Belize’s Corozal listed in “Five Overlooked Small Cities for Retirement”

by Carolee Chanona
Corozal orchid bay

“When it comes to a comfortable and affordable retirement, smaller cities can provide a good option–when they offer the vitality of a cosmopolitan lifestyle, but without the crowds or high costs of big-city life,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living. From the full list of countries that make up International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index, they’re spotlighting five recommended small cities where an ex-pat community already exists. Alongside access to sound and affordable medical care, there’s a comfortable climate and an attractive lifestyle. Not to mention, the cost of living is low without compromising an ounce in a high quality of life. While International Living highlights 5 smaller cities where a retiree can live better for less, we’re spotlighting retirement in Belize’s very own Corozal Town.

“In the U.S., it’s certainly possible to survive and—in certain rural locales, live comfortably—on a decidedly modest income. But you’re not going to be living at the beach, eating out multiple nights a week, enjoying great theater or concerts. That’s what you gain in the best-value locales overseas. Ultimately, you gain a higher quality of life on that same modest budget.”

Here, enjoy a measure of adventure in retirement while affording the sorts of luxuries like travel, dinners out, and even a gardener or housekeeper akin to the upper class in the United States.

Corozal Town, Belize

Corozal town sign

Photo by the Corozal Town Council via Facebook

Corozal (population 10,287) is continuing to gain popularity among expats and native Belizeans. An active community of expats live full-time in the Corozal District, with the numbers swelling during the winter months. In fact, it may be the most popular destination in Belize for expats who like the idea of Caribbean living but need to live frugally on their retirement pensions or savings. Costs here are low and amenities are plentiful. The official language of Belize is English, which makes it an easy place to settle down.

The city and surrounding area have many visible links with the past. Corozal Town was built on the foundations of a Maya ceremonial center (now called Santa Rita), and many of the old buildings are constructed of stones pillaged from the ruins of Santa Rita. Corozal also has a pretty main square which, thanks to its proximity to Mexico, feels a bit more Latin than some other parts of Belize. One big draw is its location on the Bay of Chetumal, which locals usually refer to as Corozal Bay. Water in the bay tends to be a darker green than the turquoise of the Caribbean. But it’s ideal for fishing, sailing, and swimming—and ex-pats here do all three with enthusiasm. There’s also a green parkland along the bay-front (malecón), with plenty of beautiful water views.

A Budget-Friendly Belize Retirement in Corozal

A Corozal retirement can offer a laid-back Belizean lifestyle full of Caribbean beauty, charm and ambiance; this makes Corozal an excellent prospect for people who want to live near the water and enjoy the year-round sun. Plus, with Mexico just 9 miles away, it’s easy to hop up there for good medical care and more shopping options. Depending on where in town you live, a couple can live well on a budget of $1,600-$2,200 a month.

Read more on the four other small cities highlighted by International Living here. More information on 75 of the best towns and cities for retirement around the world in 2020 can be found, here: The World’s Best Towns and Cities for a Low-Cost Retirement.

Feature photo: Orchid Bay, Corozal Town

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