tractor parade in belize

Money Making Ideas And Much More At Our Belize Conference

How These 7 Expats Are Funding Their New Lives In Belize 

“An entire country with a small-town feel” is how one expat in Belize describes his adopted home.

And that is my experience of Belize, too.

Before I settled into my job at Live and Invest Overseas in Panama City, some friends and I spent a few weeks exploring Belize… from the wild nature of the Cayo (where we hiked, swam in waterfalls, explored Maya ruins, and sang karaoke in the bars of San Ignacio) to the warm water and white-sand beaches of Ambergris Caye (my best snorkeling experience ever).

It was pure adventure—with something new to see or try every day. But what still stands out to me most about that trip was how my friends and I didn’t feel like tourists. While we lugged our backpacks from place to place, everywhere we showed up, we were welcomed as part of the community.

This strong sense of community—being among people who genuinely look out for each other—is exactly what you need as a new expat in town.

Even more so if you’re a new expat in town who’s looking to start a business…

Belize may not be first to spring to mind as a place to do business overseas. But we know a growing number of expats who have found ways to support their new lives here… often cutting their work hours down to half the time (or less) …

I’ve told you about Rob Burrows before. Back in Cleveland, Ohio, Rob was putting in 50 hours a week as a management consultant… every year holding out for those two weeks of vacation when he could take off for the Caribbean.

Rob was more than a decade off retirement when he had his “what if” moment…

What if he moved to the Caribbean? Even if he kept a full-time job, he could spend every weekend in the sun…

Today, Rob’s the proud owner of “Crazy Canucks”—a beach bar on Belize’s Ambergris Caye. He works just 15 hours a week… the rest of his time is spent sailing, surfing, snorkeling or fishing around the clear waters of Ambergris.

Rustling up cocktails isn’t your only option, of course…

New expats are often quick to spot a moneymaking opportunity around town. And Belize is no exception.

Following are some examples—contributed by Belize Insider Con Murphy—of what’s working for those who’ve chosen to set up home and shop in Belize…

Bamboo Trinkets And Tourist Mementos 

Craig is in his mid-20s and came to Belize without much of an idea of what to do.

When he saw that most of the trinkets and mementos sold at tourist shops in Belize were actually made in South America or China, he started making high-end bamboo pieces for sale in the zoo, cruise ship terminals, and resorts.

Now he can’t keep up with demand and is considering taking on more help to be able to cope.

Exporting Tropical Fish

Carl came from Germany and moved out to beautiful St. George’s Caye, about seven miles from Belize City.

He acquired a license to catch and export non-endangered tropical fish, and eventually started breeding them in captivity.

Freshwater and marine tropical fish can be easily bred in Belize with some studying up, and accessing the U.S. market isn’t difficult because the States is only a two-hour flight away.

This is a niche that could be expanded greatly to supply the enormous U.S. market.

Import And Export

If you have an eye for unfulfilled niches, you can make some serious money.

Mitch came to Belize from the States and saw that San Pedro didn’t have a source for new drinks and liquors that were coming out in the States.

He quickly started importing all the trendy new drinks as they became popular in America and became the middleman for a large part of the island.

He has expanded into everything else he can source that’s “hot” in the States, including merchandise and apparel, and supplies it to local businesses on the cayes and mainland.

Processing Local Products

Howard arrived in Belize decades ago from the States and loved his hot sauces.

He liked them so much he eschewed the dominant hot sauce producer in Belize (Marie Sharp) and started producing his own Hot Mama’s hot sauce. Now his expanded offering includes many hot sauces, chutney, and preserves.

He offers tours of his factory at 10 a.m. every day and has opened a bar and grill on the property, right on the Western Highway near San Ignacio.

Vehicle Rentals

Mat and Margie moved to Belize several years ago and spotted a niche that became lucrative…

Given the state of the roads and the lack of competition in the vehicle rental market, rates are high. It was nearly impossible to get anything with four working wheels for less than US$80 to US$90 per day.

Mat and Margie also noticed that many expats didn’t own vehicles but would rent them for short-term trips to take visitors sightseeing or when their own vehicle was in for repairs.

The couple decided to offer their spare car as a low-cost rental (US$40 to US$50 per day) to those they knew and trusted wouldn’t abuse their vehicle.

It soon became apparent that there was a demand for this service and they bought and imported more vehicles to meet the growing market.

Pop-Up Food Stand And Catering

Alex moved to Belize with her fiancée in their early 20s and tried several different businesses before settling on a model that suited them.

They liked socializing—and didn’t like that their previous ventures had them working when everyone else their age was playing—so they got a peddler’s license and opened a gourmet pop-up food stand outside whatever bar was busy on a given night.

They let everyone know where they’ll be in the evening via Facebook to sell gourmet burgers and barbecue while drinking beer and laughing with friends.

The popularity of their fare also has people calling with catering orders for parties at home.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of Belize… but have been holding off because you’re not ready to retire… or you aren’t sure how to fund a new life overseas… then you need to be in Belize City with us next January…

At this 9th annual Live and Invest in Belize Conference, Jan. 23–25, our experts and expats will walk you through:

  • The benefits of QRP residency and what’s required to qualify… as well as how to go about getting residency if you don’t meet QRP rules…
  • Day-to-day life here (as told by expats)… from Ambergris Caye to the mainland coast to the Cayo…
  • Where to find an expat community for support…
  • What’s required to open a bank account…
  • Your options for medical care and health insurance…
  • Where it makes most sense to buy for investment today…
  • How much to build a home…
  • How to set up your business (and what businesses tend to work best here)…
  • Where to get everything you need to survive (without Walmart and Home Depot)…
  • How to live a more self-sufficient life…
  • And lots more…

Best of all, you’ll be in the company of like-minded readers and friends who share your hopes and dreams of living overseas… the same people who could become your new neighbors.

It all kicks off Jan. 23… and places are filling up.

Valentine Fouché

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