Expat to the Caribbean...

Old Jun 18, 15, 11:42 am
  #1  
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Expat to the Caribbean...

Hello all,

I hope this is the right place to post this.

Since we will soon have sold all our properties and companys we want to decide where to expat and settle down... we like the Caribbeans so this is were we want to be... (SE Asia would be nice as well as long as there are really big advantages).

This decision shall be made considering that we will be renting an avarage house or condo and we need:

1) good hostpitals
2) low taxes on capital gains (stock exchange/dividends)
3) citizenship by birth (2016 will be baby time !!!)
4) 75,000 USD per year net must be enough for rent, living, health, etc (see 2.)
5) good schools will be relevant in 6 years, therefore unimportant as for now

My research gives me the following results (random order), but not sure if accurate and up to date.

- St. Lucia
- Grenada
- Dominica
- Belize

As well as:

- Panama
- Uruguay

What places do you personally think might be the best considering our expectations?
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Old Jun 21, 15, 9:51 pm
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Puerto Rico, read up on acts 20 and 22
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Old Jun 22, 15, 6:34 pm
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There are better internet forums to ask these questions. (Google expat and forum.)

I actually considered these questions myself a few years ago. Islands are expensive, but if you are set on going to an island, look at Puerto Rico or the DR. On the mainland, Panama might be a good choice. Reasonable English, good hospitals, lower living costs, etc. Next best... Belize? Frequent flights to MIA, English speaking, but schools aren't great.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 6:41 pm
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Are you planning to work or to retire at what seems to be a very early age if you're planning to have kids? Is the $75K per year income from investments? I would assume so from the way you ask about taxes and the lack of questions about job opportunities, although one can of course work long distance in many occupations. Also, it sounds like you don't plan to buy any real estate, even a condo?
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Old Jul 5, 15, 3:39 pm
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So many wealthy people moving to Puerto Rico for the act 20/22 benefits.

in a nutshell if you move there and live there a total of 6 months in a calendar year your tax bill goes to 4%.

Dorado Beach Real Estate prices are climbing !
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Old Jul 5, 15, 3:49 pm
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What about Florida?
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Old Jul 6, 15, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by 747 View Post
So many wealthy people moving to Puerto Rico for the act 20/22 benefits.

in a nutshell if you move there and live there a total of 6 months in a calendar year your tax bill goes to 4%.

Dorado Beach Real Estate prices are climbing !
Does that include US income taxes as well?
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Old Jul 7, 15, 6:41 am
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I think your biggest concern is going to be medical care. Hospitals and the amount and type of medical care is often below what you expect. I know in the Caribbean there are few places that have any type of vascular services, and that includes putting in a PICC line, which is considered a basic practice in hospitals in the US.

You may look at Barbados since their hospital system looks fairly large. Belize and Costa Rica (while not islands might still be options) also have "largish" expat communities which sometimes means more options.

The US or British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands will have better infrastructure and proably good educational options.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
Does that include US income taxes as well?
To oversimplify it: Open a company in PR, get paid through it, and live there at least six months/yr.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by mkt View Post
To oversimplify it: Open a company in PR, get paid through it, and live there at least six months/yr.
I was wondering about retirement income ... oh well.
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Old Jul 9, 15, 3:25 pm
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Puerto Rico is a place I would not recommend for many reasons. It's wonderful to visit there for a couple of weeks. However things get complicated really quick, even if you try to avoid it when living there. If I may let's go down your list to see if it qualifies.

1) good hospitals - Negative - it's a struggle to find decent care in a clean hospital.

2) low taxes on capital gains (stock exchange/dividends) - This is a very difficult question to answer. Because of the laws and in between political status of the island you will need a good lawyer and accountant to help you get a clear answer if this would be a benefit in your particular case or not.

3 ) Citizenship by birth - It's a US territory and there is no such thing as Puerto Rican Citizenship. So for all legal intents and purposes, it is the same as being born in any US state.

4) 75,000 USD per year net must be enough for rent, living, health, etc (see 2.) It depends what standard of living you are expecting. On the par, from my experience, the standard of living in Puerto Rico is LOWER than what you would expect from a similar income on the mainland. There are exceptions, but be expected to pay a premium price if you want to live in a decent house and nice neighborhood.

5) good schools will be relevant in 6 years, therefore unimportant as for now - Private schools would be your only choice for a decent education. And even then you would have to carefully pick.

This is just from my own personal experience having lived there for a few years. Even though I know some that enjoy living in PR, most statesiders will tell you that the USVI is a much better choice to live in the Carib. If you want some more insight please feel free to send me a PM.
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Old Jul 23, 15, 4:26 pm
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Thanks a lot for the replies. I kept on reading and searching. Yes I'm planning to retire even if I'm kind of young. But should I see a remunerative business I might try... But I'm not into taking major risks anymore.

Yes the 75k$ p.a. are due to investments therefore the very low tax of some Caribbean islands are a very big bonus.

We just bought the tickets to St. Lucia spending a few weeks over there trying to gain a very first impression.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by tortellini View Post
Thanks a lot for the replies. I kept on reading and searching. Yes I'm planning to retire even if I'm kind of young. But should I see a remunerative business I might try... But I'm not into taking major risks anymore.

Yes the 75k$ p.a. are due to investments therefore the very low tax of some Caribbean islands are a very big bonus.

We just bought the tickets to St. Lucia spending a few weeks over there trying to gain a very first impression.
There's one other factor not mentioned so far and that's boredom.
Caribbean islands are fine for a vacation but even on the best of these islands ( and there are many where services are rudimentary and crime rates unappealing ) you quickly run out of things to see and do.
Now there's nothing wrong in doing nothing all the time,particularly when you're retired after bringing up a family.You deserve it.
But if you're young and haven't even started a family and are thinking about month in,month out with few people of your own age,background and upbringing to relate to and with a constant fear of serious crime which you'll quickly become aware exists throughout the region and which you never hear about on vacation.? Why do you think most islands now feature mostly AI resorts behind fences ?
I'd seriously consider taking a six month rental to include the off-season to get an idea of how dull some of these places are.
I even get bored after ten days on holiday in St Lucia.Oh please,not another rum punch !

Last edited by Clint Bint; Jul 24, 15 at 5:20 am
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Old Jul 26, 15, 12:29 am
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Hello again and thanks for the replies.

This question goes out to the ones having spent quite some time in the Caribbean, ideally working and living there.

If you would have to choose from the following list, which island would you choose in terms of:

- good (above average) hospital
- good infrastructure

Bahamas (not Caribbean I know)
Bermuda
Cayman
Guadalupe
Tobago
Martinique
St. Thomas
Puerto Rico
Dominica
Aruba
Barbados
Curacao
St. Croix
St. Martin
Grenada
St. Kittis
Antigua Barbuda
St. Lucia
Turks & Caicos
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Old Jul 26, 15, 6:29 am
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Bermuda has very good infrastructure and medical care. It is nor cheap by any means.

Cayman has a good medical infrastructure but not as good as Bermuda. Both places will not be "cheap". The money is tied to the US dollar.

St Thomas is in the US Virgin Islands and the hospital system is questionable. You can find private doctors and most specialists. You are close to Miami/Ft Lauderdale and can fly there for any non-emergent medical needs.

Tobaga is very small. Not sure about medical care but Trinidad is a major island in the Caribbean. The medical care will be more extensive there than many of the other islands.

Barbados is faurly well developed with a good (for the islands) medical care.

Have you considered Mexico? Maybe the Yucatan or Cozumel? There are plenty of expats and the infrastructure is in place.
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