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Hawaii vs. Belize as a place to live
06-02-2013, 06:46 AM
Post: #1
Hawaii vs. Belize as a place to live
Hello everyone.
I like many others considering and researching various places to live including outside the U.S., come upon the "Best Places to Retire" lists and Caribbean islands are always mentioned. A year ago I was immersed in the country of Belize because of its tropical climate, English speaking, business and immigration friendly laws, etc. But as I did further research, it became evident that there was a downside to this "paradise" of a destination -- that being the following:

1) It's not the U.S. and is a very poor country
2) Crime is prevalent and many people have bars on their windows, etc.
3) Getting things done if you are building a house or doing business with the government will take what seems forever
4)The expat community is populated by people who prefer a very laid back, unpretentious lifestyle and want to get by on very little income or low cost of living.

If you could live anywhere you choose, why take such risks of living in a country that the only thing in common with Hawaii is that it is an exotic tropical island?

The destination websites such as International Living, Island Living etc. make their money by selling dreams, but after you dig deeper and read local blogs, you get another perspective other than through rose colored glasses.

Have any others considered living in Belize or have similar comments or observations comparing Hawaii to Belize? Maybe I am playing it safe, but I have visited Hawaii several times but never lived there.
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06-02-2013, 08:00 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2013 08:14 PM by kaniamea.)
Post: #2
RE: Hawaii vs. Belize as a place to live
Before reading your entire post (I had just seen the headline) I already knew what I would reply. I agree that basically the only thing Hawaii and Belize have in common is the climate. Other than that I can't think of anything. I myself have also researched many places to see if they would be nice places to live. But I came to the conclusion that the place where all is perfect doesn't exist. But if the disadvantages weigh more than the advantages, it's not worth considering it. Hawaii's main disadvantage for average people is the high cost of living (especially housing), which consumes a large portion of many people's income. You can always try and spend less on food and other things, but affordable housing is hard to find in Hawaii.

I haven't visited Belize so I can't really compare it to Hawaii, but I have read a lot of stories about it and the neighboring countries in magazines and on the Internet. At one point I had also looked into the Canary Islands. But the reason I didn't go there is because of high unemployment. It's only for expats who have some money and would like to retire. The cost of living on these semi-tropical islands is much cheaper than Hawaii. Another downside though is they're Spanish speaking and just like Belize, bureaucratic/government things take time to get done.

Even though I like living in a tropical climate, I think I wouldn't be able to get used to a place like Belize because there are other things in life that are more important than just the climate factor.

Regarding point #4 that you mentioned, there are a few places in Hawaii that are attractive for people like that. The Big Island's Puna and Ka'u districts come to mind - more affordable and you can live off the grid, grow your own veggies, have a solar-powered cottage and live an alternative lifestyle.
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