Have you ever thought of retiring to a country where the people are nice, healthcare is free and it is cheaper to live? Have you thought about Belize? In this article, we will discuss all the basics about Belize that can help you to move there comfortably.
Belize is situated on the northeastern coast of Central America. It is bounded by the Caribbean Sea in the East, Mexico in the North, and Guatemala South and West. It is a beautiful place with diverse languages and cultures. It is inexpensive and with great food and refreshing weather conditions.
Here are some reasons you may wish to retire to Belize:
- Perfect Weather
- Great Quality Food
- Affordable Cost Of Living
- Welcoming People
- Free Healthcare
- Diverse Culture
- Low Taxes
- Good transport System
- English Speaking
Now let’s explore the aspects to decide if it has everything you need to retire and live there.
Where To Find Home In Belize?
Belize encourages foreigners to buy a property. Belize is less expensive in terms of real estate prices. So you can easily buy and sell property in Belize. You can also live in a rented apartment.
Whether you are renting or buying the real estate websites below will help you out:
If you are looking for something really cheap then you can go to the Facebook marketplace. Change your filter to the specific city or town in Belize you want to retire and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales.
IMPORTANT: Prior to buying a property it is necessary to take proper legal advice to make sure the paperwork is in order. You can contact a Real Estate Agent to know about property taxes and local laws.
What Is The Weather Like In Belize?
The climate of Belize is tropical with alternative wet and dry seasons. The average temperature ranges from 24-27 °C (75.2-80.6 °F) in coastal regions while it is slightly higher inland. Usually, seasons are marked by the amount of humidity and rainfall.
Average rainfall varies from area to area and ranges between 1,350-4,500 millimeters (53-180 Inches). Maximum rainfall occurs in June and early July. The dry season begins in February and lasts in May. Hurricanes occur in wet seasons sometimes.
One of the most important things is the cool breeze coming off of the Caribbean Sea, which provides a breath of fresh air to the whole country. Air currents from cooler regions of Mexico also refresh the surroundings.
What Supermarkets are In Belize?
You can find the location of local supermarkets through Google maps. Almost all Stores take both Belize Dollars and US dollars. In supermarkets, you can find everything according to your needs.
So here is a list of the supermarkets in Belize:
Here is an example table of prices for some items:
|Milk||1 Liter||$ 2.05 USD|
|Bread||Loaf||$ 1.50 USD|
|Eggs||12||$ 2.18 USD|
|Apple||1 kg||$ 4.00 USD|
|Beef Round||1 kg||$ 5.12 USD|
|Chicken Breast||1 kg||$ 5.70 USD|
|Domestic Beer||0.5 Liter||$ 2.12 USD|
|Cigarettes||20 Pack||$ 3.47 USD|
NOTE: These prices were only valid at the making of this article and check the supermarket websites above for current prices.
What Is The Food Like In Belize?
Belizean Cuisine is a mixture of local Mayan, Creole, and Garifuna tastes blended with the taste of India, China, Lebanon, and many other countries. Something that you cannot miss is trying the famous Belizeans staple Rice and Beans. It consists of red, brown or black seeds cooked with white rice. The addition of local spices and hot sauces make it spicy and delicious. It is usually served with Stewed Chicken, fish, and potato salad.
Here are some popular restaurants at different locations in Belize:
- Bird’s Isle Restaurant
- Celebrity Restaurant & Bar
- El Fogon Restaurant
- Midtown Restaurant & Bar
- The Tavern
- Sahara Grill
TIP: Go to Google maps and search for the town in Belize you are thinking of retiring to and then search restaurants you want to try. You can visit their websites and can see pictures of their food and menus as well as read customer comments.
What Is The Cost Of Living In Belize?
Belize is an inexpensive country. Cost of living varies based upon which area you are living and the lifestyle you choose like in every other country. The average monthly budget ranges between $500 to 1000 USD. You can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with a budget of $2000 USD.
Here is a list of some of the common monthly expenses for you to think about:
|Monthly Expense||USD Cost|
|Rent – 2 bedroom||$500|
|Rent – 1 bedroom unit||$300|
|Utilities (Electricity, Gas Rates)||$95|
|Food and Groceries||$200|
|Dining Out x 4 (inexpensive restaurant)||$100|
|Total Expenses (2 bed)||$ 837|
|Total Expenses (1 bed)||$ 637|
What Is The Language In Belize?
If you are thinking of retiring to a country where English is the official language then Belize will be a great choice. Belize has a variety of languages and more than 10 languages are spoken through Belize.
Most dominant languages include English, Spanish, Belizean, Creole, and Kriol. Other languages include Mayan, Garifuna, German, Arabic, and Chinese. In many districts like Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal Spanish is the main language. German is also spoken in small villages and towns.
Most Belizeans are bilingual, some are multilingual. The majority of Belizean people have English as their primary language so you can easily communicate with them.
Are Belizeans Friendly?
Belize is a multiethnic country with a diverse group of people but they have shared characteristics. Belizean people are a mixture of groups including Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo, Kriol, Mennonite, Arab, East Indian, and Chinese.
The Belize people are very friendly to foreigners because their economy relies heavily on foreign investment and tourism. Due to the mix of cultures, it is often thought of as a melting pot of races and they all get along well with each other. This added to the general celebration of life that is prevalent in central and South America makes the people happy accepting.
What Types Of Transport Are There In Belize?
Several modes of transportation are available in Belize. Public buses are available in big cities and can take you to small towns. Public transport is cheap and reliable but sometimes becomes overcrowded. The main bus lines in Belize are BBOC, James, and WestLine. There is no rail system in Belize.
Here is the list of all the transport options available:
- International Airport
- Public Bus Lines
- Water Taxis
- Personal Car
For more information about local transport check out this article:
ARTICLE: Transport in Belize
How Is Healthcare In Belize?
In Belize, both public and private healthcare systems are available. The public healthcare system has improved much in the past few years. Public healthcare system facilities are free to people. The public healthcare system covers all the basic and routine healthcare.
Private hospitals are present in big cities. In rural areas, there are more than 60 public healthcare hospitals and clinics that are working to facilitate people with basic healthcare. But the quality of healthcare in rural areas is not that good due to a lack of proper staff and funds.
There are many private healthcare hospitals and clinics throughout the country which are providing good healthcare services to people. The private healthcare system provides service to more than 15 percent of Belizean people. They also provide X-ray and MRI services which are unavailable in the public healthcare system.
The Government of Belize has many initiatives to improve the public healthcare system. The Health Sector Strategic Plan was initiated in 2014 and it has brought many positive changes in the healthcare system. Its main purpose was to equally distribute healthcare facilities throughout the country. Many NGOs are also working to provide basic healthcare to the public.
Is Belize Safe To Retire?
Belize is not a safe country due to the higher rate of violent crimes and is in the list of top 10 list of unsafe countries due to the continuously increasing levels of drugs and human trafficking. The crime rate is higher in the poorer areas as with most countries in the world. San Pedro, Placencia, and Caye Caulker are considered the safest places in Belize.
You can avoid these crimes by taking some precautionary measures. Avoid isolated and overcrowded areas. You must try to avoid the bus at night. Be aware of public transit sites. Take care of your belongings in public places. You must hire a guide if you are visiting the jungle to avoid any crime like theft and robbery.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is taking initiatives to control crime levels in Belize. They are introducing laws for citizen security. Due to these initiatives murder rate is decreased to some extent. All this being said, once the safety level is increased it is definitely a country to keep an eye on.
For current information on the safety of Belize you can check here: