Retire in Belize – What You Need To Know

“If the world has any ends, British Honduras [Belize] would certainly be one of them. It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else. It has no strategic value. It is all but uninhabited.”
— Aldous Huxley, Beyond The Mexique Bay

Does Huxley’s quote from 1934 hold still true today? The country definitely has a reputation of being laid back and relaxed.

And while it’s not uninhabited, Belize has the lowest population density in all of Central America, with an estimated total of 371,000 inhabitants. Hey, most mid sized cities have more people than all of Belize!

Belize is an entire country that feels like a small town. It has no history of civil unrest, and Belizeans are a peaceful people. There hasn’t been an armed insurrection, coup d’état, invasion, or anything of the like in well over a hundred years.

Yes, it has its crime problems, and natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, but overall it’s a good place to live or retire. Is it the right country for you?

Dive into our 9 part article series to find out!

Climate and Weather

The Belize climate is classified as subtropical, which means that – contrary to tropical regions – it does have winter months with slightly cooler average temperatures than during the summer months.

Location is a big factor both for temperature and rainfall. Cayo to the west, for example, can be several degrees colder than the coast, and during November night temperatures can fall to 8°C (46°F) – so take your good old sweater when traveling inland! [Read more about the climate in Belize here.]

Cost of Living in Belize

When you retire in Belize, can you live on an average social security income?

It depends. Perhaps more than in any other retirement haven we’ve written about, your choice of lifestyle and location determine whether a monthly budget of $1,300 will cover your costs. Hint… Ambergris Caye is NOT one of the places where you can do this. [Check out the cost of living in Belize.]

Retire in Belize: Getting Around & Staying Connected

From North America, it’s easy to get to Belize, both by air and by land. Transportation within the country is plentiful, with frequent buses, water taxis and two domestic airlines.

On the staying connected front however, Belize falls well behind other Central American countries. [Find out about getting around in Belize and why Internet options are so limited and expensive.]

Education and Schools

Expats almost universally send their children to private schools which tend to be built where there are larger expat populations, such as Ambergris Caye and Belize City. But also the public school system has improved in recent years. [Learn more about Belize’s education system and where to find the best private schools.]

Safety in Belize

Before you retire in Belize, you’ll want to know how safe it is for you as a foreigner. Unfortunately, Belize’s crime and murder rate is rather high. Still, with the right precautions when traveling and crime-prevention measures when living in Belize, you’ll do just fine. [Find out more about the safety situation in Belize.] 

Housing and Properties

Whether you rent or buy, many of the common sense rules that apply in other parts of the world apply in Belize as well. We’ll take a look at these rules, then dive into where to find properties to rent or buy, purchase process and average prices. [Read the full article about Belize real estate.]

Belize Health Care

Health care in Belize, while improving, is not of the quality you would expect in other parts of the world. Let’s take a look at its public and private healthcare system, the options you have as an expat retiree, and where to go for the best medical treatment. [Learn more about health care in Belize.]

Visa Requirements & Residency

One question is central to your Belize retirement… how can you legally stay in the country for more than just a few months?

Belize’s “Qualified Retired Person Program” (QRP) is probably your best bet, but there are other options too. [Find out about visa requirements and residency options in Belize.]

Culture, People & Activities

Belize’s culture is fascinating: amazing history, lively music and dance styles, yummy food and – above all – the friendly Belizean people. [Read our overview over the Belizean culture and its people.]