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Christian Burn of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Front Street, Caye Caulker, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAmbergris Caye is a bit if a unique island because I would think it is the wealthiest and largest of all the 200 cayes. Ambergris Caye would offer the largest of the middle class in Belize as far as Belizean people. It takes a lot to live here, but you also have the better jobs and better-paying jobs here.
 
Ambergris Caye has the most consistent tourism in Belize. The local people who live on the island tend to be a lot wealthier than their mainland counterparts, especially those down south.
 
For your average expat who lives on Ambergris Caye, certainly the same would be true. You have to have a lot more disposable income to live here on Ambergris Caye compared to Caye Caulker (pictured) or any other mainland locations. As a result, Ambergris Caye has a much better variety of restaurants and variety of access to teas and bread. We are getting First World products here because there is money to buy it. I think that this region in particular is kind of an anomaly, but I think it offers the best standard of living in Belize.
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Caye Boy book – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe standard of living in Ambergris Caye is fantastic from an expat point of view. Properties here range in value from very affordable up to the million dollar range. People who have moved here live comfortably and very happily.
 
Living in Ambergris Caye is like living in the present and living 30 years ago at the exact same time. There are certain features about living here that are not typical of what we would expect in North America but would be more typical of something that we would expect from the 80s or early 90s. For instance, we have a friend who came down with a child with an ear infection. They wanted to go to a hospital and they were told that they cannot go to a hospital at that time but there is somebody they can see. We went to the local pediatrician, knocked on his door, and he came down and opened up his clinic for us after hours, and he saw the child immediately. He wrote a prescription and took care of her right then and there. Those kinds of things do not typically happen anymore in North America.
 
You also see children here who are running around the streets using their imagination when they are out playing, which are things that you no longer see happening in North America anymore.
 
( Caye Boy, a children's book about growing up in Belize, pictured.)
 
The sense of community that exists here in Ambergris Caye is much stronger than I would see happening in North America. All these things are just add-ons to the quality of life that is presented here in Ambergris Caye.
Josh Buettner of Ambergris Seaside Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expat in Paradise Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe standard of living in Ambergris Caye is probably the highest in all of the country of Belize. Overall, people do fairly well here in Ambergris Caye. The cost of living here is higher than any place else in the country of Belize, which is more pronounced from a local standpoint.  From a gringo standpoint, it is not quite so pronounced.
 
What the locals pay for food and rent here is probably double than what they pay in any place else in Belize. It is very difficult for Belizean people to come out here and do well. There are lots of people, especially construction workers / laborers who come here and they have to share a room with four or five people. From the perspective of the lower end of the labor pool, it is not very good.  However, from the perspective of resort employees, management people, and office people, they do fairly well and they are used to a higher standard of living than in any place else in the country of Belize and their salaries reflect that. The middle class here in Ambergris Caye does better than any place else but the people on the low end of the spectrum spend a lot more money on lodging and food than they are any place else in the country of Belize.
 
From an expat perspective, you can live in whatever level you want here in Ambergris Caye. We have great restaurants, gourmet food shops and gourmet wine shops, spas, salons, dog grooming centers, a dozen supermarkets, a dozen large hardware stores, and so on, so you could get almost everything that you want here. What you can’t get here, you can have shipped in from Belize City almost immediately simply by making a phone call.
 
You can divide the expats here in Ambergris Caye into three groups: 
  1. Those living on a very tight budget, whether retirees or people who are not really working and living off of a fixed income of some sort.
  2. Those who are in the middle class.
  3. Those who are at the top echelon. 
There is a place for all three groups here. You don’t necessarily know which group someone is in just by looking at them. It is very difficult to discern a person’s status here in Ambergris Caye because everybody wear t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops, and nobody drives a Mercedes Benz here. Everybody has a golf cart. What makes it really interesting is that you will never know who you are talking to or what they are all about other than based on the conversations that you have. You cannot place people based on what they are wearing or the car that they drive.  
 
(Expat in Paradise, Belize designed by Jet Metier, pictured.)
David Drummond of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 Grief Monument San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAmbergris Caye is unique in Belize. As far as I am concerned, you can get anything that you want in Ambergris Caye for the most part, but that wouldn’t be true in most places in Belize. For example, you wouldn’t be able to get a nice piece of US steak anywhere in Belize, but here in Ambergris Caye, it would be imported. If someone comes here from the US who likes to eat steak, on Ambergris Caye, they can have it.
 
The standard of living here in Ambergris Caye is very diversified. You have the English-speaking expat community that ranges from those wanting to get by on their social security to people who have more money. The locals tend to have a lower standard of living than the expats. There is kind of diversity here.
 
You will see the haves and the have-nots, although I think this is not descriptive, because there are people who are happier here even though they have what we Americans would say would be a lower standard of living. However, from a non-material perspective, these people with fewer material goods have a better standard of living from a lifestyle perspective. They might not have materialistic things, but they have more time with their family and more time on their hands. They are not rushed and not in a hurry.
 
When people talk about the standard of living, it is more about asking if you can get the food that you want, the drinks that you want, and the wine that you want. Most likely, you can get them here in Ambergris Caye, but at the same time, you can get yourself a beer for $1.50 and a hotdog for $1.

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