Weary of all the problems at home – political strife, high cost of living, pandemic, violence, crime, etc. – many Americans are fleeing the country for peace and tranquility elsewhere. On one extreme, some have gone as far as buying their own private islands and setting up their own micronations.
A micronation is a self-proclaimed sovereign state that lacks a legal basis for its existence. Although established nation-states do not recognize micronations, it doesn’t deter its founders from instituting many things that characterize nations like a constitution, national anthem, flag, and elected government officials.
The exodus is real. Internationalliving.com, a website dedicated to informing Americans on how to move out of the U.S., has seen a spike in traffic in the past two years. So, although many Americans can’t afford to buy their own islands and set up their own micronations, many still seek greener pastures elsewhere. So what are they looking for in a new home?
A better quality of life for less money. With these two objectives in mind, many Americans are finding no shortage of spots that fit their needs with affordable housing, welcoming locals, stable government, quality medical care, exciting new traditions and cultures, great food fresh from the market, and engaging ex-pat communities.
It’s no wonder then that many Americans seeking refuge from domestic turmoil end up in Belize, a country that checks off all the boxes for ex-pats and retirees.
Here is a rundown of all that Belize has to offer:
Stable and Welcoming Government…
Besides English being the official language, the stable and welcoming government is another draw for Americans seeking a smooth transition. Belize’s legal system is based on British common law. As a result, Belize has a stable, democratic government fostering a stable and balanced economy.
The easy residency requirements are one example of Belize’s inviting government climate. While some countries have strict residency requirements, Belize does not. The easy way to gain permanent residency is to live in Belize for 50 consecutive weeks. Also, in Belize, foreigners purchasing land or property are afforded the same rights as Belize citizens regarding property ownership. Additionally, there are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in Belize.
Belize has also implemented a retirement residency program that allows foreign Qualified Retired Persons to make an application for long-term residency in Belize and, if accepted, to live in Belize completely tax-free for life, even on income from sources outside of Belize.
Friendly Locals and Natural Beauty…
Belize is a melting pot of cultures with a diverse population. In addition to native Mayans whose families have lived in the country for thousands of years, there are also European and Mestizo descent locals. The locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming because of this diversity and blend of cultures.
The friendly locals are one attraction of Belize. The warm tropical climate and natural beauty are other attractions. Belize is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world with its eclectic mix of mountains, rainforests, jungles, and hundreds of miles of white sandy beaches. Belize’s wildlife is also unmatched, with thousands of fish species, turtles, tropical birds, and other types of wildlife that make it a unique paradise.
Once considered “off the beaten path,” Belize has enjoyed a boom in interest post-pandemic from ex-pats and travelers seeking solitude.
Cost of Living…
The U.S. dollar goes a long way in Belize. Everything from real estate to food and household goods is relatively cheap compared to U.S. prices. If you – like most ex-pats – choose a simpler, more affordable way of life, Belize becomes more affordable than living in the U.S..
Despite an increase in recent tourist and ex-pat interest, Belize’s real estate is a bargain, with property prices still affordable compared to virtually any other comparable beachfront destination.
Whether you’re looking to start your own island micronation or just looking for greener pastures and contentment, Belize checks off all the boxes for Americans seeking a new home with its beautiful, welcoming environment and low cost of living.