The lush, tropical destinations in the Caribbean and Central America draw thousands of visitors each year. Some of those visitors fall in love with these picture postcard gorgeous countries and decide to live there full-time or at least part of the year when the weather in their home country becomes unbearable.
Most people believe that a Caribbean retirement is only for the very wealthy. That’s simply not true if you know where to look. The places you’ll read about here are beautiful locations, offering a high standard of living, and a cost of living that’s a fraction of what you would spend in a similar location in the States or Canada.
If your overseas living, retirement, or snowbird dream includes powdery white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and watching the sunset over a turquoise sea, you have plenty of options to consider among the welcoming countries that make up the Caribbean and Central American nations.
Panama, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and even Mexico (which is technically located in North America) are some of our favorite countries in this part of the world that should be on your radar.
You can choose from:
culturally rich historic towns such as Cartagena, Colombia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
bustling waterfront cities like Panama City, Panama
laid-back beach towns like San Pedro, Belize,
cute little Latin American or Spanish-influenced communities,
unspoiled beaches in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama or Las Terranes, Dominican Republic
and tourist towns like Cancun and Tulum, Mexico
Just picture yourself enjoying perfect weather every day, taking daily strolls along the beach, feasting on fresh seafood and tropical fruits, and whiling away the hours reading a great book in a hammock. No more shoveling snow, driving in bad conditions, waiting for a short growing season to plant a garden, or hibernating while you wait for the weather to change. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can have the perfect tropical dream life.
Belize is a small country, but it has an amazing range of property options on offer… stunning Caribbean islands, beaches on the mainland in Corozal, Toledo, and Stann Creek districts, nature-rich riverfront homes, and farms, jungles, and cooler mountain properties, too.
Aside from figuring out where in this country you want tobuyproperty, you should also understand the buying procedures inBelize… and the potential pitfalls.
Today I am introducing you to the property purchase process inBelize.
Private Developments Vs. Local Living
Some people want the familiarity, convenience, and community of a residential subdivision like Carmelita Gardens in the Cayo district. Others find the idea of living ina planned community claustrophobic.
I’m of mixed opinion. To have rules forced upon me at home when I’m not breaking any law goes against my feeling that my home is my castle. However, there are few zoning laws inBelize. Who’s to say that my neighbor won’t open a nightclub or mechanics garage in their yard tomorrow?
Buying propertyina planned expat community nearly always costs more than buying in the local community, and it usually has annual HOA feesattached. It also provides …
Likely you’ve never heard of Santos. Almost certainly you’ve never heard of her sister city across the estuary, Guarujá. But every Brazilian has.
These cities lie about one hour southeast of the city of São Paulo. Each is situated on a large coastal island, and though each boasts lovely beaches, they are quite different in most other respects. For now, we’ll get to know Santos.
One Of The Best Cities In Brazil—But Don’t Take My Word For It
Santos is a bustling city of about 420,000. It is, in fact, generally conceded to be the busiest port in all of South America, servicing both container and cruise ships.
But Santos isn’t the grimy blue-collar town you might imagine. Around 2010, with the discovery of oil and gas reserves offshore, there was a sudden inrush of white-collar jobs. Also, many of the locals are well-paid professionals who actually work in the city of São Paulo, but who make the commute daily because they prefer to live in Santos.
Santos, in fact, regularly appears on lists of the top cities in Brazil in which to live. In 2016, Santos ranked #6 among the best cities in Brazil as determined by the United Nations, considering factors such as average level of education, life expectancy, and income. Santos was rated in 2021 as the best city in all of Brazil for those 60 and over. In a country where people are given to complaining about the government and services, everyone here speaks highly and proudly of Santos, of its superior services, safety, and high quality of life.
Santos is attractive as well. Nature has blessed her. Here, as in so many cities in southeastern Brazil, morros, those tree-covered cones of granite, so quintessentially Brazilian, nestle along the coastline. Broad beaches are washed by the South Atlantic. The unbroken gardens running along the beach are considered by Guinness to be the largest in the world.
I really like the way Santos organizes its beaches—and I’ve seen plenty here, up and down Brazil’s extensive coastline. The beaches are Brazilian, and yet organized—two words not typically used in conjunction. There are bike lanes, and the calçadão (broad beach sidewalk) for pedestrians. Permanent kiosks serve up seafood and icy-cold beers.
On the weekends, locals and daytrippers throng stalls and pushcarts, which offer everything from handicrafts to churros (wickedly delicious tubes of deep-fried pastry stuffed with chocolate or caramel cream). The beaches are broad, in many stretches a full two city blocks from the calçadão to the water’s edge. You stand surrounded by clutches of beach umbrellas of every color, and the sounds of laughter, volleyball, beach soccer, and, of course, the crash of the waves. Close to the kiosks, the smell of the sea gives way to that of churrasco, Brazilian-style barbecue. Ahhhh…
Paradise? Well, if I’m picky, the sand here has clay in it. It’s grayish in spots and isn’t as sugary soft as over in Guarujá, which we’ll visit soon enough. But there are certainly worse places to hang your hat!
If you tire of the beaches, Santos boasts an aquarium and a number of museums, including ones dedicated to coffee, the navy, fishing, soccer, and one specifically to Pelé, widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time, who played most of his career right here. There are botanical gardens and an orchid park housing a small zoo. You can tour the historic district (Santos dates all the way back to 1546) by streetcar. And there are good restaurants everywhere, offering seafood of course, but really almost any type of cuisine you might want.
Santos has generally fine weather, too. While there are four seasons, even in winter (June to August), daily highs often reach 70°F, and lows rarely fall below 55°F. The intermittent gusts from the south are invigorating. Summers are hot, but not oppressively so, and these days most homes have air conditioning.
Brazil, Only Better
I find myself liking the people here as well. They take pride in their city, and despite the continuing economic crisis in Brazil, the city provides a high level of services, and it is quite evident that the city is well managed, from garbage pickups to bus service to hospitals. You have to give credit to the paulistas for this.
Brazilians universally, if sometimes begrudgingly, acknowledge São Paulo to be the most organized and industrious of all the Brazilian states, and I would have to concur. It doesn’t hurt that Santos is one of the state’s—indeed, the country’s—wealthier cities.
While Santos forges ahead through the economic downturn, there are many apartments currently on the market. Many are second homes or investment properties, and their owners want to unload them. It’s not quite the buyer’s market you’ll find over in Guarujá, but there are definitely deals available.
Getting The Lay Of The Land Around Santos
Santos is located on a large island which it shares with the city of São Vicente—which was the first permanent Portuguese settlement in what would become Brazil.
The most attractive areas lie on the south side of the island, where the beaches are strung along an arc facing the bay and the South Atlantic.
While there are many nice areas here in which to rent or buy, the most desirable bairros (city districts) in my view are Boqueirão, which is centrally located, and Ponta da Praia, to the east, where the estuary empties into the sea. Another bairro to consider is Gonzaga, which includes the central shopping district; it’s convenient to everything, if perhaps a bit noisy. I would avoid the western end of Santos, adjacent São Vicente, as there are two favelas nearby.
Although the beach is undeniably attractive, I suggest also looking at properties one to two blocks inland, for a couple of reasons. The first is that in Santos, buses run along the beach avenue, so unless you get a unit facing away from the beach, you’ll have to contend with traffic noise and also dust if you are on one of the lower floors. And marisia, the salt air, slowly corrodes appliances.
By moving just a couple of blocks away from the beach, you’ll not only avoid these problems, but find cheaper rents, and also lower prices in pharmacies, markets, and restaurants. It’s the same in beach communities everywhere.
It’s a fairly straightforward matter to rent a furnished unit here for 90 days on what is termed a por temporada (for the season) lease. Standard long-term contracts in Brazil are for 30 months, but it is common these days to add a clause which allows the renter out after 12 months with no penalties. Traditionally, property owners have asked for a fiador, or co-signer, for long-term leases, but now most will accept a deposit held in escrow. Surprisingly, many owners actually prefer to rent to foreigners.
Santos has a lot to offer, so it’s not surprising that it’s a bit pricey—by Brazilian standards. But for those with dollars, pounds, or euros, Santos offers the most elusive of beasts: a truly desirable beachside location, at very reasonable prices.
Mexico has become a tourism powerhouse. It totals to over 32 million arrivals, making Mexico the ninth most-visited country in the world… and the second in North America after the Unites States.
The rise in Mexico’s international popularity is due to the efforts of FONATUR (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo), the Mexican government’s tourism investment arm. Think of it as a national fund for tourism development.
FONATUR was created in 1974 to invest in (and incentivize the development of) new infrastructure, hotels, and other tourism-related businesses in designated regions throughout country. These projects are known as Integrally Planned Resort Centers.
First, the agency identifies an intrinsically desirable area in which to create a tourism zone. Then it develops a master-planned community, which includes a residential section for permanent residents complete with schools, hospitals, and markets; a tourist area with hotels, shopping centers, and golf courses; and, in many cases, protected …
Earn A 30% Fixed Return Backed By US$1-Billion Government Fund: An Infinity-Sum Opportunity
In game theory, “zero-sum” is a concept where for someone to win, someone else must lose.
I’ve known sociopaths in business who are only satisfied with a deal if they can screw everyone else out of their share.
These greedy characters are zero-sum operators.
Sometimes I come across an opportunity that’s the opposite of a zero-sum deal.
The opposite of a zero-sum deal is an infinity-sum deal.
These are opportunities where everyone wins. The community wins. The ordinary person wins. The government wins. And you win.
And it’s truly a pleasure to do business this way.
Today, I want to alert you to a developer in Panama who is guaranteeing a 30% ROI in just two years, completely turn-key. You don’t have the hassle of having to renovate, rent, or sell anything. You collect your 30% in two years (or sooner), and you can reinvest your profits again if you like.
The project takes advantage of a US$1-billion government fund set up specifically to support this opportunity.
This deal is designed to provide desperately needed resources to ordinary folks. It builds communities and …
One of the questions I hear most frequently is why I chose to live in Mazatlán, rather than better-known Puerto Vallarta. In fact, even here at Live and Invest Overseas, Puerto Vallarta tends to get more coverage and higher ratings.
So why choose Mazatlán Let’s compare the two.
In Some Ways, Both Destinations Are Similar…
Both Puerto Vallarta (PV) and Mazatlán enjoy choice spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast, with good access to the United States and Canada.
Both cities are long-time tourism destinations, which has both positive and negative consequences. For example, the touristy Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta is about …