An article published in this week’s Amandala, the latest 2015 study titled Expats: Expectation & Reality – A research Study of Expats Living in Belize, Nicaragua and Panama, states that 73.1% of expatriate respondents said that they enjoy their life in Belize. That is the highest received by any of the countries surveyed.
One of the respondents in the 45-64 age group is quoted as saying that living in Belize (for ten years and counting) started out as the adventure she anticipated and as it progressed, she came to appreciate the slower pace of life in the country where there are no shopping malls, movie theaters or Black Fridays. Her experience has been one of getting closer to and helping people, experiencing the native cultures who, “are absolutely some of the friendliest people on earth and they will take you in like you are a part of their life if you let them,” she added.
Expats also had good reviews of the country’s health care stating that it exceeded their expectations, which averaged an incredible 457.8%. Meanwhile, only 3.4% stated that they feared for their safety in Belize. Some of those interviewed also warned that coming to Belize to hide from the law is not a wise idea.
The study goes on to state that, “The achievement of getting a fresh start was cited by 38.2% of our respondents who moved to Belize, but only by 28.4% of those who moved to Panama and 24.7% of those who moved to Nicaragua”. It goes on to say that 82% of people move overseas to achieve a simpler, less stressful life, and just as many move overseas in order to lower their cost of living. 87% of the expats interviewed from Belize said this was true for them and another 85% said they moved here to lower their cost of living.
The Amandala report adds that, “for 49.3% of respondents from Belize, they found life to be much better than expected, 19.4% said a little better than expected, and 25.4% said it met their expectations. Only 6% said it was worse than they had expected”. The biggest complaint for men and women expats was that they missed shopping.
The study, released on July 6, 2015, was compiled by Best Places in the World to Retire, funded and run by an experienced group of entrepreneurs and investors based primarily in Southern Arizona. Over 400 expats provided more than 14,700 answers and thousands of comments in the study.