Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or...?)

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Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or...?)

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:48 am

So I'm looking at semi retiring within 5 yrs to somewhere warm, affordable and fun.

The topic title says my 4 targets so far:

Top Choice so far:
Corozal Belize
-a ferry ride from Ambergrylis Caye and snorkelling
-close to all the mayan shit to trip on
-lots of expats so youre not the only weird gringo with funny smelling incense

Runner up:
Western Pacific coast Costa Rica
-a couple hours south or west from San Jose
-beautiful beaches and bush
-good affordable health care and welcoming to expats

Playa Del Carmen Mexico
-Really really beautiful area with tons to do
-less affordable but still nothing compared to the bill servitude we share in Canada
-too many drunk gringos

Still researching areas in Panama
-Panama has all sorts of incentives to entice and welcome expats to settle/retire/spend their money
-full on tropical
-so affordable its insane

So who has an opinion? Topps I know you have a shack there...what can you tell me?
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Cornuck » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:54 am

Maybe wait until hurricane season is over and see what's left. ;)
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:17 am

Ya no doubt eh lol

We're planning on long term rentals for 6 months every year. Maybe go different places every year if we want. 400 bucks a month beachfront hut in corazal dude.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Go and spend an extended stay there and see how you manage before you ever invest. It is the third world and more 1st world people can't deal with it than can deal with it.

I lived in San Ignacio when I worked there. When asked why I came back to Canada I answer "because someone stopped paying me to live there." Yes, my wife is from there and my inlaws are there, but we have no desire to ever move back.

If you go there and like Belize, check out the San Ignacio area as well as Corazal. Slightly cooler climate in Cayo. The river to play in, Mayan ruins on the hills and ruined Mayans in the bars.

Belize is an easy one for us because it is officially English speaking but it is functionally bilingual with most people using Spanish at home and in everyday life. More so in Corazal and Cayo. Shops are now run by Taiwanese immigrants, so if you can speak whatever Chinese language they use it may help. Low German and your Lethbridge connections may help you in the Mennonite communities. The Menintights control most agriculture, have the best sources of auto parts and machine shops.

If you live in Belize, you probably won't want to go anywhere near Ambergris. Too many fucking tourists and most of the expats that live there took a left turn after too many Jimmy Buffet songs......you know the guy in the travelocity adds who wandered a thousand beaches....

Currency is fixed $2 Belize to $1US. I knew retired Canadians who had to sell their homes and return to Canada when our dollar hit 65 cents US and their Canadian dollar pensions couldn't keep up. Cost of living for an expat is no different than cost of living in Canada. Some things are much cheaper, other things much more expensive.

Vehicles are not cheap and import duties are high. When I lived there a 4cyl pickup was the cheapest duty at 25%, over 4cyl was 125%. There is a healthy market in vehicles from the US with file marks in the serial numbers.

Belizean banks are running into problems dealing with US banks because of tightening money laundering rules though I was able to access my Canadian bank account through Belize's ATM machines. Forget about trying to buy US dollars anywhere but on the black market. Scotia Bank (has always been big in the Caribbean) and Atlantic Bank (Salvadoran) are the only two foreign banks still around. RBC sold out years ago and CIBC was briefly there but left a couple of years ago. If you plan on leaving, you'll never get your Belize $'s out and they don't trade on international markets.

Crime is burgeoning to out of control levels and because of the political corruption the government is teetering on default. Mexican drug gangs and MS13 are there with the Mexican gangs reaching the highest levels of government. Belize is heading closer to being Jamaica every day. As a foreigner, you'll have a target on your back.

The country is broke. They are raising taxes on expats first in an attempt to insulate Belizeans from the economic pain. Land transfer taxes for foreigners was just bumped up. The ever worsening economic outlook is making the crime situation much worse.

Check on the immigration requirements. I know as a tourist you can only get 30 days and airlines will only sell you a 30 return ticket. To extend the first few times it is a quick cross border trip for a beer and ceviche and re-enter and get an additional 30 days. I think you can do that 3 times, after that is a trip to Immigration in Belmopan and pay a fee to get another 30 days. You have to stay in the country for 2 years to apply for residency.

You can get a cheap flight to Cancun and a 1st class Mexican bus (they show movies but bring a blanket because they have the AC cranked to fridge status) to Chetamal (just across the Mexican border from Corazal).

Folks who function the best are those who integrate the most. That said, there is always an expat community that primarily sticks together and socializes together. Cayo has a large expat population that shows up at the bar daily at 9am, drinks rum till noon and then heads home to pass out.....on Wednesdays they gather and head across the border to the Guatemalan whore houses.

Weed is illegal and socially frowned on. Don't think of carrying it around or smoking it outside of the privacy of your own home. Known foreigner weed smokers are an ea$y target.

Like anywhere else in the 3rd world, if a local decides they don't like you, they will be more than happy to tell the cops of your weed smoking or minor immigration infractions and have you removed from the country.

Despite all this, folks are still moving there. No I don't work for the tourist board and if you're looking for a few lots in a nice area of San Ignacio, pm me.

For shits and giggles, check out the story of Mr. McAffee of antivirus fame. LOL
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby rats19 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:12 pm

Yudel, you should ask topper he would know quite a lot to help you out ;)
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:18 pm

Thanks for all that Top. Thats exactly what i needed to hear.

It doesn't sound like I had envisioned at all. We weren't going to buy property and were looking at places where you can stay for your 6 months less a day. We are thinking that trying somewhere new every year til we find the right spot suits us as well.

Had a read about McAfee...hahaha...get the gringo.

Them being down on reef is a total bummer. I had already decided I would avoid it until I get a feel for wherever I end up...Mexico is no different either.

We wanted to be near the ocean for diving and snorkelling wherever we end up. Belize has epic diving but so does the Mayan coast of Mexico...getting automatic 6 month visitor visas as a canuck sure puts the focus back there.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:32 pm

Check Calderitas, just on the outskirts of Chetemal Mx. Beach, cerveza, ceviche....

Weed in Belize is abundant and readily available, but only in certain locals of the 1st world can you walk down the street with it.

As McAfee show's, don't let your barking dogs annoy your neighbours.......or have a property with a drug lab and weird security guards.......a bevy young girl friends may be ok though.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:54 pm

Mexico sure makes it easy to spend long stays there. Trying to avoid the drunk gringo trap migh take a little digging I guess. My trips to mex as a young dude are a total blur of tequila and bad decisions...
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:55 pm

Mexico also has great heath care if that ever becomes a concern. Lots of Belizeans travel to Merida for health care.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Blob Mckenzie » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:23 am

Have a look at Bucerias Udell. It's a nice little town just outside of Nuevo Vallarta. I think accommodations are pretty reasonable there and it's beautiful, not Americanized like Puerto Vallarta.

Or even look at Zihautenejo. I have a buddy that owns a couple bars there and he loves the place. You might run into Andy Dufresne there.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Uncle dans leg » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:01 am

Blob Mckenzie wrote:Have a look at Bucerias Udell. It's a nice little town just outside of Nuevo Vallarta. I think accommodations are pretty reasonable there and it's beautiful, not Americanized like Puerto Vallarta.

Or even look at Zihautenejo. I have a buddy that owns a couple bars there and he loves the place. You might run into Andy Dufresne there.

Definitely will check out Bucerias. Close to there is Sayulita which looks fucking cool but maybe pricey. Zihuatanejo too...the cool part of our plan to just rent is that you can go somewhere new every winter.

We're going to sell the farm and buy something somewhere outright for summers then have minimal bills here freeing up fun tickets for actual fun ya know. If I need coin I can drop in to the gas plants of mcmisery for the odd shutdown. Life should be way more fun than giving everything to maintain the illusion of freedom where in fact we are all slaves to cibc and walmart.

Is there any hope of weed going legal there? How could it get any better than fat michoacan spliffs on Zihuatanejo beach while someone mixes up another jug of margaritas
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:34 pm

Belize introduced a Bill in August to legalize 10g possession. Bill is going nowhere and will likely never get passed.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:46 pm

Government managed to ram it through, 10g of weed now legal in Belize.
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Uncle dans leg » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:00 pm

Looks like Belize is back on the menu lol
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Re: Semi Retirement (Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, or.

Postby Topper » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:29 pm

Government just lost a court decision and have to come up with $80 million US before the 10th for expropriating the telephone company. PM's brother was the lawyer for the Government so they got paid well for dragging the case out for nearly a decade. PM negotiated the deal that was roundly summed up by the court as a complete fucked up.

The immigration scandal is implicating several government ministers.

The ex deputy PM and minister of lands is in shit for selling off land the government didn't own to his family members and then when the mistake is discovered, paying a huge premium to the family member for compensation.

Another minister's son is getting all the road building contracts despite years of shitty work.

Teachers are barely getting paid.

An older retired couple from the US had their home broken into, were tied up and robbed. Thieves loaded everything they could take in the couples pickup and drove off. They vow to move back to the US, maybe you could get a deal on their place.
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