This Caribbean Safe Haven May Be the Lifestyle Bail-Out You Need
With a tiny population, there’s plenty of room to spread out, English is the official language, and it remains remarkably affordable.
I want to let you in on a little secret that’s never been more important: If you’re looking for a sweet spot to escape the rest of the world, it’s closer than you think.
It’s the kind of place you see in dreamy travel magazine photos or music videos...palm trees swaying in time with the gentle ebb of clear warm waters caressing soft white sands. Where there’s no horizon because the sky and the water are the same shade of blue.
People are quirky and kind. They greet you with a smile and a cheerful “Good Day.” They’re genuinely happy. And why wouldn’t they be? They live in paradise.
There’s fresh fruit for breakfast, fresh fish for lunch, and the end of a blissful day is celebrated by the sun casting pink goodnight hues across the tranquil landscape.
Worries are few. It’s an outpost of low taxes, sleepy stability, and buoyant opportunity yet still sufficiently uncrowded and undiscovered that visitors and settlers feel they have happened on a place everyone else has overlooked.
When you know its secrets, it can cost you very little to live here...30% to 50% less than the U.S. or elsewhere in the Caribbean. Expat couples say a budget of as little $1,500-$2,900 a month will do, depending on your tastes and where you settle.
But the main attraction is that here, little more than a two-hour flight from Miami, you can escape the rest of the planet’s reality and ease into a languorous lifestyle based on a reggae rhythm...played on the off beat and joyfully intoxicating.
And it very well may be the kind of “retirement bail-out” you need.
Take the “Now” to Craft Your “Tomorrow”
I’m Jackie Flynn, International Living publisher.
No one knows what the future holds. Except that it won’t be what you expect.
If there’s anything I know for sure, it’s that this current global crisis is pushing all of us to take stock and consider the direction our lives are going.
So why not take the “now” to craft the “tomorrow” you want it to be?
Many of us are looking for a simpler life. A happier life. In a place that’s comfortable and safe...where there’s a steady supply of fresh food, the climate won’t kill us, and the scenery—and serenity—is delightful.
I can’t think of a better place than the small commonwealth country of Belize, the Caribbean’s best-kept “secret.”
Maybe you already suspected Belize was the country I was describing. Here at International Living, we’ve been high on Belize for many decades now...since even before the former British Honduras won its independence from Britain back in 1981.
We’ve watched the small country transform from a crown colony to a full-fledged sovereign and democratic nation. In some ways, the country’s British heritage still lingers. It’s why English is the official language and why parliamentary procedure prevails and English common law is the law of the land.
In other ways, Belize more closely aligns with Canada and the U.S. They drive on the right hand side of the road, for example. And the currency—the Belize dollar—while prominently displaying a picture of Queen Elizabeth, has been pegged 2:1 to the US dollar since 1978, making conversions effortless. The US dollar is just as freely used. And Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone, with no daylight savings time changes to contend with.
Another benefit of Belize is that although it’s made up of 200 small islands, the country itself is part of the Central American isthmus. Just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, its culture is far more Caribbean than Latino. You can actually drive to Belize from the U.S if you’ve a mind to. Drive time from the Texas border to Belize is about 35 hours, less than the time it takes to drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas to New York City.
Best of all, It’s uncrowded and there’s room to spread out. Only about 400,000 people live in Belize, about the size of Massachusetts.
Ready to Shine Your Spotlight on Belize?
Just before the COVID-19 outbreak in the western hemisphere, I reached out to our International Living correspondent in Belize, Laura Diffendal.
I asked her if she’d be willing to spend some time with a professional video crew, creating a series of videos to show you what life in Belize is really like. There are plenty of tourism videos you can find on the internet, for sure, but that’s not what we were after.
Little did I know that the videos Laura and her crew created for you would now be more relevant than ever. If you’re taking stock of your life and your future, as many of us are doing today, you’ll want to take a serious look at Belize. And there’s no one better to show you the “insider’s Belize” and explain its secrets than Laura.
It’s her mission, after all, to be your eyes and ears in Belize. She’s been living in Belize for seven years now, with her husband Dave. They own and operate two businesses there and she’s constantly on the lookout for opportunities in every corner of the country, from north to south, from the Caribbean coast and the many “cayes” and islets to the rolling farmland of the interior Cayo district and the pine ridge forests along the western border.
Over the years, Laura has interviewed dozens and dozens of expats in Belize...some are business owners like she is, but many are contentedly retired...just soaking up the sun and happily enjoying life on their own terms.
So when I asked Laura to take a video crew and go out and capture a slice of real life for you, she jumped at the chance.
As she says, “One of the draws for us in coming to Belize was that we get to play a role in the foundational aspects of a young country. There are so many opportunities and chances to step up and be proactive and really make a difference. As an example, I've had the opportunity to help develop private groups of businesspeople with shared interests and through business groups like the BTIA—the Belize Tourism Industry Association. This is so meaningful to me and something I never would have experienced in a city like Cleveland, where I’m from.
“I expect to see Belize come roaring back, better than ever, from this current global downturn. You’re going to see some amazing bargains for travel here, for sure. Belize really is a sanctuary...a completely unique little hideaway. It’s rewarding for me to help other likeminded people find what we’ve found here.”
It’s exactly because of that attitude that I asked Laura to take on this video project. No one knows the lay of the land better. She splits her time between her two homes and businesses in Belize’s most popular expat destinations and that makes her the perfect person to take you on a guided tour and focus a light on the opportunities waiting for you, whether you’re looking to retire, start a business, work online from paradise, or just reconnect with nature and the gentler, happier way life is supposed to be lived...
If you’re ready to discover Belize’s secrets...and the best destinations for a total life makeover...
Let Laura Diffendal Take You on a Personal, Guided Tour of “Her Belize”... From the Comfort of Your Home
Maybe you’ve already been to Belize. If you have, you know it’s a magical place. And if you haven’t been there, put it at the top of your bucket list right now. When we’re able to travel again, make it your first stop.
Until then, the next best thing is to settle in and immerse yourself in “Laura’s Belize”—those two special communities she calls home...the art and culture, friends and neighbors, movers and shakers, and the fun places and activities that await you there.
I think you’ll like what you see. As I said, Belize is only a few hours from where you may be right now. It’s quick and easy to get to there...but it’s a world away from the stress and uncertainties of the rest of the world.
What you don’t know about Belize may surprise you. Laura reveals the secrets in this new video project, called Spotlight on Belize: The Low-Cost Caribbean Safe Haven.
This has been no small undertaking. Laura has spent years getting to know the ins and outs of both Ambergris Caye—Belize’s most popular and well-known island—and Placencia, a gorgeous paradisiacal peninsula on the mainland in southern Belize.
For this project, she dug deep and called on expats and locals alike living in these areas. And through the magic of video, you’ll meet them and see and hear their tales of life in Belize...benefits and challenges alike.
Laura’s also put together a comprehensive primer presentation that gives you all the nuts and bolts details you’ll need to consider if you’re thinking of making a move to Belize yourself.
For instance, did you know that Belize makes it incredibly easy to gain residence there? It offers tremendous tax benefits, too, even if you only spend one month a year there.
At age 45, you can qualify for the Belize government's Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program, that gives you residence in Belize. And as I said, you can enjoy these benefits even if you spend as little as one month per year there or 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….
Here’s What You Need to Know About Belize’s Top Two Destinations for Chilled-Out Good-Value Living...
If you’ve been to Belize, you may have spent time on Ambergris Caye, the biggest, most well-known and most-visited of Belize’s archipelago of islands.
It’s quintessential Caribbean—rustic and charming. Streets are lined with gaily painted wooden buildings and humming with golf carts as the main method of transportation. The crystal-clear waters that surround the island are bath-water warm and great for boating, fishing, snorkeling, diving, and more. The scenery will literally take your breath away...white sand beaches giving way to the turquoise sea and the immense blue sky beyond...
As one Californian transplant there 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. It's a small community and everyone is friendly. I walk to the beach, where I run into friends. Our normal attire is shorts, shirts, and flip-flops."
Placencia, on the other hand, is a 16-mile sliver of land along Belize’s southern coast. 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 you’ll pay in the U.S. or Canada.
The Great Barrier Reef is a bit farther offshore here than it is at Ambergris Caye and holds the swells at bay. Placencia is said to have the best beaches in Belize, with silky-soft sand and warm shallows too sleepy to bother raising a wave.... a perfect place to slow down, relax, and recharge.
Living here is easy. As one expat says, “We have one road that runs down the peninsula and one sidewalk that runs the length of the beach in the village. On a typical day, I will grab a coffee in the village. I’ll buy three $1 pies for breakfast from John the Bakerman and head to work, a 10 minutes’ drive by golf cart.
“I love that everyone takes Sundays off here, and all the locals are out for barbecues with their families and swimming in the sea. A group of us get going by about six o’clock on a Sunday morning, run a trail to a waterfall, swim and meditate, and are back in the village by 10. It’s a great way to start the day.”
Because of their popularity, the cost of living on Ambergris Caye and the Placencia peninsula aren’t the lowest you’ll find in Belize. Still, it’s easy for a couple to get by on just $2,500 to $2,900 a month, including rent, utilities, food, entertainment, and so on. Singles can get by on about 30% less than that.
“There’s just not a lot to spend money on,” one expat says. “You don’t need expensive clothes or a car. We get around by bicycle or golf cart, and bars and restaurants tend to be low-key and casual. It’s a good way to live.”
Like what you’re hearing?
Here’s How to Take Your Virtual Guided Tour...
If you’re ready to take a look at Belize...up close and personal, but right now, and from the comfort of your home, there’s no better resource than Spotlight on Belize: The Low-Cost Caribbean Safe Haven.
Unlike anything else you’ll find on the internet or anywhere else, you’ll travel along with Laura and her professional video crew as she introduces you to Ambergris Caye and Placencia...two of the best communities in Belize that make for easy and affordable expat living.
Laura believes these destinations are well worth your attention right now. These are places not yet discovered in large numbers. Prices are low and opportunities are sky high.
in this Spotlight on Belize, Laura takes you by the hand and not only introduces you to “her” Belize, but she gives you the tools to make it “your Belize.”
Here’s what’s included as part of the Spotlight on Belize: The Low-Cost Caribbean Safe Haven package:
5 professional videos to introduce you to Ambergris Caye:
5 professional videos to introduce you to Placencia:
★Special Addition to your Spotlight on Belize: After you’ve seen all that Belize has to offer you, there’s no doubt the wheels will start turning. If Belize is calling you, we’ve included a special overview presentation that explains everything you need to know to make your home in Belize.
It’s called Belize: An Easy Transition to an English-Speaking Rustic Paradise. In it, Laura drills down into the nuts-and-bolts details of making a life in Belize, benefits and challenges alike. She explains your housing options, provides a general overview of climate and weather, and other considerations for making a long-term life here. Discover the steps to take to make a home in Belize. It’s easier than you think.
But that’s not all...
You Also Get the New Digital Edition of the Comprehensive Manual: Escape to Belize: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less
International Living Belize correspondent Laura Diffendal recently finished a complete overhaul and update of the hefty and all-encompassing 202-page manual, Escape to Belize: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less.
As you’ll see when you watch the Spotlight videos, Laura is not one to just scratch the surface. In this newest edition of the Escape to Belize manual, she gives you every detail…all the nuances, tips, insider secrets, and every little tidbit that normally slips between the cracks…everything you need to know if you're considering relocating to Belize.
She explains exactly what you need to do to qualify for the Belize Qualified Retired Person (QRP) Program. This is the latest information straight from Laura’s contacts in the Belize government. It's verified and up to date. (That's important, as much of what you'll find in an internet search can be dangerously outdated.)
What's more, she explains how you can become a permanent resident of Belize, which offers you even more advantages, including the ability to work and earn an income there.
If you're interested in finding your place in the Caribbean sun…but you'd rather not pay typical Caribbean prices…you need this manual in hand.
Here's Just Some of What You'll Discover in Your Escape to Belize Manual:
By the way, global real estate analyst Ronan McMahon says he expects you’ll see big discounts in Belize as we emerge from the current global crisis.
“Belize has always attracted those looking to escape the crowds, get back to nature, and enjoy an excellent quality of life,” he says. “Once travel is back it will be business as usual in that regard. What will have changed is that you will be able to buy real estate at 30%, or more, off.”
Because I Feel So Strongly That All of Belize Deserves Your Attention Right Now, I’ll Also Give You Two Very Special Bonus Videos—for FREE
What will happen as the pandemic subsides? My guess is that even more people will be purposefully looking for a safe haven. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Belize, where the “live and let live” culture, the accommodating climate, low population and low cost of living, and wide-open spaces beckon...not to mention the stunning Caribbean landscape.
But Belize is more than islands and coastline, as I’ve explained. Little more than 90 minutes from the coast is the Cayo District. If you’re looking to truly escape from the rest of the world and live a bountifully simple life, turn your attention here. Instead of beaches, you’ll find mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, and ruins. You can spend your days hiking, biking, canoeing, tubing, and more. You can spread out, live off the land if you like, and truly enjoy life. And prices for just about everything are lower than you’ll find on the coast and islands. Expat couples report a monthly budget of just $1,600 covers it all.
When you order Spotlight on Belize now, we’ll give you, for FREE, two special videos to help you understand the potential of this unique region:
Get Started Today, Crafting Your New, Better Tomorrow in Belize. Reserve Your Copy of Spotlight on Belize: The Low-Cost Caribbean Safe Haven
Just to re-cap, here's everything you get as part of your Spotlight on Belize:
I guarantee this valuable information will fast track and streamline your travel or move to Belize. (More about our rock-solid money-back International Living guarantee in just a moment.)
Get it all and get started now. As soon as you place your order we'll send you an email that explains how to access all of it…the comprehensive manual and all the Special Videos that introduce you, up close and personal, to the best that Belize has to offer you.
All this will be available to you online…digitally…so you'll have access to it as soon as your order has processed.Click the "Add to Cart" button now to get started.
Now, about that guarantee: We're so confident that you'll be so pleased with what you find in your Spotlight on Belize that we're giving you a 30-day, no-hassle, money-back guarantee. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied with the depth and breadth of information you find in Spotlight on Belize that we'll refund your purchase within 30 days, no questions asked. No matter what you decide, your special Bonus Videos are yours to keep.
With this risk-free guarantee, you have nothing to lose.
Just click the "Add to Cart" button now to get Spotlight on Belize on the way to you immediately for just $367.
Spotlight on Belize is the best resource available to help you get to know the very best of the Caribbean paradise that is Belize. The next best thing to being there in person right now, you’ll see it all via video. And in the Escape to Belize manual, you’ll discovering all the nuts and bolts details you need to make Belize your home—how to find a place to live, qualify for that benefit-rich QRP retirement program and obtain your residence visa, your healthcare options, and much more.
You'll see for yourself how to invest, travel, live, retire, and start a new business in Belize. Spotlight on Belize will show you the way…
Keep in mind…this special guide to "all that is Belize" is the result of seven years of research by International Living correspondent Laura Diffendal, who maintains homes and businesses on both Ambergris Caye and Placencia.
Think how much it would cost you to travel to Belize and dig up all this information yourself. For sure it would take months and thousands of dollars to compile. I can guarantee you won't find anything like it on the Internet or in a bookshop.
And when you are able to travel to Belize, you’ll be well prepared, thanks to the guidance you get in Spotlight on Belize. You’ll know exactly where to go, what to see, and who to reach out to for guidance and assistance. (You’ll find Laura’s email address in your Spotlight on Belize materials so you can reach out to her directly, any time, with any follow-up questions you have.)
So go ahead: Try it out. From the comfort of your home, explore everything Belize has to offer…
But hurry, this excellent-value deal is only available for a limited time.
P.S. Simply click the "Add to Cart" button now to get Spotlight on Belize on the way to you immediately for just $367.
These 10 new special videos created for you by IL correspondent Laura Diffendal, the 202-page Escape to Belize manual, and the two bonus videos showcasing the Cayo District are not available anywhere else. If you’re interested in planning for the future and getting the inside track on Belize…in gaining a foothold in one of the most beautiful and affordable destinations in the Caribbean, if not the world...let us help you.
With International Living's rock-solid money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose. And much to gain.
Click on "Add to Cart" to let me know where to send your package.