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Trip Report living at Cayman Island

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Hi all,
I received an offer for a job position at Grand Cayman in IT sector, but I am not sure if it will be worthwhile to move because I don't know anything about cost of living at Cayman.
The salary would range around 60.000 CI, I am wondering if it would be enough for a family of 3 persons.
Could anybody give me some clarification about cost of living at Cayman, I mean cost of accomodation, food and more.
thanks in advance

  • Report Abuse couple of good sites for you

    That is about $71,000 USD certainly doable if careful.

    Do a fair amount of business down there not cheap

    Check on the stability of your employer carefully

    many shysters scammers unstable fiancial institutions there

    In these days of impending Greek default all Banks with

    significant ties there have lots 50% in value over the last

    few weeks big Feanch Banks are down 10% just today so far...

    Would not want to get last hired first fired...

    Pretty scary out there so caveat emptor...

  • Report Abuse

    I have a home on a different island but much of what I can tell you applies pretty much universally throughout the Caribbean. In general, the biggest "Catch-22" of living in the Caribbean is wages are lower and cost of living is higher than they are for comparable positions/work where you now live (except if you happen to live in places like Monaco). Housing is very high as are utility bills (especially electricity - many moderate income earners forego using air conditioning because of the high cost) and you'll find groceries will run you 25% to 30% more than you now pay.

    Simply put, you are going to need a substantial increase (think in terms of 35% to 40% increase) from your current salary in order to maintain the same life style you do now. Many people have the mistaken impression they can live "simply" on an island. They invasion themselves living in a quaint cottage by the sea dining on fresh fish they caught themselves and eating fruit they picked from the trees in their yard and sitting under a palm tree sipping pina coladas in their spare time. Nothing can be further from the truth. Living on an island is far different than visiting on vacation. Everything is expensive, you often have to go to 3 or 4 different stores just to get the basic items on your shopping list only to find a third of the items didn't arrive this week so you do without. When your refrigerator breaks down it may take the repair man 2 or 3 days to show up (but don't expect them to call) and another two weeks for them to get the part shipped in from the US meanwhile you have no refrigeration.

    Another thing to consider, if you have children you might have to send them to private school as the public education systems on many islands leave a lot to be desired (I don't know if that's the case on Grand Cayman so you should check it out before making any final decision).

    The best piece of advice I can give you is don't make a decision about relocating to any island until, at the very least, you (and your spouse) make a Pre-Move Visit. Don't go as a tourist but rather stay in a small efficiency unit or condo where you have to prepare your own meals, do your own laundry,, etc. Go grocery shopping, check out the other stores to find out what is and is not available on the island, go to the bank and stand in a long line to cash a check, go to the utility company and stand in a long line while you simulate paying your electric bill, go to the phone company and stand in a long line while you check out the costs for service (you get the idea - long lines everywhere), spend time checking out the cost of housing to see what you can afford on your expected salary (it may not be anything near as good as back home), try driving around during the morning/afternoon rush hours (yes there are rush hours) to see what commuting is like and while you are at it figure out where you might park you car when you get to work - parking can be very limited if you happen to be working in the downtown area. Visit the car dealerships an find out how much you'll have to spend to get a car - you'll need one and they are VERY expensive.

    Drive around the island two, three or even four times during your visit and focus on how small it really is because you may end up living there full time. Many people develop "rock fever" - they feel very constricted living on a place that's small - Grand Cayman has a land mass of only 75 sq. miles and there are not that many roads. In other words, after a while there's no place to go.

    Now this is very important and may sound harsh but it's to help you put things in perspective: IF YOU CAN"T AFFORD TO MAKE THE PRE-MOVE VISIT than you probably won't be able to afford living on the island. Living in the Caribbean is not easy nor is it for those on a strict budget.

    One more hint - visit the Virgin Island Relocation website ( and read everything there (there's so much information it will take you a month).the website is geared toward living/working in the the USVI's but 90% of what you'll read there applies to any island in the Caribbean.

    Do your research first hand. You are considering a very big, life altering move. Make sure you are well informed. Good luck following your dream

  • Report Abuse

    This website will provide just about all the information a person considering a move to Cayman would need. It includes, immigration details, real life cost of living expense examples: food, rent, electricity, children's schooling, etc..with various scenarios to help highlight options.

    The advice to visit first is spot on. Grand Cayman has many of the same modern conveniences or pitfalls (depending on your point of view) someone living in North American or Western Europe would be familiar with: Automated Teller Machines, Gas Stations (Self of Full-serve), internet bill pay for utilities, etc..., but actually living on a small island makes many things take on a different perspective.

    Not knowing your current standard of living makes it difficult to determine how far your stated Cayman salary would go. To put it in perspective, many ex-pat bartenders and wait staff at popular bars and restaurants can gross about that much. Most are single.

  • Report Abuse

    Thank you very mush to everyone who wrote suggestions.Actually The employer would be an office of government so there would not be any problem about stability of employer.
    About the offer they guarantee also the 100% of medical and dental care and pension plan.
    In the next days I'll take an informal interview with them. thanks again

  • Report Abuse

    The Cayman New Resident is an excellent resource. Another thing to consider, assuming the third member of your family is a child< is the cost of private schools, as only Caymanians can go to government schools.

  • Report Abuse

    Costs are high, but there is no income tax. You could probably rent a decent house or condo for USD 2000-3500 per month. Utilities are high, electric is 35 cayman cents per kwh (a least 3 times US. Food is probably 35-50% more. Phone service is more ( you can check the Digicel or Lime website). Cable TV is also expensive ( check weststar). Cars are expensive and so is gasoline, but you don't need a fancy one because you don't have to travel far.
    Overall, you will not be coming out ahead, but it will be an adventure.

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