Luigi Wewege from the Caye International Bank offers up seven reasons for potential expats looking for a new country to live in should consider moving to Belize.
People decide to move to other countries for many reasons. They may have to do with managing a health issue, starting afresh, or looking for the perfect place to retire. Some want a place to start a new business, while others – a growing amount of others – can work remotely nowadays, and find they can live anywhere they want, no longer chained to the commute and the office.
Whatever the reason, a potential expat will look for a country with a pre-determined list of essential qualities or features. Thanks to what Belize offers, it checks many of the boxes on such a list and is why so many expats choose to live here.
Let’s look at seven factors that make moving to Belize a possible win-win for potential expats.
1. Cost of living in Belize
For those who want to ensure their incomes stretch further while they continue to enjoy an equitable standard of living, Belize is worth considering. Compared to living in North America or the United Kingdom, the overall cost of living in Belize is noticeably lower.
You’ll find most recurring expenses are lower, but there are exceptions. The cost of imported goods tend to be higher. When you buy goods produced within the country, costs are more manageable. You’ll also find that the costs of housing, meals out, entertainment, and transportation are affordable enough for you to live on a more modest income.
Moving to Belize is more than simply getting close to the beautiful weather, the friendly people, and the relaxed pace. Here, @luigiwewege from @CayeIntBank talks about the cost of living in Belize.https://t.co/nAcEMhSqFk
— Central America Living (@VidaAmerica) March 3, 2022
There’s no doubt the climate is one of the major draws that Belize has to offer. There’s plenty of sunshine most of the year. Even in the rainy season, there’s likely to be sunshine followed by a period of rain. Those who have spent most of their lives in areas with icy winter weather, or hot summers without the benefit of cooling Caribbean breezes, will find Belize to be more pleasant year-round.
In general, November through the end of January will be the cooler time of year. May through September will bring the warmest weather. Even then, most people find that they need no more than a minimal amount of air conditioning during any part of the year.
3. Living a healthier lifestyle
Belize has an abundance of farms providing a steady supply of fruits and vegetables in season. Those farms also ensure plenty of eggs, dairy products, and fresh meat are available. The fact that you can find many of these products in local shops and farmer’s markets means that there’s always plenty of fresh food to prepare and consume. Think of what that means in terms of having more control over what’s in your food.
The climate in Belize makes it ideal for walking or biking rather than driving. This makes it easier to enjoy enough physical activity to help keep you healthy. Access to activities like swimming, snorkeling, and land-based sports and recreation allow you to get the most from the fresh air and sunshine.
“We love it here, we have never looked back. Great people, great ethnic food, a mix of cultures make this place really worth it.” @BelizeGuru @belizevacation #caribbeanlifestylebelize #Belize #Expat #AmbergrisCaye #Corozal https://t.co/AyqinDkHvd
— Expat Exchange (@ExpatExchange) March 15, 2022
4. A welcoming atmosphere
It’s hard to think of a country that welcomes people as readily as Belize does. Those coming from more formal, reserved cultures will find the smiles, impromptu conversations, and other social elements of life in Belize to be a pleasant change.
Belize is multi-cultural, and you’ll find both locals and transplants alike are friendly and helpful to newcomers. Home to a large expat population, you’ll have little trouble finding others who were once new to the country. Most of them will be more than happy to help fellow expats settle in.
5. No language barrier
Expats from countries where English is the official language will feel right at home in Belize. It’s the official language here as well. And Spanish speakers will also have an easy time of it, as many Belizean citizens are bilingual.
You’ll also find indigenous Mayan languages, as well as the unique Belizean Kriol. Don’t be surprised to hear a few words of different languages mixed in with primarily English conversations. If you’re not sure what’s meant, feel free to ask. People are happy to help others broaden their vocabularies.
Kriol is one of the most fascinating aspects of life in Belize. In this short piece, we homage to this language (yes, it’s a language, not slang) and show you a few basic words.https://t.co/nD7lufIu8I pic.twitter.com/LSRVU67dBU
— Central America Living (@VidaAmerica) February 12, 2019
6. A favorable tax situation
With one of the most straightforward tax systems in the world, Belize delivers an attractive tax structure to expats. You’ll find that it’s only necessary to pay 25% in income tax. Best of all, expats don’t pay taxes on the first $14,500 of their annual income.
There are a few other perks. If you’re living off the money from a pension plan, it’s not taxed. Even if you earn income from investments, there is no capital gains tax to calculate. That definitely keeps your finances a little simpler.
7. A more relaxed pace of life
Whether moving to Belize for business or pleasure, expats used to a fast pace of life will find things more relaxing here. Everything still gets accomplished, but without as much hurry. Even business owners tend to take a more relaxed approach, and encourage others to do the same.
For example, many banks close after the lunch hour, at least for a time. Local businesses may open later and close earlier. Give yourself a little time to adjust if you’re hailing from a country where everything is open around the clock, or strict deadlines are the norm.
It doesn’t take long for most people to get used to this more relaxed way of life. And once you do, it’s easy to enjoy being free of the need to be in a hurry all the time.
— Belize Blog (@SanPedroScoop) September 27, 2020
Interested in moving to Belize?
There’s more about Belize that tends to attract people from across the globe. If you are considering moving to another country, take a closer look at what you will find here. Think about how it fits in with your plans for the future. You may discover that moving to Belize is the best thing you’ll ever do.
Luigi Wewege is the President of Caye International Bank, headquartered on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. He is also the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution, now in its third edition.