Belize Insider

Belize Insider

No Shoes, No Watch, No Worries

Silky, Soft, Sugar-White Sand…Impossibly Blue Skies Against a Turquoise Sea…Tropical Palms Swaying to a Reggae Beat…Friendly People Who Smile All the Time…

Just Two Hours from Miami,Belize is the Most Affordable Destination in the Caribbean…And They Speak English

Dear Reader,

How far would you go to find paradise? Think there's no such thing? Or that it's out of reach financially?

I have good news.

If your idea of paradise is silky, soft white beaches… impossibly blue skies against a turquoise sea… tropical palms swaying to a reggae beat… and friendly people who are genuinely happy and smile all the time… then set your sights on Belize.

You can ditch your watch, your shoes, your cares. All you really need is a hat, a bathing suit and a t-shirt or two…

Just a short two-hour flight from Miami, little Belize is the most affordable destination in the Caribbean. And English is the official language.

That's part of what makes Belize such a paradise, of course. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in the world, but life is easy. So easy… Here's why:

  • It's close to home.
  • You needn't learn a new language.
  • The government is stable.
  • The currency is pegged 2 to 1 to the U.S. dollar (and U.S. dollars are freely accepted everywhere).
  • It's tiny—about the size of Massachusetts—so it's easy to get around.
  • Just over 370,000 people live in the entire country…no crowds to contend with.
  • Belizeans may be the friendliest, most helpful people on the planet.
  • It's easy to establish residence and easy to start a business in Belize.

It's Cheaper and Easier Than Ever to Get to Belize
Tourism to Belize is growing by leaps and bounds, with more and more inexpensive flight options being added. All the primary US carriers fly to Belize, as does Southwest Airlines. WestJet offers flights from Toronto. And American will soon offer a new flight from London… And a new cruise terminal in southern Belize will bring more tourists, too—offering early-in opportunities for those who get to Belize now.

Belize is one of those countries that packs a big punch in a small package. It's part of Central America, but unlike the rest of Latin America, English is the official language. That's because it was originally part of the British Empire. Belize just became an independent nation in 1981, and British influence remains strong in everything from its parliamentary government to its common law legal system.

It's a legal system that works and makes sense… you won't have any trouble doing business in Belize!

And even though Belize is one of the smallest countries in Central America (making it easy to explore in a short amount of time) it's remarkably diverse…from pine forests in the west and rainforests in the south to rolling farmland in the center and 240 miles of gorgeous Caribbean coastline dotted with more than 200 offshore idyllic islands.

By the way, there are lots of exciting infrastructure projects in the works in Belize today, from the new international airport planned for Ambergris Caye to the new cruise ship terminal in southern Belize. Roadwork progresses apace on Ambergris Cay and there are plans to upgrade the malecon beachfront promenades in both Corozal and Punta Gorda. And the municipal airport in Belize City has already been upgraded and enhanced.

All this, and Belize makes it easy to gain residence there…and with tremendous tax benefits, too.

Plus, Belize is the Caribbean's most affordable destination. Property prices are low, there are hardly any taxes, and the overall cost of living is hard to beat.

Ambergris Caye—The Next Cancun?
The Belize government plans to build a second international airport on the north end of the popular island of Ambergris Caye—likely for charter flights. This is an indication of the amount of growth expected on the island. Those who follow the path of progress and buy real estate here will likely see values climb.

Don't just take it from me. As one expat living on the popular island of Ambergris Caye, says, " Our overall cost of living is about 33% of what it was in California. It is hard to let go of all the "things" we had. But we can get by on a lot less here."

Not only that, she says, "I love the balmy weather, with temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees most days. The aquamarine water and nearby reef are stunning. The breeze coming off the Caribbean Sea has a cooling effect, so we hardly ever use our air-conditioning. It is comfortable to swim all year round, and nature is ever present.

"Every day we see and talk to our neighbors. It's a small town and everyone is friendly. I walk to the beach, where I run into friends. Our normal attire is shorts, shirts, and flip-flops."

If You're Dreaming of the Caribbean, but Think You Can't Afford it…Think Belize: Paradise Found

I'm Jackie Flynn, International Living publisher. Since 1979 International Living has been researching and reporting about the best places on the planet to retire, start a business, or just start over again…

Places like Belize, where you can leave the stress of the workaday world…and its politics and cold-weather challenges…far behind.

Way back in 1979, in fact, our editors and writers were telling us about how expats in this little country that was then called British Honduras really could "have it all"… a paradisiacal Caribbean lifestyle for a fraction of what life up north would cost.

You just need less in a place like Belize. You certainly don't need to pay for expensive heating bills in the winter, and with those ever-present Caribbean tradewinds, you may not need much air conditioning either. Eat like a local—fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables—and your food costs are low, too.

And entertainment? If you love the warm waters of the Caribbean, there is no better place. With the world's second-longest barrier reef just offshore, these waters teem with sea life of every vibrantly-colored variety. Do some fishing in the morning and then after a long, relaxed lunch, maybe do some snorkeling or diving. Or just sit and watch the waves roll by…

Evenings can be spent watching the kids play in the park or at a local beach hangout where there's usually a live local reggae band to get you in that island spirit. "No worries, mon." In Belize, there really isn't much to worry about…

The truth is: if you're looking for a worry-free Caribbean lifestyle, there is no better place than Belize.

So How Do You Get Started? How Can You Quickly Get Up-to-Speed and Easily Determine if Belize is Right For You?

We're so certain that Belize fits the bill for anyone looking for an idyllic Caribbean lifestyle that we turned to an expert living in Belize for 9 years to show you the way.

Ann Kuffner and her husband, Mike, moved to Belize in 2008. They started traveling there long before they ever made the decision to move.

They've explored nearly every inch of the country. It's small, yes, but has so much to offer, as I said—from beaches to farmland, pine forests to rainforests and everything in between.

Ann and Mike loved their life in Belize… for all those benefits I've already mentioned, and not just because, as Ann says, they left the political name-calling, fast-paced lifestyle, stress, and over-the-top consumer culture behind.

"We've met great new friends, locals and expats. This is a happy place where life is just simpler. We love our lives here."

It's easy to meet people in little Belize. You might be walking your dogs on the beach, taking a yoga class, hanging out at a local café or beach bar, attending church or a community event, doing some volunteer work. And it's definitely a plus that everyone… locals and expats alike… speaks English.

Communicating and making new friends is never a problem in Belize.

That's something our network of experts more than a bit about. On your behalf, they're constantly on the go, traveling around Belize, making new contacts and tapping into their expertise, and discovering ever-better places to invest, to live, and to play. They stay on top of the technical and legal stuff, too—the processes and requirements for buying, renting, getting visas and residence, building, renovating, furnishing a home, bringing a pet, and so on.

And they're committed to giving you real-world, on-the-ground insights into life in Belize today gathering the type of information that will make your transition to life there easier. No need for you to reinvent the wheel!

Life in Belize is Simply Better… But Don't Just Take it From Me

So, in addition to Ann, we've assembled a strong cast of experts and expats with deep resumes of experience in Belize.

We know the best attorneys…the best healthcare providers and insurance professionals…the experts that can help you move your household goods, buy a car if you like, establish your residence, get your taxes and personal finances in order, and much, much more…

We have a hefty rolodex of expats, too. Over the years, many readers have taken our advice and are already in Belize full- or part-time. They've improved their own lives immeasurably—they're eating better and living healthier, enjoying a lot less stress, making friends, relaxing on the beach, living their dreams…and spending a small fraction of what they did back home.

And these readers who have gone before you—they, too, stand ready to share their tips, tricks, advice and recommendations with you… all of which can save you time, money, and frustration.

Like Arnie and Yvette, for example, a fast-paced, career-minded couple from Los Angeles. But making money wasn't enough. "We felt that something was missing," they say.

So they decided in 1980 they would leave the States for a place where life offered more in the way of simple living. They found a 20-acre property near Punta Gorda, in the Toledo District that they bought for just $1,800 total. They quit jobs, sold everything they owned, bought a motor home and drove south through Mexico to their new life.

They gave themselves five years to make it work. As it turns out, they never looked back.

Today Arnie is 80 years old and Yvette is in her mid-70s. They are as happy as ever, living a simple life on savings and with hardly any expenses. All told, their monthly expenses are lower than $500.

"We really have it all," they say. "The people here amaze us with their ingenuity and how they make everything work. We have a natural paradise. We really have Shangri-La."

And then there's Dwight and Jeri, who moved full-time from Tampa, Florida, to Ambergris Caye in 2012.

The view from their beachfront home on the south end of the island, Jeri says, "is breathtaking, no matter what time of day it is. Sitting on our porch watching the sun rise is a daily pleasure. Welcoming each beautiful new day, coffee in hand, as we plan what we want to do that day is probably our favorite time together. Walking our dog on the beach every afternoon is a close second. We meet so many friendly and talkative people—both vacationers and residents, and they always seem to be dog lovers."

It's Easy to Start a Business in Belize, Too
Bill and Jenny moved from Colorado to the Bay of Corozal, near the town of Copper Bank. They bought a parcel of beachfront and worked together to build Cerros Beach Resort, with four cabanas for guests and a full-service restaurant and bar.

They say they couldn't have afforded to do this in the States. The permits and licenses alone would have nickeled and dimed them to death. Not so in Belize.

Best of all, Bill says, he and Jenny now get to spend quality time together, doing the things they love.

"There are no time clocks or wristwatches, no commutes, stress or worries," he says. "We have the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitats, to sit and listen to the birds and the wind blowing, to watch a beautiful sunset…we take full advantage of it all."

Dwight and Jeri both signed up for Social Security early, when they turned 62. They also receive income from annuities. All told, in Belize, their monthly costs amount to around $1,500, excluding medical expenses. And even those are low. Dwight had two molars extracted for $30. Jeri paid $40 each to have four fillings replaced, and $200 to replace a crown.

Similarly, Don and Kate retired early…from Miami to Placencia, Belize, a sliver of land reaching south along the coastline. Pristine sailboats glide through the turquoise waters alongside local fishing boats. Fresh seafood is available year-round, as are healthy fruits and vegetables…and at a fraction of what the couple used to pay.

Don and Kate say their only regret is that they didn't do it 30 years earlier.

"We only have a small amount invested in our multi-level house, with a pool and a guest cottage," Don says. "Sometimes I just sit on my dock looking back at the house, and stare in amazement of where we live and what we have built for the small amount of money we have in this property.

"We still pinch ourselves," Don says. "Here we live richer for less. Even our property taxes are cheaper, at only about $20 a year!"

Mark and Angie are another couple we know. When both were in their late 40s, they decided to move with their 14-year-old son from bustling Las Vegas to the small town of San Ignacio in Belize's inland Cayo district. Now, they say, they have far more quality family time.

"We live a humble life here," they say. "We're not surrounded by things. And we have less stress."

For the first time in their marriage, they own their home outright. They were excited to be featured on House Hunters International during their early days in Belize.

"If you've seen that episode, you'll hear the word 'simplify' a lot. We really wanted to simplify our entire life," Mark says.

And that's what living in Belize is all about…living simpler and living better.

It doesn't hurt that the overall cost of living is so reasonable that you can easily live on a small amount of savings or on a Social Security income…with no more worries about running out of money…no matter how old you are.

Arnie and Yvette… Dwight and Jeri… Don and Kate… Mark and Angie… and others like them have a wealth of real-world, been-there-done-that secrets—and they're ready to share them all with you.

Until now, though, our dilemma has been how to share this valuable firsthand expertise with you. Books and special reports are certainly valuable. As are conferences where you get to network in person.

But we wanted an even more effective way to share with you—in a comprehensive, timely, useful manner—all the great advice, recommendations and guidance about Belize we'd like you to have.

We want to offer you the most reliable, themost up-to-date, the most valuable information—and the most interactive experience possible.

And we've figured out a way to do exactly that…

The Next-Best Thing to Sitting Down Face to Face… Whenever You Want… With Our Experts and Editors.

To be honest, if you were to spend several weeks with any of our editors, experts, or the helpful expats we know, you'd no doubt absorb a library full of Belize intelligence. You'd get all your questions answered. And you'd spare yourself all the mistakes they made.

It would "fast track" you into a better life in Belize, no question.

The thing is—that just isn't a practical option. After all, we've got half a million readers and tens of thousands of them are interested in Belize.

So we've been working with our editors and with our regular contributors to create what is—without a doubt—the next-best thing.

It's a way for you to gain access to an incredibly comprehensive and truly rich depth of knowledge and get "plugged in" to everything you need to know…so you can get from where you are now—to a better life in Belize in the perfect place and within the monthly budget that's exactly right for you.

You get everything you need to do it quickly, easily, and seamlessly.

We call it Belize Insider. It's your direct access to the "No Problem" lifestyle.

Let me say right up front here: This isn't a newsletter. It's not a magazine, a book, or even a conference. It's not a static resource at all.

Belize Insider members have access to a much deeper level of Belize intelligence than any other group.

Including full and unrestricted access to Belize Insider—a community of like-minded folks. It's the virtual equivalent of spending a couple months in Belize with the experts, soaking up every last bit of intelligence from the insiders who know the benefits, the tricks, the challenges, and the real-world solutions that really work.

With Belize Insider, you can ask questions…get answers…and I guarantee it will help you determine if Belize is right for you.

It'll help you match your personal interests and preferences with your own patch of paradise in Belize, and it'll give you solid, up-to-date, reliable details about everything from how you apply for a residence visa to where you can find a good doctor, buy a golf cart, a small boat, a new couch, or your favorite herbs and spices.

Plus it'll give you practical things like day-by-day trip itineraries that'll show you the best ways to explore Belize if you're doing so with an eye to living there.

But perhaps most importantly—it "connects you" with the experts, with your fellow readers who share an interest in Belize, and with a friendly community of expats we know already living there who can share with you their insights and advice.

It essentially puts you on the "inside" so you have people to turn to and you don't have to figure everything out on your own.

Now that's just a very small taste of what Belize Insider is about—and I'll tell you more in a minute.

First, though, let me show you exactly why we're so excited about Belize to begin with, and why you should be, too…

Your "Simply Better" Lifestyle Comes With a Low Price Tag

How much does it cost to live in Belize? The short answer is: whatever you want… within reason, of course.

You can spend just about as much or as little as you want. Expats in Belize can live comfortably well on as little as $2,000 per month—sometimes far less—including rent. To do this, you may have to forego some things, like expensive restaurants and frequent shopping sprees—but that's not what most people move to Belize for.

As Dwight and Jeri—the couple who live on Ambergris Caye—will tell you, if you focus on what's important, you can live pretty well in Belize for less than $1,300 a month, especially if you own your own home.

And as anyone who lives in Belize will tell you, you don't have to "keep up with the Joneses" here.

"Your 'needs' just become simpler here," one expat says. "You can live very comfortably with a lot less stuff."

For sure you can live like a Wall Street mogul in Belize on $4,000 per month. Most expats, though, report that they are living quite happily and without sacrifices on a monthly budget of about $1,800, including rent.

For instance, the picturesque island of Ambergris Caye is one of the most expensive destinations in Belize. But even there, you can enjoy a very affordable lifestyle.

Here's a typical monthly budget, based on calculations for two people living in a mid-range one-bedroom condo on the beach on Ambergris Caye:

Rent: $850
Groceries: $400-$600
Electricity: $100-$250
Water: $35
Internet: $35
Cellphone: $25-$50
Cable Vision: $24
Miscellaneous: $150
TOTAL: $1,619-$1,994

As part of the miscellaneous entry, this sample budget includes transportation. Depending where in Belize you settle, you may not want a car. And keep in mind that gasoline is expensive in Belize (about 50% more than in the U.S.) The good thing is that you'll never drive very far at all in Belize. Many expats on Ambergris Caye, for example, opt to get around by golf cart and they say their fuel costs are rarely more than $30 a month. The other costs you need to figure are for entertainment and health care: insurance, medical costs, and prescriptions you might take. Only you know what those costs might be…but they'll certainly be less in Belize.

Of course, if you pay outright for your home you won't have any housing costs to speak of, besides your annual property tax, which will be next to nothing. As Don, a property owner in Placencia says, his annual taxes are just about $20. (If you live in a condo, you may have HOA fees, of course, but these, too, tend to be on the low side in Belize.)

And what about household help? That's inexpensive, too. You'll spend about $2 to $5 an hour for your maid or gardener.

You can see how affordable it is to live a very good life in Belize. Best of all, you can afford to treat yourself with things you might not afford at a maid and gardener, spa days, and more…

In Belize, even the lowest budget affords a very good lifestyle. You'll enjoy guilt-free consumption at very low prices. And live musical entertainment at all those fun beach bars is typically free!

Even the necessities of life can be affordable in Belize. If you buy imported American convenience foods, for example, you'll pay around 50% more for them in Belize than you would in the U.S. Instead, buy local produce and fish. Eat at restaurants the locals frequent instead of tourist spots. Your costs will be lower ($5 or less for a plate of fresh seafood or stewed chicken with rice and beans) and your experience will be richer.

As for healthcare, a visit to a doctor at the best private medical facility in the country, for example, is just $30. And the public hospitals and clinics are free to all…

What About Healthcare in Belize?
Most minor ailments can be treated quickly—and cheaply—at doctor's offices and clinics that can be found in all but a few remote areas. People who suffer from serious conditions can be taken to private clinics such as Belize Medical Associates or Belize Health Care Partners in Belize City. Both of these facilities offer very good services and costs are still very reasonable. Belize does have a number of public hospitals but most expats prefer to use the private clinics.

But since these facilities lack some of the high-tech equipment of hospitals in the U.S. and neighboring countries, some expats leave Belize for more complicated types of medical treatment. Many U.S. retirees, for instance, return home for a few days when they want to take advantage of Medicare. Some expats also go to nearby Chetumal and to Merida, just north of the border in the Mexican state of Yucatán, or to Guatemala City and Antigua in Guatemala.

But it's not just the potential cost savings that you should consider…it's the overall improvement in your quality of life.

More time and more money to spend as you like…no taxes, no inflated prices, no more worries about outliving your retirement nest egg.

By the Way, There Has Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Home in Belize. Here's Why…

The global economy meltdown of a few years back sent shock waves through real estate markets in just about every country on the planet—and Belize is no exception. If you know where to look—especially in some destinations we know of—there are bargains to be had.

Here are some sample properties and prices (rentals, too) we recently uncovered:

  • In the town of Corozal, which sits on the pretty Bay of Corozal in northern Belize (and has its own domestic airport), you can buy a quarter of an acre of land one lot back from a gorgeous lagoon for just $20,000. Or buy two seaview lots north of town, selling together for just $80,000.
  • Just south of Corozal is a two-bedroom, two-bath home of 1,000 square feet. The upstairs could easily be expanded and the rooftop porch looks out to the Caribbean Sea, just a short walk away. The price is a remarkably low $149,500.

At Punta Gorda in southern Belize, arguably one of the most beautiful and unspoiled areas and one of the places in the country that has yet to hit its stride as far as real estate prices go, some real bargains can be found here if simple living is what you're after. Such as:

  • A four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,100-square-foot home in Eldridge, along the San Antonio-Punta Gorda Highway—just a 10-minute drive from the Caribbean Sea and to Punta Gorda Town. The asking price is just $120,000.
  • A two-story concrete home in Punta Gorda itself has two bedrooms and one bathroom on the top floor. The lower level has two one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments, providing for income. The yard is fenced and secure and the location can't be beat—just three blocks from the town center, stores, and restaurants. It's priced at just $125,000.

Property Taxes are Ridiculously Low, Too.
The current property tax rate in Belize is between 1% and 1.5% of the value of the undeveloped land. As Don and Kate who live n the beach in Placencia say, "Our property taxes are only about $20 a year!" What a deal, huh? And there is no capital gains tax!

And if you're looking for waterfront, you're in luck:

  • Just a half mile north of Punta Gorda Town, on the main southern highway is a 0.7 acre parcel overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It's accessible by road, and is walking distance from town. The asking price is a low $90,000.

If island living is more your style, check out these bargain-priced properties on popular Ambergris Caye and nearby Caye Caulker:

  • A 100-feet by 300-feet lot, located in the Mata Grande subdivision on Ambergris Caye, four miles north of town. It's a very short walk to the beach from this property. It's priced at just $96,000.
  • Also on Ambergris Caye is an 2.5 acre lot at Habaneros Beach, 10 miles north of San Pedro town. The lot is on high ground and is surrounded by thick tropical island vegetation, deer, wild pigs, and more. The property has access to electricity, Internet, and phone service. Just $199,000.
  • Also on Ambergris Caye, a two-bedroom, two-bath condo at the Cloisters is on offer, just half a mile north of San Pedro Town. The 950-square-foot condo is fully furnished, and has a direct view of the sea and a private balcony. This complex also has a pool and restaurant. The asking price is just $280,000.
  • On quaint, laidback Caye Caulker, the Reef House just sold. It has three bedrooms and one large bathroom, plus a studio apartment. It's located at the edge of the village, on an oversized lot, close to the air strip. You'll find Belizean hardwoods throughout and a veranda with 360-degree sea views. The price was a low $179,000.

And there are even more bargains to be found on the Placencia Peninsula:

  • A lagoon front parcel in the Wild Orchid Lagoon development located a five-minute drive from Placencia Village, with 24 hour security in place is selling for just $100,000.
  • A three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,000-square-foot home is on a double lot, just 300 feet from the beach. In the heart of the village, the property is within walking distance to restaurants, stores, and bars. The asking price is just $199,000

Best of all, as I mentioned earlier, when you go to sell your home in Belize, you won't pay a dime in capital gains tax.

And if you're looking to rent, you're in luck there, too. For instance, a two-bedroom house in Punta Gorda, with a yard, will typically run around $600 a month. For lower rents, look outside the main town of Punta Gorda, in the villages west of the coast. On Corozal Bay, you can rent an attractive Bali-style cottage in in the popular community of Consejo Shores for just $650 a month.

And while you'll likely spend more in popular Ambergris Caye or Placencia, you can rent from only $550 a month for a studio apartment to just $1,200 a month for a modern two-bedroom oceanview condo.

So Are you Ready to Quickly, Easily And Efficiently Discover All That Belize Has to Offer?

The only way to really find out if Belize is right for you is to visit and see for yourself. But before you spend that kind of money, I've got a proposition for you.

I'd like to invite you to become an elite member of Belize Insider. It offers…in one place…every single bit of Belize-related intelligence we know. Everything you need to ease your way into a new life overseas—efficiently and with confidence. And it "plugs you in" directly to our network of experts and friends on the ground.

As I said before, it's like the virtual version of a couple months spent in the good company of our editors, correspondents, and experts in Belize. You become, really, a member of a community that is there to help you every step of the way as you investigate your options there…

We've spent more than three decades researching this country. Our correspondents and contributors live there. They've experienced all the benefits this country has to offer and they've interviewed hundreds of expats who've done the same.

They've been through the challenges, too—and they tell you all about these—there's no sugar-coating here. Belize Insider is meant to provide a forum for exchange—for input and feedback—it's not merely a clearinghouse of intelligence…it's a community of like-minded folks there to help each other.

As part of Belize Insider, if you're interested in living, retiring, investing, or starting a business in Belize, you'll benefit immediately. You'll—

  • SAVE TIME! Whether you're a town or country, highland, farmland, mainland beach or island person, there's a perfect place in Belize for you…more than one, I'd dare say. But no worries, we provide the pros and cons to help you narrow down the choices and save hours of painstaking research and expensive travel time. We'll help you pick the locales in Belize that best fit your lifestyle, your preferences, and your priorities.
  • SAVE MONEY! We've done the scouting work for you and provide you with the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for our most trusted and helpful contacts. This information is worth its weight in gold (and can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars). But as part of Belize Insider, our "Rolodex" of contacts is yours, free.
  • MAKE MONEY! We devote a full section of Belize Insider to current business opportunities for the entrepreneur, outlining the sectors where you'll find the most promise. And we provide complete references and resources to help you launch your new business.

As a part of Belize Insider, you get all kinds of practical, useful help, such as:

  • How to "smartly" buy property in Belize. Sure, property prices are low, as are property taxes. And there are no capital gains taxes. But there are some issues you need to be aware of. And you definitely need a good local attorney working on your behalf. We've spelled out in plain English exactly what you can expect when you buy, with notes about each step that gives you the inside, "here's what you need to watch out for" story. And we'll point you to the knowledgeable, reliable attorneys who can help.

Belize's Program Offers Huge Tax Benefits, Even if You Only Spend One Month a Year in Belize
At age 45, you can qualify for the Belize government's Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program, that gives you residence in Belize, even if you spend as little as one month per year there or even if you're far from retirement. Benefits include permanent exemption from Belizean taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and—during the first year after obtaining your visa, you are exempt from import tax on household goods, automobiles, boats and even airplanes… As a Belize Insider member, you'll get all the details…

  • Complete details of exactly how much you can expect to pay in fees when you buy property in Belize. And we explain exactly how everything is calculated so there won't be any surprises.
  • What your options are and how to qualify for residence in Belize, including the well-publicized Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program. There are a couple of ways to obtain a legal residence visa in Belize, and advantages to all of them. You don't even have to be of retirement age to qualify for the QRP program. So how do you know which visa is right for you? We've got you covered with all the answers you need.
  • What to do about health care in Belize? We've got you covered there, too. You'll discover how Belize's public health care system works and what its benefits and limitations are. We'll introduce you to the best medical facilities and medical practitioners in the country, discuss your health plan and insurance options, and more.
  • Our insider's list of the best attorneys and other professionals who can arrange everything from residence to your home purchase to setting up a business. We recommend efficient and reliable lawyers you can be sure will take care of every detail and make navigating the bureaucracy a breeze.
  • Firsthand tales from the field—stories from people who have already done what you're thinking about doing. Their hard-won advice will save you time, money, and hours (maybe even weeks) of frustration—

All the Practical Know-How You Need to Find Your Place in Belize…and Enjoy It!

  • What are the five or six top destinations every would-be expat should visit in Belize before making a decision about where they'll live? Remember, Belize is a small country. On one trip you could visit each one of these places so that you can best compare and contrast and weigh the pros and cons to find the spot that's absolutely perfect for you. We'll introduce you to expats in each of these places, too.
  • How to minimize your cost of living. We'll show you where to find the best (but least-expensive) housing, insurance, even the most romantic settings for an affordable evening meal.
  • Where to indulge your sense of adventure. Trek through uncharted jungles and some of the most expansive, rich, and complex rain forests on the planet…canoe past rural Maya villages…explore ancient archaeological sites…go on white-water rafting expeditions…go swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling in turquoise Caribbean waters…horseback ride along deserted palm-lined beaches…windsurf some of the world's best waves…
  • Learn about your tax obligations. Granted, you won't pay much tax of any kind in Belize, but there are some you need to understand, such as the Stamp Tax. And of course, you'll need to understand your obligations to your home country, too. U.S. and Canadian citizens still need to file an annual tax return when they live overseas. In Belize Insider, we'll explain all this and more…
  • Learn some of the local lingo with friendly locals. Yes, they speak English in Belize. Communicating is easy, but many Belizeans also speak a very fun and lilting Kriol. To help you quickly get up-to-speed with some of the most-used terms, we've included a helpful basic Kriol primer. (This is lots of fun and makes for some good laughs, I can assure you.)
  • Get the nuts, bolts, and insider tricks to every aspect of life in Belize. You'll have all the information you need at your fingertips… everything from a Belize history overview to how to buy property with your IRA to figuring out how to get your mail from back home delivered in a timely manner.

Plus, as I've mentioned before, you'll hear from expats who've made a successful, stress-free life for themselves in Belize. They'll tell you how the laid-back lifestyle and beautiful wildlife drew them to Belize and offer some helpful advice.

Belize Is a Smart Choice Today for a Comfortable, Good-Value Retirement… With Few Sacrifices

Baby Boomers are approaching retirement at a time when the world economy is still recovering from a major setback.

Maybe you're in the same boat so many others are… You're just plain tired of the rat race but you're worried about retirement. Will you be able to maintain the standard of living you want? Is it even possible to have any kind of "standard of living" where you live now?

The good news is that right now today… Belize makes perfect sense as an ideal escape from financial chaos, stress, nasty politics and policies, and bad weather. Especially when you consider the kind of lifestyle you'll find in Belize .

As a member of Belize Insider, you gain everything you need to live and prosper in one of the most beautiful and affordable places on earth. And beyond that, you gain…really…a community, too.

Because your fellow members are interested in the same things you are. They have the same questions. They have the same worries. And they're looking for the same sort of answers and help. It means they're asking questions you might not think of. They're making discoveries of their own that would be helpful to you. And they share all that as part of Belize Insider

In addition to all those things I've already mentioned, with your access to Belize Insider, you'll ALSO get:

  • A review of Belize's history, customs, and culture so you'll know exactly what to expect when you get there.
  • A complete guide to getting around Belize. (How to get there, where to stay, how to take the bus, rent or buy a car, and more.)
  • A complete rundown of Belize's diverse climate and geography and a guide on choosing which area—bayside, coastal beach, beach, Cayo district, islands—is right for you.
  • Full details of the real cost of living and a complete guide to taxes…what you can expect to pay locally in Belize and how to keep the tax police back home happy.
  • A complete in-depth look and guide to Belize's Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program so you can decide, once and for all, if it's right for you.
  • A step-by-step guide to importing your pets to Belize, including the forms you'll need.
  • An extensive Rolodex full of invaluable Belize contacts and resources, including our comprehensive list of legal, personal, and professional services that will be your "Bible" for getting anything you want done in Belize.

In essence, Belize Insider gives you a complete resource for everything you'll want to do, know about, and see in Belize. And it plugs you in to everybody you'll want to know and meet to ensure your experience is smooth, efficient, and enjoyable.

All of Our Most Current Articles, Podcasts, Videos, and Interviews… See, Hear, and Experience Firsthand With Those Who Have Gone Before You

In addition to the live-better, invest-well details and advice we've packed into the Belize Insider to help you, we also offer you the true insider experience. There is no substitute for hearing directly from the experts and expats who have paved the way for you…

With your own access code as a member of Belize Insider, you gain all our best tips, suggestions, and recommendations—gathered over more than a decade of on-the-ground travel. We've been reporting about Belize for more than three decades now, and nobody knows Belize like we do.

We've collected scads of interviews with expats—many of them audio- or video-recorded… and our editors have shot video of the country's best locales and expat destinations…real estate…street scenes…festivals…farmer's markets…restaurants…beaches, islands, mountains, farms, and more…

So you can see exactly what the places we recommend look like. You can hear the "true stories"—the rewards and the challenges—straight from your peers, the expats living and working in Belize.

There's nothing else like it out there…

Plus, Our "Editor's Choice" Guide Will Help You Plan Your Own Belize Discovery Trip…

We've also put together our "Editor's Choice" list—a detailed itinerary guide that will help you make the most of your own trip to Belize. Whether you've got a week, two weeks, a month, or longer, we'll give you the tools to plan your stay so you get the most mileage out of your trip.

That way you get a real-life feel for what day-to-day living is like. You'll meet the people who can help you on the ground, and you can be that much closer to deciding if Belize is right for you—and if it is, where you'd like to settle.

For example, say you're interested in a small town with a real sense of community and many cultural offerings, where the weather is comfortable year-round. You might have narrowed your search to include San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.

In that case, you'd take a look at our "Ambergris Caye" itinerary. We'll tell you how to get there, where to stay, what to be sure you see, and send you to our best contacts on the ground, too…

Plus you'll also get our editors' insider travel tips: the best hotels, the best restaurants…the "don't miss" natural parks…and more, including—

  • Our favorite hotels in Belize… Which of them are right on the beach? Which are near Maya ruins, are eco-friendly, offer airport transportation, and more? Plus, we'll explain when the off-season starts and you can expect to get lower rates.
  • What are two natural sights you don't want to miss when in Belize? Did you know there are two "Blue Holes"? One off the coast and one inland? And what exactly is a "Blue Hole"? We'll explain…you'll definitely want to check out both when you visit Belize.
  • Where do the celebrities go when they visit Belize? Leonardo DiCaprio, movie director Francis Ford Coppola, and singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker all have quietly purchased homes there. Many more…like Tiger Woods, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage, and Robert DeNiro…regularly vacation on its private islands and exclusive resort hotels.
  • How and where to take in Belize's best live music… Where to find the best fishing spots… Where to go canoeing or kayaking, hiking or exploring the rainforest…

We created the Belize Insider as a way to gather all our best, most useful Belize intelligence in one place—and give it to you in a way that you can find what you're looking for. It's like a treasure trove of secrets, answers, and recommendations…

When you become a member, we'll give you your own access code for the Belize Insider. You'll unlock the door and we'll swing it wide open for you so you can step in and explore.

Here's Everything You Get When You Become a Belize Insider

#1: Upgrade Your New Life in Belize with the "Retire at 45" Program

You'll discover the latest details on how to take full advantage of what may well be the easiest-to-maintain retirement program on the planet. You'll find out how you can retire to Belize as early as age 45. As a Belize Insider member, you'll get all the details of how to qualify…the steps to take, the documents required…everything is spelled out for you (including how to import, duty-free, a motor vehicle, light aircraft, or boat).

#2: How to Fly to Belize for $79

You'll know how to get the best deal on airfares to and from Belize, including one-way fares from Florida for $79…from Texas for $127 …and from Colorado for $152.

#3: A Special, Interactive Forum Where You'll Get All Your Questions Answered

Once you're in the Belize Insider, you also gain access to an interactive forum where you can ask questions about your particular situation…and get feedback. From both our correspondents and from your fellow members who are, like you, interested and familiar with Belize. (It's the virtual equivalent of having cocktails at the clubhouse bar with a savvy group of club members.)

Regular Updates Mean You're Always Reliably Up-to-Date and In-the-Know about Belize

What's more, we're constantly adding to this intelligence database of Belize insights, solutions, recommendations, and advice.

When we meet somebody new who's living there, we won't just say hello and goodbye. We get their contact information. We ask them all about "their story," and find out why they chose Belize, what they like, what they don't like, what they wish they'd known before they went.

And we include all of that for members of the Belize Insider. These are invaluably useful insights. And, we hope, will help you begin to see yourself in Belize…

We interview people regularly—folks with a Belize connection, might be an expat who has a business there or a retiree who's found a great volunteer pastime or an attorney who can answer important questions—and we post the conversations and podcasts for our members to listen in to.

Every time there's a new development or a change we feel you need to know about, we host a special call or produce a Special Alert Report—and make sure you get it as a member of the Belize Insider.

And all those extras and on-going additions are yours as part of your membership. We're always adding to the Belize Insider. We make sure the information is right and up-to-date. And everything new, everything extra—it's all included for you as a member.

If you're serious about investigating your best options in Belize, you can't find a better, more comprehensive, more useful, more up-to-date, more personally helpful resource.

I'd like to invite you to take a look today, risk free…

Take a Look at the Belize Insider Today

There will never be a better time to give the Belize Insider a try…

We're eager to share all of our Belize intelligence. And we know there's great interest in Belize among readers like you.

So here's what we're going to do…

We'll give you complete access to Belize Insider for just $199. Taken over a year, that's an investment of just 55 cents a day for access to all the how-to details, solutions, and recommendations you need to get smoothly from where you are now—to enjoying the good life in Belize in a place that's just right for you.

And that's not all…

We'll extend your membership indefinitely with a modest annual maintenance fee of just $19 a year. That gives you continued full membership and access to regularly updated Belize intelligence. This stuff isn't static. Things change. New regulations emerge, laws shift, opportunity pops up in a place it didn't exist before…

With your Belize Insider membership, you'll always have the best, most up-to-date Belize strategies, ideas, and recommendations. You'll always have access to the forum and its community of like-minded members and experts who can help you explore your best options in Belize efficiently and thoughtfully.

The annual maintenance fee is normally $47. But when you become a member now you'll lock in a maintenance fee at less than half that amount. And we'll never raise it.

It means you're gaining insights, recommendations, advice, and guidance about Belize—constantly updated—that could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on the ground.

Belize Insider will pave the way for you to find your own perfect retreat easily, quickly, and smoothly. So you can stop dreaming about that life where you can relax, where you have the time and funds to enjoy life and travel…and start living it!

It could make all the difference between you stumbling blindly into a retirement haven that may or may not be a good fit…or you getting there easily and calmly, with a good plan and a well-marked road map in hand.

Confidence, peace of mind, and hand-holding guidance that could save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours—it's yours for just $199.

You gain full, unlimited access to the Belize Insider website, where we've cataloged everything for you so it's easy to find and access and use.

And now's the time to get your Belize Insider membership… There won't be a better, more affordable time to do it! In fact, take me up on this special offer right now and we'll include a couple more special extras, too…

Join Belize Insider today and we'll also include for you—

SPECIAL BONUS #1: A very special video called Belize: Caribbean Coastal Living With an English Speaking Mesoamerican Twist (value $29) it's yours FREE when you become a Belize Insider.

To give you the very best introduction to Belize and a preview of what you'll actually see and experience firsthand in this special country, we videotaped a special presentation by Ann Kuffner, long time Belize expat.

In this presentation, Ann provides an excellent snapshot to real life in Belize. She explains what you'll love about living there and what you may find to be somewhat challenging.

This special video presentation will have you scrambling to get your tickets to pay a visit to this country. She knows it well and she wants to share it all—up close and personal—with you.

This Special Bonus Video has a value of $29, but it's yours FREE when you become a Belize Insider member.

But that's not all…

Let me know you're ready to become a member of Belize Insider now and I'll also give you…

SPECIAL BONUS #2: The Special Report, Where, Why, and How Much, "Your Guide to Belize's 5 Top Expat Havens" (value: $29, yours free)

This special report is not available anywhere else. In it, you'll learn about the top five destinations in Belize that make the most sense for the would-be expat.

Where are they? (Most are on the coast, of course, but not all…) Why should you seek them out right now—and how much will it cost you to live there? As I've mentioned, there's a compelling value proposition in Belize right now… And if you think Belize is for you, you ought not let this opportunity pass you by.

SPECIAL BONUS #3: Voucher to use for any future International Living Conference. ($100 Value)


You can use it for any International Living conference anywhere in the world.

At these conferences, we bring together the best, most knowledgeable overseas experts…immigration attorneys, expats, business owners, and more… This is your chance to rub elbows with and talk one-on-one with the professionals who can help you streamline your move to Belize or anywhere you may choose to settle.

All three of these excellent, detail-rich resources are yours not for $158, which is what they're worth. ($29 for each special report and the $100 event voucher) But they're yours for FREE when you take me up on this special offer to join Belize Insider now. And they remain yours to keep, no matter what, even if you cancel your membership.

There's No Risk to You! So Just Take a Look… Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed

If you've ever wanted to turn your back on long, bitterly cold winters and brutally hot summers…now's your chance…

And if you've ever wanted to walk away from traffic jams and crowded communities, skyrocketing costs for just about everything and relentless political infighting…to a place where life is less stressful and more accommodating in every way…not to mention completely affordable (at 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of the U.S.)…

If you're looking to salvage your retirement dreams or start a business or a new life in a place where life is simply better

Belize really does make sense for so many people, and for so many reasons…

I'm so confident you'll be impressed by everything you discover as a member of Belize Insider, I'll give you a full 30 days to decide if it's right for you. (Wouldn't it be nice if travel companies gave you this kind of try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it option?)

I feel certain you'll like what you find as a member of Belize Insider. And to prove it, I'm willing to take all the risk. So just take a look at everything membership gets you… Ask questions and get answers… Print out the itineraries that most interest you…and simply take in the great depth and breadth of guidance you'll gain.

If, within those 30 days, you decide Belize Insider isn't what you need to discover whether Belize is right for you… and where your ideal haven there might be…then simply let us know and we'll give you a full refund. No fuss. No questions asked. Your Special Bonuses, including the $100 Conference Voucher, are yours to keep, no matter what.

You know, Belize really DOES offer the best possible tropical lifestyle, and with no sacrifices. It may sound cliché—but it's true.

From miles of unspoiled, sun-kissed beaches…to fertile farmland…to rainforests and pine forests…this retirement haven has it all.

I daresay you'll live better in Belize than you do now—and for a lot less than life costs you today.

As I've said many times, we know Belize well. And we'd like to share with you our best intelligence about it.

With Belize Insider as your guide you can pinpoint the place that's right for you…and get there with ease, confidence, and the enthusiasm that comes with knowing what you're getting into!

Take a look now. I'm confident you'll be impressed with what you find.

There's no risk to you, and a whole world of good-value living to gain.

Simply click "Add To Cart" now.


Jackie Flynn

Jackie Flynn
Publisher, International Living

P.S. Retiring or moving overseas is a big step. Why make mistakes and feel your way forward when you can quickly and easily follow a well-marked path and get the experts to help you along the way? Full access to Belize Insider) can save you time, money, and frustration, too. And it's yours for just $199 right now.

* With your purchase today you'll also receive our daily e-letter International Living Postcards—with our compliments—if you're not already subscribed. Please note you can unsubscribe at any time.

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