If there was such a thing as a universally common goal, I think retiring wealthier and happier would be closer to the shared dream than even world peace! So, what if I were to tell you that you can potentially retire wealthier and happier in Belize? Wouldn’t you be intrigued to learn just a little bit more?
Well, the fact of that matter is, Belize is a real opportunity for British, American and Western European retirees and PTs (private thinkers, perpetual travellers…) alike. It offers a handsome tax-free incentive programme for qualifying individuals, it offers a mixed landscape and cultural backdrop where you as an individual can find your preferred place, and it’s a nation where English is widely spoken.
If the thoughts of currency fluctuations, a weak economy, cold weather and social breakdown are the stuff of nightmares for you as you approach retirement or as you seek a way forward in life, making a well prepared and planned move to Belize could be the tonic you’re after. In this report we will lay out everything that Belize has in its favour – and show you why this lesser discovered destination could be your perfect hideaway.
How Could You be Wealthier Living in Belize?
The economy in Belize is small and primarily built on private enterprise in agriculture, agro-based industries, and merchandising, with tourism and construction relatively recently increasing in importance…however, the government has appreciated in the past that it needs to diversify in terms of the economic areas of importance within the nation, if it is to maintain economic stability.
Therefore, the Belize Retired Persons’ Incentive Program is a direct result of that governmental emphasis on diversification. It is a program that seeks to attract new residents to the nation who will of course be able to live tax free, but who will remit much of their individual wealth to the country to spend on a daily basis, thereby providing a stable economic platform for the country.
From your point of view as an individual, you can forget all about worrying about the weakened state of your own currency, (particularly if you’re British), because if you can live tax free, you will have up to 50% more of your wealth in your pocket each month! So, here’s how the Belize Retired Persons’ Incentive Program Works…
To qualify you need to be 45 years or older, and in receipt of a monthly income of at least USD 2,000, earned through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize. You will need to prove that this income comes from a company that has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of that company’s registration. Your pension or annuity company must certify that you will be in receipt of no less than USD 2,000 a month, and that this amount will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution in Belize. This certification must come in letterform and be signed by the manager, president, or legal representative of the company.
Certification should also be provided by a Certified Public Accountant, independent of the company, stating both the date the company was established, and verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned and required letter proving that you will be in receipt of not less than USD 2,000 a month.
You will have to present two bank references from the company that is sending your pension to Belize, and the company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension scheme.
Now whilst all this sounds hugely complex, it isn’t particularly if your pension, annuity or valid income source comes from a Fortune 500 Company for example. Also, look on the forums for Belize and get advice from those who have made the move already, they’ll tell you how to go about it. Note, you will also have to undergo a background check to make sure you’re not a wanted criminal, on the run for serious offences back home!
If you want more information about the program, or you want to apply, visit http://www.BelizeRetirement.org or contact the Belize Tourism Board, P.O. Box 325, Belize City, Belize, Central America. Tel: + 501-223-1913 – or fax: + 501-223-1943.
Having prepared yourself to jump through all of these hoops you need to know what’s in it for you! Well, as stated, if you qualify you and your dependents can live tax free in Belize. Anyone who achieves Qualified Retired Person status shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import their personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes too – and an ‘approved means of transportation’ could be a yacht, private plane or a car! You will be totally exempt from the payment of ALL taxes and ALL duties on ALL income or receipts as long as they come from a source outside of Belize - whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment held.
Now that can all add up to a pretty hefty saving!
There are fees associated with processing your application however, but even these don’t break the bank: -
1) A non-refundable application fee of 150 US dollars is payable to the Belize Tourism Board when you submit your application
2) A program fee of 1,000 US dollars is payable to the Belize Tourism Board upon acceptance into the Program
3) Upon acceptance into the Program a further fee of 200 US dollars must be paid to the Belize Tourism Board for the issuance of the Qualified Retired Person Residency Card
4) Finally, each dependent is required to pay a program fee of 750 US dollars to enter the Program
[The Belize dollar is linked 2:1 to the US dollar.]
Finally, having saved yourself 100% taxation by applying and being accepted into the programme, you can go on to save yourself more money because the cost of living in Belize can be attractively affordable. Rather than repeating what an expat resident in Belize has already done very well, we’re just going to link out to Lan Sluder’s ‘What Things Cost in Belize’ page. Note, his prices are last years, but most things haven’t moved much in that time.
As you can clearly see, you can live very comfortably on your 2,000 dollars a month – and if you have even more disposable income, you can make it go far in Belize. If you want to move before retirement too, as long as any income you earn is not sourced in Belize, you can continue working and contributing to your retirement fund.
How Could You be Happier Living in Belize?
Whilst it’s possible to pretty much quantify how much better off you could be by moving to Belize under the Retired Persons’ Incentive Program, happiness is far harder to quantify! So, what we can do for you is tell you what the nation has in its favour, and if any or all of these plus points tick boxes for you, you never know, you may well find greater happiness by moving to Belize.
The nation is English speaking – which appeals to Americans and Brits alike; it’s part of the Commonwealth meaning that the Queen is Chief of State – and its dollar is intrinsically linked to the US dollar. All of these factors are in the country’s favour for British and American retirees in particular…
The country is peaceful, politically and economically stable, Belize has a decent education and healthcare system too, with good and relatively affordable options for those who want to go private. The nation has a vibrant capital city, which is on a par in terms of its sophistication with many first world, western cities. America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the rest of beautiful Central America are within easy and affordable reach of Belize, and whilst the UK is a long haul, you can go via America to make the journey more palatable and straightforward.
Belize enjoys a subtropical climate all year round – and this of course has a stunning effect on the flora, fauna and natural environment in the country. Belize is a fabulous tourism haunt with its beautiful beaches, fabulous reefs, tropical forests, many islands and magical Mayan ruins. The pace of life is very laid back and the cost of living can be incredibly cheap. Alternatively, if you want sophistication and modern culture, step into any of the main towns and cities and you can buy it and access it in abundance!
Finally, the people in Belize are fun loving, friendly and passionate – whilst retaining their laid back nature! You will find a warm welcome in Belize, and you can enjoy an incredibly good standard of living too…we honestly think it is worth a closer look.