Home » Living in Belize » What Makes Living in Belize The Right Choice Part III

What Makes Living in Belize The Right Choice Part III

What makes Living in Belize The Right Choice Part III

In Part I and Part II , my last blog posts outlined all of the
reasons why I decided to move to Belize. This final blog is the conclusion of those reasons:

Cost of Living – One of the main reasons I wanted to move from the U.S. was due to the high cost of living. It appeared as if it was only getting worse and would be a while before getting better. Heading into my retirement years, I wanted somewhere that I could “stretch” my dollar.

Living in Belize can be very economical. If you’re smart about your lifestyle choices (no excessive drinking or dining out), the area you move to (inland is cheaper than waterfront), and what luxuries you can live without (air conditioning can be expensive if used excessively), it’s not unreasonable to live on anywhere from $1000 to $2500 USD a month for two people, all inclusive, even on an island!

Safety – Obviously choosing a country that we felt safe in was very important. When you tell people you are moving to a third world country, a lot of them just automatically assume it’s dangerous. But I’ve found Belize to be much safer than where I was living in Oakland, CA.

Sure, there’s crime here, but it’s mostly petty theft due to the high unemployment rate. And just like any state in the U.S., the larger cities have more crime. If you take simple precautions, like locking your doors, and perhaps having a dog, you should be fine. I feel quite safe taking a walk by myself. Rape and murder really are the exception here, and not the rule.

I could go on and on a list a dozen more reasons why I moved to Belize, like access to reasonably priced lobster, scuba diving, or the incredible sunrises and sunsets, but those I’ve already given were by far my most serious considerations before moving to a foreign country.

Now that I’m here, I have absolutely no regrets, except one – I wish I had done it sooner. But one can’t live with regrets, so I’m just glad I did. Do you have any dreams that you’re putting on hold?

Sharon Hiebing is an American Expat living in San Ignacio Town, Belize. She is the founder of Wealth Ships’ and offers Expat Relocation Consulting Services via email, phone and one-to-one at affordable rates. She also owns the only property management company in Western Belize, Red Roof Property Management. She has written two ebooks, writes a weekly blog, and posts tidbits daily about her life and work on Facebook. She’d love it if you came and got to know her.


  1. I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity, Laurie. Thanks for letting me share with your visitors, and I hope to write more for them real soon!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Relocation Without Rose-Colored Glasses

  2. Much of this is accurate. A/C is no luxury in the tropics plus the presence of affordable drinkable wine and imported goods especially French bread, deli meat , McD’s sausage egg and cheese biscuits and diet cherry coke made Mexico a better choice for me.
    Laurie: Sharon’s articles are better journalism than your usual party infested drivel. Good job:)

  3. Sharron is writing with a different purpose and style than I Alan. It came up a few times with the gang this weekend but never made it into the party infested drivel write up – how we are glad for our differences and it makes life more interesting.

    Mexico definitely has some good food options. My pic is arrachera and the special fried onions they make there.

  4. Emily (@EmilySNC)

    Not having access to McDonald’s and Diet Cherry Coke is one of the reasons we chose Belize…and we like your blog just the way it is.

  5. Emily: There are some studies on the psychology of McDonald’s and cherry or vanilla coke denial syndrome in the American J. of Psychiatry 23:4, 1998. And Laurie knows I like to poke her. (symbolically).

  6. I love this blog!
    al i suggest you stay in mexico

  7. I do all which is why I never get steamed by what you write. Were hash-browns in the study that would be high on my rotten ronnies list never had a cherry coke.

  8. Thanks Erin – Al is actually in the land of timbits.

  9. ….till November and then Playa del C. Belize was a great experience but until it has reliable electricity, and fresh mushrooms, Czech beer, and diet Dr Pepper I will always reccomend it as a great place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there. And when I open an ” El Hortons del Tim” I will give you a bag of free sesame seed bagels.

  10. Well thanks for the compliment, Al. Don’t miss Mickey D’s much (maybe because I worked there for two years back in high school), but I do miss my inexpensive and high quality red wine. But not so much so that I feel like leaving Belize anytime soon – all I can do is hope one day this situation improves!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Relocation Without Rose-Colored Glasses

  11. The sad thing about Belize is that the British historically never thought of it as anything more than a backwater colony. Of course, they loved our fine lumber and mahogany trees for their beautiful homes back in England:)

    Look at other British colonies in the Caribbean like Barbados for example. Britain pumped a lot of money into those colonies and when they got Independence they already had a solid infrastructure in place. Just like the Spanish did with their colonies in Mexico and Guatemala for example.

    Ecology wise Belize is a beautiful country with many pristine places. That was NEVER in doubt.

    Unfortunately, in many other ways we always seem to be doing catch up to our neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    One has to look at ones past to better understand the present right?

    Alright, so if any foreign person here is willing to accept Belize for all its beauty and faults combined with some degree of sacrifice then Belize is the place for you.

    Oh and besides, Chetumal, Cancun and Playa del Carmen are not that far away if you have those uncontrollable fast food binges:)


  12. Remo: what you are saying makes perfect sense. Except Laurie is Canadian and knows that the 4 major food groups there are grilled cheesburgs, fries with gravy and cheese, donuts and beer (and not Belikin Basura). It is not simple for her to attend to these cravings by getting into a boat, tying up at the Chetumal wharf, wait for the Mexican sniffer pups to do there job, get an immigration stamp and find a taxi to get to the mall. Better to live there. Viva Mexico!

  13. Hey how did I get mixed up in this food fight ha ha.

    My current cravings are well a beyond boat ridel. Salmon hand rolls and edamame in Kensington Market and Lemongrass shrimp and fried spring rolls in china town and occasionally I do miss the food court at the Eaton Center.

    Not had a beer in 15 years or so and never missed it once. Now if I was to try and give up my iced coffee that would be a whole different story.

  14. If you do not find laughter in some of the faults of Belize then it is hard to see the beauty.

    Oddly enough with age and lack of fast food chains here I am learning that I do not miss it as much as I thought I would. If I really need a fix I can get a gringo burger on Fridays and I tell you Wade has come pretty damn close to the taste of rotten ronnies.

  15. Laurie at my apartment complex in Halifax there was a Wendy’s, Harvey’s, dominoes and king of donair (KOD as its known there) all within a 5 minute walk outside the main front door. I would practically live at those places and got lazy cooking my own meals many times:(

    By the time I came back to Belize I went from 162 pounds (roughly) to 191 pounds and never been able to get under 185 pounds ever since:(

    My skinny days are effectively over! haha!

    And yet I still miss it. Oh the insanity of it all:(

    Laurie, maybe I need to live longer in Belize to get all that grease out of my system? I hate having those cravings.

  16. Come to aquafit class one of these days Remo it is a great way to loose weight. One of the regulars lost 30 lbs and the only thing she really gave up was pop still enjoys other naughty foods.

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