Retiring Overseas in Belize? Get a Lay of the Land & Visit Beforehand

by Carolee Chanona
sunset placencia lagoon turtle inn

You may have a hankering to retire overseas when the time is right, partly because of your pandemic experience. In International Living’s fall 2020 survey, 20% of respondents said the U.S.’ handling of the pandemic has increased their interest in retiring overseas. After all, Belize was listed as number 6 in Live & Invest Overseas’ 2021 Overseas Retirement Index — a welcomed sign to all those looking to retire abroad. Masks and social distancing are the norm in Belize, but things are slowly starting to open back up. And while it may sound glamorous, choosing your overseas retirement location will undoubtedly take some work. Not to mention, add on any complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. State Department travel advisories. Start now by creating a plan, which should include an exploratory visit to Belize to get a lay of the land before your forever after.

A Pent-Up Demand to Retire Abroad? 

retire abroad overseas belize paradise retirement tours

Photo courtesy Belize Paradise Tours

Whether you plan on retiring solo or not, one of the best tips is to explore with small groups that have a particular focus—retirement included. You might not have a spouse or partner traveling with you, but you immediately have something in common with other members of the group. And in Belize, several tour companies—among them, Belize Paradise Tours—have long catered to travelers actively seeking retirement, relocation, or just being a snowbird. Join one of their small groups in the most popular areas in the country, or contact Belize Paradise Tours about custom tours to fit your needs. With BPT’s experience of over a decade helping travelers through exploration, education, and experience, you can spend less time researching and more time experiencing.

Of course, there’s no real rush to make your big move with the entire globe still in the grips of the pandemic. Instead, you can get a head start on your retirement process and make some progress on a plan. Think of it like a try before you buy concept.

Advice for Researching Places to Retire Abroad


Drums of our Fathers in Dangriga, Belize. Photo by Duarte Dellarole

Of course, living in a country is very different from being a tourist. Make the most of your exploratory visit by coming in both the rainy and dry season in Belize. Be sure to also visit the hidden gems, including the less popular tourist areas in Belize. Also, see whether there is a local American or international association or club you can join to learn more about living in that country or region. Once you move to Belize, start the transition of retiring overseas by renting first to make sure the locale is compatible with your vision for retirement. If it works out, then let the house-hunting begin. For that, start here.

Live and Invest Overseas’ 2021 Overseas Retirement Index:

1. Tavira, Portugal; 2. Mazatlán, Mexico; 3. Lisbon, Portugal; 4. Cuenca, Ecuador; 5. Panama City, Panama; 6. Northern Belize; 7. Budapest, Hungary; 8. Pedasi, Panama; 9. Saint-Chinian, France and 10. Gozo, Malta.

Feature photo of a sunset on the Placencia Lagoon courtesy Turtle Inn, a Coppola Hideaway. Statistics via Forbes

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