A guide to retiring to the Caribbean
For years, many have dreamt of retiring to the tropical paradise of the Caribbean and when you look at what the islands have to offer – it should be no surprise. First things first – the weather. Although some of the islands can experience tropical storms and hurricanes, the majority of the time it is nothing but sun, sun, sun! This means that you will benefit from a far healthier, outdoors lifestyle and the climate will do wonders for those aches and pains.
- Acquire an estimate of your state pension so that you can work out how much you will have to live on each month.
- Ask HM Revenue and Customs for information on your tax liability on any income over your UK personal allowance. Be mindful of the fact that UK tax payable from abroad can vary quite significantly from country to country.
- Seek independent tax advice about the benefits of offshore banking – it could make a big difference to your savings.
- Find out about your welfare rights abroad. Some UK benefits aren’t payable outside of the UK, others apply only in the EU or in countries which have reciprocal agreements with the UK. It is important that you know what your situation is.
- Investigate healthcare costs in the country you are planning on retiring to. If you have a chronic condition, make sure that the service you require is available.
- If you are not entitled to any healthcare benefits, it is vital that you take out insurance to cover all private medical and dental treatment and it is worth including medical repatriation to the UK in your policy.
- If you decide to split your time between the Caribbean and your property in the UK, work out how best to secure it if it will be empty for a number of months at a time. Also remember to inform your mortgage lenders and insurers that you are going to be elsewhere.
- Notify your utilities companies of your imminent departure and provide them with a forwarding address so that they can send on any refunds that you could quite possibly be entitled to.
- Contact your local Council Taxation organisation, the Electoral Register, your banks and building societies and make sure all mail will be forwarded to your new address.