The Caribbean is one of the most exotic and affordable travel destinations globally. It consists of endless seas and beaches that make it an excellent place for a vacation. While most people view the Caribbean as a tourist destination, some people find it an ideal place to retire.
Here are 13 of the best places to retire in the Caribbean:
- Roatan, Honduras
- U.S. Virgin Island
- Ambergris Caye, Belize
- Puerto Rico
- Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- The Bahamas
- Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
- Cayman Island
- Saint Lucia
So, if you want to mark a new chapter in your life, the Caribbean has fabulous places where you can stay. Below are the top moving options.
1. Roatan, Honduras
Roatan, Honduras, is located in the western Caribbean. It has recently changed from being a divers’ getaway secret into a liveable island. The hilly green island is only 50 square miles and is skinny and long. It has rich reefs and sea life along with white sand beaches.
The beaches in Roatan are pristine and quiet. If you want to move to a laidback and peaceful place, then Roatan is perfect for you. It is an ideal place to surf and sunbathe.
The island does not have any high-rise developments or spring break. Nonetheless, it does not lack any modern conveniences.
The best thing about Roatan is that you can easily find housing at the most affordable price possible. For instance, a two-bedroom home can cost around $175,000. In addition, you can find a home exactly on the water with no tourists, a quiet neighborhood, and a private gateway.
Also, the island offers one of the most comfortable retirement places available. It has excellent infrastructure, which is constantly improving. Some of the excellent infrastructures present include a hospital with a 24-hour emergency room, specialist care, and a power plant.
The main limitation of living on the island is that life is expensive. It is because you will have to import almost everything. But, compared to other Caribbean Islands, Roatan is one of the most fulfilling places to stay.
A retired couple can live on the island with a budget of $2500 a month. But the cost of living varies among individuals. For example, some may prefer to buy expensive wine while others prefer the most affordable ones. Therefore, it is up to you to find convenient ways to save money.
Roatan consists of a calm environment and vibrant community. There are plenty of restaurants and bars. Thus, there is easy access to entertainment facilities. If you plan to move there for retirement purposes, you will enjoy a laid-back environment.
2. U.S. Virgin Island
The U.S. Virgin Island consists of
- St. Croix
- St. John
- St. Thomas
The island is among the best retirement regions in the Caribbean. The best thing about it is that it allows easy access to and from the mainland US. One does not require a passport to get into the island.
If you are looking for a career change, the island is also perfect. It is because you do not need a work visa to get a job. Furthermore, there are plenty of job opportunities for both the young and retirees. The island is also a very affordable place to stay.
St John has the Trunk Bay beach, which is among the leading and famous beaches in the Caribbean. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the clear water and pearly sand.
Furthermore, 60% of the U.S. Virgin Island is a national park. Thus, if you love nature, the island is perfect for you.
St. Thomas is famous for its fantastic nightlife, tax-free shopping, and lazy days. It has several coconut groves and a perfect beach, making it an excellent relaxing spot.
St. Croix mainly consists of residential homes. Also, the residential area has an incredible view and golf courses. If you are looking for a high-end place to retire, then St. Croix is perfect for you. However, the homes here are a little expensive compared to those found on Roatan Island.
However, one of the best things about the U.S. Virgin Island is the easy access to flights. It ensures that you can travel to and from the island as often as you wish.
3. Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye is an English-speaking island in Belize. It is 25 miles long, making it Belize’s largest island. The Belize barrier Reef makes the island a perfect spot for divers. It is a natural habitat of several marine life and living coral.
The island is currently experiencing significant growth. It has access to almost all the relevant infrastructure amenities. Therefore, it is an excellent place to retire.
The internet, cell phone coverage, water, and power supply are reliable. You can also find almost all the daily living necessities on the island. Furthermore, easily accessible flights and water taxis make it easy to visit Belize city for shopping trips.
There is also easy access to entertainment amenities such as excellent bars and restaurants, making retirees’ social life more enjoyable.
If you own a home in Ambergris, you can live with $2,000 and below. But if you do not, $3,000 per month can cover rent and other expenses. The affordability of the cost of living ensures that you can comfortably enjoy your retirement.
If you had been working too much in life, then the relaxing environment in Ambergris is perfect for you. The fresh and clean air ensures that you can take a moment and enjoy life. In addition, it is a very stress-relieving environment.
The island’s natural beauty and the active community have so much to offer retirees. It ensures that one can get the most out of life.
4. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is home to Spanish speakers. Therefore, moving to Puerto Rico is an excellent option if you want to learn that fantastic language. In addition, it is a superb place for retirees to stay. Retirees who stay there get exempted from capital gains, interests, dividends, and taxes.
The various incentives make Puerto Rico a perfect home for retirees to move. Puerto Rico hosts many American citizens. Although the citizens there do not have a right to vote in the presidential elections, they can qualify for the incentives.
One of the best things about the island is that Medicare, the currency, and electric plugs are similar to those present in the US. Therefore, one is guaranteed access to the amenities and the currency they need.
Puerto Rico has several US designer chains and many other staple companies, such as:
Therefore, retirees are always guaranteed to get something they are accustomed to. Furthermore, the availability of various US chains means that moving to Puerto Rico would not let you miss out on your favorite pastimes.
The bioluminescent bays, golf courses, sandy beaches, bars, cafes, and cobblestone streets make it an exciting place to live. The island is an affordable and reasonable retirement destination for most retirees. In addition, it has access to over 100 daily flights, making it easy to access.
Barbados is an English-speaking island. It was colonized by the British and still maintains its Commonwealth status. Many places in Barbados accept the US currency. However, the most commonly used currency on the island is the Barbadian dollar.
It has excellent health care, beautiful beaches, a stable economy, friendly people, several apartments, and rentals, making Barbados a famous retirement region.
The island’s location is on the east side of the Caribbean. The excellent position keeps it away from the hurricane path.
One of the best merits of moving to Barbados for retirement is that retirees can get immigration status if there is proof of income. Furthermore, retirees are accountable for income tax. But those above the age of 60 are allowed large allowances.
In addition, foreigners can also buy permanent property in Barbados. Therefore, if you want to take up the Caribbean as your permanent residence, Barbados is perfect for you.
6. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres is a laid-back island. The island’s peaceful nature makes it a fabulous destination for any retiree. Furthermore, it is a good place for anyone who wishes to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and work life.
The island offers some of the best tourist activities, such as:
- swimming with dolphins
- water sports
- coral diving
Tourist activities can be a good way to relax and provide a great way to spend your free time as a retiree.
Another important thing to note is that the cost of living in Isla Mujeres is significantly cheaper than in the US. You can rent a two-bedroom house for around $1,000. If you are looking forward to buying a condo, you can purchase one as affordable as $230,000.
The affordability of housing makes it a good retirement destination. Furthermore, easy access to social amenities and infrastructure makes it convenient for permanent living.
7. The Bahamas
The Bahamas consists of English-speaking individuals. Therefore, if you decide to move there, you will not need to learn any new language.
The cost of a one-bedroom accommodation in the Bahamas is cheaper compared to those present at America’s seaside.
The Bahamas has a bustling business industry. Therefore, there is good money circulation in the market, which means that it is an excellent place to work. If you wish to move because of a career change, the Bahamas is perfect for you.
On a side note, it’s worth noting that if you marry a local, you can easily purchase a permanent residency. You can also get capital gains and income tax exemptions. Those who buy pricey properties are usually given speedy considerations in the exemptions.
8. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Columbus once said that Las Terrenas is one of the most beautiful islands, a piece of heaven. The island has world-class beaches, excellent weather, stable government, and low living costs. It is not very far from New York if you travel by plane.
Las Terrenas’ proximity to New York ensures that you can conveniently travel between the two places. Also, you can take up permanent residence there.
In addition, Las Terrenas has a newly designed golf course that makes it a paradise for sports enthusiasts.
Thirty years ago, the island was only a fishing village. But, the settling of 6,000 Italians and French paved the way for infrastructure developments, such as the power supply.
The small-town feel is still there to date. If you want to get away from the city, Las Terrenas is a good place for you.
The properties there are relatively affordable. A one-bedroom apartment can cost around $99,500. So a retired couple can survive on the island for about $3,000 a month. Furthermore, it has easy access to social amenities, making it a good destination in the Caribbean.
Curacao is a good retirement area for anyone who loves a vibrant city. It welcomes the presence of retirees by allowing them to live there without the need to acquire a permit. Those who have an expired license do not need to renew it.
The only items that a retiree needs to have to relocate to Curacao are the following:
- an excellent behavior certificate
- a US passport
- sufficient income for health and house insurance.
The few restrictions present make it a superb retirement destination.
The island has stunning beaches, a diverse community, good infrastructure, and excellent social amenities. It also allows for retirees to participate in activities, such as cave exploration, diving, biking, and golfing.
Curacao imposes taxes on only about 10% of one’s income and has no capital gains taxes. The minimal taxation makes the cost of living relatively affordable.
Furthermore, it has one of the best hospitals in the Caribbean, the St. Elizabeth Hospital, making it safe and ideal for retirees with health concerns.
Some of the hot spots to buy a house are Pietermaai, Jan Thiel Beach, and the non-touristy west side. Of course, you can always try to get a nice and quiet house near the beach.
Anguilla is present in the eastern Caribbean. It has an alluring natural beauty, sandy beaches, luxurious resorts, water sports, and vibrant nightlife.
Anguilla is not suitable for anyone who is budget-conscious. On the other hand, it attracts anyone who wishes to use the tax benefits available. There are no capital gains levies, VAT taxes, or income taxes in Anguilla.
Residents in Anguilla need to use a ferry to travel to St. Maarten to get supplies. Unfortunately, it has only one hospital. Therefore, one should get private insurance that offers transportation to nearby cities or the US.
The island welcomes retirees by encouraging them to buy real estate with a special license. Rentals are also available to them. In addition, some residents speak English fluently, making it a warm and accommodating island.
If you are a small-town vibe lover, Nevis is perfect for you. It has no tax on capital gains, foreign income, and inheritance, thus making it a desirable place to stay. Nevis also has an investment program specifically meant for high net-worth retirees.
The investment program allows for retirees to easily buy real estate. Furthermore, the great restaurants, good beaches, relaxing vibe, and sense of community make it incredibly attractive.
12. Cayman Island
Cayman Island consists of
- Little Cayman
- Cayman Brac
- Grand Cayman
The island has high-end restaurants, friendly tax systems, superb diving amenities, and plenty of shopping. But, the cost of living in Cayman is a bit high. Thus, it is suitable for retirees with plenty of savings. In addition, it has excellent real estate options for retirees with a good retirement portfolio.
One of the most attractive features of Cayman Island is the healthcare system. It has Caribbean medical tourism that makes it friendly to retirees.
13. Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia boasts scenic views and relaxing activities that make it an excellent retirement spot.
The cost of living in Saint Lucia is relatively lower than the other places in the Caribbean. Furthermore, there is no inheritance tax, capital gain tax, and wealth tax. There are also tax breaks that encourage foreigners to visit.
One of the easiest ways to get to Saint Lucia is through the citizenship by investment program. However, many American retirees initially get a multiple entry visa as they try to test the waters before deciding to move into Saint Lucia for good.
Factors To Consider Before Moving to the Caribbean
Availability of Amenities
The decision to retire in the Caribbean needs serious thought. Not all amenities, such as good hospitals, are present on all the islands. Therefore, before you move, make a list of the necessary amenities and choose an island that matches your needs.
Cost of Living
Different islands in the Caribbean have varying costs of living. Some islands are suitable for the high net-worth retirees and others for the middle-income earners. Before you move, ensure to research the expected cost of living.
Weather in the Caribbean is usually breezy and moderate. However, there may be times when it gets too humid for elderly people with health concerns. Also, tropical climates can lead to dangerous and destructive storms. Therefore, ensure that you are ready for the environment.
Not all parts of the Caribbean have English speakers. Therefore, if you are planning to move permanently, it can be helpful to learn other languages such as Spanish. Even though it is not necessary to know the local language, blending in can be beneficial.
You can check out this Easy Spanish Step-By-Step book on Amazon.com. It provides an easy-to-learn approach and has excellent consumer ratings.
Apart from the stunning beaches, the Caribbean is also known for its crime rates. Poverty in the Caribbean has encouraged issues, such as gang activity, narcotics, and violent crimes. The intensity of the crime rates depends on the island. Thus, before you move, consider the safety levels.