The benefits of the Belize retired persons’ incentive programme are well known and understood by the many North Americans who make use of it annually, but for Britons and Europeans, the scheme is lesser known and therefore lesser exploited.  We aim to put that right today as we explore the massive financial and lifestyle benefits that this impressive and competitive scheme offers qualifying persons over the age of 45.

At the current time we’re all looking for ways to save money, enhance any income or savings that we have, and all the while the governments and financial institutions of the world seem to be hampering and restricting our efforts with their poor decision making efforts – but there is a location in the world where one can legitimately live 100% income tax free and reside in a tropical paradise at the same time.  The nation in question is Belize…

Before we explore the ins and outs as well as the benefits and attractions of the Belize retired persons’ incentive programme, it’s important to explain the thinking behind the scheme that allows qualifying individuals the right to reside in Belize 100% tax-free.  Belize wanted to attract foreign direct investment and it wanted to attract wealthy residents to its shores who would benefit the economy without placing any excess pressure on anything and everything from infrastructure to resources.  To do so the government came up with the concept of a scheme to attract mature individuals with a guaranteed income to come and live in Belize tax-free.

In return for being offered life in a tax haven, beneficiaries of the scheme would not be permitted to work in Belize, but they would be encouraged to spend the guaranteed level of monthly income that they are required to have in Belize.  As such, qualifying individuals would benefit from protecting their income and assets from taxation erosion, and Belize would benefit from having people residing in the nation who only contribute to it financially rather than taking from it in the form of jobs for example.

In 1999 legislation was passed to create the Belize Retired Persons’ Incentive Programme, this legislation was then updated in 2001, and to this day the scheme exists to attract at least modestly well off individuals over the age of 45 to come and reside in Belize.

The benefits and advantages to this scheme and to living in Belize are manifold.  For example, once an individual qualifies and takes up residency they are not restricted by the number of days they have to be in permanent residence in Belize as long as they do not overstay their welcome in any other nation they visit and accidentally become resident there instead!  This enables many who make use of the scheme to continue their professional commitments and business dealings external to Belize, and to continue to amass wealth which is of course not taxed in the individual’s new country of residence – namely Belize!  Additionally, when one takes up residency in Belize under the terms of the programme, one can import all household effects, a car and even a light aircraft or a boat duty and tax-free.  A qualifying individual’s spouse and dependent children are also allowed residency under the one application, and of course all get to benefit from living income tax free in the tropical and sundrenched Caribbean paradise that is Belize!

Belize is an English speaking country on the Caribbean coast of Central America, it achieved independence from Great Britain back in 1981 but still retains many British elements to this day…so much so that Brits who visit often fall in love not just with the stunning beauty of the nation, but the quirky fact that there are English reminders everywhere!  The quality of the infrastructure in Belize depends on where one resides – in Belize City for example one can live a first world lifestyle and reside in totally cushioned luxury.  Others prefer gated communities which are usually inhabited by expatriates, some prefer to head to the coast or the Cayes and buy up stunning beachside homes, or if you prefer, you can head off the beaten track and buy a rural retreat and live a very simple kind of existence.

Belize is a popular international holiday destination because of the blend of cultures it embodies, the nation’s fascinating and rich history, its excellent cuisine, incredibly friendly people, and of course because of its climate and stunning natural backdrop.  Home to rainforests and reefs, rare and abundant flora and fauna as well as Caribbean caressed white, sandy, sun-kissed beaches, Belize is truly a paradise – which just makes the incentive programme even more appealing!

To qualify an individual has to be 45 years of age or older and in receipt of a guaranteed monthly income of not less than USD 2,000.  This amount has to be remitted to a Belize bank account each moth, the source and guarantee of the income has to be certified as well.  In addition to these criteria, applicants have to have a clean police and medical record and they are not allowed to work in Belize or derive any form of income from the nation.  Other than these criteria that are fixed, an applicant has to pay a non-refundable processing fee of USD 150, a programme fee of USD 1,000 upon acceptance into the scheme, USD 200 for a residency card, and each dependent has to pay a fee of USD 750 to enter the programme.

If you’re looking for a way to escape the increasing costs of day to day living and you also want to explore new horizons and find a new life in the sun for you and your family, it could be well worth you exploring Belize and the benefits of its retired persons’ incentive programme.  If you think you fulfil the above criteria, why not take a trip to Belize, explore it, discover if you could live there comfortably and happily, and if you decide that yes, Belize is for you, you can get further details of the programme as well as an application form from the Belize Tourism Board.