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Planning possible retirement in USVI

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We are exploring the possibility of retiring (or at least spending a few yrs after we retire) in the Virgin Islands. We are currently in the San Francisco Bay area. So far we have only visited St Thomas on a recent cruise, so we know nothing! I wasn't that impressed with the area we went to where they tried to sell us diamonds at every turn but I realize the whole island can't be like that, can it? We would like to go back and visit St Thomas, St John & St Croix to make a decision on which island we would like to live. My question is - how can we arrange to go for a visit and stay maybe 3 days on ea island to see which we like? Is there a service available for potential re locators? We do not want to stay at a resort . We want to get to know the island and we will need some direction on the best housing choices for our visit as well as where we would live when/if we relocate. Has anyone had experience with this? BTW- I read that it is more expensive to live in the Virgin Islands. Can it be MORE expensive than living in San Francisco??? If the answer is yes, maybe we will need to consider Ecuador :)
Thanks much for any and all help.

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