Home Belize Forum Belize Guide Moving to Belize Real Estate Healthcare in Belize
Belize
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Belize Expat Forum

Long term planning for possible Belize move

Post New Topic
DGold21
5/1/2016 13:02 EST

Hi there, fantastic community you have here...I've been lurking for the past couple weeks, almost since I booked my June AC trip...will be my first time in Belize.

The interesting thing is that once I started looking for a place to vacation and get away from it all for a week, that this trip became as much of an exploratory venture as it is a vacation. I'm fascinated now with the prospect of retiring early and leaving California for a more simple and relaxing existence. I've gone down this wormhole of online research, and on paper, I think I can do it. The final determination is still to come (do I think I can adjust to the environment, will things be the same when I retire, etc...), but I feel like I have one foot out the door already.

My situation is that I was looking at the prospect of working until I was 62-63 in order to have enough of a pension to comfortably support my current living situation in California. I'm going to turn 50 this year...so that's another dozen years in this poor air quality, paying through the nose for everything. But my calculations for retiring at 55 would leave me with a pension income of about $5800/mo before taxes, plus I'd still probably be pulling in another $1000-1500 a month in consulting income (which can be done remotely). Social Security would come into play 6 years later, but that would add another $2K+/mo at that point.

So with that income, I'm fairly confident that I could swing it financially and be fairly comfortable. My fantasy is to have a little place (either own or rent) on the water in either Placencia or northern AC, with a dock for my boat, to be my home base. I'm single, no children, in relative good health...and I'm already starting to downsize my personal footprint of "stuff" as a result of this exercise/epiphany.

So given the fact that I haven't even set foot in the country yet, is this a crazy dream, destined to fail? Or is it something I can realistically start working towards and planning for? Do you see anything changing dramatically in the next five years that might make me think twice about Belize?

Thanks for reading my rambling first post, and hope to hear some feedback from some of the knowledgeable veteran expats here!

-David

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/1/2016 14:24 EST

Hi David.
With that kinda monthly income you could do it quite easily. Get a good taxation specialist and reduce your tax way down. We lived on AC for 16 yrs, and they've put a road up north part way. A boat and boat dock would be almost an essential. but you would need to triple chain up everything and I mean everything. I would take a close look at Placencia, has more to offer now than the more expensive location of AC , also a better boating experience down there, less hazardous sand bars etc, I watched the marine patrol boat run onto a sand bar just off Boca del Rio and had to get local fishermen to pull them off, oh boy lot of egg on faces !!!. In truth, if you can find long term rentals at a reasonable price, don't buy, unless a real bargain comes along sometime in the future, so easy to buy so hard to sell in Belize. Good luck

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Learn More Get a Quote

katzgar
5/1/2016 15:33 EST

you could be comfortable on $2,000 a month. The first determinate is your health, basic care is fine but fancy care like bypass doesnt exist. The next determinate is your own head. Can you let the local culture just roll off when they dont show up when they said they would?

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/1/2016 17:33 EST

Hi Katzgar, there are different degrees of comfort. $2000 usd worked for us on AC, but we owned our own bungalow and cart. You also got to take into account the difference in weather and humidity , very non Cal.

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/1/2016 17:35 EST

Hi David. IMHO if I had your monthly income I wouldn't head for Belize !!!

Post a Reply

01abuse

DGold21
5/1/2016 17:59 EST

@bobbyveee, why do you say that, just curious...I do still want to have plenty of cushion for travel and miscellaneous expenses...plus if I needed to, I could move back to the states later in life, albeit to a much more affordable area than CA. I just want to simplify and be happy with my surroundings.

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Learn More Get a Quote

mgammo
5/1/2016 18:40 EST

I could live like a king on 5K a month..or should I say Queen? If one is fairly frugal and owned his own place and vehicle, they could get by fine on 2k... Of course a Dr. bill or a vehicle repair could pop up. In Cor0zol, my cable and internet is 22.75 US a month. I pay Charter 165.00 a month..up here. If you own a Verizon flip phone and buy mins, depending on how long you , talk, maybe 100.00 US or less a month think it is a Blz. 1.00 a minute...I always buy time on double up and triple up days. If you take in a Galaxy, guard it with you r life. I'm thinking my water was about 25.00 US a month. I also spent about 12.00 on bottled water, even my Belizean friends haul in water. They will deliver it to your door...
So, take all those expenses out and the things you could do with the rest are numerous. On 5K..you would be able to go to Tony's Inn on the Bay...50.00 US for a fabulous meal and freshly squeezed lime dacquiris. twice a week.You could afford a girl to come in daily and clean, do your laundry. and basically " mind" you as they say. You could afford a yard man every day to keep your yard manicured.
You could even afford to catch the Thunderbolt Water Taxi down to the Cayes, and play down there a lot. The water taxi fare is 25.00. You could even hop Mayan Air if your back is bad and be in the Cayes in 25 mins.
My next goal is to hang out up in the Cayo..I went once, and loved it...
You could have a nice life down there...

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/1/2016 18:43 EST

I forgot my current bill.. If I run my aircos full steam, my elec bill is about 200.00 Blz...I can run it way down if I don't use air co....

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/1/2016 19:19 EST

So I know that I wouldn't really need a car (aside from a golf cart) on AC, but what about Placencia...is there a real need for a car there?

This is the sample budget (in USD) I envisioned, with some cushion built-in:

Rent: $1250
Internet: $150 (I need fast and reliable)
Electricity: $200
Food: $400
Phone: $50
Health: $150
Entertainment/Misc: $500

That puts me at about $2700, though I'm sure I'm missing something...and the prices may be much different 5 years from now...but that still gives me some disposable cash for travel and play.

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/1/2016 20:10 EST

Sounds like a plan.....

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/1/2016 20:14 EST

I dunno about that fast and reliable internet, that can be kind of an oxy moron down there...I

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/1/2016 20:20 EST

I've read that about the internet...but hoping things improve by the time I get there and need it.

Post a Reply

00abuse

terrific
5/2/2016 02:36 EST

Remember the Bze $ is half the US $ your budget will cover everything and you'll still have a lot of change left over. for $2500 bze you can rent something really nice. In Belmopan my day to day running costs seem lower than some of those illustrated but I do use Rain catchment water and have solar as well as mains electric. my electricity bills run at about $15 per month for Mains and a bottle of distilled water for the solar. Yes i do use bottled water for drinking and teeth cleaning. Its $2.50 for 5 gallons so cheap enough. I have the Dongle for internet and load up as needed, using double and triple up days is a big help. Not exactly fast but reasonably consistent.

Post a Reply

10abuse

FredAr
5/2/2016 05:17 EST

I been in Placecia 5+ years and once in a while the Internet goes down for a few hours and there has always been 'fast' Internet (10mps+) available, at least is fast enough for 99.99% of people, I would think, who do not mind waiting another nano-second for a page to load.

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/2/2016 07:29 EST

If you buy a mifi you can put it in your pocket and use it anywhere and its pretty good a $100bz used to last about 2 months , sometimes nearly 3 . And not sure what you've put $150 aside for health. What are you expecting to spend it on?

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/2/2016 18:04 EST

I agree, for that rate one should be able to secure a very nice place..If I were staying in Belize I would have rigged up a Rotoplast cistern, I think that is a good idea. The tap water can ruin one's hair..I got rain water for washing my hair...In Corozol, when the internet blips out they usually got it up and running with in a reasonable stretch of time...Seems like inclement weather was usually the culprit....

Post a Reply

00abuse

FredAr
5/2/2016 18:35 EST

MiFi is now 4G, very, very fast. Modem is smaller than a cigarette pack.

Post a Reply

00abuse

DIVINGYORKMOM
5/2/2016 21:32 EST

Hi, just curious as to why the tap water ruins your hair? Are there metals in it?

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/2/2016 21:55 EST

Hi....I know it sounds vain, but I color my hair or paint it as they say in Belize. LOL...The water is heavily chlorinated, it wreaks havoc on colored hair. Now that I think about it, I took it some frosting kits I got for about 5.00 up here. I pay about 120.00 up here. My girl in Corozol used the kit and it looked as good as the way I have it done up here. I take a few kits in if I am staying a while. I also take in my own hair products. You can buy things there, but not what I use. It's a girl thing I guess and it's a vanity thing, but if you do your hair you may want to take note...

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/2/2016 21:59 EST

If you do your nails take in a good supply of polish. I always take a boatload of gel polish to my friends. You can survive with out it, but if you are into such frivolities our products are superior...

Post a Reply

00abuse

DIVINGYORKMOM
5/2/2016 22:05 EST

Not vain at all. Just a girl thang! I am not ready to let it all hang out so to speak yet. And I will be bringing hair color with me for sure. Thanks

Post a Reply

10abuse

mgammo
5/2/2016 22:10 EST

You are most welcome.. They knew this Gringa did her own thing.LOL..I would haul as they say rain water to the beauty shop and a guy with dread locks to his waist would wash it.... That water will make your hair like cotton candy if you have any color on it....

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/4/2016 23:02 EST

Here's another question...if I lived there and had a boat, would I be able to do my own day trips to hang out on the various uninhabited/undeveloped cayes? How would one know which cayes are private or off limits?

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/5/2016 09:49 EST

Hi....I am NOT a sailor, but I do know one has to really know what they are doing to navigate those waters. I'm pretty sure there are all kinds of reefs, sand bars, shallows. and any thing else one could possibly imagine one could encounter. I just picked up on this from hearing others talk and my own observation. If I had a boat, I personally would link up with a local who knew the waters like the back of his hand. I would not just zoom out on a grand, exploratory adventure unless I were with a person in the know regarding the potential perils in those waters....

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/5/2016 10:21 EST

Hi. You cant just buy a boat and go sailing, you have to pass a practical boating test and get a licence. and yes the waters inside the reef are full of sand bars and shallows and they are changing, so GPS not a lot of good. I gather further south the sea is a little deeper, im sure Fred knows, he lives in Placencia and goes boating to uninhabited cayes .

Post a Reply

00abuse

katzgar
5/5/2016 10:32 EST

running a boat onto the coral is a really big deal.

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/5/2016 10:51 EST

Hi...I suspected that.. Touching the coral is even a no no.....

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/5/2016 11:36 EST

Hi, thanks for the input...it would probably be the Placencia area that I would launch from...all good to know, want to gather as much info as possible and not make any assumptions!

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/5/2016 14:50 EST

Never make any assumptions... Like my caretaker says, Mommy, don't trust your own five fingers....

Post a Reply

00abuse

katzgar
5/5/2016 15:30 EST

http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/268024/Boat_Captain_s_License_Registr.html

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/5/2016 15:44 EST

@katzgar, wow they really don't make it easy for a "foreigner" to operate a boat down there. I wonder if "retired resident" means those that have been accepted into the QRP...if so, that's a likely option for me.

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/5/2016 16:44 EST

You cant own a car or cart unless your a resident, same probably goes for a boat owner. Rules have changed, so you need to find out from the horses mouth so to speak when you come visiting.

Post a Reply

00abuse

PenAimie
5/5/2016 16:50 EST

Then what do we do for the year it takes to become a resident?

Post a Reply

00abuse

katzgar
5/5/2016 18:00 EST

get used to the idea that you have a dollar sign on your forehead

Post a Reply

00abuse

elgordo42
5/5/2016 18:32 EST

PenAimie, I bought a house and a truck here in Cayo and nobody asked if I was a resident. Not sure if there are any special rules out on the cayes.

Post a Reply

00abuse

katzgar
5/5/2016 18:56 EST

if you are on a caye you wont need and cant have a vehicle

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/5/2016 20:31 EST

On the cayes, only a cart, if not a resident you long term hire

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/5/2016 20:34 EST

Elgordo, buying isnt the problem, its getting your yearly tax sticker and insurance for a vehicle, How did you get on?

Post a Reply

00abuse

elgordo42
5/5/2016 21:04 EST

Bobby, I just walked in and bought both the license and the insurance.
Though I did have to go back to the traffic department, because I just walked out with my receipt, not having gone to the next stage of getting the sticker for my window!

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/5/2016 21:18 EST

Same here. I bought a house and a vehicle in Corozol and nobody asked if I were a resident either. I just procured the insurance and took care of the car sticker and plate at the office in Corozol. If you buy a car from a Belizean, make sure you have a JP Justice of the Peace, notary sign off on it. One of my friends in Corozol is a JP if you ever need the service of one. They can have the power of a judge sometimes.

Post a Reply

00abuse

terrific
5/5/2016 21:47 EST

You can own a car in Belize even without residency or QRP. if you can convince the dmv you are down for the long term you can get a diving license too. my son still waiting on his residency has done both with no problems.

Post a Reply

00abuse

terrific
5/5/2016 21:49 EST

You can own a car in Belize even without residency or QRP. if you can convince the dmv you are down for the long term you can get a driving license too. my son still waiting on his residency has done both with no problems.

Post a Reply

00abuse

hazzyy
5/6/2016 07:10 EST

I think BobbyVee was referring to San Pedro. Residency (permanent, QRP) is going to be needed to get a permit to import the vehicle/cart to the island. And a vehicle is probably not going to happen unless you line some pockets. A cart for personal use is allowed and you can get the permit fairly easy once you meet the list of qualifications. I will say this, I've had a few friends who moved to San Pedro with a long term plan and had success talking to the Mayor directly, explaining their situation and him granting them a cart permit w/o residency.

If you want to license a boat, you either need residency or own land (at least that's the rule on Ambergris Caye). The captains license test can be passed by anyone that can read and remember a few specific details about Beilze Ports. A captains license in San Pedro is good for all of Belize so keep in mind you will have to answer questions about the entire of Belize and it's various ports, not just your local area. You can buy a study booklet from Port Authority for a few bucks, read it and test the next day. If you go right before lunch to take the test, chances are they won't even make you take the practical driving test if you're a familiar face.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Kenubelizeit
5/6/2016 07:28 EST

Your start is good but further down the road as popularity grows so prices increases especially now that Leornardo Di Carpio and other developers have already started to build and at the same time Norwegian Cruise Line is heading South very close to Placencia so prices and demand for land will increase even more so u might to just jumpstart on your exploratory or scouting trip.

Post a Reply

00abuse

FredAr
5/6/2016 10:35 EST

David: I get the impression you are primarily interested in either AC or Placencia, so when get into Placencia call me and I will give you the scoop on boating in southern Belize and who to see. Nothing is that tricky in Belize IF one doesn't make it so. A simple 23ft Pagan with a nice 60hp-100hp Yamaha all is needed to open a whole new life of adventure.

Running a boat in the reef-dotted Caribbean is all the same, learn how to read water (color actually) and learn any new area slowly. Use a GPS Garmin and load Google maps as the base background which shows every reef and shoal from a topographical point of view. God with a local or a local ex-pat and you will soon be in business.

From a fishing and exciting point of view, I am no fan of the waters north, they are a bit dull and easily murky. Southern Belize has endless places and uninhabited islands to explore. And always crystal-clear waters.

You are starting early in your preparations, very smart of you.

Post a Reply

10abuse

FredAr
5/6/2016 10:37 EST

^^^ Pagan = Panga, God = Get. I need another cafe this morning, obviously.

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/6/2016 10:39 EST

This sounds about par for the way things are handled. Slicking the palm tends to get good results in a variety of scenarios. There are many ways to skin a cat and I have found this one to be most effective........

Post a Reply

00abuse

bobbyveee
5/6/2016 11:05 EST

On AC , knowing Mayor Danny, who is 'God' on the Caye and can grant you anything or help make your life a whole lot easier. and donations, said tongue in check , lubricate the wheels in Belize

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/6/2016 11:10 EST

FOR SURE!..... I took the police chief in Corozol out to lunch. It was a very saavy move. I have done some shopping up in the states for some, that is always a good plan too. BVEE is spot on about the grease on the wheels....

Post a Reply

00abuse

FredAr
5/6/2016 11:11 EST

I hear you..

The local port master here in Placencia, knows the steps and always walks one through the steps smoothly.

I get the impression in Belize things done at the local level is always more effective.

Post a Reply

00abuse

DGold21
5/6/2016 11:24 EST

Thanks guys, this is really valuable insight...very much appreciate your thoughts! FredAr, I'm in AC in a few weeks, but plan to be in Placencia in the October-November timeframe, It'd be great to connect with you and get some additional tips on the area.

-David

Post a Reply

00abuse

FredAr
5/6/2016 11:29 EST

Who one knows is the same all over the world. This reminds me of back in the states. We needed to cut this old Douglas Fir which had a crooked point and surely would fall on the house sooner or later. I wasted 2 months trying to getting permission to cut it. , Finally, I called my friend, who called 'Mike' his fishing buddy, and local Superintendent of Public Works, and he asked him if he wanted the wood from it for his new house. He brought a chain saw. A real granola neighbor came screaming over when she saw the commotion, and told me you can't cut that tree, and if I tried, will call the Superintendent! I told her to go and talk to the guy with the chain saw.

Post a Reply

10abuse

mgammo
5/6/2016 11:34 EST

I would be currying his favor for sure if I were interested in boating. A set of decent sheets is sometimes a good gift......Something that can't be found there....Getting hooked in locally is the smartest way to go. I have found getting chummy with the locals who are cousins and friends with the top dogs is effective. I hate to fess up on this one, but I did a dumb thing and got roooked on a land deal via a corrupt Land's Office official. Well, being chummy with the locals enabled me to retain Dickie Bradley as my atty. He is my caretaker's brother's neighbor. You can't exercise the " who you know" clause if you don't know any body. It is a small place, and the locals are in the know..I really learned a hard lesson on that one!! LOL...It's all good....If I had had a JP sign off for me it all could have been avoided...Live and learn. D. Bradley is a great guy...

Post a Reply

00abuse

mgammo
5/6/2016 11:45 EST

Saavy move on your part. There is always a chain of command , even at the lower tier...The cat can be skinned in many, many different ways....

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Belize.

International Moving Companies

Moving to Belize? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Belize

Mail Forwarding to Belize.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

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!

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Belize from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Top 5 Reasons Expats Move to Central America

From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America.
From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America....

Pros and Cons of Living in Belize

Anyone thinking about moving to Belize should carefully consider the pros and cons of expat life in Belize. The article includes insight from expats about the cons (crime, limited healthcare, poor road conditions and more) and the pros (beautiful beaches, friendly people, low cost of living and more).

Anyone thinking about moving to Belize should carefully consider the pros and cons of expat life in Belize. The article includes insight from expats about the cons (crime, limited healthcare, poor ro...

Moving to Belize: 10 Things to Know Before You Move to Belize

Expats that move to Belize learn to enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful setting without some of the essentials they may have taken to granted in their home countries. Here are some tips to consider before taking the plunge and moving to Belize.

Expats that move to Belize learn to enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful setting without some of the essentials they may have taken to granted in their home countries. Here are some tips to consider befo...

Retirement-In-Hopkins-VillageAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Hopkins Village, Belize

An expat in Hopkins Village, Belize talks about deciding to retire part time in Belize. He and his wife enjoy teaching local kids how to play baseball, attending a church and meeting other expats in their neighborhood.

An expat in Hopkins Village, Belize talks about deciding to retire part time in Belize. He and his wife enjoy teaching local kids how to play baseball, attending a church and meeting other expats in ...

Moving-To-San-PedroAn Expat Talks about Moving to San Pedro, Belize

An expat talks about moving to San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye. For $400 per month she lives steps from the beach on the outskirts of town.

An expat talks about moving to San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye. For $400 per month she lives steps from the beach on the outskirts of town....

Belize Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal