Offshore Investing Tips: The Top 14 Reasons to Invest in Belize
Belize is more than a great place to spend your retirement years. Long before you reach that part of your life, it makes sense to open banking and investment accounts in the country. Starting with the investing early will help you create a solid financial cushion and ensure those years are comfortable ones.
Why choose Belize over other offshore locations? Consider these 14 factors and see what you think.
1. The Economic Stability
Overall stability in Belize helps to ensure that the country remains economically strong. Between the status as an independent member of the British Commonwealth, the democratic style of government, the stable political culture, and the power of the currency, it’s hard to find a more stable setting for your investments.
All these factors mean that investors who are looking to generate returns for themselves as well as business owners can make the most of a stable economy. When compared to some other parts of the world, the odds of enjoying returns can be much higher here.
2. Language is Not a Problem
English is the official language of Belize. That makes it all the easier to communicate with financial experts on a number of levels. It also allows you to look into the details of an investment opportunity and know what it’s about.
If you have questions, it won’t be difficult to understand the answers provided by financial experts and brokers. You will also find it easier to articulate your wishes in terms of the types of investments you want to add to the portfolio. All in all, you’ll find the process just as simple doing business in your home country and possibly even a little easier.
3. Property Rights for Non-Residents
Not every country provides the range of property rights to non-residents that Belize chooses to extend. That’s good news whether you’re investing in rental properties, a private residence that you will eventually use, or property and buildings for a business enterprise.
Those rights begin even before you actually establish a presence on the property. Even if it’s still years before you plan on retiring, the current laws will protect your ownership. While you do need to comply with provisions within those laws, the process is not difficult at all. It will be even easier when you make the move to Belize.
4. A Stable Currency
Currently, the currency in Belize is pegged to the U.S. currency at a ratio of two Belize Dollars to one U.S. Dollar. That helps it remain stable within the country and also within the wider financial community. That’s good for you for more than one reason.
The current structure makes it possible to get more from your investment. That’s true whether you’re buying property, starting a business, or investing in Belize stocks and bonds. In fact, you may find that this one factor makes it easier to enjoy higher returns for these types of international investments versus anything you could invest in at home.
5. Booming Real Estate Market
The real estate market in Belize continues to improve from one year to the next. That makes purchasing property for investments a sound move. Now is the ideal time to enter the market while the demand is still in the process of expanding.
What will this mean if you opt for purchasing rental properties in certain areas of the country? It means that you’re not likely to have any of those rental units empty for very long. If the plan is to purchase those properties to generate revenue during your retirement years, you could have a comfortable cushion that ensures you’re able to live well.
6. Favorable Banking and Investment Laws
Belize makes it attractive for offshore investors to enter the local market. The laws regarding opening bank accounts as well as investing in local stocks and bonds are designed to encourage foreigners to be a part of the economy. Depending on what sort of investments you make, the returns may be immediate.
You have the option of investing in all sorts of areas, including agriculture, tourism, and real estate. With the right choices, the returns could be significant right from the beginning. At the least, you’re likely to create revenue streams that help to keep you comfortable in the years to come.
7. The Benefits of Export Processing Zones
If you establish a business that exports goods to other countries, the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) will be of interest. Knowing how they work will help you structure your presence in a wider market while still providing goods to those who live in the country.
Essentially, EPZs provide a basis for limiting the taxes that apply to importing and exporting goods. You’ll enjoy favorable exemptions by locating the facilities that you use to manufacture and prepare those goods for shipment. The tax breaks can help save quite a bit of money and increase your overall net profit.
8. Thriving Tourism
Tourism in Belize continues to increase from one year to the next. That’s good news for you if you decide to invest in any enterprise connected with the influx of tourists. From restaurants to tour guides to the hospitality industry, you can tap into this market and earn a tidy return.
Consider what you could do with a simple bed and breakfast in a location like on Ambergris Caye island. During most of the year, you’re sure to have paying guests. That can be a wonderful way to earn a living without dealing with the stress that you endured prior to retiring.
9. Absence of Capital Gains and Estate Taxes
Anything that reduces tax obligations is a good thing. With investments in Belize, you get to enjoy not paying capital gains and estate taxes. As long as you meet the basic qualifications, those exemptions remain in place.
A financial expert with a local bank can help you understand how to apply for and receive this type of status. Doing so before you establish your business or while making other investments is a smart move.
10. Low Tax Rate on Real Estate Rental Income
If you opt for buying real estate with the intention to rent it out, get ready to enjoy a lower tax rate. This allows you to keep the overall expenses lower and allocate more of your income to keeping the property in top condition.
As with other tax breaks, make sure you comply with all governmental regulations that relate to this particular tax advantage. A real estate lawyer can help ensure you qualify and have all of the documentation in order.
11. Excellent Asset Protection
Don’t forget that Belize offers excellent protection when it comes to offshore investments. The funds you have in those investments are protected from seizure by any outside entity. That includes the court system at home as well as revenue agencies.
Even if legal issues were to wipe out your domestic assets, none of your investments in Belize could be touched. That provides you with the opportunity to recover from what happened at home and remain on a somewhat sound financial footing.
12. Time Zones are Convenient for North Americans
You’re likely to fly home from time to time even after you move to Belize. Some of those trips may be business related rather than personal. Thanks to the fact that the time zone for Belize lines up nicely with the zones in Canada and the United States, it’s easy to adjust.
The amount of time spent traveling is also reasonable. You could easily fly to major cities along the U.S. Gulf Coast in a couple of hours. From there, connections to cities around the nation would allow you to make the final leg of your journey that same day.
13. Broad Range of Investment Options
What sort of investments attract you? There are hedge funds, stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, timber, and a number of other options to consider. Even something like currency trading is possible if you like. That makes it possible to create a diversified portfolio that includes options you could never secure at home.
Build a portfolio with investments that carry a low rate of volatility. You could also include a few that carry more risk but also have the potential for greater returns. The right mix will allow you to enjoy returns on some investments even while others go through periods of being flat or temporarily losing value.
14. Affordable Cost of Living
Don’t overlook the affordable cost of living in Belize. From housing to utilities to food, you may be amazed at how much you can purchase with less cash.
That makes it all the easier to allocate more of your resources into investments and ultimately increase your financial wealth. By adding a little more to your investments each month, you will never worry about keeping a roof over your head or food on the table.
Diversify Your Portfolio Starting in Belize
Now is the ideal time to start exploring the opportunity of investing in Belize. Start with a bank based in the country and consider opening a few basic accounts.
Over time, you can add an investment account and diversify your holdings. The result will be the financial security that you have always wanted.
I hope you enjoyed reading: Offshore Investing Tips: The Top 14 Reasons to Invest in Belize. When you are ready to invest in Belize, please contact us HERE. Here are some great articles that I’ve written over the past year that I know you’ll really enjoy reading:
About The Author
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
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