Free 200+ Page eBook

Top 57 Places to Live & Invest in the Tropics

Quickly find out which country is right for you.
No-hype updates & resource guides. No Spam. Ever.
Limited offer. Instant Download.

Join More than 58,187 people who are breaking free

we value your privacy

Your Time to Retire to Belize Is Now!

Although you may have thought that retirement was still a long way off, the time to retire to Belize is now.  The Belizean government has a program in place that could let you move to this quirky, Central American location as early as age 45.

With Belize being poised to be a major retirement mecca for expats from the U.S. and the UK looking for tropical ambiance with English being the official language, this program – the QRP – may be changed or limited in the future. Taking advantage of the chance to retire to Belize now is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

Being located close to the US makes it easy for retirees to transition from a life in the states to a less hectic lifestyle in Belize. Living in Belize is more than just a change of residence; between the cultural richness, natural beauty, and friendly citizens, Belize can provide much more than one might expect.

retire to belize


The QRP – The Gateway to Retirement in Belize

As an enticement for foreigners to relocate and invest in Belize, the government established the QRP (Qualified Retired Persons) program. Under this program,  there are minimal requirements that have to be met and, as discussed above, real financial benefits that can be obtained.

The basic requirements are that a) the applicant is over 45 years of age; b) the applicant can prove a monthly income (from any source) of at least $2000 USD; or c) the applicant arranges to deposit in a Belizean bank the sum of $24,000 on or before April 1st of each year for their own care and maintenance.

One of the most unique features about the QRP is that it does not bear any relationship to how many days you spend outside the U.S. or inside Belize. This can be a great advantage for those who are “perpetual tourists”; travelling to many places or only staying a limited number of days in Belize itself.

A second unique feature is that the age limit is only 45. Clearly, you don’t have to be of retirement age to qualify for QRP status.

While this law has been in effect for over a decade, there has been some talk in Belizean government circles about limiting the number of applications per year, raising the dollar limit required, or other changes. As a result, now is the best time to take advantage of this program before any changes are enacted.

Why the Choice to Retire to Belize Makes Sense

With all of the potential options that an expat retiree could choose, why does the choice to retire to Belize make so much sense? There are a number of reasons that support the “Belize option.” The major ones are listed below:

Money Does Matter

While Belize is not the most inexpensive choice for retirement, the value you receive for the money you spend is well worth it. For example, the average for utilities (electric, water, heat, and garbage) is around $88 per month. The prices in the metropolitan areas such as Belize City and the capital city, Belmopan, may be slightly higher.

Rental units can also be reasonable. The country average can range between $200-$700 per month; again higher rates will be found in the larger, more popular areas. It is important to note, however, that the number of rental units is small and, as a result, desirable properties may be at a premium – both in terms of location and price.

Belize has a well-developed infrastructure with the kind of modern amenities you would expect in the U.S. Cable television, high speed internet service, and cellular phones are all readily available and much more moderately priced than their North American counterparts.

Taxes Aren’t “Taxing”

One concern for retirees is having to pay taxes, both on their imported personal goods, as well as on passive income from pensions. As an incentive to bring expats to Belize, the government has put in place the QRP – the Qualified Retired Persons – program. (More on that below.)

This program permits those qualifying as a QRP to import, absolutely tax and duty-free, their personal belongings as well as a single “approved means of transport” (motor vehicles, boats, and light aircraft) for their personal use. This is markedly different from other Central American countries, where import duties and taxes can run in the thousands of dollars.

Income, either earned or passive, received from sources outside Belize, by QRP individuals, is totally exempt from all taxes and levies. For those retirees receiving income from 401(k)s, or other pension instruments, this can be a tremendous savings.

Real estate taxes are very straightforward. For residential property, the tax rate will be between 1% and 1.5% of the value as set by Department of Natural Resources.  Additionally, there is a 25% discount on property taxes for Senior Citizens (over 65) which certainly is a great incentive for expat retirees.

retire to belize

Amelia TWU

Real Bargains in Real Estate

The Belizean real estate market suffered from the same pressures as the rest of the globe in 2008. Although the market has rebounded, prices for residential properties (both stand alone and condominium) are still quite reasonable. Looking at a selection of what is available can give you a good perspective on how much your home in paradise may cost.

There are no restrictions on non-residents buying or owning property in Belize. Since the Belizean legal system is based on English Common Law (like the U.S.), as compared to the Napoleonic Code which forms the basis of other Latin American legal systems, the rights and obligations involved in property ownership are easy to understand.  It also helps that the laws are written in English.

Healthier and Less Stressful Living

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits you will receive when you retire to Belize is having a more relaxed lifestyle. This more casual approach to daily living, while requiring some adjustment when appointment times tend to be more like approximations than confirmations, ultimately lead to a less stressful way of looking at the world. Less stress does equal better health.

With so many outdoor activities, you will find yourself far less sedentary than you might imagine. The readily available supply of fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables, all locally grown, are a welcome improvement from the over-processed food that make up far too much of American diets.

retire to belize


retire to belize

Victoria Reay

Learning More About Retiring in Belize

There are some facets about retiring to Belize that should be given consideration.  It is important to remember that Belize is coming to the “expat retirement table” somewhat late in the game, as compared to other countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama.

As a result, the laws governing residency and retirement may change. Keeping abreast of these changes can be an important part of your relocation process.

While the developed areas of Belize have modern amenities and infrastructures, the more rural areas may not have the same level of services. If a more rustic lifestyle is not to your liking, your search should be limited to those more popular areas.

There is no substitute for actually going to Belize and enjoying its wonders for yourself.  Plan a trip, not just as a vacation, but as a scouting mission to learn about the place that you’ll want to retire in.

Up Next

7 of the Top Places U.S. Expats Are Living in Latin America (and Why)

New data shows where U.S. expats are residing all across the globe. Many of the top destinations are in nearby Latin America. Find out why. (Read It)

Central America's Best Real Estate Buy

Don't miss this up and commer. It has the tropical lifestyle, stunning beauty, and smokin appreciation potential. (Read It)

The World’s Top 10 Best Places to Put Your Money

Offshore banking isn't just for the super rich. But how does the average Joe decide where to put his money? Here are the world's top banking jurisdictions. (Read It)
panama city panama real estate update

Panama City, Panama Real Estate Market Update

Today we have a guest post written by Kent Davis, owner of one of the most successful real estate brokerages in Panama City The Panama City real estate market may have finally taken a turn in …

(Read It)
costa rica websites

Top 133 Costa Rica Websites for Expats and Investors

Did you know there are dozens and dozens of great resources on Costa Rica for expats and investors? Sure, we have a ton of resources for Costa Rica on our site, and a whole bunch …

(Read It)

The Truth about Living in Costa Rica: The Good, the Bad, and the Muddy

It's easy to find tons of articles and information out there highlighting all the great benefits of living in Costa Rica. But it's also easy to read those blogs and marketing pieces and think, "Yeah, it …

(Read It)

Why Nosara, Costa Rica Is Not Your Average Surfing Town

A deeper look at Nosara and its history will quickly reveal that this long-time mecca for surfing enthusiasts offers so much more than just the sand and sea. The increasing interest in the area as a …

(Read It)

Expats Are Still Falling in Love with Nosara and Here’s Why

What was once the up-and-coming expat haven of Nosara, Costa Rica, has blossomed into one of Costa Rica's most established expat communities that continues to be ranked near the top of the list of most desirable destinations in the Latin …

(Read It)

How Nosara Strikes the Perfect Balance of Rustic vs. Connected

When you hear people applaud Nosara for its laid-back rustic vibe, what you may not realize is that despite it's off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, Nosara is also surprisingly well connected. As such, this Costa Rican hotspot continues to be one …

(Read It)

2 thoughts on “Your Time to Retire to Belize Is Now!

  1. 1

    I think it’s worth noting that the broadband internet in Belize is more expensive than it is in the States. I’d be happy for you to be prove me wrong. Everything else about the country sings beautifully. It’s that problem, which ultimately dissuades me and PTs who earn their living online.

  2. 2

    So how much is the broadband internet? I just bought a place at Orchid Bay but I don’t work from there. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hot Real Estate Offer

Real Estate In The Area

Located in Northern Belize's Corozal District, Orchid Bay is a growing community of international vacationers, snowbirds and full-time residents, committed to e...
For Sale
2 beds
2 bath
Corozal, Belize
The Seafront Condominiums start at $299,000 and feature two bedrooms, two baths and two spectacular view patios. Features like custom Belizean hardwood cabinetr...
For Sale
2 beds
2 bath
Santa Elena
Come see this beautiful 1,256 square foot cement construction house in a peaceful residential community. This home has three bedrooms and two baths and has tile...
For Sale
3 beds
2 bath
Building Size:1,265 sq.ft.
See All Listings In The Area
Free Tropical Toolkit
Free 200+ Page Report: Top 57 Places to Live & Invest
  • The only book in the world that ranks investment and lifestyle in one place.
  • Over 200 information packed pages with hundreds of beautiful photos.
  • Download the book instantly (for free!) with this limited time offer.
*We value your privacy. No spam. Period.