Planning possible retirement in USVI

Sep 26th, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #21  
 
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What an interesting thread. Thank you for posting.

You wouldn't consider living in Hawaii again?
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:00 PM
  #22  
 
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Urban, I too have been to Ecuador and agree with Roam. I've also been to Costa Rica, one of your considerations, and again, every yard had bars surrounding the walls. The only reason it didn't feel like a prison was the fact that they are painted bright colors, but nevertheless still bars. This was in every town of Costa Rica.

Lately Venezuela has had many safety problems too. I know nothing of Nicuragua, but based on my central America travel can only assume it's similar.

You are correct, Islamders will stick together and you'll still be considered an expat.

You also said it best, poverty is different in every region. It is different in Caribbean.

We are not trying to discourage yu, we are just trying to point things out that most don't think about!

Hope we are helping!
blamona is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:09 PM
  #23  
 
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Bars on windows do not always mean rampant crime. Most ground floor places in the towns I've stayed in Mexico have the black wrought iron "bars". It's pretty standard. I like them. It makes it so you can leave windows open at night without worries.

Not saying that Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica have no crime because I have no idea, only that the presence of bars on residential or shop windows to me would not be necessarily be a red flag about personal safety.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:23 PM
  #24  
 
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Yes suze, but bars combined with razor wire, shards of glass and armed guards do bring out the red flags - big ones! When the desk clerk at the hotel cautions "not to walk to the left" when leaving the hotel and when your tour guide constantly reminds you to protect your valuables and watch for pickpockets that too sends up red flags so much so that on our second (and last) day there we decided not to leave the hotel. As far as Ecuador is concerned, I've been there and will never go back.
By the way, this is coming from someone who has traveled "around the world".
RoamsAround is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:29 PM
  #25  
 
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I don't disagree.

But in blamona's first paragraph there was nothing about armed guards, razor wire, shards of glass... only talking about colorfully painted bars on the windows in every town. And I'm pretty darn sure every single town in Costa Rica is not unsafe.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #26  
 
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I'll make one last comment for Urbandoggs - your biggest obstacle when trying to determine where you can retire is is going to be your budget. That's why we've been suggesting you do research and make PMV's. We have a few friends on our island that are clearly in over their heads budget wise - I feel sorry for them because they are always pinching pennies and often unable to join in with others simply because they "can't afford it".

You'll make friends, probably adjust to most aspects of daily life that are different from back home but finding a location that you can do all that and still maintain a decent lifestyle should be your main goal. You can ask 50 people how much is needed to maintain a lifestyle in a particular country or island and you'll get 50 different responses. You can read those lists compiled by experts telling you the 100 top countries where you can retire but none will tell you what life there is really like. All the statistics in the world won't prepare you for what YOU will have to spend to maintain YOUR lifestyle.

For instance, for years I heard how inexpensive it was to retire to Belize but when we visited we couldn't wait to leave - for us the best thing about Belize City was seeing it in the rear view mirror as we drove off. During the search for "our island" we looked at property on one of the Bahamas Out Islands - found a 12 acre parcel with 500' of beachfront for less than $250,000US. Sounds great doesn't it - trouble was, there was a population of under 1,000 people in the 150 sq. mile island, only two small grocery stores, a couple "restaurants" serving local foods, only one main road, no infrastructure and hardly anything else on the island but a few shacks and lots of rusted out car bodies strewn along the road. Certainly not what we wanted.

We spent over 10 years visiting almost 30 different islands before we identified our place in the sun and we still encountered challenges we never contemplated.

So don't give up, keep looking, do your research first hand. As you do the task will become easier and the answer will become clear. You'll find the place that is right for you.
RoamsAround is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 01:51 PM
  #27  
 
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Urbandoggs: RoamsAround gives good advice about vimovingcenter.com. Great information from people who live there, have lived there, want to live there, etc.

Just a couple of my own humble comments:
1.The USVI is great for people who want to stay in America with (ostensibly) US laws, Medicare, passport, etc. It is not like living in the states, even Hawaii, because it is a territory.
2. Yes, people with darker colored skin are a majority, but where you are from sometimes is of more interest to them than your color. It is actually kind of fun to discuss people based on their achievements rather than the color of their skin.
3. There is an on-line newspaper:http://stthomassource.com/ that will give you some insights into life in the USVI.
4. No one lives here because it is inexpensive. They live here because they have a calling to it.;-)
eastenderusvi is online now  
Sep 26th, 2013, 02:03 PM
  #28  
 
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Suze, not bars on windows, in Costa Rica it's bars around the yards like prison cells, much different than bars in windows. (in Spain that's actually stylish on windows, in Costa Rica, not so much)

So rows of houses with bars following the sidewalk, is kinda creepy to me. And to add, I speak Spanish. Taxi drivers said it was for safety!

I too have traveled the world (I know lucky me) and this is not bars in windows scenario!
blamona is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 02:12 PM
  #29  
 
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blamona, I apologize. I obviously misunderstood the description in your post.

And yes I know both you and Roams Around have traveled way more than I ever have, or ever will. I get it.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 02:58 PM
  #30  
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Suze

NOOOOO No more Hawaii!!!!

Actually my parents passed away and we (I have 2 brothers) inherited the home in Mililani. I sold my interest and have not been back since.
Urbandoggs is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 03:34 PM
  #31  
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Ok, so which one of you keep saying that I am made this decision based on a one day cruise stop???

Not true. I haven’t made a decision at all. If you read my 1st post I was merely asking (very politely I might add) if anyone could tell me if there were services available for people interested in investigating the islands as we are looking for a place for ‘possible’ retirement. (hint POSSIBLE) I NEVER said I was going to pick up and move. And, I also said I KNOW NOTHING! This forum was the beginning of my search. The only decision I was making was to investigate by coming to visit for 10 days and check out the islands.

Now, I will admit that I never thought of the Caribbean as a possibility before I took the cruise…. But, again I have 3 years before I retire so plenty of time to check thing s out.

Also I never said I couldn’t afford to stay a month either to PMV or whatever its called I think I said I can’t do a month because I still work. And, I said I can’t afford to stay a month in ea location on my list to test them all out. Not until I narrow down the list.

Ok so now that I got that off my chest, I want to say that the information has been invaluable and I thank you. A bit harsh but certainly made me think. I also appreciate that you have given me some figures about actual costs. Very sobering and as you say, rather expensive. I really couldn’t figure out how it could cost so much but now I see. Kind of sad though because I guess I will have to cross the Caribbean off my list

I had already pretty much nixed Ecuador because of what I mentioned and you were helpful there with further info, and I crossed off Barbados too (mostly because I read that they quarantine your pet for 6 months and I have to bring the urbandoggs with me.

So…………………………I still have Nicaragua and the boyfriend wants to consider Thailand. Before you jump all over me, we haven’t researched Thailand yet at all!!! It was just a thought!

I have a co worker from Nicaragua and her parents live there so I’m getting first hand info there.

I don’t know about New Zealand….???
Urbandoggs is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 03:46 PM
  #32  
 
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Roamsaround you mention you live on an island? Which would if you don't mind me asking. I am just curious.

What about St,Martin?I know of Americans who live there. None personally but there seems to be a fair amount--

I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia and in the nicest sections there are bars on windows.
diann24 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 03:53 PM
  #33  
 
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Actually Thailand is an excellent idea.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 04:47 PM
  #34  
 
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Roams will never tell! ;-)

FYI (and not trying to be harse, just realistic!) throwing dogs into the mix changes everything! Caribbean has such a dog problem, it's scary bringing dogs to the mix!

So how they treat bringing in dogs should be your first consideration!

It's a big world.... 8-)
blamona is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 05:09 PM
  #35  
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The urbandoggs are a big consideration. They are small dogs too, but 1st I had to see how difficult it was going to be to bring them. Then, I can look into the other stuff. Keep it mind I never got a chance to check on anything about the islands cuz I was spending all my time explaining myself
Urbandoggs is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 05:19 PM
  #36  
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diann24 We stopped at St Maarten too but I wasn't that impressed. Seemed like a party atmosphere. Of course it was only a 1 day cruise stop so I could be wrong

We liked Antigua a lot. I met some artists there (I'm a glass artist) and we also had an opportunity to spend time at an herb garden and talked to the owners (the boyfriend is into alternative medicine and he's a vegan) The beaches were beautiful but I don't think I would ever want to live there altho I would certainly go back to visit.

I need more suggestions, my list is getting too short
Urbandoggs is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 05:20 PM
  #37  
 
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For bringing dogs (or cats), islands are always (usually?) more difficult. I know for Hawaii there's still quarantine, for the UK, I assume much of the Caribbean, I'm sure others. Some places like Mexico, not a problem.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 05:29 PM
  #38  
 
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St. Martin is a large island a french side which you did not come anywhere close to just on a cruise ship. You were in Phillipsburg. I am not a huge fan of SXM but as I said americans do live there. As you have been told you cannot judge an island one day on a cruise ship. not at all.

I personally love Aruba I have a timeshare there and it would be a favorite for me as I go there frequently. That being said, I am realistic enough to know I could never live there on a permanant basis. Even though it is labeld "Americanized" and it does indulge me with starbucks coffee still I would miss the huge shopping malls. I did live in Okinawa Japan for a year. I was happy to return home.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 05:50 PM
  #39  
 
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You can bring dogs (or other pets) with you to most countries as long as you comply with that particular country's requirements - things like current health certificates, ID chips, titer tests, up to date vaccinations, etc. You can usually find the requirements with a simple google search using such topics as "Bringing a dog to NAME OF COUNTRY".

Some countries will require a period of quarantine after the pet's arrival but sometime that quarantine can be in your home - other times in an approved kennel facility - varies from country to country.

Biggest obstacle is transporting the dog to the "new" country. Small dogs not much of a problem if they go as carry-on. Larger dogs have to go in cargo hold and airlines often have restrictions at certain times of year due to temperature extremes. You'll need to research this at the appropriate time.

One difficulty for Urbandoggs is she talked about multiple dogs (not sure how many) - some airlines only allow only one "carry-on" dog in the cabin per flight so she and her boyfriend may have to take separate flights. Something they have to consider and, of course, check with the airline(s) at the appropriate time. Rules in effect now may change by the time they are ready to relocate.

For diann24 - I live on one of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles - how's that for narrowing it down?
RoamsAround is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 05:59 PM
  #40  
 
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Blamona was wrong!! She/he said you would never tell!! Thanks.
diann24 is offline  

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