Some years back we wrote about retiring in Belize. It seemed a no brainer. Here was an English speaking country at the doorstep of the US and Canada, meaning you, your kids and grand kids were a few hours away from visits, yet a million miles away from the hassles, hustle, and costs of spending your golden years in a warm, sunny friendly country.
And, with the Government of Belize’s generous retirement visas, it seemed like you couldn’t afford not to retire to the Jewel. No reason to leave your favourite cars (some of us wouldn’t think of abandoning our 1967 Mercedes SL, not for one moment) furniture, life sized garden gnomes and containers worth of other personal possessions behind.
And with various retirement communities springing up like those proverbial mushroom after a rain, you can chose to live among neighbours or build your own remote hacienda in the endless acres this underpopulated little country has.
We’ve met so many people who have become amateur birders, Maya archaeologists, Spanish speakers, canoers, sailors, woodworkers and all sorts of keen hobbyists since moving here that the list seems endless.
Well, the concept seems to be catching on. Not like wildfire, thank goodness, but enough that we notice. It seems a fair trade. Retirees get an amazing lifestyle at a fraction of the cost of enjoying the same level of comfort in their home countries, and Belize benefits from an influx of interesting new people with a variety of skills and life experience to contribute to our melting pot of humanity.
So it was no surprise to read a recent article/blog that sales activity has more than doubled at Sanctuary Belize, one of the more high profile retirement communities we just mentioned in the mushroom-like context, and this got us thinking of a Lucy Fleming quote in a blog following a US News and World Report article back in March of this year, if memory serves..
In response to the article Lucy was quoted;
Ms Fleming said that this new demographic adds to the multicultural charm of Belize, and noted that Chaa Creek has been assisting people relocating to Belize for years now.
“Over the years we’d find that people would come here on holiday or on one of our all-inclusive Belize vacation packages, fall in love with the country and people, and ask our advice on how to relocate here. We’re familiar with the Government of Belize’s retirement incentives, which are really quite generous, and can point people in the right direction as far as finding land, workers and navigating their way through the legalities and practicalities of moving here.
“Belize still has a very low population density, so we’re always happy to assist people in realising their dreams, whether on holiday or in making a more long term lifestyle choice. We find the best way to approach it is to come for a visit and then take some time to check it out, and we’re here to help make that fact-finding process as enjoyable as possible,” Ms Fleming said.
That more recent blog stirred our memory of that older blog, and it still holds true. If you are thinking of making the move to Belize, by all means check out Chaa Creek. One of their all-inclusive Belize vacation packages is not only a wonderfully affordable way to see the country, from Maya infused-heritage inland to shining Caribbean coast, but the Flemings, Mick and Lucy both, are an invaluable, trustworthy source for anything Belizean (and beyond, once you get them talking – trust us).
So, there’s our free advice for the week. If you or anyone you know are entertaining the idea of taking the Belize government up on their generous retirement deal, start with a Chaa Creek holiday. You have absolutely nothing to lose (except for a few pounds lost in the myriad activities they offer) and much to gain from a super friendly informative staff and a couple who migrated to Belize over three decades ago and never regretted it.
Happy Holidays, and perhaps much, much more…