You made a wise choice when you decided to establish offshore bank accounts in Belize. They've benefited you in a number of ways already. The good news is that they will continue to provide benefits if you decide to make Belize your home during the retirement years.
What can you expect if you make this move? Along with being able to continue making the most of your accounts, consider these advantages. Best of all, you can begin preparing now to ensure everything is in place once you do decide it's time to retire.
The Climate is Inviting
The tropical weather that Belize has to offer is a welcome change from shoveling snow or dealing with low temperatures that come with a lot of humidity. While there may be times when having a sweater at night is nice, warmth is what you can expect most days.
While some retirees who moved from areas with low humidity may need time to adjust, those who hail from places where humidity is common and often higher than in Belize will welcome the change with open arms. Don't be surprised if you spend more time soaking up the sun and wearing loose, comfortable clothing that allows you to make the most of the refreshing breezes that are common throughout the nation.
The Cost of Living is Excellent
While estimates vary, the general cost of living in Belize is around 27% less than the average cost of living in the United States. Depending on where you live during your working years, it may be possible to live comfortably in Belize for the same amount of money.
Food is affordable, especially if you build your diet around seasonal crops. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment is much lower than most people realize. Even if you want to buy a home, the average price will be a pleasant surprise. In general, if you have consistent and verifiable sources of income that amount to USD 2,000 per month, finding a place to live and having money to enjoy yourself won't be difficult.
No Language Barriers for English Speakers
Those who speak English as a first language will feel right at home in Belize. Many citizens are equally fluent in Spanish. Given the diversity of the population, you'll hear other languages spoken as well.
This means communicating will be easy. You won't need to worry about a language barrier from conducting banking business to shopping and dining out.
Your Choice of City Life or Rural Living
While expats may face some restrictions in other countries, Belize doesn't require that you live in only certain areas. You're free to seek out a setting that appeals to you. In fact, you're encouraged to look around and see what you think about different areas.
Do you prefer a more tropical or urban setting? Ambergris Caye, as well as Belize City, may be more to your liking. If not, consider one of the smaller towns and villages. You may even be interested in living in a more rural area. You can bet that there are plenty of real estate professionals who will help you find the perfect place to make your home.
Citizenship Isn't Required to Buy Real Estate
When it comes to real estate, the fact that you're a citizen of a different country will not prevent you from purchasing real estate in Belize. As long as you have all the documents that the country requires for living in Belize, it's possible to buy a modest home in the city, something grander if you like, or even purchase land to build a house.
Since you already have offshore accounts based in Belize, it's easy to get some advice from your bank about pursuing the purchase of real estate. The bank may have a property division that can help you get started. It's easy to route the financing through your international bank by using your checking or another existing account. For example, a personal real estate loan through your offshore bank with payments set up to draft from your offshore checking account will help keep the process streamlined.
The Qualified Retirement Program Provides Quite a Few Perks
Looking into the particulars of Belize's Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) will yield some information that explains why so many retirees choose to settle here. Compared to other expat destinations, Belize makes it much easier for people to retire and live comfortably.
The QRP helps you understand income minimums, the need to ensure that regular deposits are made in banks based in Belize, and even outline the process for security clearance by the Ministry of National Security. You even learn more about how many consecutive days per year you need to remain in Belize to meet the Program's basic qualifications.
Economic and Political Stability
No one wants to spend their retirement years dealing with political or economic unrest. One of the great things about Belize is that the economy is generally stable and capable of remaining so even during worldwide shifts. In terms of political stability, the country has demonstrated significant resilience.
How does this play into your retirement in general and the balance of your bank accounts in particular? You can anticipate a peaceful retirement that's all about enjoying your new home. You can also rest assured that the money in your savings, checking, and investment accounts is secure.
Direct Flights to the USA When Needed
If you feel the need to take a trip back to the States, there are several direct flights. Many of them are available daily. That makes it easy to return for a short visit with loved ones, then make your way back to Belize. Best of all, the cost for those flights happens to be quite affordable.
Where can you fly directly from Belize? Atlanta, Georgia, is one possibility. You can also fly directly into Miami, Florida. If you like, there are direct flights that will take you to Dallas and Houston, Texas.
Pay Little to No Personal Taxes
The fact that you're not allowed to work in Belize doesn't mean you can't continue to do some type of work that's based outside the country. Free-lancers who provide services to clients outside the nation are a good example. What you may not know is that you'll end up paying little to no taxes on the income generated.
As an expat living in Belize, you won't pay tax on any income derived from a foreign source. There are no worries about capital gains taxes or inheritance taxes. If you have questions, there are resource people at your offshore bank that can help connect you with the information you seek.
Retire and Relax in Belize
Belize has a lot to offer anyone who wants to retire in an offshore location. Take a look at your options for overall expenses, places to live, and the chance to enjoy your retirement years. You're likely to find that, along with being the ideal place to set up offshore bank accounts, Belize is also a great place to call home.
Contact the team at Caye International Bank today and learn more about how to make the most of your offshore accounts. We can also help you explore options for purchasing real estate and provide suggestions for finding the perfect home for your retirement years.
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Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking of Belize based Caye International Bank, a FinTech School Instructor and the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution – now in its third edition.
You can follow his posts on trends shaping the banking and financial services industry on Twitter: @luigiwewege