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A Couple Can Retire to This Rain Forest Escape for $853 a Month

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Live and Invest Overseas.

Can you afford to live in Belize?

The simple answer, I’d bet, is yes.

But the better answer is that it depends …

What Are You Looking For?

Woman thinking about retirement
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It depends on what you’re looking for in a home, what you want to do for recreation, and, above all, where in Belize you want to live.

Like the cost of living anywhere, the cost of living in Belize is in many ways controllable.

The biggest variable, as I suggest above, is where in Belize you decide to base yourself.

A Budget-Friendly Retirement Destination

Senior retired man in a chair on the beach
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If budget is a primary consideration, consider Northern Belize.

It’s a rain forest escape where expats and locals live together peacefully and sustainably.

And where the cost of living is delightfully low. You could settle in here quickly and comfortably on a budget of about $850 a month.

This part of the country is not only one of the cheapest places to live in Belize, but it’s also actually my personal favorite region of the country.

You can spend your days relaxing on a hammock or working the land … tubing through river caves with a cooler of beer or four-wheeling through the jungle and hiking up Mayan pyramids …

All just a short trip from the coast for long day trip or a weekend at the beach.

A Sample Budget for a Couple From Our Contacts

Couple saving for retirement
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Here’s a breakdown of average costs in Belize by item.

  • Rent: $300 for a basic, no frills apartment
  • Transportation (bus, taxi, etc.): $40; no transport needed within town
  • Gas/electricity/water: $90 is average for a small apartment
  • Phone/internet: $23 for data plans good enough for streaming
  • Entertainment: $200 for meals out and local adventures
  • Food and groceries: $200, For fresh, whole foods.
  • TOTAL: $853 for monthly expenses for a couple.

Again, this is a sample budget. You could customize it, of course, spending more or less in any category of expense, according to your wants and needs.

Customize Your Budget

Senior couple at a laptop computer
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You could add help with household chores for another couple of hundred dollars a month more, for instance.

And you could choose to spend more for a bigger and better located home, faster internet, and your own vehicle.

The bottom-line point, though, is that you do not need a big retirement nest egg to retire well in this part of the world. A skinny retirement budget can be more than enough.

Head to the coast, and you could expect to more or less double that budget, depending on where, exactly, you choose to live.

The Cost of Living in Belize Is Just One Part of the Equation

A thatched-roof bungalow over the water at sunset in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
OLya_L / Shutterstock.com

Now, to clarify, these budgets are only practical once you’re already settled in here.

In fact, residency itself is a critical choice to make when it comes to your budget. Some visas require monthly fees, while others need only a single payment.

Plus, prior to legal residency, you’ll want to make sure you know the right people when it comes to the administration, to travel within the country, and to living in a rental while you search for your home.

It’s a lot to consider, but, properly prepared, you can accomplish it all.

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