Qualified Retired Persons, Tax-free, relaxed and beautiful – why retirees head to Belize
The government of Belize has a unique program that allows qualifying individuals age 45 or older along with their families to move or retire to the country. Known as the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program, qualifying individuals are granted a host of benefits, including the ability to import personal goods and vehicles (including boats and light aircraft) completely tax and duty-free.
The Qualified Retired Persons program offers qualifying retirees enormous flexibility, stipulating residency just one month a year as well as the ability to operate and own businesses abroad with no need to pay taxes in Belize. Due to its long history as a British colony, Belize is the only country in the region where English is the official language, meaning that all property deeds, contracts, and official documents are in English. Belize has a stable and peaceful parliamentary democracy, with strong laws that enforce property rights, and there are no restrictions on foreigners owning, renting, or selling property.
Belize has a thriving expat community, with Canadians, Americans, British, and other Europeans enjoying lots of social activities and organized events. Many expats are drawn to Belize thanks to the advantageous QRP program as well as the great year-round weather that encourages a healthy lifestyle. With a low cost of living and a peaceful, carefree vibe, Belize has a distinctly Caribbean feel to it, with a culture that rarely relies on clocks and encourages a shorts and sandals dress code nationwide.
Approximately the same size as the state of Massachusetts, Belize has a small population of just 360,000 people, meaning there are plenty of choice locations for living and purchasing real estate. Along with lots of fresh, organic food and a local population renowned for their friendliness and hospitality, retirees in Belize are made to feel right at home.
A gated, master-planned community located right on Chetumal Bay in Belize’s Corozal District, Cerros Sands is an ideal place to live or invest in a vacation home. With properties starting as low as $25,000, Cerros Sands has available beachfront lots, seafront lots, and lots with deep-water channel access to the bay and the Caribbean.
Developer Mark Leonard and his family have been living in Cerros Sands off-grid and has worked hard to build a thriving ex-pat community of retirees in one of the most beautiful areas of Belize. Other families have also built and relocated as well as more homes under construction.