Many North Americans and Europeans have a dream of living where the water is blue, the air is warm, the rum is cheap and the living is easy. Belize may, or may not, live up to your expectations in those regards. Many who do make the leap to Belize end up frustrated, unhappy and broke, so investigate thoroughly before you decide to move to Belize. Expats in Belize are now clustered mostly in San Pedro, Placencia, the Belize City suburbs and near Corozal Town.
Five Questions to Answer Before Moving to Belize
# 1 “Do I really know what it’s like?”
Come down for a long visit before making a commitment; rent before you buy.
# 2 “Do I really know what it costs for me to live in Belize?”
Like most countries, Belize has not one but several costs of living, depending upon your lifestyle. Spend some time in Belize on a trial run to see what your actual living expenses will be.
# 3 “Am I willing to always be an outsider?”
Most expats in Belize are never fully integrated into Belize life — culturally, politically or otherwise.
# 4 “Do I know what precautions to take against crime?”
As a “wealthy” outsider (in the eyes of most Belizeans), you’re fair game for all types of scams, ripoffs, robberies and worse. The police usually do their best, but their best may be just to take your report after the crime. You’ll have to be proactive to protect yourself and your property.
# 5 “What will happen if I get sick?”
Belize has some excellent doctors, dentists and other health care professionals, who will treat you at lower cost than what you’ve probably been paying, but they’re stretched thin, and supplies and modern equipment are often lacking. If you become seriously ill, what will you do? Go back home? Are you prepared to accept Belizean standards of care, go to Mexico or what?
Excerpted from "Five Questions to Ask Before Moving to Belize" in Escape From America Magazine, Issue 4.