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Old 10-30-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Mangos/retirement and Belize

I am six years from retiring and plan to move to Belize and open a dive shop and bar and spend the rest of my days on the beach checking out hot tourist chicks, diving and brewing. I am looking at a number of properties that already have fruit trees on them (Grapefruit, Mango, and Coconut) I want to put some beehives in so I can get honey for meads but I am wondering what else can be brewed with local fruits. I am getting ready to look into what would be required to plant apple trees.

If you already live in Belize please feel free to shoot me an email I have a few questions that I don't want to ask a real estate agent.

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Old 10-30-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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I don't live there, and haven't even been to Belize in a long time, but Bob and I talked about relocating there, at least in the winter. We visited a couple of times, in different areas, and found that we loved the Placencia area the best. Between visits, Hurricane Iris (2001) wiped out the village, so the next time we went it was rubble. I know it was rebuilt, and probably much "fancier", instead of the old fishing village it was.

At least at that time, Belize was very favorable to retirees. For immigration, all you needed was to be 40 or older, and prove independent income of $1500 US a month. Transportation (cars and gas) were terribly expensive, but otherwise living expenses were very low. At that time, a lot (uncleared) on the Carribean was $50,000, but I know prices went way up, and Belize has lots of sea grass with few real beaches on the mainland.

We also checked out Caye Caulker, and Ambergris Cay. Beautiful beaches there, and quiet laid back village. Again, that was pre-resort booms, so it's probably quite a bit different.

There are lots of expatriots in the San Ignatio area, too. I know there were retirees in Pull Trousers Swamp, and at Black Man Eddy as well. It's pretty far from the sea, but beautiful with mountains and rivers and of course jungle. We took a long canoe trip in that area, down the Belize River and camped out on the trip up on hills (away from the crocs). I think we canoed about 35 miles or so, and only saw people one time.

Since it's been along time since I've been in that area, I don't know what kind of economic changes Belize has undergone but it was pretty affordable and of course stable.

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Old 10-30-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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YB,
I spent a lot of time in Honduras and decided I am going to retire in Central America. Prices are up a bit. I really like http://realestatebelize.com/l70816.html and there are a number of properties in the Hopkins area that I like as well. Being deployed now I am able to put back a bit of cash to start saving for my down payment but I have decided this is what I am going to do so the next few years are going into getting everything lined out to make it happen. I figure between my gov retirement and a moderatley successful business I should be able retire at 40 and relax.

I am planning a trip down next August when I finish this deployment to start getting a plan together for a specific location. I am going to liquidate some property I inherited right before I pull the trigger so I don't have any ties to the U.S. to pay taxes on.

I need to knock out my Master Diver and instructor course so I can teach SCUBA. I am planning to take a job in Italy on the coast next November so I will knock out those classes then.

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Old 10-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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I really like the Hopkins area- that's the nicest beach area on the Placencia Peninsula, and not far at all from the cayes and the reef. There are plenty of divers that love that area. We didn't go around that area as much as some of the cayes, and the atolls closer to Placencia, but the diving and snorkeling that we did near there was phenomenal. If I remember correctly, it's not a long boat ride at all to "the wall" off of Hopkins, and there are whale sharks in the area in March.

Lots of people like to take dolphin spotting tours (the mammal, not the game-fish!) and I recall seeing about three species of porpoises in that area. There are also lots of tourists in the area that love to go to the Cockscomb basin, and the Jaguar Preserve. Maybe you could have a tourist friendly place that hires guides for the land/jungle part and a dive shop as well. I know you have to have a Guide License in Belize, but it's not expensive as I recall, and might make you more non-diver friendly as well. There are hundreds of birders that descend on that area in the spring, too. Offering birding tours in the Jaguar Preserve would be great, too, when you don't have divers.

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Old 10-30-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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SWMBO is prepped and ready to go, I think it will be a nice place to finish raising a family. She is a teacher so we plan on her homeschooling from there. She is also going to be the chief farmer and beekeeper.

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Old 10-30-2010, 02:33 PM   #6
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I have been working with the idea of settling there as well, for many years. I am presently on and off again with Rainforest Realty, Macarena Rose is an ex-pat and has been there since 2003. Check out the website http://www.rainforestrealty.net/ if you like. I was originally looking a one of the eco-tourist development sites on one of the islands; with a "Cocktails and Dreams" kind of beach setup.

I know this is still six years out for you; but if at some point you would entertain the idea of a partner on the bar and brewing we should stay in touch. My future is wide open at this point, I am also pulling a military pension (20 years Air Force) and have done business development for the past several years.

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Old 10-30-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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I am still a few years off but I am putting back every dime I can spare between now and when I find the right property I will pull the trigger. I will know more next year once I visit to look at my options.

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