Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Where to ER in the Caribbean?
Old 12-27-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 31
Where to ER in the Caribbean?

I'd like to hear about your experiences or thoughts on which Caribbean island(s) are best for permenant residence in ER. I'm limiting to Caribbean mostly for easy access back to the states and the tropical lifestyle. Consider healthcare, cost of living, economic stability, laws regarding expats and all the other things you may value in a decision like this. I'd also consider the FL keys in the discussion which would eliminate a lot of the expat issues.
__________________

__________________
hopeisnotaplan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-27-2015, 11:56 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,725
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I think you have to tell us what you want. Caribbean versus Florida Keys sounds like you are not sure what you are looking for beyond warm weather. British heritage? Or Spanish, French, Dutch?
__________________

__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 12:08 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,585
Ever been to the Keys? Better yet ever been to the Keys with a hurricane headed in?

FIL built their dream home on Marathon Key, look East to the Atlantic, West for the Gulf
Beautiful home in paradise.

Then came hurricane Andrew, while it didn't come ashore there, FIL/MIL were out of the Keys in six months. Seems even with all lanes going North there was nowhere to run to. BIL flew down in a single engine plane to rescue them. He wasn't amused, flying VFR into a hurricane.
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 12:39 PM   #4
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
I think you have to tell us what you want. Caribbean versus Florida Keys sounds like you are not sure what you are looking for beyond warm weather. British heritage? Or Spanish, French, Dutch?
I didn't say too much about what I wanted because I think it would limit the responses to a more narrow lane. I'm really interested in what those who have lived it or researched the topic in prep for ER find important.

Since you asked though...scuba, golf, great food...ability to at least converse in English without too much trouble. (I'm not asking posters to use these criteria...that's just a little about my lifestyle)
__________________
hopeisnotaplan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 01:13 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,320
First thing I'd do is check the crime stats, (especially involving expats), on any Caribbean island you might consider relocating to.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 01:48 PM   #6
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
I would consider Belize before many of the Caribbean islands, honestly. We have a friend who retired there and has had a good transition. He gets health care on trips home (veteran) but really has a great lifestyle down there.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 07:10 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,725
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Belize also offers the chance to drive there (as does all of Mexico, at least half of whose coast is Carribbean) but for English, Key West, Barbados and St Lucia are top of list. There is also the Virgin Islands.

As a speculation, Cuba might be interesting.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 09:54 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Belize also offers the chance to drive there (as does all of Mexico, at least half of whose coast is Carribbean) but for English, Key West, Barbados and St Lucia are top of list. There is also the Virgin Islands.



As a speculation, Cuba might be interesting.

St. John USVI is beautiful, quiet, and basically crime free which is a strike contradiction to the crime ridden sisters of USVI. Rather expensive to own there though. May have to pack you in ice with a heart attack and hope you make to STT hospital in time though as they only have a clinic on island.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 10:38 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
mpeirce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus area
Posts: 1,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeisnotaplan View Post
I'd like to hear about your experiences or thoughts on which Caribbean island(s) are best for permenant residence in ER. I'm limiting to Caribbean mostly for easy access back to the states and the tropical lifestyle. Consider healthcare, cost of living, economic stability, laws regarding expats and all the other things you may value in a decision like this. I'd also consider the FL keys in the discussion which would eliminate a lot of the expat issues.
Maybe it's just me, but since you are an American citizen I'd favor American territory. Dealing with foreign laws and practices seems like a big deal, especially in the unlikely, but possible case were something goes wrong.

Given that, I'd rank the keys highest simply because of logistics. There something to be said for just having a truck delivery your stuff and supplies to you. Likewise, buying things is so much cheaper and easier on (virtually) the US mainland.

Next I'd choose St John. If it's within your budget you couldn't find a nicer location. The people there are friendly. Crime isn't the problem it is in some other spots. Its beaches are simply amazing. The views are fantastic. If I could afford it, I'd buy a winter house there.

The other USVIs are nice, but not as nice as St John. Crime can be an issue depending on exactly where you are. Beaches and views are still quite spatular.

Porto Rico is a bit of a governmental basket case. This leads to many other problems. Still, it's still the US and if you speak spanish, a less risky spot than many others in the caribbean.
__________________
mpeirce is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
I am not a knowledgeable Carribean guy, but from what I know it seems way overpriced for what you get in terms of quality, safety and lifestyle. When you say you want to be close to the US, do you mean close to Nashville? I would carefully think about how often I was going to visit and how long it really takes me to get to where I want to go. What I mean is that there (hypothetically) might be a daily non-stop from Cartagena to Nashville, and even though it's further, it may not be much more expensive or time-intensive to get there than getting from an expensive local airport in the Carribean with connecting flights.

When I retired I thought I would love the beach lifestyle. But I found that I quickly got bored and decided not to seek that out -- although like most I like living near a beach, I realized it was nothing essential for me personally.

I know these are just my personal opinions that may not apply, but just trying to add some food for thought.
__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 12:33 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,725
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer View Post
When I retired I thought I would love the beach lifestyle. But I found that I quickly got bored and decided not to seek that out -- although like most I like living near a beach, I realized it was nothing essential for me personally...
Yes we live in PV but not on the beach. The only time we visit the beach for the day is when our holiday friends visit from up north. Besides climate, we would recommend you check out the infrastructure for expat groups that are suitable. This can make a huge difference in how much you like a place. Language becomes secondary when the English-speaking community is large enough.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 12:43 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,732
Private Island, then you can set your own rules.

Otherwise, Panama while not an island is supposed to be a great retirement country.
__________________
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 01:28 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Cobra9777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,132
Check out Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. It's very popular with expats from Europe and is starting to be discovered by Americans as well. I have a good friend who bought a condo right on the beach. He lives there 6 months each year and rents it the rest of the time, which supposedly covers all his costs. He's very happy there and talks about it incessantly. We've never been but we'll probably make a trip to stay with him next year.
__________________
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.0% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
Cobra9777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 02:53 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeisnotaplan View Post
I'd like to hear about your experiences or thoughts on which Caribbean island(s) are best for permenant residence in ER. I'm limiting to Caribbean mostly for easy access back to the states and the tropical lifestyle. Consider healthcare, cost of living, economic stability, laws regarding expats and all the other things you may value in a decision like this. I'd also consider the FL keys in the discussion which would eliminate a lot of the expat issues.
boat. see them all, stay a while.
__________________
dallas27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 03:25 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 202
We are considering St. Croix and will head back there in fall, 2016 to look for locations. Planning on retiring in mid-2016. Thinking of living in St. Croix 3 months per year and will likely rent. Why St. Croix:

1. It is a US Virgin Island
2. Prices less than St. John
3. It is a Caribbean Island with many of the US amenities.
__________________
phil1ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 03:51 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,093
I've visited virtually every major island in the Caribbean, and there's no better weather in the world.

But I'd be moving to Puerto Rico. Flights to Miami and Atlanta are relatively inexpensive with Southwest Air flying in there. Your present pharmacies and health care providers are probably there. Restaurants you're familiar with on the mainland are also there. It's just a easy place to live.

Although Puerto Rico has large unemployment, I do appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of their citizens. Give them a canopy and a gas grill and they're running a roadside restaurant. With a large ice cooler and 2 cases of water and they're selling water at stop lights. They'll do anything to make a living.

What tickles me is that just about all young Puerto Ricans speak Spanish and English. Then you run into the families raising their kids in 100% English. And you run into families that don't speak a word of English--even though they're watching Miami television every night.

Puerto Ricans are different from people on the mainland--operating on slow time. I once saw one gentleman stop his car in the middle of a major 4 lane highway and walk into a bank--leaving a long line of cars. It's just quite a unique place. And the inland Puerto Rico is very, very beautiful.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 04:45 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeisnotaplan View Post
I'd like to hear about your experiences or thoughts on which Caribbean island(s) are best for permenant residence in ER. I'm limiting to Caribbean mostly for easy access back to the states and the tropical lifestyle. Consider healthcare, cost of living, economic stability, laws regarding expats and all the other things you may value in a decision like this. I'd also consider the FL keys in the discussion which would eliminate a lot of the expat issues.
which Caribbean Islands have you visited?
__________________
HadEnuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 202
Bamaman, I also like PR. In fact we are heading there Saturday for 5 days (Fajardo). However, I understand given the financial difficulties they are having they have imposed an 11.5% sales tax on many items. Also, they are experiencing substantial population loss which will result in property devaluation. I am sure this will all stabilize in 5-10 years but I would be concerned about buying anything there. At some point this will be a buying opportunity. Don't know when that point will be. One of the things I intend to look at is real estate values. Have been there many times in the past and I am curious where prices are now. Similar issue occurred on St. Croix 3-4 years ago when Exxon/Mobil closed on the island. I think it was the largest employer.
__________________
phil1ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2015, 06:57 AM   #19
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
which Caribbean Islands have you visited?
Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, St Croix and St John.
__________________
hopeisnotaplan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2015, 07:13 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeisnotaplan View Post
Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, St Croix and St John.
I've been to a few of those places, as well as Costa Rica and PR...and had myself plenty of fantasies about living in a few of them..

I don't think I could pull the trigger on full time residence in a 3rd world country as an expat...

How about you? Any of those places seem like a place you could LIVE, as opposed to visit on a vacation junket?

My son fantasized about living in Hawaii, and tried it and found that living in a place like that is completely different from being on vacation in a place like that. His experience more or less confirmed what I'd thought I'd feel like.
__________________

__________________
HadEnuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruising The Caribbean ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 17 03-03-2005 05:08 AM
Back in the Caribbean..... Finally. ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 3 11-22-2004 03:09 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:48 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.