Ease in obtaining Permanent Residency and Citizenship

Belize offers Permanent Residency status to foreigners from almost any country.
The cost is $1,200 for a couple and it takes just one year of living in Belize
to qualify. Best yet, one can live in Belize full or part time without giving
up their present citizenship.
With Belizean Permanent Residency you have all the rights of a Belizean
citizen, except the right to vote or serve in the military. After 5 years of being
a Permanent resident you have the right to become a citizen of Belize,
and get a second passport, should you desire to, at a cost of only $150.

AS A FOREIGNER, YOU'LL BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING
INCOME TAX IN BELIZE ON YOUR INCOME FROM ABROAD, REGARDLESS OF ITS SOURCE............

Land Ownership

Unlike Mexico and several other countries, as a foreigner in Belize, you
can buy land......and, yes, you can own it outright with fully marketable title!
It's yours to do whatever you want to with it. It's in your name; you can pass
it on to your heirs. Also, the government of Belize will give you land
practically free! Once you receive Permanant Residency, you can apply f
or a piece of land from the government for as little as $17.50 a year,
yes, that's seventeen dollars and fifty cents!

Non-Existent Taxes

Taxes are low, and in some cases non-existent, in Belize. As a foreighner,
you'll be exempt from paying income tax in Belize on your income from
abroad, regardless of its source be it pension, Social Security, rental property investment income etc. In Belize there is no inheritance tax and no
capital gains tax. Property taxes are low at 1% of the value of the
 undeveloped property.

Working or Starting a Business

Belize has been called an entrepreneur's paradise. There are very
few restrictions on what you can do and how or where you can do
it It's been said that you can be anything you want in Belize...its true
especially in business. Starting a business can be very simple and
inexpensive in Belize. There's a sense of freedom in Belize not found
many places nowadays, where red tape can choke off your dreams.

While either permanent residency status or a work permit is required
to work in Belize, both are far simpler and less expensive to get in
Belize than many other places. Depending on what type of work you do a
work permit can cost from $25-$500 a year.

Quality of Life & Things to Do!

Living in Belize is not only inexpensive, it is exciting and interesting!
Why is that you ask? Well, there are thousands of reasons, most
centering on Belize's rich, natural wonderland, replete with unspoiled
scenery and an endless variety of fauna and flora, its numerous archeological
sites, its lush rainforest, and its thousand foot waterfalls. Add all of that to
the endless variety of year round water activities such as boating, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing and world-class sports fishing.....
all taking place in the crystal waters off the world's second longest
barrier reef.....and you have an unrivaled world of land and sea activity.

BELIZE IS DEFINITELY A 'NO SHIRT, NO SHOES,NO PROBLEM'
KIND OF PLACE. GONE IS THE OBSESSION WITH PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, FASHION AND WEIGHT.

The Friendliest of People


Another reason that living in Belize is so interesting is the Belizean people
....they connect with other cultures very easily. Belize is a society based on relationships, everyone knows their neighbors and it seems like everyone
is each other's friend. People that ‘back home' would have been invisible
to you, or isolated from you, become almost instant friends in Belize. After
living in Belize, we became aware of how insolated people are in other
parts of the world, which sadly makes for a very lonely existence. Not so in
Belize, people are for the most part friendly and open, and you'll have as
many friends as you want.

BElize Barrier Reef

A key cultural and social factor in Belize is that you'll find acceptance...
maybe even romance! Belize is definitely a 'no shirt, no shoes, no problem'
kind of place. gone is the obsession with physical appearance, fashion and
weight. Most women in Belize wear little or no makeup and laugh at the
thought of cosmetic surgery. Belizeans accept everyone as is, warts and all,
and everyone is accorded the personal dignity they deserve irrespective
of shape, size or color. Disabilities of all sorts are just viewed as a part of
life and are largely overlooked. This is truly one of the most delightful a
spects of living in Belize. You can just be yourself, live as you please and
enjoy life with others who are doing the same.

Been looking for love in all the wrong places? You may have to look no
farther than Belize.There are a lot of lonely people out there and in Belize
one never has to be alone. As a gringo in Belize you may be considered
very cool....your former status as geek or nerd will be erased. A guy may
be eking out an existence on a small pension back home, driving around
in a clunker, but in Belize he may be considered quite a catch. There are
many of these "recycled" guys walking around Belize. Ladies, instead of
considering an extreme makeover, in Belize you may have to fend off
male attention with a club...if you want to, that is.

This list is by no means complete but it gives you an idea of why we
love living in Belize. This isn't to say that life in Belize is perfect, by no means,
 but it does offer more of the values and aspects of life that we and
many others consider to be important ......things that are sadly vanishing
from many places. Yes, sometimes it takes longer than we would like to
get things done, and sometimes it's frustrating not to be able to get exactly
what you want at the moment you want it, but we'll gladly accept those inconveniences in exchange to living anywhere else.

Authors: Bill and Claire Gray are the authors of Belize Retirement Guide: How to Live in a Tropical Paradise

on $450 a Month as well as numerous special reports and

articles on Belize. They host a radio talk show The Expat

Hour and publish a free newsletter on relocating to Belize.

They conduct an annual Belize Relocation Tour, for those

interested in relocating to Belize and maintain a helpful

website of information for those considering Belize.

 

 

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