How to Retire in Belize – The Ultimate Guide
Are you looking for a laid back, affordable lifestyle with year-round sunshine? Have you been thinking about retiring in Central America? We put together this guide for readers wondering how to retire in Belize.
This guide covers all aspects of retiring in this alluring land of jungles, beaches and reefs, from how you can go about applying for the country’s official retiree program to how you can find homes for sale in Belize and condos for sale in Belize suitable for the new lifestyle that awaits you.
What is the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) in Belize?
Can I Retire in Belize? Requirements of the QRP
How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Belize?
Buying Real Estate for Your Retirement in Belize
Where are the Best Places to Retire in Belize?
Find Out More About Retiring in Belize
Belize’s Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) is a program operated by the Belize Tourism Board which allows eligible individuals to live and retire in Belize and enjoy various incentives and tax benefits. Applicants must meet certain financial and other criteria. According to the Belize Retired Persons Incentives Act, successful applicants of the program are permitted to take up residence in Belize and enjoy the benefits of the program for as long as they retain their status as a Qualified Retired Person.
To qualify for the Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), an applicant must be a retired person of at least 45 years of age and pass security clearance by the Ministry of National Security in Belize and a medical check.
A QRP must meet certain financial requirements. An applicant must be able to demonstrate a pension or annuity of US $2,000 per month or US $24,000 per year which must pass through a Belizean bank. Qualified Retired Persons must therefore provide a written undertaking to deposit the amount in a bank, credit union or a licensed financial institution in Belize and must submit a yearly local bank statement showing compliance with the program’s financial requirements.
There is also a residency requirement for the program. Qualified Retired Persons are required to spend at least 30 consecutive days in Belize each year to retain their status.
To apply for the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), applicants should submit completed application forms (together with required supporting documents and the application fee) to the Belize Tourism Board.
Required Supporting Documents
- Birth Certificate – for the main applicant and each dependent
- Marriage Certificate (If applying for dependents and spouse)
- Authentic Police Record – from last place of residency (within 1 month of application)
- Passport – clear copies of complete passport for main applicant and all dependents
- Proof of Income – official statement from bank with pension or annuity amount and written undertaking for required US $2,000 per month or US $24,000 per year deposit
- Medical Examination – for main applicant and all dependents
- Photos – 4 (front) and 4 (profile) recent passport photographs of main applicant and all dependents
Fee due upon submission of application – in USD cash or USD Cashier’s check:
- US $150 – Non-refundable application fee
Fees due upon acceptance – in USD cash or USD Cashier’s check:
- US $1,000 – Applicant Program Fee
- US $750 each – Dependent Program Fee
- US $200 – QRP Program Card Fee
*Annual Renewal Fee BZD $50.
Successful applicants of the QRP Program are entitled to the following incentives and benefits:
Right to Remain in Belize
Qualified Retired Persons and dependents included in the application will receive a QRP Resident Cards which entitles them to live in Belize. The card allows multiple entries into the country without a visa.
Qualified Retired Persons are permitted to import the following items for personal use free of duties and taxes within the first year of participation in the QRP Program:
- Personal and Household Effects
- 1 boat
- 1 aircraft – Light aircraft less than 17,000 kg
- 1 car
Qualified Retired Persons are exempted from all taxes and duties on income received from outside of Belize, as well as capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
Property prices tend to compare very favorably to other parts of the Caribbean and Central America, offering good value for money.
The cost of living is affordable too, which means you can enjoy a higher quality of life for less.
Although the QRP Program does not require applicants to invest in Belize real estate (you can opt to rent), buying a property is a popular route for many program participants.
The Government of Belize welcomes foreign investment and there are no restrictions on foreign buyers purchasing property in the country.
In fact, foreign buyers enjoy the same rights as citizens and, unlike in many other countries in the region, there is no requirement for foreign buyers to obtain a license in order to buy real estate in Belize.
A wide selection of property is available from attractively priced beachfront condos and villas through to private islands.
To discover property for sale, browse Belize real estate on our website.
For more detail on the purchase process, please see our guide to buying property in Belize .
Where are the best places to retire in Belize ? Well, that very much depends on your personal preferences.
Traditionally the island of Ambergris Caye (including San Pedro) is one of the most popular destinations for retirees.
In recent years, the quieter Placencia Peninsula has begun to establish itself as a firm rival to Ambergris Caye.
Find out more: Best places to buy property in Belize
Would you like to find out more about retiring in Belize or perhaps you would you like to browse property for sale which would be suitable for your retirement?
We would be delighted to help. You can explore Belize real estate on our website or contact 7th Heaven Properties, the Luxury Caribbean Property Specialist, to begin your property search and to discuss your options in more detail.