Dear International Living Reader,
Leave your watch behind because you won't need it. And toss away your shoes while you're at it–a bathing suit is the only wardrobe requirement, and even that's only a suggestion. Spend your afternoon chasing a fish or two or nursing an ice-cold beer, and call that a good day's work...
There's a little country in the Caribbean...a new country, in fact, having just gained its independence in 1981. Only about 312,000 people live here...in the entire country!
It's a place where palm trees sway in rhythm with the gentle waves of clear warm waters caressing soft white sands.
People greet you with a smile and a cheerful "Good Day." They're genuinely happy. And why wouldn't they be? They live in paradise.
They enjoy fresh fruit for breakfast, fresh fish for lunch, and celebrate the end of every blissful day watching the sun set over the Maya Mountains or (if they're on one of the many islands that dot Belize's coast) the Caribbean.
Worries are few. The cost of living is low...less than half what you'd spend in the rest of the Caribbean or the U.S. Property prices, too, are extraordinarily low. In parts of this paradise...virtually unknown to foreigners...you can buy a beach home for as little as $82,000. Even on its most popular ‘upscale' island, where bargains are hard to come by, a brand-new condo can be had for little more than $200,000.
What's more, if you're not doing business in Belize, personal taxes are practically non-existent: 0% income tax on foreign-derived income. Plus, there are 0% capital gains tax, and 0% inheritance tax.
In fact, Belize is known as one of the world's best banking and tax havens, offering several legal structures to protect your financial assets and reduce both your personal and corporate tax burden even more.
All this, plus it's ridiculously easy to get residency.
Best of all, in addition to being one of the world's last true tax havens, English is the official language.
Yet amazingly, this country and its benefits remain relatively unknown except to a savvy few.
If You're Dreaming of Retiring to the Caribbean but
Think You Can't Afford it...Think Belize
The Last Affordable Caribbean Haven
Over the years, the world has started to take notice of little Belize. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, movie director Francis Ford Coppola, and singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker have quietly purchased homes there. Many more...like Tiger Woods, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage, and Robert DeNiro...regularly vacation on its private islands and exclusive resort hotels.
Madonna fell so in love with the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye and its little town of San Pedro that she wrote a song about it, which she still sings in concert: "Last night I dreamt of San Pedro, tropical island breeze, all of nature wild and free. This is where I long to be, la Isla Bonita..."
But even though celebrities have found Belize, it remains off the typical tourist radar. In fact, celebrities enjoy it for just that reason: there aren't hordes of tourists around and they can vacation in peace. And that tranquility (and relative obscurity) is exactly what's kept the country's charm rating high and its prices low.
My name is Jackie Flynn and I'm Publisher of International Living.
At International Living, we've had our eye on Belize from the beginning...from even before it earned its independence from Great Britain in 1981. In the early years, divers and fishermen were just about the only tourists who visited this little country, which hugs the Caribbean Sea just south of Mexico.
You may remember it from grammar school as British Honduras—and luckily, Belize has retained its English influence. The stable government is based on the British parliamentary system with a legal system modeled on the common law of England. Everyone speaks English and all contracts are written in that language.
Over the years more than a few International Living readers have been living the good life in Belize. Like Jane, from Illinois. She and her husband, a former environmental science professor, were first attracted to Belize by the rainforests and by the high quality of Caribbean water off the coast. (Their grandkids love to snorkel.) They retired to Belize a few years ago and moved into a two-bedroom home they bought in Santa Rita, near Corozal...for $48,000!
And there's Bill and Jenny, who bought a parcel of beachfront on the Bay of Corozal, near the town of Copper Bank. They worked together to build Cerros Beach Resort, now up and running with four cabanas for guests, and a full-service restaurant and bar.
"There are no time clocks or wristwatches, no commutes, stress or worries," Bill says. "We have the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitats, to sit and listen to the birds and the wind blowing, to watch a beautiful sunset...we take full advantage of it all."
Jan B. first visited Belize seven years ago after her husband passed away. Comforted by the turquoise waters... the gentle ocean breezes...the laidback island living....she felt like she belonged there. She went back to Texas and told her family and friends she was moving there. She has owned two businesses on the island (including a famous beachfront bar) and is now "retired"...but working on the preservation and development of a 2,000-year-old Marco Gonzalez Maya site, the first Archaeological Reserve on an island in Belize.
"I'm on Social Security now," Jan says, and that's what I live on. It's very easy to live here on $1,000 a month...and living on the island costs more than living on the mainland. But the extra costs of living here are worth it. I'm on an island...in the Caribbean...I live here because I love it!"
There's Much More to Belize Than Ambergris Caye...
The Country's Most Popular Tourist Destination
There are many little islands off the coast (at least 200, say tourism officials) and miles of Caribbean coastline that remain undiscovered by most travelers.
And that's where the real estate bargains are...
We sent veteran writer (and bulldog bargain real estate hunter) Don Ediger to Belize to sniff out some of the places in the country where you can still live the Caribbean dream without spending a fortune...where you can have a champagne lifestyle on a Belikin budget. (Belikin is Belize's mighty tasty beer...a cold one will set you back just a buck or two, depending on the hoity-toity-ness, or lack thereof, of the establishment.)
Don has compiled his findings in our new, comprehensive 133-page guide to Belize—our new Belize: The Owners Manual.
If you're interested in finding your place in the Caribbean sun...but you'd rather not pay typical Caribbean prices...you need to read this manual.
As Don writes, "Belize is a country with some of the world's best sailing, fishing, and diving, not to mention opportunities for visiting Mayan ruins, hiking in the jungle, meeting interesting people, or just relaxing by the beach or on your patio. Moreover, Belize is a beautiful, peaceful nation with a year-round tropical climate and easy access to the U.S., Mexico, other Central American countries, and Caribbean islands."
But Don digs deep. Not one to just scratch the surface, he gives you every little detail...all the nuances, tips, insider secrets, and every little tidbit that normally slips between the cracks...everything you need to know if you're considering relocating to Belize.
For instance, you may have heard of Belize's Qualified Retired Person Program (QRP). (Despite the name, you needn't be retired.) If you're at least 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least $2,000 from a pension or annuity (including Social Security) generated outside of Belize, you can qualify. This allows you to bring all your personal goods to Belize tax-free, and pay no Belizean taxes on any foreign-earned income.
Don explains exactly what you need to do to qualify. This is the latest information straight from Don's contacts in the Belize government. It's verified and up to date. (That's important, as much of what you'll find in an Internet search can be dangerously outdated.)
What's more, Don tells you how you can become a permanent resident of Belize, which offers you even more advantages, including the ability to work and earn an income there.
I can't tell you everything that Don has turned up about Belize...as I mentioned, Belize: The Owners Manual is over 130 pages!
As Don says, although Ambergris Caye where most expats want to be, increasing numbers are looking beyond the popular island for Belize's true bargains. He found a two-bedroom bungalow on a lot filled with mature furit trees in a beach town that's just now gaining the attention of expats...for just $95,000!
On the southern coast just minutes from the beach, there's a two-bedroom house in move-in condition, appliances included, for just $74,000!
And go inland to get even more bang for your buck. Don has located a 1,000-square-foot house with two bedrooms and a large veranda offering mountain views. Price? Just $119,000!
I'm not making this up. Don gives you the contact info so you can follow up on these (and many more like them) yourself.
Belize: The Owners Manual is the best resource available to help you get to know the Caribbean paradise that is Belize. From finding a property...to obtaining residency. You'll learn how to invest, travel, live, retire, and start a new business in Belize. With Belize: The Owners Manual as your guide, you'll save time, money, and hours of frustration...
Keep in mind...this special guide to "all that is Belize" is the result of years of travel by Don Ediger and months of follow-up research and consultations with expats in Belize, immigration attorneys, offshore banking experts, real estate agents, and developers. If you were to try to get this information yourself, it would take years and thousands of dollars to compile. I can guarantee you won't find anything like it on the Internet or in a bookshop.
In fact, I will guarantee it...more about that in a minute.
Try it out, explore everything Belize has to offer... and certainly, make use of the information when you're in Belize in search of your dream home or investment. With all the pointed information and contact details in this report, you'll be glad you did.
There's something else you may not know: Belize is one of the best banking and tax havens in the world. Many financial advisors, in fact, believe that Belize is a far better option than better-known tax and private banking havens like Switzerland, Austria, Panama, and the Cayman Islands.
This is something that should be important to you no matter your financial status.
You see, in 1992, Belize officially adopted its International Business Companies (IBC) Act, the Trusts Act, and the Offshore Banking Act, and became a premier jurisdiction for asset protection trusts. It's also one of the few trust jurisdictions in the world that offers protection from court action initiated by creditors that might challenge your transfer of property into a trust.
With a Belize IBC, you can own real estate property; intellectual property licensing and franchising rights; even offshore e-businesses. And your Belize IBC is exempt from Belize income tax, from tax on dividends, interest, royalties, compensations and other amounts paid by a company; as well as from capital gains, estate, inheritance taxes and more.
A Belize trust—which also allows for property ownership —is one of the strongest and most flexible asset protection vehicles in the world. It is very difficult for any judgment from an outside jurisdiction to be recognized against assets held in a Belize trust. And it, too, provides tremendous tax exemption benefits.
These are complicated issues, certainly. Obviously, you know it's in your best interest to protect your hard-earned assets. (If you've ever experienced any type of legal action...including divorce...you know what I'm getting at.)
But you may not understand why, especially if you have only limited assets, it makes so much sense to establish an offshore trust, bank account, or company...
We can help. When you reserve our new Belize: The Owners Manual, we'll also send you a special report we've created to help you understand the offshore asset protection options offered in Belize.
Called Belize: Haven for Privacy and Profits (value $29.97) it's yours FREE with your copy of Belize: The Owners Manual.
This report alone can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coming years. Global financial advisors believe the window of opportunity will soon close (for U.S. citizens, especially) to move financial assets into offshore vehicles.
Now is the time to act... Our special report, Belize: Haven for Privacy and Profits, tells you how. (Yes, you'll not only get all the information you need to understand these issues, you'll also get our rolodex of expert contacts who can help you open bank accounts, create trusts, IBCs and more.)
...If you've ever wanted to know everything there is to know about Belize...in order to make an informed decision about moving or investing there...act now.
Belize: The Owners Manual and this special report, Belize: Haven for Privacy and Profits, created by Belize expert Don Ediger and the editors of International Living, are not available in bookstores, resource libraries, or anywhere else on the Internet. They are available in an online downloadable form only. That's how we can keep the information as up-to-date and reliable as possible. It also allows us to get this information in your hands as quickly as possible.
Travel to Belize to obtain all this information yourself and you'd expect to pay $2,000 or more. (The time and efforts of attorneys and other experts who worked to compile this information is worth that much alone.) But when you act now and reserve your copy of Belize: The Owner's Manual you'll pay just $99. And you'll also receive our special free bonus report about offshore asset protection options, Belize: A Haven for Privacy and Profits.
And the best part is that we publish these reports electronically...so they are much more useful, colorful, and interactive than ever before. Plus you'll have access to them as soon as your order has processed.
In Belize, there's a mantra that everyone lives by. It's an attitude, really, and a direct result of living a no-stress lifestyle. The sun comes up, you play in the water all day...or just sit next to it with your feet up and a cold drink in your hand. And then the sun goes down. The next day you do it all again.
"No shirt, no shoes, no problem."
I'm so confident that Belize: The Owner's Manual will help you realize your dream life in Belize that I'll offer you this guarantee: If, for any reason, you're not completely happy with this report, just let us know. You have our 30-days no-hassle money back guarantee...
We'll refund your $99, no questions asked...and you can keep your copy of Belize: A Haven for Privacy and Profits.
If you've been considering a move to Belize...full-time or part-time, you owe it to yourself to learn as much as possible about this small, friendly English-speaking Caribbean country—and now, thanks to our money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose...but so much to gain!
Publisher, International Living
P.S. The comprehensive and all-inclusive Belize: The Owners Manual and Belize: Haven for Privacy and Profits are not available anywhere else...at any price. If you're interested in living the laidback Caribbean lifestyle (full or part-time) but not interested in paying typical Caribbean prices, Belize should definitely be front and center on your radar.