After a year of lockdowns and with the widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccines accelerating, people around the world are anxious to break away from their confines.
But it won’t be the typical tourist traps and urban centers people will be flocking to. With social distancing now ingrained in our psyches, people will seek places offering open spaces and plenty of sun and sand. And not only will people seek these places for their vacation getaways but many will seek out these places for retiring as well.
$1 million is the current rule of thumb for how much retirees should have saved up for retirement. That’s based on a retirement age of 65 and average annual living expenses of around $51,000 as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average retiree spends approximately $50,860 per year or $4,238 per month in living expenses. Expenses, of course, vary by state.
So, if you want to retire in the sun and sand of Florida, what are the average expenses?
The average monthly expenses for retirees in Florida are approximately $5,031. If Florida seems out of reach, have you ever considered affordable island living in the Caribbean?
When you think of the Caribbean, your mind instantly thinks of places like Aruba, the Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and other well-known Caribbean getaways, with their crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches.
When people think of Caribbean island living, affordability typically doesn’t come to mind. Most people wouldn’t consider moving to the Caribbean because they assume it’s too expensive. But what few people realize is that the Caribbean region is larger than most people think.
According to International Living, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico all offer islands off their Caribbean coasts – islands that share the same crystal-blue waters and white-sand beaches people associate with “Caribbean” – just not as pricey as their more well-known cousins like Aruba and the Bahamas.
This week, an article on cnbc.com, citing International Living, listed Ambergris Caye, Belize as one of the “5 Caribbean islands where it’s affordable to live.”
Here’s what the article had to say about Ambergris Caye, Belize:
Ambergris Caye, Belize
As the largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye is known for housing the Belize Barrier Reef. The island is popular among ex-pats for its reliable internet and cell phone coverage. Regular flights and water taxis also make it easy to head into town, to either Belize City or Chetumal, Mexico, according to International Living.
A couple can live comfortably for around $2,950 to $3,150 per month, which includes the rental of a house or apartment, according to International Living. If you own your own home on the island outright, then ex-pats report it’s possible for a couple to live quite comfortably on less than $2,000 a month.
According to International Living, Ambergris Caye and the country of Belize itself offer ex-pats a variety of benefits for relocating. English-speaking Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize at 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide, and San Pedro is its only town.
About 30 years ago, Ambergris became a hotspot for divers and fishermen thanks to the Belize Barrier Reef, just a half-mile offshore. This natural wonderland of living coral supports a dizzying array of marine life, and it’s the main reason Ambergris has seen its recent (and significant) growth.
Also according to International Living, ex-pats give up little living on Ambergris Caye. Power, water, cell phone coverage, and the internet are reliable… and you can buy most necessities for daily living on the island.
Regular water taxis and flights make it easy to take a quick shopping trip in Belize City, or Chetumal, Mexico. The selection of quality restaurants and bars is constantly expanding.
If I told you before reading this article that if you had $1 million saved up for retirement, that you could retire comfortably on a Caribbean Island AND save $1,000 or $2,000 a month, you’d say I was crazy.
It turns out you CAN retire on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize for $1,000 to $2,000 less than in most places in the United States. Compared to Florida, the savings are even more significant with expenses $2,000 to $3,000 less than Florida.
All this is possible on Ambergris Caye without giving up any quality of life or any modern conveniences.