8 Reasons Not To Retire in Belize in 2021

by Larry Waight

If you’re not used to seeing Belize retirement articles aimed at talking you out of moving to this beautiful, welcoming nation, consider this one your formal invitation to choose anywhere else in the Caribbean for your objective. Ignore the lush landscapes. Low cost of living. Friendly people. All that good stuff. Here are eight great reasons you just won’t love retiring to Belize in 2021.

1. The people are too friendly 

friendly Belizean smiles

You know how Canadians are notoriously known for being nice? Well, Belizeans are known to be warm and welcoming. But seriously, you think, they must have motives for being as nice, kind and helpful as the Belizeans living throughout the nation. Being around this many friendly people couldn’t possibly be a bad thing for your spirits.

2. The food is too fresh 

fresh produce fruits belize Hamanasi Hopkins

Continental Breakfast, Belizean style, at Hamanasi Resort.

Your palate has grown accustomed to frozen veggies, meat originating on other continents and prepackaged products. Relying upon produce grown nearby and available in hours rather than days — and getting used to seafood just plucked from the ocean — may be a bridge too far in terms of your health. Besides, there are no big-box stores nearby. You’ll have to rely on local markets where freshness is guaranteed.

3. Belize is happy to declare you retired at age 45 

placencia beach couple colorful tipsy

Placencia is a top choice for retirees. Photo courtesy Kevin Quischan Photography

Good grief, you think; I was hoping to keep working at my stressful job well into my 60s! The raft of benefits Belize offers to retirees must be some sort of trickery because no nation is willing to confer the magnanimous tax, perks and other benefits the nations Qualified Retirement Program includes. So yes, you can retire to Belize as early as your mid-40s. 

4. Your kids & friends are only a half-day away

belize map of flying flights airlines

Belize is just too close to North America. How many hours do your kids drive to celebrate Christmas with you? If they drive over 3 hours, they would be better served by spending holidays with you in Belize where some flights arrive in a little over 2 hours. Your guests can swim, sun and have fun instead of shoveling snow. If that sounds unreasonable, you really shouldn’t retire in Belize!

5. Your passion for the arts 

garifuna danceIf your retirement plan includes indulging your craving for opera, ballet, symphonies and other arts, don’t retire in Belize. You will have to settle for annual festivals, music and dance performances, impromptu dancing on the beach, drumming lessons and immersion within Belize’s unique rock ‘n’ roll, country, punta or salsa culture.

6. You like paying high taxes

Photo courtesy Leonardo Melendez Photography

Waiting for your annual real estate tax bill is always a treat because you get to see a breakout of your participation in keeping schools, libraries, municipal government, transport and other assessed services running. In Belize, real estate taxes for ex-pats are so low, plenty of retirees have been known to call government officials to make sure those extra-low tabs are correct.

7. You enjoy hours-long traffic

golf carts truck stop ambergris san pedro

Photo via Meritt Thomas/Unsplash

The traffic jams, commutes and allocating extra time to travel very few miles within the urban setting you call home something you enjoy? In the interest of transparency, you will run into the occasional Belize traffic jam, but that’s because so many ex-pats left their cars at home, kissed insurance goodbye and invested in golf carts to get around. Once upon a time in Caye Caulker, there were only three gas-driven vehicles: the fire truck, the police car and the one that delivers the beer.

8. You planned to use your retirement to learn a second language

Photo by ROEming Belize Travel Agency

Sorry to break it to you, but almost everyone in Belize speaks English. Further, since the nation’s legal system is based on British law, you’ll have to get used to transacting official business in English, too. Developing a British accent could substitute if you insist on fulfilling the foreign language promise you made to yourself! 

Ready to decide for yourself? Schedule a country tour with Belize Paradise Tours, geared towards expats looking to relocate, retire, or snowbird in Belize. Feature photo by Ray Caye.

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