Planning possible retirement in USVI

Sep 26th, 2013, 06:18 PM
  #41  
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While on St Maarten we went to both sides of the island. We did an all day tour. It is true that I don't know everything about it but we didn't get the feeling that we wanted to live there. As a matter of fact the feeling that we got, was that we didn't want to go back It looked like a lot of fun for younger people but not for us.

Now, Aruba is another story, we did like Aruba. We were told that they have a higher standard of living in Aruba but we never really considered it for more than a possible place to visit.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 06:21 PM
  #42  
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I have 2 small Yorkies, they are girls, 4 yrs old and both under 6 lbs,

In consideration of the girls the flight from Florida is a short 2.5 hrs to USVI.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 06:29 PM
  #43  
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Oh, we also talked about Argentina as a possibility. I don't think they are still kidnapping people over there and their reputation is getting better. Anyone have any thoughts on Argentina?
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Sep 26th, 2013, 06:33 PM
  #44  
 
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I WAS wrong! Who knew?

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Sep 27th, 2013, 05:10 AM
  #45  
 
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Blamona just kiddin! That is still many islands. If I guess would she/he say yes or no? I will give it a shot. St. Kitts. I know it is not Redonda that is uninhibited-so that narrows it down a bit more. hehe I almost lost sleep over this one. C,mon tell tell tell---(I wont try and find you I promise.) Roamsaround, a perfect name for a person with so much info!

Urbandoggs, I have a 18 lb. Bichon and we travel with him to Florida they can easily go right with you. no problems. he is a great traveler and he fits right under the seat. No one knows he is there. Yes Aruba is one of the safest islands I have ever been, in spite of the unfortunate stories that have come out of there and the people are just lovely. So friendly, warm and helpful. That has been my experience over the years. It truly feels like home away from home. Aruba has the highest repeat visitors of any island.

I don't like to bash any islands but I do think St.Martin has safety issues. We were told when we rented a car to please not leave anything of value in the car at any time. He did not want his cars broken into--(more concern for his car, not out items.) I did not feel threatend at any time and for the sake of visiting other islands other than Aruba it was a nice change. Love Aruba but like to exchange our timeshare once in awhile. Driving in St. Martin is challenging while Aruba is easy. You have a lot of exploring to do. This will take you some time. I think I would just go to Florida and retire--one of those nice communities.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 05:34 AM
  #46  
 
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AHH! Not Redonda but that doesn't mean I can't be a Commodore in the Redondan Navy - www.thekingdomofredonda.com/navy.htm
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Sep 27th, 2013, 05:45 AM
  #47  
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You all have such great info and advice. Thank you!

Re Aruba - It seemed to be very clean there as well. We were all over that place! We were exhausted and enjoyed relaxing in the little area by the port where we sat and drank margaritas and watched the people. We had a late departure that day at around 10pm so we got to hang out into the evening and took some very nice sail away pictures.

I was disappointed with St Lucia. I had heard so many good things about it and we have a friend that lives there. I guess it didn't help that 55 people on our ship were robbed at gunpoint on a tour to the botanical gardens.

Where we can, we always plan to hook up with a local person on our stops so that they can take us around and give us more of a feel for the place and also give us straight answers. That is why I was considering Barbados. We have a friend that we've know for 30 yrs who met us at the ship and we spent the day with her.

We will be doing that in Cartagena, Guatemala, and Costa Rica which are on tap our next trip. (none of which are on our short list) This will be a cruise again but we are doing an extended land trip in March so that is why I was asking about USVI. We know we can't pick a location on a cruise but we can get an idea of what and where we like and then go back for a longer look.

Hate Florida
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Sep 27th, 2013, 05:52 AM
  #48  
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BTW- We NEVER stay at resorts or hotels. We want to get as far away from the tourists as we can We always choose apartments in the neighborhood. We like to pretend that we live in the places that we visit. More fun!
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Sep 27th, 2013, 06:09 AM
  #49  
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Oh I didn't mention that there may be 4 to 6 of us making this move (altho I research and speak about what me & the boyfriend want to do because in the end it may turn out to be just us - you never know). The others are already retired and just waiting for us to catch up We are a tight knit group and have been hanging together for 20 yrs. In our group we have an architect and 2 builders (residential) We are all researching different locations and are having a meeting tomorrow to discuss our findings. I sure will have a LOT to share on what I learned
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Sep 27th, 2013, 06:11 AM
  #50  
 
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Urbandogs--yes that is the best way to get a feel for the island as far as living there goes-try and immerse yourself in the community and culture. Great idea. While I am just a tourist doing touristy things Resorts work for me. Many islands you cannot stay in an apt. or off a resort--as in DR--Still many Americans live there-so house hunters claim.(?)

I know the area you speak of by the cruise ships well.(Aruba) Believe it or not when the ships are not in port that area closes down it is like a ghost town--the great area is really down by the high rises. That is where it is busy in the p.m.

You hate Florida--well we will not count that one in the mix. I was raised in S. Calif.(San Diego) I am a S.D girl, so I thought perhaps Florida would be close to what you are use to in the Bay Area. Not exact--but close.

RoamsAround--it is Nevis--this is my final answer. LOL.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 06:28 AM
  #51  
 
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Wow! Bringing 4 to 6 other adults into the mix is going to complicate matters. First you'll have to get a consensus on where to go then you'll have to hope that once you all make the move all of you like living there.

I honestly can't imagine choosing a place to retire mainly because others in my circle of friend/ acquaintances want to live there. I'd much rather pick a place that I WANT.

Obviously you feel much different about this - having the need to have "old" friends move with you rather than make new friends in a new location.

Good Luck - I hope you and your friends find what you are seeking!
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Sep 27th, 2013, 07:43 AM
  #52  
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diann24 I lived in So Cal too. My daughter went to college in SD - We lived in West LA and also Mission Viejo. Being in the Bay Area we have a more liberal view of things. So, wouldn't want to live in Florida or AZ
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:03 AM
  #53  
 
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I like the Argentina idea.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #54  
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Me too. I was reading all about it last night. Quite different from an island in the Caribbean but appeals to my European side. Might make up for not being able to live in Paris. There is a side of me that likes simple, quiet and slow and another side that loves to shop! And museums and culture and fine dining. I also checked out the bring your pet policy. Easy Breezy! No quarantine. If I fly Delta I can bring them in the cabin. My sister in law is a flight attendant for Delta so maybe she could help me out.

Its a HUGE city though, so we will have to weigh things and of course we have to plan our 1st trip. Its a long flight.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #55  
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Dear Mr. RoamsAround – Uh oh – looks like I’m back in the dog house again! How did that happen??? Lol I thought you were the one who said I had to be prepared to be an outsider and hang with the ex-pats??? Islanders stick together, etc. Altho you might want to re phrase the statement that ‘I have the need to have old friends” Cuz I distinctly recall saying that my goal was to make new friends???

If you “think” something is complicated then it will be. We are having a great time putting our plans together. I said we ‘may’ have 4-6 people making the move. Then I prefaced it by saying, that I am researching for the 2 of us. Others may come or not. We will have to see. Personally I hope they do. I think it will be fun! We won’t be homesick and have to spend money flying back We also have some experts that know about housing and how to fix stuff. Also, In case you hadn’t noticed, I have a pretty strong personality and I doubt very seriously if ANYONE could convince me to live somewhere I don’t want to live

I mentioned that I’m an Air Force brat so I’ve been moving around and making friends all my life. Probably the big difference is that we are looking at this as an adventure. You may be thinking of it as a more serious life changing permanent arrangement. Although it might end up being permanent, we have homes in the Bay Area and our current plan is to return to them at some point. Everything in between is icing on the cake!!!

But, Thanks for the encouragement
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Sep 27th, 2013, 09:44 AM
  #56  
 
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I didn't say you couldn't make friends but rather only that making friends with the locals is sometimes difficult. It often take a long time for them to accept outsiders.

Making friends with other Ex-pats is much, much easier but in your early posts you said "I don't want to have hang out with the expats" (your words, not mine). No matter what foreign country you decide to live in the Ex-Pat community is going to be your initial and main source of friends - and they'll make good friends. You certainly don't have to bring friends with you when you relocate but then again, that's your prerogative.

And, by the way, I don't think everything is complicated. Sorry Underdoggs but it's you who keep sending mixed signals and throwing "curve balls" in your posts. To me and probably other responders trying to help you, that adds complications.

First you ask about relocating to the Caribbean (among other places) - we respond with some hopefully very helpful information and sources where you can get invaluable info. Then you decide to tell us you want to go someplace that will be less expensive then where you now live. We respond by telling you the Caribbean is not the place to go if you want to live on less. You seem to get that but keep coming back to the Caribbean as a possible place. Then you tell us you don't like poverty and we respond by telling you poverty exists in the Caribbean. You then tell us you want to hang around with locals rather than Ex-pats. We caution you that locals are slow to accept outsiders and give you valid reasons why this happens. Then you tell us you have dogs. We again give you helpful information about bringing dogs into a foreign country. You respond by saying it's only a 2.5 hour flight to the USVI's from Florida. By this point in the discussion you said several times that because of the higher cost of living the Caribbean was out of the running. And finally you tell us that your plans may include one or two other couples. that certainly adds complication to the mix.

I've tried to give you a fair and honest look at what it is like for an Ex-pat to relocate to and live in the Caribbean as well as other information I learned while investigating different foreign countries for my retirement years. In response you've made a few comments which could be construed as being a bit disrespectful with your last post being troublesome toward me despite your use of "smiley face stickers".

That's it! I've said my piece. I know when it's time to pack up and leave. So as I've said before good Luck, you'll hear no more from me on this thread.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 10:41 AM
  #57  
 
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Urban, you're not in the dog house, forums are for discussions!

But without knowing you, you are full of contradictions

Don't like staying with tourists yet go on cruises

Don't want to make friends with expats, you'd rather with locals

Want English speaking place, yet majority is Spanish speaking (then you tell us you know a little French)

Willing to go anywhere, but then constraints of money, bringing dogs

Decided against Caribbean yet keep coming back to Caribbean forum ;-)

Then you're looking for 2 other couples too?

You're well traveled, yet don't understand that we have experienced the "retirement" part outside the US, yet consider that a cut down (really it's just advice to make sure you think of things you would have never thought of)

You tell us you'll go for 2 weeks, then it's 3 days on each island

You tell us the other couples are retired, but you don't have the time to put into looking

You want to retire, but you might just go a year or 2 (which will cost a lot by the way and you won't learn anything! ;-)

You don't want a complicated life, but we are trying to tell you before you get there it is a complicated life! (but hurts so good)

You might not do it, just getting started, yet determined to keep this post going.

We try to tell you many don't survive (in my 15 years I've seen so many come and go, and not make it) yet you get to pick in the world for 2 other couples?

It took me 7 years of travels to find my retirement place. It took me 4 years after that to buy a place. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But it has taken more work and more money than anticipated. When friends come visit they say, oh, if you see of another house let us know we want in!

I wish it were that easy!

Life is as simple as you make it, but in Caribbean and Central America it's simpler yet complicated at the same time. Simple life without A/C, you'll get acclimated. Car won't run, despite spending 3 times what you would in the states? Internet out? Stir crazy? Made that the repair man didn't show ip for 3 weeks (if at all). It's automatically simpler because there's nothing you can do about it!

You seem friendly enough to make friends. You seem laid back enough to roll with punches. You seem determined enough to want to do (if even to prove us wrong!)

No dog house here, I would be your friend! But just trying to answer your questions as you throw them out there. (of course we realize your just getting starting, and you may not even end up doing it)

Just trying to help! 8-). (like my sunglasses, that's for the beach)
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Sep 27th, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #58  
 
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Did I miss something? Why can't you live in Paris?

For myself personally I could much more picture living long-term in a city like Paris or Buenos Aires, than "stuck" on a small Caribbean island.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 01:37 PM
  #59  
 
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AMEN to that Suze!! I am right with you on that one!!
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Sep 27th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #60  
 
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I believe in any major city you can better control your cost of living (than on an island). Paris doesn't have to be "expensive" if you live in a lesser, outlying neighborhood, in a very small &/or walk-up apartment, for example.
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