I saw this question posted on a Belize Expats Facebook page: “Is it possible to make a living in Belize without owning your own business?” It is a question that gets asked over and over again (with slight variations) in all the different Facebook groups because, let’s face it, we’re not all entrepreneurs. Not everyone with the will to move abroad has the means to risk it all on the endeavor, so how does one move to Belize without buying or starting their own business? It IS POSSIBLE, though perhaps not probable, to make a living in Belize without owning a business.
Are you feeling lucky punk?
It happens plenty! Expats luck in to managerial jobs at resorts or restaurants, find bookkeeping gigs, or (it seems overwhelmingly so) get into the real estate game. I won’t say this is the rule; but it’s a common enough exception. It is a risky move but if you don’t have a family in tow and you have a moderate amount of financial leeway then you could give it a chance. Come to Belize on sabbatical and throw out some feelers. Maybe, just maybe, your extended vacation will turn in to something more.
Man, the pandemic was a real game changer. A once small group of digital nomads mostly comprised of young, freelancers, has exploded to include a large part of the workforce. When people began working from home in 2020, they realized they could potentially work from anywhere their computers could go. If you can work online you can live in Belize.
This is actually the preferred scenario- making a North American income while living your Belize life. If you can swing this you will most probably enjoy a higher quality of life than you could hope for as a member of the Belize workforce. You will likely remain on ‘tourist’ status with immigration and pay your monthly extension fees but there is supposed to be a new program for digital nomads (though I’ve never seen it successfully implemented) to live and work in Belize. Read: ‘Work where you vacation’ program explained.
Go back and forth
You’ve probably heard the term “snowbird” used before to describe someone who lives in a Northern climate but relocates to a warmer-weathered locale for several months a year. They’re typically retirees with financial freedom to afford the lifestyle but they don’t necessarily have to be. Potentially anyone could work hard for part of the year in their home country and save up a sizeable chunk of change to live off of for the other part of the year in a cheaper, tropical location. Many rentals in tourist-y areas are fully furnished to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle. Come and go as you please, find rentals as you require them, it’s easy!
I know of several people that make a viable living doing just this; working 3-6 month contracts or seasonal jobs in the US and Canada then spending the other half of the year traveling or relaxing here in Belize. What fun! For singles or couples this could be a great way to ditch the monotony of the corporate world and banish boredom, even if you don’t find it sustainable for the long term it might be great for a few seasons.