With 26 countries to choose from, the Caribbean is the perfect retirement destination. Each island nation has something incredible and unique to offer to retirees, which you will undoubtedly appreciate and enable you to enjoy your golden years.
Planning well, and in advance, is the best way to ensure that you have a pleasant, problem-free retirement in the Caribbean. When you have all the details ironed out, you are sure to have fewer things to think and worry about during your stay in this part of the world.
Getting everything in order before retiring enables you to be self-sufficient, which is something that you will need to be until you establish your support system in your new home.
Tips for Enjoying Your Retirement in the Caribbean
Whether you are still planning your retirement or you are already in the Caribbean, here are six tips to help you enjoy and make the most of your golden years:
1. Choose your retirement destination well
All countries in the Caribbean have excellent beaches, numerous natural and man-made attractions, and that fantastic laidback island-living vibe. Compared to most European and North American nations, the cost of living and taxes are lower here as well. These reasons make retiring here an excellent option.
These perks, however, will also make finding the best country to call your new home tricky.
Selecting a country that offers more benefits to foreigners is a great way to narrow down your options. Antigua and Barbuda, for instance, has a citizenship by investment program, which retirees from different parts of the globe should take advantage of.
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program gives foreigners the opportunity to become legal citizens of this country. By donating the required amount to the government, investing in or starting a business, or purchasing a government-approved property, you will obtain a second passport legally.
An Antigua and Barbuda passport allows holders visa-free entry to more than 130 countries.
As a legal citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, you can enter and leave the country and other Caribbean nations as you please. And since you won’t be required to renounce your current citizenship, you can go and stay for as long as you want or need to in your home country.
If you choose the real estate investment route, you will also have a beautiful home in one of the prime locations in Antigua and Barbuda.
2. Find your ideal home
Having a house, flat, or condo that you love is a must for enjoying your retirement in the Caribbean.
Find a home that is located in a safe area, preferably in a neighborhood where there are plenty of other foreigners. Make sure it is near supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, and other places of interest you will frequent as well.
You can choose between renting and buying a home in your target destination. Both options offer benefits to retirees, but investing in a residential property comes with more advantages.
As already mentioned, if you retire in a country that has a citizenship by investment program and opt for the real estate investment pathway, you will have a home of your own and a second passport.
You also have the opportunity to turn your Caribbean home into an additional source of income, which you can then use to finance your retirement.
To find your perfect home quickly, consider getting help from property consultants based in the Caribbean.
3. Make sure your finances and healthcare requirements are in order
You won’t enjoy your retirement on the island if you don’t have money to sustain your needs and lifestyle. As such, before moving to the Caribbean, ensure you will have access to your funds.
Find out how you can open a bank account in your chosen destination. Read about the fees, taxes, and other important things you have to know about and be prepared for once you start receiving your pension in a different country.
Make sure you have a health and medical plan that is accepted in your selected country, as well. It should provide the coverage you need, including free checkups and emergency services.
Before moving, check with your provider which hospitals and clinics accept your policy. Make sure all documents are in order to avoid any future problems.
4. Look after your health
Staying healthy is crucial if you want to enjoy your retirement in an island paradise.
Always stay hydrated. Get sufficient fluid intake from water and the variety of tropical fruits you find on the island.
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables helps you stay healthy as well. You can get the nutrients you need to boost your immune system and maintain a strong body. Make sure you eat the recommended amount of lean proteins every day, too.
Additionally, don’t forget to drink your medicines, if you need to take any, and prescribed supplements.
Although enjoying the sunny weather and hanging out at the beach are a must during your retirement, avoid staying too long under the sun. Getting sunburn, sunstroke, and other heat-related illnesses is something that you don’t want to happen here.
Lastly, get enough regular exercise to stay fit.
5. Take up a hobby
If you wanted to take up a hobby before but never had enough time to do so because of your busy schedule, now is the perfect time to get one.
Learn to play the guitar, drums, or any musical instrument you have always been interested in. Start a collection of stamps, coins, die-cast cars, or any item that you have always wanted to collect and show off.
Also, consider taking up a hobby that will help you stay fit. Swimming, paddleboarding, canoeing, fishing, and hiking are fun, must-try leisure pursuits in the Caribbean that are excellent workouts. These activities will also allow you to explore the island and take you closer to nature.
Finally, go out and meet other people. Mingle with your neighbors and other retirees you frequently interact with. Make new friends as you pursue your hobbies as well.
Strike up conversations with and befriend locals. You will enjoy learning more about their culture by talking to them, which will help you acclimatize faster.
By widening your social circle, you will feel less lonely. You have more people to talk to and share stories with. Having friends helps your retirement become more pleasant and fulfilling.
Choosing the Caribbean is a good start to having an incredible retirement. When you follow the tips above, you can ensure you will enjoy your golden years even more.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.