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What should you consider before moving to Belize?

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Before moving to Belize, serious consideration should be given to the relative cost of living, one's need for social services like medical care and schools, the practicality of being an expatriate or citizen, and legal peculiarities like property rights issues. While Belize is a beautiful tropical nation, anyone considering living there should be ready to accept serious cultural differences.

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Belize has a number of advantages. It's an English-speaking country with tropical beaches and a laid-back culture. The cost of living is low relative to the United States, and if the person moving there has a modest pension or retirement fund, the Belize government makes it easy to emigrate.

However, it is a different culture. Some expatriates complain about the corruption in the government, and bribes are business as usual for government officials and business owners alike. The population base is small, which makes it harder to fund important government services or attract businesses to the area. It is also in an area subject to hurricanes, an important consideration if one is building a home.

People with special health care needs or educational needs may find that Belize is not ideal; while they have adequate health and educational infrastructure, their limited resources are oriented to providing the basics. Emigration to Belize should be preceded by lots of research, including more than one visit.

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