Skip to comments.How to Retire Comfortably for Under $1,500 a Month
Posted on 08/13/2010 4:26:50 PM PDT by cll
Jason and Elizabeth Pearce moved from Canada to Belize three years ago. They bought a piece of property on the sea. A year later, they built a house. Today, they live in a beautiful Santa Fe adobe-style home with gardens all around.
The pair lives very comfortably, without wants or financial worries. They've had no trouble making friends in their new community because the folks in Belize speak English. They eat out three or four times a week. They barbecue lobster and filet mignon at home. They have reliable Internet to keep them connected to the outside world.
By choice, they do not have a television. "I used to think that the news was important," Jason explains. "But not anymore." The retired couple has a maid and a gardener, each of whom visit once a week. And here's the best part. Jason and his wife are living on their Social Security income alone.
In fact, they're living on Jason's Social Security income alone. Elizabeth's Social Security check goes into savings each month. Everyone's spending habits are different, but here's a sample monthly budget for a couple living a comfortable expatriate lifestyle in Belize:
--Utilities, telephone, and Internet: $500 (Your biggest expense in this country.)
--Health insurance: $50
--Car expenses: $300
One of the most appealing things about Belize as an overseas retirement choice is that it can make sense even if you're nowhere near conventional retirement age. Through Belize's Qualified Retired Persons program you can establish foreign residency as young as age 40. Belize is a beautiful little country. It's a peaceful, eco-tourist retreat home to more than 540 species of birds, 4,000 species of flowering plants, and 700 kinds of trees.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
In spite of its natural beauty, Belize is an impoverished nation. If you're into third world living then this might be the place for you.
The place I’m retiring to can beat that all day long:
BTW, there are already quite a few FReepers living there...
Have you ever seen the HGTV show “House Hunters International”? They’ve had several shows on Americans buying in Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Seems to be a trend.
” Violent crime, especially in areas of Belize City, remains a serious concern. Read the Department of States Background Notes on Belize for additional information.”
State Dept site.
“The place Im retiring to can beat that all day long:
BTW, there are already quite a few FReepers living there...”
Count me in on that My wife is planning our place there now.
I always wanted to visit there. We share Spanish colonial ties and what they endured during WWII and what the Filipinos did for our POWs during that time and many other reasons. I also have quite a few Army buddies who are from there.
Thanks for the link.
the place is third world but the way things are going in the states it make look better in a few years, can i take my firearms?
Me? I'm retiring in England, I hear the health care is great!.:=)
All of this is swell until some Marxist thug takes over the country. Of course, that could be said about the US too.
...The upbeat tone this article reminds me of an intro to an episode of “Locked Up Abroad”.
I’ve been to Belize, and I would never go back.
All of the nicer houses have bars on the windows and/or barbed wire fences around them.
The local museum has not a single work of art by a local artist; just Mayan artifacts and press clippings about famous hurricanes.
Thirty years ago I got an investment newsletter written by an American expatriate living in Belize. The newsletter ended suddenly when the author was murdered by some Belizeans who lured him out in the country to inspect a piece of real estate.
Think of the worst place to live in the USA, and it’s probably nicer than Belize City.
Who can get health insurance for 50 bucks/month?
I am sure it is some real quality coverage </sarcasm>.
“and at times it seems as if there are no rules for anything”
That pretty much sums up life in the Caribbean...
You hear the healthcare is great in England? ... So, you’re already deaf. That explains some of it, anyway.
“BTW, there are already quite a few FReepers living there”
I am now past 18 months here, and there is no amount of money
that would get me to go back to the USSA.
I spend a total of about $700 per month, but can get by on as little as $500 for two of us. That is for rent, food, wine, internet, and travel.
I am 100 ft. from the beach.
What area are you in that it’s so inexpensive?
Fine for some, buy I say move to Appalachia- it’s cheaper, and safer.
I could live high on the hog in the PI on about $20 a day.
On a serious note: with murderous Islam panning the globe, how long before they incite hatred toward Americans in the Phillipines? ... One of the most beautiful women I ever met was a Phillipino Lady. I was only fourteen, but her image is still clear in my memory.
I have a friend who’s sort of a Princess of Belize. Her family is powerful there. She married a Canadian and they move around the world a lot because of his job. Even while being of privilege, her stories say that living there is tough, mainly because of crime and politics.
I agree, would not go back. The things that most stayed with me from several years ago....
Houses on stilts obviously occupied, laundry on the porch, leaning 15 degrees
Barefoot children walking home from school
Two guards with machine guns outside the Western Union building “downtown”
That’s not a trade off I’d want to make to stretch my dollars. And you’d have no guarantee your escape plan would be effective in the event of a coup or other uprising. Heck, I live in Texas and what you describe is happening on our southern border.
When I read that line it reminded me of something a friend who has move to Cuernavaca Mexico said. She was trying to get me to come down and visit and she said “it's very safe, there are guards every where”.
We have made many trips to Mexico all of our lives but decided a few years ago, after several scary things happened to us and to our family members, that we weren't going back, ever!
I told my friend if Cuernavaca was very safe they wouldn't need to have guards everywhere. She doesn't ask me down anymore.
We vacationed in Belize last year and I was very impressed. Yes it is a poor country. Yes there is crime. There is crime and poverty in many U.S. cities as well.
The entire population of the country is 300,000. This is about the size of the suburban area where I live. To say a country this small has not developed a local art community is not fair.
There is very rich farmland in Belize - much of it is now cultivated by Amish from Canada. They have also figured out the best way to attract tourists is to keep their beaches and forests in pristine shape. This has raised jealousy in the neighboring primarily Spanish speaking countries that have overdeveloped their resources and have much higher populations.
I got the impression much of the crime was from immigrants from bordering countries Guatemala and Mexico. Sound familiar?
Would I consider retiring there? No. but if I had to pick one country in Central America (including Mexico) to do so, this would be it. I would definitely vacation there again.
“...all of the nicer houses have bars on the windows...”
Ever been to Hialeah, Florida?
“What area are you in that its so inexpensive?”
I live on Cebu, two hours south of Cebu City.
My town is Dalaguete, the vegetable capital of Cebu.
Transportation is great. I do not need, or want, a car.
By the way, Travel and Leisure Magazine now rates Cebu as the
third best island in Asia.
Pretty good for a third world area.
As for that, I feel safer here then I would in ANY city of America.
That's where I want to go!
“Theyve had several shows on Americans buying in Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Seems to be a trend.”
ALL of these areas and many more are covered by Escape From America Magazine:
That’s funny, Cebu is where I’ve been looking as a place to retire, since I’ve heard Manila is too dirty and expensive.
Is It anywhere near Olongapo
“Manila is too dirty and expensive.”
Yes, but I have never been there, or even on Luzon.
That is also typhoon ally.
Cebu City is OK, with several huge malls and most anything you want, but I have no interest in living there,
I go up every few months for banking and special shopping.
I also travel South to Dumaguete, over on Negros. I do my visa renewals there every 2 months.
Many Expats live in Dumaguete...too many.
I generally avoid other expats, prefering to be with the natives or no one at all.
Most of the expats in this area are European, but plenty of Americans, too.
Ever been to Hialeah, Florida?
Ever been to Houston, TX?
As the Baby Boom generation heads into retirement, I wonder how many will head abroad because they can’t afford to retire here?
How much do they pay to go see their grandkids on the weekends?
I’m sure the health care is great /sarcasm (oh wait, America’s will be just as bad in about 10 years
...and 500 species of reptiles and 37,000 kinds of insect.s
What or where is PI?
You need to see “Locked Up Abroad”.. That’ll keep you out of the Philippines. LOL Although I’m sure of the girly bars there are nice.
The Cays are not impoverished.
Downsides to Belize:
1. No property insurance for flooding and hurricanes
2. Most of the merchants and politicos in the wealthy enclaves are Palestinian/Lebanese/Syrian.
3. THe wealthiest English landowners have sold out (Martin clan), and a swath of land the size of Rhode Island is about to be clear cut.
4. Illegal aliens.
5. The cost of building a hurricane resistant geodesic poured concrete home on the Cays is quite expensive per sq/m
6. US citizens, unlike almsot every other expat community in Belize, are still required by law to pay US Federal income taxes.
7. Anything not nailed down, and some stuff nailed down, will be stolen if you leave your house for more than a few days in most of the areas where raw land to build a geodesic home are still available.
8. Most of the raw land still available on the CAys have two drawbacks, first, no connections to electricity, water, and sewer, and the reason the land is raw is because it is a historic flooding area.
However, there are quite good medical facilities on the larger Cays, as long as they have petrol for the generators.
Which islands are you talking about? My family goes back to the old country every few years and they don’t have to worry about crime.
That is until some of the natives decided they don’t belong there and Guatemala is pretty close. Good luck to this couple.
I have been there. A quaint little slice of reality.
“PI” is shorthand for the Phillipine Islands.
I never knew that existed. One of the cover stories is about retiring in Mexico. American retirees should demand free health care served up by English speaking caregivers.
>Who can get health insurance for 50 bucks/month?<
Any witchdoctor will be satisfied with that fee.
Free advice from our State Department on Belize:
“The incidence of crime, including violent crimes such as armed robbery, shooting, stabbing, murder, and rape, remains high. Although Americans are not specifically targeted because of their nationality, in recent years the Embassy has noted an increase in crimes against tourists at resorts and on the roads and river ways.”
“A lack of resources and training impedes the ability of the police to effectively investigate crime and apprehend serious offenders. As a result, a number of crimes against Americans in Belize remain unresolved.”
Best of luck in Belize.
I plan on drafting a fantasy football team every year during my retirement. The kids promised me a satellite dish in the nursing home. :-)