With airfare to Belize getting cheaper all the time thanks to increased competition from major airlines like Southwest, Delta, Air Canada, United, American Airlines, and WestJet, it’s no surprise that more and more people are considering moving to and investing in Belize. But how far will your dollars go if you do choose to retire in Belize?
According to experts, live in Belize is surprisingly affordable. Here’s why:
You don’t need a visa to visit Belize as a vacationer, but if you want to move to Belize, the government offers a number of incentives. The Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) allows eligible individuals age 45 and older and their families to move to Belize if they have a stable yearly income of $24,000 or more.
The QRP program allows you to import all of your personal items, including vehicles, into the country without paying any customs duties or taxes. Furthermore, Belize imposes no taxes on any income earned outside of the country. Once you’re accepted in the QRP program, you’re only required to spend just 30 days inside the country per year.
Right now, the processing fees for a qualifying couple total $2,100.
Cost of Living
Many aspects of daily life are far cheaper in Belize, including an abundance of fresh produce (including citrus fruits, cashews, chocolate, and coffee) and seafood. Imported items are more expensive, but these can be found at far lower prices just over the border in Mexico at familiar retailers like Walmart.
Getting domestic help is also quite affordable, with most expats paying around $15-20 per day. According to Investopia, the average couple can live quite well in Belize for around $1,200 a month.
Typical Costs to Expect
How much you pay for either a rental property or buying your own home depends on where you choose to live. Renting an apartment on the tourist island of Ambergris Caye is the most expensive at around $1,000 per month for a modest apartment, but you can expect to pay just $100-200 in a small village.
Utility costs per month, including electricity, sewage, and water are usually just $100 a month. But a lack of competition with internet providers means that your average bill will be between $100-150.
Routine health care is far more affordable than Belize. Pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals can be found all across the country, and you’ll rarely have to wait long to be seen. But if you require more advanced health care, you’ll probably have to get it outside of Belize.
Food that’s grown in Belize is incredibly cheap. International Living Magazine estimates a monthly grocery bill of between $150-300 for a couple. Belize is famous for its street food where you can get delicious food for $5 or less. Dinner for two at an informal restaurant will be between $25-40. Beer and rum are produced locally in Belize, but you’ll have to pay more for imported spirits.
Once you factor in all the considerations, living in Belize runs between 40-80% cheaper than cities in the United States with similar climates like St. Petersburg, Florida, or Phoenix, Arizona.
Cerros Sands is a gated, master-planned community ideal for expats to live, retire, and invest in Belize.
Contact Cerros Sands if you are interested in moving or living in Belize.