Guest Author - Jim Fortune
I remember my first trip to Hawaii. It was in the middle of the summer three years after we got married. When we got married we did not have a lot of money saved in the bank. Heck, I didn't even have a job. So we put off the honeymoon for a while until we could afford to go. This was before credit cards. It was back when people used to pay cash for things and saved money to go on vacation. We went to a travel agent and we picked out a trip to Oahu, not even knowing that the other, smaller islands were probably better choices for just a little extra money.
Off we went, stopping at LAX (Los Angeles Airport) before taking the flight to Oahu. At the Oahu airport, right off the plane, after receiving our fresh lei, we signed up for a time share presentation, because if you went and listened, they offered a free rental car coupon good for one day with unlimited miles.
We decided that once we got to the hotel, the first thing we wanted to do was to take off our shoes and walk on the beach barefoot. The beach was very nice, even though it was crowded everywhere we went.
My sister in law was living in Hawaii at the time and gave us a list of places where we could get really good drinks and eat snacks at the bar for free. First on the list was The Outrigger. An ice cold Mai Tai with fresh coconut juice and shaved coconut on a fresh pineapple slice - yum, yum. We took the drinks out to the sand and sat on beach chairs.
That's when it hit me. How many times have you been someplace and thought this place is really beautiful. I could retire here. Being in my twenties, this was a crazy thought, but it makes you stop and think about "that" day.
When I got back home, I started looking for places where I could retire. I have yet to beat the choices that Belize has to offer:
• 1. Everyone speaks English
• 2. It is close to the US, if I need to get back in a hurry, the flight to Houston or Miami takes two to three hours
• 3. There seem to be lots of doctors - over 100 - so healthcare, when I get older, will not be a problem
• 4. They have about 400,000 people in an area the size of New Jersey, so I am not living on top of everyone else
• 5. They have satellite hook ups for phone and Internet
• 6. The weather is mild and warm all year round. In the last century they only had 6 hurricanes.
• 7. There is no income tax on your pension
• 8. You can own your own business
I could go on, but you get the idea. You can retire there if you are 45 years of age or more and be able to put $2000 into a Belize bank account each month.
So this is the place where you will find me when I retire, right? The bottom line is that I will probably not retire in Belize when "that" day comes. Retirement is at least ten years away for me. And now that it is something that I see other people my age or older doing, I have been looking at two places that hold more appeal for us; Mexico and Italy.
Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
Jim Fortune - Bella Budget Travel Guy