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Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
About 80% of the expats in Belize are North American and 20% are Europeans. South Americans usually only come here for vacation, but a very few of them are able to live here.  One reason might have to do with Belize being a British Commonwealth country.  People from South America do not really get the ability to come to Belize indefinitely.
 
They lock Belize down pretty well. Just look what has happened to Panama with the Colombians. There are more Colombians in Panama than any other nationality, because they come and they never leave. The Panamanians are in a bit of a situation because of it.  A lot of the Colombians turn to prostitution, drugs and other things. They come as tourists and never leave. So ultimately, Belize keeps a tighter lid on people from other Third World countries who come here, and then not go back.  We do have our own issues with migrant workers; workers from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. However, Ambergris Caye is too expensive for them to generally stay around for too long. 
Ryan Wrobel of Wrobel & Co., Attorneys-at-Law – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beach in Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Belize are a lively mix of various nationalities from all over the world—former military, former big business, former small business people; all different kinds of people from all over the world.
 
Belize itself is a very cosmopolitan country—various ethnicities, races, all mixed up and all getting along. And I would say that the expats in Belize reflect that as well. The people here in Belize are European, Canadian, American, African, South American; name a country and I’m sure you could find someone in Belize from that country. Everybody tends to get along and it’s a happy mix. 
 
The commonality amongst expats is that they have moved to a developing country, so they’re a bit adventurous. Our expats who live here realize that they are not going to be going to a Broadway show or a McDonald’s or some type of activity that are available in the biggest cities in the world. One thing that most expats here have in common is that they are looking for a place with a little bit slower pace as far as life is concerned and also a high quality of life; people who enjoy nature and a natural life. This is not a fast paced country. On the contrary, it is very slow paced. What most expats here have in common is that desire to slow things down, have an easier going life and not stress out and worry so much.  
 
(Beach in Belize, pictured.)
Howard Oldham of Tropic Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Oldham with wife and an expat in Hopkins, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Belize are great people.  Just ask me; I’m one of them! 
 
The expats here are from all over the world and are great people to party with.  They usually go to the same parties and fund-raisers. The expats are treated nicely in Belize because they support the charities and fund-raising events more than the locals do. They gather at those events and build a social life through those meetings. 
 
Howard (Oldham with his wife and an expat friend in Hopkins, Belize, pictured.)
John Acott of RE/MAX Belize Property Center – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expat with street vendor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Belize are fine. They mingle. What I tell my clients is that Placencia and San Pedro is “wall to wall expats” in a very small area. Here in Cayo, we have a lot of expats but they are spread around the whole district and there is not an expat hang out in Cayo. Whenever we have a party, it’s always a mixture. In a party I recently had, there were about 28 people and about a third of them were Belizeans. We mix very well here. 
 
The expats here in Belize are very easy going people. We very rarely get someone here who is obnoxious. They know that Belize is not like New York and they know the shortcomings that we have here about the lack of shopping. We don’t have huge stores or supermarkets, but everything works. Anything you need you can get but we don’t have the luxuries of all of America. 
 
There was a woman here last year from New York who started criticizing the restaurants here in Cayo as being inferior to those in New York. The restaurants here are different than the restaurants in the US. We don’t usually get expats who are like that. Her attitude was very rare.
 
I don’t know what these expats were like before, but all my clients are my friends now and they all settled down very well. Everyone is friendly and there is no bad feeling here. Very few expats go back to the States or Canada. Once they get here, they like it here. 
 
(Pictured: Expat with street vendor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.)
Phil Hahn of Carmelita Gardens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There is a really broad range of expats who come here to Belize to work, to retire, to run to something and run from something to know what the next stage of life is going to be.
 
John McAfee – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI know a guy who came down here 15 years ago after retiring as an oil executive. He went back to his native Canada, spent his first winter and he realized that he wanted to go to somewhere warm. He came to Belize and bought 100 acres of land and started planting 5,000 teak trees every year. So many years later, he has some 50,000 teak trees and he is approaching 80 years old now. He did it as just a past time, but it is now a legacy of investment for his children. He is a happy guy and a wonderful human being. That’s his story.
 
I met expats who went down to Belize after they went through a divorce or a business partnership breakup and they are bitter, and so they spend most of the day drunk. I also met other expats who are everything in between. It’s hard to just really pinpoint what an expat’s lifestyle is. It’s really up to the individual. It’s as the joke says, “Wherever I go, there I am.” It’s who you are and what you bring to it.
 
If someone asks you “How are the people here?” a good answer would be a question in return: “How are the people where you’re from?” If they tell you “The people where I’m from are jerks”, you should answer “Oh, you’ll find that here, too.” If they say that the people are great where they came from, that’s what they’ll find here.  It’s really about what you bring to the table. You are going to find expat circles that are really just what you are looking for. There are expats who are in organizations, there are Rotary Clubs.  There are people who are affectionately referred to as the “Airy Fairies.” There are old hippies. They get together and have vegetarian potluck, lunches, and dinners. It runs together.
 
(Former software executive and Belize expat, John McAfee, pictured.)
Chris Leonard of Paradise Found Belize Real Estate and Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Belize outdoor patio – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingExpats in Belize are generally relaxed, drunk, and very friendly. I was invited into many homes of people whom I had never met. Everybody takes care of each other. If somebody has problem, medical or otherwise that they need help with, there would always be somebody who would step up and help out.
 
The atmosphere in Belize is very friendly. I’ve met a lot of people there whom I still talk to on Facebook and keep in touch with. The expats in Belize are completely awesome people and I expect I’ll be friends with them forever.  They are mainly older people. I’m 33 years old and my average friend in Belize is probably 55.  I was taken in by these people and found them to be very accommodating.

There are a few younger expats, for example, people who went to Belize during their late 40s to operate their businesses. Most of the people that I met were either American or British, with a few Canadians sprinkled in.

The most common story I know about retirees and expats in Belize is that they come down to check it out on a whim or after doing their due diligence to look at places that they want to go visit or may want to live. Once they come down, they saw it and stayed for a while, and then, decided to make living in Belize permanent. I know guys who started businesses and saw an opportunity and had the money to do it. They figure they can build a resort, open a bar, and operate it themselves. They figure that, even if they’re not making a whole lot of money, it does not really cost them a lot to live there.

I’m sure there’s an investment side that’s definitely for people who are operating business. As far as the retirees, cost of living is probably the number one reason for retiring to Belize. You can get a house that’s not by the water for US $250,000 that has three bedrooms. It would be hard to find that anywhere in the United States for that cost. Also, the property tax is close to zero.
Macarena Rose of Rainforerst Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Belize is such an amazing melting pot that you would not believe how many different kinds of cultures we have here. There are also expats from every country that you can possibly think of. So to say that expats are one kind or type of people is not possible. We do not have that here in Belize. We have a very diverse expat community.
 
There are expats who are Harley riders. There are those who want to hangout and visit and have cocktails with the fruity drinks or drink beer. We have expats who are naturalists who like to practice organic farming and use organic materials, which are easy to get here in Belize. We also have expats who have moved here with their families and are raising their young children. Many expats now move their children and they get involved in the community and with other children as well. We also have expats who have come here to retire and just want to volunteer. They just want to spend their days doing something for the community and making Belize even a better place. The expats here in Belize is a diverse group of people.
Boris Mannsfeld of Boris Mannsfeld & Associates – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Harbor in Placencia with a home – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAround 55% of the expats in Belize are Americans, 40% are Canadians, and the rest would be from elsewhere.
 
Some expats move to Belize just to get out of the rat race. Some come over here to do something different or just to start a little business. Some expats have second homes. They still live in the States, but they come back and forth. They come down here just to relax and enjoy all the happiness, all the friendly people, and all of the fun things to do like diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and birding.
 
Belize is a really nice place to relax and also be active, so there are a lot of options here for stuff to do, so the people who come down here to live in the tropics are pretty happy people.

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