01 October, 2017

What's It Cost - 2017 Update

This posting was prompted by an email from Eric. He and his wife are interested in possibly moving down here and he wanted to know some of the costs of living here. It had been a few years since I looked that sort of stuff up, so I thought I'd go ahead and make an updated blog posting about it.

Finding out what things might cost down here can be quite hard, at least until you actually are here and thrashing through the bush with the rest of us.

I've written about this a few times on the blog, and I've provided some links to the previous postings for you to follow up on.

To start with I picked this one:
http://www.winjama.net/search/label/Cost%20of%20Goods Can I Really Live on $200 A Month Down There? Posted on 15 January 2016, so it is still quite current in the figures I've used.
Coin of the Realm
Next, is this post:
http://www.winjama.net/2007/07/it-costs-how-much.html It Costs How Much? Posted 12 July 2007. I wrote this one after we had only been here for a couple of months. I think you'll be able to extrapolate costs listed by comparing the cost of Post Office Box Rental for one year, of $32.50 BZD in 2007. Now, the same Post Office box costs $40 BZD per year.
Checking the Mail
So you can see that things have gone up, some more than others. But, I think it's fairly consistent overall. for example, a loaf of whole wheat bread cost $1.00 BZD in 2007. Now, it's about $1.70 a loaf.

Finally, a look at construction costs:
http://www.winjama.net/search/label/Construction%20Costs. So, What's It All Cost? This one was posted 04 February 2010.

There have been some additions to the construction costs. We extensively redid our swimming pool, deck, and awning (cost, approx. $66,000 BZD). We also made a large addition to the pool house (which became our primary residence  (cost, approx. $140,000 BZD). We finished up with a couple of projects, a small utility storage shed (cost, approx. $14,000 BZD), and a driveway addition (cost, approx. $2,000 BZD for 30-yards of gravel and hiring a Bobcat).
The  Bobcat At Work
Grand total for property and construction is approximately $260,000 USD.

We paid for it all a little bit here, a little bit there, pulling from our IRAs, my deferred compensation portion of my state retirement, and having lucked out a couple of years before we moved here when we sold our house in Olympia at about the height of the market. As a result, we have no mortgage. We own the place free and clear. Oh, yes, and our property taxes are a whopping $400 BZD per year.

Just so you don't think that we're part of that 1% crowd - Dianna and I worked most of our adult life. Between us, we've owned one new car, a Gremlin, which I bought in 1970 for $2,400 US.
Mine was Big Bad Orange
We've owned four or five houses, making payments on them. Belize is the only place where we've actually held the title to our property (or Land Certificate, as it's called here).

I hope all this helps with your planning and decision process. Would we change anything or do things differently? I don't think so. We've been comfortable with our decisions, and still enjoy living here. I think we're pretty happy.

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