What’s the best way to make a million dollars in Belize? Come with two and leave before you lose the other half!
There is a lot of truth in that often quoted remark. Why? In a country of about 315,000 there simply isn’t a lot of money. I ‘d venture that the average full time employed Belizean makes about $20US a day. Admittedly that figure only comes from my 6 years of extensive experience in this country and not a reliable, trustworthy, goverment agency. I’ll delve further into my observations to say that maybe 40% of adult males between the ages of 25 and 50 hold what would be considered full time employment. I’d say that figure is closer to 20% for women in that age range. Who then, is purchasing the products and services we are selling and how much money is out there to buy anything?
Nealry 100% of my ex-pat friends are self employed and nearly all live with financial hardships AND, now this is important, we are not carrying debt here like in the US. Financial hardships there can nearly always be directly attributed to living beyond one’s means. In the US, where I’m from, making money isn’t the real issue, keeping it is. Credit card debt, a mortage, 2 car payments etc, etc. The things we “need” consume us. It is well documented that the vast majority of Americans live beyond their means. Major and minor resort owners, hoteliers, contractors, tour operators and makers of granola & peanut butter here will all tell you the same thing, especially with alcohol induced honesty, you might be able to make a living in Belize but making money is very difficult. Making a living here means buying groceries, keeping the vehicle that you paid cash for running, keeping your children clothed and supporting your habits. The things we “need”, we really need! Making a living here doesn’t mean supporting your two car payments, mortage and enormous credit card bills because most people, and I’m talking ex-pats, cannot make enough money here to do those things nor is that kind of credit available to most people. In Belize almost no one carries that kind of debt. When you hear that living in the tropics is a simpler kind of life it means that we focus on the simple things, food, shelter and alcohol.
If you come to Belize retired with a pension or still able to make US dollars or the equivelant you are in excellent shape and probably can live comfortably. What can an ex-patriated individual do to make a living in Belize? Find a need and meet it is a simple answer. Here’s a few things I know we need around here; A good sub shop, more than 1 competent, honest mechanic for small engines and vehicles, someone to set up off the grid power systems, an amazing ice cream shop, some serious competition in the pizza arena to help drive prices down ($5 in the states $15-$20 here), a small movie theatre, a store that sells clothes for men and carries outdoor gear, an honest politician, ok, I’m getting carried away. What we don’t need is another mediocre restaurant or a new resort, we are full up with those.
Yes, you can move to Belize. Maybe, you can make a living. Yes, you can make a million, just bring two!