Hello! I just joined as my sister & I plan on visiting Belize next year. Hoping we can connect with a Realtor and see if Belize is our sweet spot for retirement living. Look forward to suggestions & advice on how to make this dream happen.
I highly suggest researching different areas of Belize, and locate a couple that fit your desires for retirement. Ambergris Caye is touristy most of the year, but has a good number of expats there. Corozal up north is popular for those wanting to be close to the Mexican boarder and shopping like at SAMs Club. We choose to build and retire in the south mainland in the Placencia area. It's a smaller village feeling, safe, awesome beaches, restaurants, etc. this area, including the Hopkins area just north is gaining popularity. My wife and I chose after much research to work with Remax 1st Choice in Placencia, specifically, Donna Gartner. As a Real Estate Broker myself I was looking for honesty,integrity, good contact/customer service, and found all these with this office. We ended up buying a beautiful ocean front building lot and are in process of building our new home. It took us 3 years of visiting, renting and researching before making this decision. Beware of investing in " large world class communities" in Belize, as we made that mistake along the way, luckily not investing our retirement monies, but did loose some. Research, research,more search, and spend time there before making decisions. It's a beautiful country. Good luck Belize Boy
I have not been to Placencia. Corozol is not too terribly expensive. If you own your own house, current can run anywhere from about 50.00 US a month to around a 75.00 0r so. It depends on how much air co is run. cable and internet is 45.00 Blz a month. Water is about ballpark, 25.00 Us a month . Drinking water is about 12.oo blz a week. Food is not too bad either. Gas is about 5.00 US a gallon. My house taxes are 10.00 US per year. You will also need to factor in having to pay the monthly fee at immigration of 25.00 blz a month for 6 months, then 50.00 a month for the remaining 4 and a half years. Somewhere there is a more thorough breakdown of living expenses to the letter. This should help some give you a thumbnail sketch of an idea. If you have a rain cistern, that will help on the water bill. Do NOT wash your hair in the Corozol tap water if it is colored. If you need to see a private doctor, it will cost 25.00 US for the visit. Meds are fairly cheap and can be purchased at a pharmacy. I believe the chiropracter is about 15.00 ... Sorry this is so randomly composed, I'm writing as things come to mind....Melissa
Both are different in affordability where Placencia in that is a bit of a distance and because of the local expats I find out prices for groceries are higher than anywhere else on the mainland. Another thing is real estate is way above Corozal because of it's sand and sea. Where Corozal has grass beach and not much deep. We are bordered by Mexico so we can always find what we can't get in Corozal another advantage is medical access to both Belize city or Chetumal.
These figures are a little low 2mb internet is 140$bz( 70us) and electric is rarely less than 100$ us unless u wish to live in a sauna. Basic medical care is very good but anything beyond that is potentially lethal. Food costs are reasonable unless imported. Wine is ridiculously overpriced. Overall food and general cost of living is 30% cheaper over the border. And 30% more on Ambergris Caye. For retirees Corozal is a good choice. Quiet and safe and close to Mexico for first rate medical care. Plus there is Sams, Walmart and Home Depot there. Cultivating the art of smuggling is part of the excitement of life in Belize. I have brought over ny strip steaks, mushrooms, fresh rolls, Mexican beer, red wine, duck pate and Scotch by bribing the customs guy with huggies diapers for his child and a large ham. Bringing over the portable ac was trickier of course. Bienvenidos a Belice??
The trick to keeping coolish is where you live and how cool you think you need to be, we never turned on the a/c but had ceiling and floor stands and kept windows front and rear open to get the thro breeze, we know people who rented our beach bungalow ran up $400US monthly bills , the cheapest internet was to buy a SMART wifi unit , that worked really well. The other major worry is banking or lack of it between Belize and USA.
The internet must have increased a lot. I was there a while back. If one has the split airco units, one can run air in a selective room or two. I guess the size of the house would factor in too. Yes, the kontra bannd avenue in Belize is alive and well. Greasing the correct palms can have its merits..As always, the who you know doesn't hurt either. ie. Your yard man's cuz checks you through the airport. or your neighbors are customs agents....You are correct in that health care is ONLY adequate for maybe a bone break..done that, or something basic...Someone with a complicated health slate would be wise to consider some where else to live if they need a laundry list of procedures etc.
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is the largest public hospital in Belize. This is where most of the locals are taken when they are need medical attention. If you have the time,the inclination, and a strong stomach (you'll definitely need all three), do a Google search for KHMH (that;s how the Belizean press usually refer to the place. It's not hard to find stories like these from Amandala (closest thing Belize has to a national newspaper:
There are smaller, regional hospitals that aren't up to the standards of the KHMH. And there are some private hospitals that likely are a good bit better (albeit more expensive). But, on the whole, potentially lethal probably describes the state of advanced medicine in Belize pretty well, There's a reason why the bus to the Mexican city of Merida is known in Belize as "The Hospital Bus".. Options do exist if you can hold on until you get to them.
Gas price on Mainland is STILL around $5 us went down, for a while to about $ ish but now back to its average over the last couple of years, changes by a few cents in different regions. Still better price than in Europe.
Why am I not surprised? Seems like lots of stuff is increasing in price. Corozol is a good place to live though because of its close proximity to Chetemal. They will stick you for a fee to exit Belize for about 18.00..every time....
At this time the current heat index is 85F and the humidex is 99F. These are not temperatures, they are settings for London broil. Fans and soft breezes aren't going to do the job unless u have a thyroid deficiency. At least for sleep, ac is no luxury
Not likely Current temp is 82F with 80% rh = humidex of 102F. In the shade and adding a current windspeed of 10mph we calculate a perceived temp of 82F. Humans sleep best between 68-75F. So if u didnt use ac you should get blood work
We lived in Tx as well, a lot hotter and more humid there, did need ac there , Never had any problems night or day with temps, just the salty dust in the air. We run our ac here in Fl at a constant 75 , lovely . Weve lived on and off in St Lucia the last two yrs, never ever needed to switch the ac on there, but lived 150ft above Rodney bay on a hill side, constant cooling trade winds were lovely. and no bugs at that height apart from the odd one that blown in !!!
I feel it is a little ridiculous to be contentious over what The temperature of a dwelling should be. If I stay in Corozol down on the bay, I don't have to run the air if that breeze is whipping in. I am from the deep south, we are used to heat and high humidity. Most of the Belizeans I know don't even like air conditioning. I only know one who likes to sleep under it. I stayed with some Belizeans for about six weeks, it was rough but I managed to get enough sleep under a fan with the exception of that rooster cranking up every hour on the hour starting at 3:00 am. I knew expats who didn't even have air conditioning. Personally, I liked to run the unit in my bedroom if it were a blazer day. I could survive under a fan however. People obviously have different constitutions. Those of us who have grown up in the wicked heat and humidity seem to be able to cope with it more. Not many Belizeans have air co and they survive....It is possible, maybe not 100% pleasant, but doable.
Belize Boy, I will be visiting Belize next month with the mindset to live there. However, I am receiving a small pension. Can you point me in the direction of areas not inundated with expats? Belizeans and other expats of modest means. Just point me in the right direction. Thanks
Well that is true about the locals. Thing is, is that they are of mixed African-Mestizo genetic heritage.. So after millenia of inheritance they are well acclimated. A hot humid climate is very hard on retirees in general. Unless they are from the deep south. Except anytime I have been south of mason-dixon ac is everywhere. I agree that what kept me awake were roosters and barking dogs. Sometimes firecrackers. So u close the windows and activate the ac. God bless Mr Carrier
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