CIGNA Expat Health Insurance

Login to Contact terrific

About terrific

Currently Lives:

Citizen Of:

United Kingdom

Dual Citizen Of:


Past Expat Posts:



Hong Kong



About terrific

Have been lucky enough to travel widely in my life. But finding Belize in the mid Nineties made me decide I would eventually have to reside there for ever. so after a few more moves around the world and heading to retirement we Bought our slice of Jungle and are working at making it the perfect place for our golden years.

Advice for New Expats

Living in Belize is not an easy life. There will be frustrations and red tape, Very interesting weather conditions to survive. But with an open mind and realization it is "Different from anywhere you have lived before" I personally think it is Wonderful.

I would love to live in...


Favorite Assignment:

Doing flower arrangements for Queen Elizabeth abd her commenting on them.

Some Forum Posts:

Belize: Considering Move:

Best advice is visit at different times of the year, outside of the dry December to April tourist season, visit as many different areas as you can get to on each visit This may help you decide if you can actually "live" in Belize it is a very different proposition to vacationing . I see you have already got the advice from Dr al not to bother, and have been told The area of Corozal "must" be best because it close to somewhere else and the terse command to read more past posts. There are 5 distinctly different regions in Belize. Each has their own pros and cons, don't forget what one person finds a pro another may find a con. Yes they do not have much in the way of advanced medicine or super duper diagnostic machinery, but the basics and First aid for lessor injuries are covered OK. Availability of what would be taken for granted in the US or other western cultures is never gong to be the same, but things you need are available some of the wants maybe not so much. No big box stores, fast food chains, big entertainment centers. If you want a 'quiet' laid back retirement you are best on the Mainland and possibly Caye Caulker. if you want a more party sea side laid back atmosphere then San Pedro Ambergris Caye might suit. If you do decide to retire here then the advice is always find a rental in your chosen area, for the first few months to a year at least This gives you the easier option of changing your mind if after that full 12 month climate cycle you find its not what you wanted .Without incurring heavy losses of trying to sell on a property you have your life savings tied up in. After living here for a couple of years in the 90's for work, then vacationing for the next 25 years or so, we eventually took the plunge to Purchase property and built our forever retirement home. One note we only went into it with the full encouragement of our grown Kids. As it will be their Legacy/responsibility to keep or sell eventually, Otherwise we just blew off their inheritance like it or not.

Belize: Bit coins:

Seems this evening a well dressed Amrican gave a powerpoint demonstration to Local Belizeans extolling how wonderful Bit coins are. Showed how they have increased in value by huge amounts over the last few years. "those numbers don't lie" The audience seemed very eager to hear about this wonderful thing. The gentlement says the investment of 6 to 8K us dollars is all they need bring great wealth. Now even fairly well heeled Belmopan Belize locals will find that a big chunk of cash. Then he went on to describe how they would make so much more money, by bringing in more investers. So the offer seems to be give him your cash, He will buy the bitcoins (and look after them) then he will pay you even interest from the rise in Bitcoins value, but they can get even higher interest they bring in new investers. So your basic ponzi scheme. Any person can go on line and buy any amount, be it $10 or $10k of bitcoin. they can hold onto their own investment in their own bank and do not need a 3rd party, He seemed to be suggesting Belizians can only go through a US trader, with out saying exactly that. He intimated a third party can hold onto their freely transferable investment. Why do all the snake oil salesmen feel they will get away with their scams in Belize. My son was having dinner in the bar and could not believe what this man was saying.

Belize: Belize is #10 on Fodor's Places To Go To in 2018!:

Not necessarily misinformation if the would be 'expat' reader is hoping to go into the tourism business in Belize. None knows why anyone goes onto this or any expat forum. some of us are expats, some have lived for a longer period previously there and some are planning to live there. Then there are those who seem to have no other reason to be on such a forum than they just want to be there. None are looking for the exact same information or have the same values as all the others. All members are welcome in expat forums.

Belize: Thanksgiving Gatherings in Your Region of Belize:

The Blue moon in Belmopan usually do a thanksgiving buffet in the evening.

Belize: Money:

the exchange is 2 Bze for 1 US so if it is priced in Bze dollars it is half in US. On ambrgris many of the tours and diving businesses price in US$ make sure you know which before you book. Safest is assume Belize$ but be ready to pay US if that is what is needed. Do it the other way round and you could end up paying double if dealing with an unscrupulous business. If you are taking money from your home account via an ATM the cash will be delivered in Belize dollars.

Belize: Planning a short visit to Placencia:

We stayed when it first opened, Have the bed mattresses arrived yet? At that time the beds were a 1" mattress topper on top of the unpadded box mattress. actually more comfortable than it sounds if you like a firm bed. Booked it on line and it was very cheap and clean so all in all not bad. Had to go into store to book in or out then also. At that time not sure what was in the room one could have stolen our towels were given to us in the store when we booked in, so we gave back the wet towels when we booked out.

Belize: Car accident killing 3.:

I am somewhat surprised that no one has posted anything about the fatal road accident caused by the US diplomatic vehicle last week. The embassy put out a Message of sympathy for the deaths of the 2 women and a baby killed in the crash but no word as to any help to the families involved. Anyone know if the families have in fact had any financial help with the funeral costs. The Belize families can not claim on any normal auto insurance as the US car had diplomatic plates, and Belize insurance is not usually fully comprehensive so only 3rd party claims ergo the 2 families can not get help from their own policies.

Belize: container to new location in Belize:

HMBDan Was that a box for the chairs or for your predicted, in a couple years, return north.? ;-)

Belize: Travel from Belize to U.S.:

Correct a Belizean needs a visa for any entry to the US. Check with the US embassy in Belmopan.

Belize: Santa Familia?:

Just a mention the US military only has forces in Belize when they are using the British jungle training facilities or with a nato mixed force exercise, outside of that it has no connection or commitment to Belize. There would be no reason for the USS Comfort ever to be in Belize. Most external military and coastguard training is done in the UK. Isn't it great to think 40-60% of expats remain in Belize and love it.

Belize: What To Do???:

If you book the flight to dangriga, tell airline staff you have a transfer they contact local air company and unless you have particular time consuming things with customs, its usually just down to how quick your bags get down. The flight will most likely wait. Flights often arrive early and you may not be the only one wanting that puddle jumper. If worst happens if you have a booked ticket they will probably put you on whatever is the actual last flight and get you to Dangriga via wherever that plane goes. You say flight to Dangriga but say you want to be in Placencia/ Hopkins. There are direct flights to Placencia that might be a better fit for you and may even have others on your flight booked. Just trying o be helpful

Belize: How do I go about this?:

Short answer probably not going to be viable. unless you can bring enough cash to either keep you for a year or so while obtaining a work permit or enough to buy into a business (still need the work permit) If you had some needed skills within Belize there could be a possibility. What would you consider a basic lifestyle and could you do it on the wages of less than $2us an hour or about $15 to $20us per day your unskilled work would warrant. Belize is an english speaking country officialy even if for a very large part of the population it is not the language used within the home. Sorry this sounds like Debbie Downer but Belize is a very poor country and as such is not likely to be suited to your needs.

Belize: Living in Belize:

A pm is fine if the sender wants to make contact or recipient doesn't want to answer it is their choice. what is suspicious about that. He didn't ask for his log in details or SS number.

Belize: It's September:

Hope everyone is enjoying the Independence celebrations.

Belize: Crocodillos:

Not often on menus or in butchers shops. there is a defined hunting season for peccaries in Belize and you do need a licence to hunt them. From th eating point of view the meat is very similar to pork but as they are not "pigs' the meat is safe to eat cooked but still pink. During hunting season you may be able to find this meat available in some villages, but not at any real commercial level, it is usually hunted for family and village celebrations. Ate it once at a village wedding it was roasted as a suckling pig would be,tasted somewhat similar.

Belize: Advice on Purchasing Unlocked Phones (CDMA or GSM?):

Our experience within Belmopan. Smart is used for the Mifi and the flip phone. Minutes purchased for both at any seller mainly double or triple up days. And BTL is the chip in the Iphone 7. On monthly contract. After several previous trials of varied combinations this is what my son has found to be the best mix, for both accessability and costs. the mifi is reasonably stable for home use and the I phone with its internet connection is good when he is away from home. The flip phone is just for Phone calls. Hope this helps. The I phone was, purchased unlocked in US and originally on ATT platform.

Belize: Caye Caulker Air Service:

Perhaps the timing choice was affected by anticipated weather conditions. the High season is also the Dry season and NOT the hurricane season. work can be done much quicker in the dry season for obvious reasons, like Concrete cures quicker in dry weather, no having to lay everyone off for a day or so due to tropical storms. Whenever the work is done is going to be a big economic hit to the caye.

Belize: 6month stay in belize?:

As you have had all the districts described to you by a no longer Belize expat a slightly jaundiced view. The financial aspects also explained to you from a non expat who has access to the same info as you can find on the web. I would take waljoe's advice and hire a car . Then you can tour any and all the main land areas that take your fancy. On the kayes you could rent a golf cart or bike. If you can rent your accomodation reasonably $2k us per month should easily cover your costs in all areas. The cayes being most expensive all round. Shop local, both for Brand named packaged goods, and local produce, cook your own meals from scratch and your costs become so much lower insisting on only the imported US recognised brands of packaged goods and it can be much more costly. Gas prices are high compared to US but similar to Europe. They will rise sharply due to recent weather systems. I am told Electricity costs are high but if you are not using expensive airconditioning all the time should be Ok. I don't find them much different to the prices per KWH I pay in California. ( My place is dual solar and mains it auto switches to mains only when my solar batteries are low so I have tiny bills, I have never been able to work out if that is more than I would pay in CA) If you can get a rental with wind and/or solar the electric bill goes away. Wifi is fairly slow and can be very slow just after schools let out in the afternoon for a couple of hours, but I find it usable for most uses. Best bet if going to be in Belize for a longer period (say the full 6 months) it would probably pay to get a Mifi hub from smart as you can take that anywhere in Belize with you if you are touring. Good idea also to pick up a cheap flip phone and pay for minutes as you need them, They have double up days when you pay half price for your minutes, and at holiday times they often have triple up days. Calls to the US work out about $1 bze per minute. Come to Belize make your own judgements and enjoy your stay. No one will twist your arm to stay if you don't like it. You might just not want to leave.

Belize: Living Expenses in Belize:

Well the weather will not be a surprise to you so that is good. I do think you have to come on an extended visit before burning boats back in the US. On the whole the Belizeans are a laid back live and let live sort of people unfortunately there are a fair amount of the GOD Bothering expats and Belize. It is a church going population. Churches are used much as community gathering places. There are 5 very different districts all with plus and minus points, I do not know all 5 districts so can only give you ideas of costs in the areas I know. In the cayo rural areas you should be able to get a simple small home for that rental point. My son who does not pay rent but runs 2 vehicles, can be expensive to keep on the road when you live in the bush, including his monthly immigration fee gets by quite nicely on about $1k a month. He has no problem buying local/mexican brands instead of American brands and is not a big drinker. In the area he is the Internet is fairly constant if not very fast There are certain times of the day when speeds are very poor. As to eventually building if you use a local Belize Builder $70k US should be ample for a modest house. Just had to send down a couple of motor parts from US to Belize we used DHL it was very expensive in my view for such a small parcel, more costly than the parts, and when things arrived in Belize the customs duty was 23% much as we expected, but they then include the postage charges with cost of contents so paid 23% of the expensive postage costs as well. (n0t happy with that) Will try a different route next time. Hope this is of some use to you

Belize: A mixed bag...:

Well you don't live in Beize so you only have tourist and internet searches for advice to offer. So when a poster is calling for personal experience of living in Belize your advice is tainted by that lack of experience and distance. No one usually wants to prove your"advice" is wrong but it is not often useful and very often snarky. Before you point out I do not live 100% of the time in Belize My son does and I am there multiple times a year in all seasons not just the tourist times. I have built homes on my property , I deal with all the Belize red tape personally and have a long hands on history with Belize from the 90"s to date.

Belize: Canadian considering retirement in Belize:

Yes in a perfect world the government would fix all the roads well, its not perfect either in California or Belize, Some roads in Socal are just as awful. I am a scratch cook so I do not need 20 types of bread at the grocery store, even though in California I have that choice. When home in Belize I put aside a day or two just for freezer filling, Making pies casseroles and all sorts of goodies, to feed my son when I am back in California and us when I/we return for the first day or two. As we have solar in addition to mains electricity I never need worry that the freezer will thaw. As to wether Belize is gettin better or worse is just the glass half empty or half full conundrum. I saved literally thousands of dollars on dental work in Belize similar work in the US would have cost about 5 to 6 thousand dollars after the insurrance had chipped in their pittance, in Belize performed by a lovely young man who trained in both China and the USA I paid only $1500bze. He also offered to take it in installments and/or US currency if that was easier for me. Not needed other medical care while there but I'm not too worried, if its a small thing I'm sure it will be no problem for a bigger thing I can fly back to California easy enough, and if its a fatal illness (i already have a no 'resus' order in place in the US) I can be sure my funeral expenses there will be a fraction of costs in the US or UK. Al please let us that love and are happy in Belize enjoy it with all its blatant faults, we all see the flaws we do not pretend they do not exist. Stop forcing the ideas of what it takes to make YOU happy is the standard.

Belize: Drive through Mexico experience:

what crossing and route did you take? You say you felt uncomfortble, was there any physical problem or threat? Did you have reason to fear you wife and kids could not be out of your sight. Being afraid for the sake of it can make you a victim. I lived in Northern Ireland at the height of its troubles, A friend and I took a wrong turning in Belfast and within minutes were in deep bandit territory. We knew we should get out and back to a safe area as soon as possible. My friend went into full fearful Victim mode, head spinning looking in every direction hunched up and almost in tears and she wanted to run . I just stood straight I said just keep talking, stop looking round, straighten up and walk normal. We then walked at normal pace until we saw a street name we recognised we then found our way back to the main safe shopping area. After wards she was glad she had calmed down, we got back to our car went home. That evening we were informed that we had been on an IRA surveilance report intercepted by military security, but they had dismissed us as simply women shopping. Act as though everything is fine and 99% of the time it will be.

Belize: What's it like in Belize?:

That is the wit and humour missing from recent posts.

Belize: RUDE:

Another point not often considered, what do your family think about the grandparents selling up and spending all their savings in a 3rd world country. Will they ever bring the grand children to visit. What will be their inheritance in the future if all the savings are sunk into a house in the jungle in central America. We are lucky our adult kids loved Belize for years as we did and they are happy to think eventually our piece of the Jewel will be theirs. I admit this is not the most prevalent case, I have met a few dissapointed grannies and Grandpas who haven't seen their grandchildren ever come to Belize and cant really afford to visit the US more often than once a year.

Belize: TS # 9:

Harley has been downgraded to a tropical depression


Date Joined:


Total Posts:




Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Copyright 1997-2017 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal