Cost of living in the Caribbean

Many people’s idea of a dream would be simply to visit the Caribbean, never mind having the opportunity to live there. It is hard to give an overview of every island in the Caribbean as there are so many, but we can look at a few factors which will influence living costs there.

It is safe to say that your biggest expense living in the Caribbean, as with any country, will be your accommodation. If you are lucky enough to have employment in your new country, then a couple who both earn wages can easily save around 50% of what they earn because the cost of living is so inexpensive. Local produce such as fruit is very cheap to buy and there is plenty of it; imported products will cost a little more than local produce – things such as alcohol, tinned foods etc.

Money will be saved almost everywhere by living in the Caribbean, not just on food shopping but also on travel as public transport is very cheap. And if you have a car, the cost of running it in the Caribbean is very cheap indeed; a fraction of the price it is in the UK, though you will find that scooters and mopeds are more common for the individual.

For retirement destinations, the Caribbean offers many ideal places, such as Dominica, Costa Rica and Panama. Panama uses American Dollars and is very affordable on a pensioner’s income; food and land are cheap and a live-in maid can cost less than $400 per month! There is also a low crime rate and Panama City is modern and developed.

Costa Rica boasts beautiful sandy beaches as well as rich green forests, and is home to people from all over the world. The main language is Spanish, however English is also popular and you could get by with only learning minimal Spanish. The cost of living is cheap, and the main expense will be private medical insurance should you choose to take it, but the Public health system is also available at $50 per month.

Dominica is often considered to be one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. English is the spoken language. The island is safe and secure and has a low crime rate, factors which mean tourists and emigrants alike are making it a regular destination. The island has even been described as a modern day fountain of youth. Dominica is a great place to go if you want to save money as there is no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax and no income tax for money you earn outside the country. Therefore if you are being paid by a UK company but live in Dominica, you will save loads! Agriculture is a large industry, making food very cheap, locally produced products and fresh fruit are in abundance. Property price are also very reasonable here.

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