12/5/2011 13:10 EST
Hi Shawn & Kelly. Wow, you have a lot of questions. First, you really need to know that Belize is an English speaking country, so learning Spanish is not necessary. Sure, there are lots of locals who speak it, but by and large, they all speak English too, as they are educated to do so in school, so you'll be fine.
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may or may not need a local bank account here (this is an issue I work through with my Expat Relocation Consulting clients).
I would not plan on getting a job in Belize, as the government does not readily approve work permits, but rather, plan on starting or buying a business instead, if you feel you must work.
Your age would qualify you for the QRP, but not your girlfriend, so residency is going to be an issue for the two of you to decide how you want to handle that.
There are several locations that would suit both of your needs (you'll want to visit), and I always tell expats to not buy anything for at least the first year here, so glad to hear you won't be doing that.
In terms of crime, you are spot on about it. It exists here and you'll need to take common sense precautions to avoid being a target, but there are no guarantees. I lived in Oakland, CA, so I feel safer here in San Ignacio Town than I ever did there.
I hope you've found some of this useful. Good luck!
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