How to Retire in Belize:
There are two ways to Retire in Belize:
- One is the Qualified Retirement Person (QRP) Program. In 1999 the government of Belize enacted legislation to allow qualified retired persons to obtain permanent residency in their country. It is operated by the Belize Tourism Board. Belize’s QRP program isn’t just for senior citizens. It’s available to anyone age 45 or older, and it grants a host of incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from Belizean taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and import tax on household goods, automobiles, boats and even airplanes. The only catch is you must deposit $2,000us a month or $24,000 a year in to a Belize Bank and show proof every year to maintain your QRP status. The other draw back is that you can not work under the QRP program and can not apply for citizenship, if you wanted to do so at a later date.
- The other method is to get Permanent Residence in Belize. To do this you need to live in Belize for 1 complete year as a tourist paying $25us a month for 6 months to renew your tourist status and then $50us a month for 6 months until the end of one year. You can then apply for Permanent Residency and not have to show financial deposits and can apply for a work permit the first day you arrive. This will help to continue earning income until you reach 65 or 75 depending on what the current laws are when you do retire here.
There are several locations to retire in Belize, for a full list please see our Guide to “Places to Retire in Belize” which we will keep adding to, and updating as more information on each District becomes available. Here, we cover two of the main locations for retirement in Belize.
- Northern Belize. Northern Belize (Corozal District) has been greatly overlooked by most retirees. Mainly because it is as far North as you can go in Belize. Right next to the Mexico border and the City of Chetumal, Mexico. Corozal Town is also right on the water front of the Chetumal Bay. It is well protected from Hurricanes due to the Yucatan peninsula stoping most of the major storm surges. Over the last few years it has become a gold rush for property development in the Corozal District and a large growing ex-pat population. In most of these developments you can still purchase a 1/2 acre lot for about $8,000 to $25,000us depending on what stage the development is in. The population of Corozal is diverse, and it is becoming more so as retirees are beginning to recognize what this overlooked part of Belize has to offer. Its appeal is remote and quite, but remote living has its advantages, especially in retirement. This is why the proximity of this part of Belize to Chetumal, Mexico just a (15 minute drive across the border) is so important. You can find a large American Mall (Plaza de la Americana) with all the regular shops you would find in any US Mall along with a large Movie Theater where the first released movies are in English. You can also find the big chain stores i.e, Walmart, Home Depot, Sams Club, Auto Zone etc.. where you can stock up on the bulk items on a monthly basis. You can also receive some of the best health care and pharmacies in Chetumal, most of the time at the same cost as your Co-Pay to your insurance company. .
- Southern Belize: Placencia is a small narrow peninsula in the southern part of Belize. This small strip is approximately 16 miles long. The fishing village with just a sidewalk to traverse a few years ago is now one of several popular destinations in Belize. You will find several Real Estate properties here. There are also many resorts offering luxury accommodations with various restaurants and a new paved road to take you to each end of the peninsula. On the east side of the peninsula you will find beaches lined with beautiful white sand and mangroves. On the west side of the peninsula you will discover the bay of the Caribbean Sea referred to as the Placencia Lagoon. Along the peninsula it can be very narrow, only 300-600 feet separate the Caribbean Sea from the Placencia Lagoon. Most properties have beach, lagoon, or canals. Throughout this village you will still find great saltwater fly fishing, you can also experience kayaking the lagoon with all the local wildlife such as manatees, dolphins & rays. Placencia is a beautiful village well off the busy city streets but still has all of the basic needs to retire.