Monthly expenses for a couple including rent : $1500
Palm trees, blue skies and sandy beaches are some of the best reasons to retire in Belize, as is the fact that it’s extremely budget-friendly. Housing in Belize City is dirt cheap, with a 900-square-foot furnished rental going for as little as $377 a month. The Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Program makes it even more attractive for retirees age 45 and up since any income earned from sources outside Belize is 100% tax-free.
Typical Costs in Belize
While there is some variance in costs depending on where you choose to live in Belize, Numbeo provides general insight into average housing and living expenses for the country as a whole. Housing costs are generally more expensive in the city center where access to services, shopping and entertainment is more convenient. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center is about $315 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment goes for a little over $600. Prices for apartments outside the city center are about 25 to 35% lower. Utility costs including electricity, water and garbage run under $100 per month, while Internet access is somewhat expensive at nearly $130 per month.
Fruits and vegetables are cheap and plentiful at markets in Belize, as are consumer staples such as bread, rice, fish, chicken and eggs. International Living Magazine suggests a monthly grocery budget of $150 to $300 for two people, excluding alcoholic drinks. While home cooking is the cheapest way to eat in Belize, good meals in local restaurants and open-air markets are easy to find for $5 or less. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $30. International Living Magazine estimates monthly costs of $200 to $400 for dining out and entertainment, but some may choose to spend much less and others much more.
Other incidental and variable expenses include transportation, alcoholic beverages, medical care, clothing, and personal and household items. You may also choose to hire a maid service or a gardener, which typically costs around $130 for 50 hours of service per month. On top of these regular costs, you might also earmark some funds for sightseeing trips to other areas in and around Belize.
If you are on a fixed retirement income, you will be pleased to note the Belize economy has shown remarkable price stability in recent years. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the country’s official source of national statistics, inflation during the four years from July 2011 to July 2015 amounted to a total of 2.1%, or about 0.5% per year on average. While past performance is not a guarantee of similar future performance, years of price stability certainly count in Belize’s favour.
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