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Making Your Daydreams Come True Living In Belize

January 9, 2009Article by Ray Withers

Most of us have daydreamed about packing up and leaving the rat race behind to go and live the good life – then dismissed the fantasy to get on with our lives. If someone told you that you could retire at 45-years-old to an English-speaking tax haven and live in a carbon-neutral house nestling in a rainforest rich with wildlife, you might think again while walking through the rain to catch the bus or train that’s late again. Well, think again. Because it’s all true and you can retire to a beautiful eco-styled house not far from the Caribbean coast of Latin America in the beautiful former British colony of British Honduras – called Belize since independence in 1981.

Getting there is easy – with regular flights to major city destinations in the US as well as London. As former British colony, Belize is the only Latin American country with English as a first language. The country also shares many political, legal; and cultural traditions with Britain as well. Buying Belize real estate directly can be trying, as no formal estate agents or property-listing sites are available. The true good life is available from the Belize Reserve eco community in Western Belize. The site includes a planned 20 to 30-room hotel due for completion at the end of 2009 and 350 half-acre plots making up several small villages for private housing. The plots cost £24,950. For a limited number of properties, the developer offers interest free 50% finance over five years.

The builder will put up your house at cost – about £34,950 on top of the plot price, depending on what you pick from the three designs. Other designs may be introduced as the development progresses.The community was awarded an ‘excellent’ kite mark from the independent whatgreenhome.com web site. Homes are totally eco friendly, built from local sourced wood. Solar power provides hot water and electricity. The sewerage system utilises anaerobic bacteria that is not only environmentally friendly but requires no electricity. The ongoing running and maintenance costs are predicted as minimal.

Belize property is the fourth cheapest out of all the Caribbean countries. If you want to retire to your own property in Belize, the government could not make the process much easier. The tourist board wants to attract older people to the country – and the good news is anyone 45-years-old or over qualifies, and qualification includes the retirees’ dependents as well. After proving your age, you need to prove you earn at least US $1,000 a year and you’re in. No income tax or anything you earn in Belize or any other country. Another bonus is no local capital gains tax, so you can sell up in the UK and bank the cash tax-free, are exempt from tax in the UK as well as a non-resident. You can even take your car, light aircraft, boat and personal belongings duty-free and another duty-free car every five years after that.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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