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Retiring and moving permanently? #205056
09/20/2019 01:57 PM
09/20/2019 01:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Sweden / Saint-Martin
Lars Offline OP
Traveler
Lars  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Sweden / Saint-Martin
Dear all,

I’m curious, with the love to the island that is so clearly expressed in the threads: are you planning to move permanently to Sint Maarten / Saint Martin when retiring and die on the island?

(Anette and I, Swedes hence citizens of the EU, find Saint-Martin ideal - and we will move permanently ASAP, i.e. as soon as the budget for living as poor early retirees is in place).

But from, as an example, an US citizen perspective: would it be impossible to become permanent residents on any side of the island?

Why don’t you focus on US Virgin Islands, where I guess it would be easier to move to permanently?

Am I right that there are no major tax relief to leave the US and become a resident abroad?

It seems to me, when reading the threads, that you from North America once upon a time started to visit primarily Sint Maarten, not Saint-Martin - a language barrier once upon a time?

I’m looking forward to your comments and thanks for a great forum with nice members.

Kind Regards,
Lars

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Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205058
09/20/2019 02:18 PM
09/20/2019 02:18 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,540
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,540
This a very big challenge and would not recommend unless you have a lot of money on your own.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205059
09/20/2019 02:23 PM
09/20/2019 02:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,683
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,683
Brookfield, CT.
Lars,

We started visiting at least annually in 1973 and no, there was no language barrier and like so many Americans we are only fluent in English. We did once contemplate retirement to our favorite place on earth but a very wise friend who already owned on the island suggested we think long and hard about all the pros and cons of such a move. He also suggested we should invest no more on an island purchase than we could afford to toss out a car window, and in reality, he suggested the latter would probably be more fun because we might at least see some needy island residents find and benefit from it.

Living in such a wonderful place is like a dream and dreams are good to have, I have to say, though, I’m truly glad we never acted on that dream. No matter where I live, ‘home’ will always be where my family is and we are a close knit family. We considered logistics, costs, medical needs, the political nonsense that has always gone on on both sides of the island, and ultimately decided home will always be somewhere Stateside and SXM, either side, will remain a wonderful place to visit.

And why not the USVI’s or PR? For us they just don’t offer the same vibes.

My best suggestion to you is think long and hard and possibly live there for a year, experience the different layers of bureaucracy and deal with the down-sides of island living before you take the leap. If it proves to be a good year, then go for it, but if not, at least you will have had the full island living experience. We realized, as good as they are, it isn’t all about pina coladas and beautiful beaches.

And the other side of that coin is I know many who have moved there and are totally happy and many who lived there, some for as many as twenty years plus, and ultimately decided home really is where the heart is and returned to the places they came from. Everyone has a different life experience along with goals and dreams so who knows - it might turn out to be your special utopia.

Good luck, whatever your choices.


Last edited by pat; 09/20/2019 06:07 PM.

Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205063
09/20/2019 02:57 PM
09/20/2019 02:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,780
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,780
Central Florida!
It's been probably 20 years ago now, since we've been in Florida now since 2006, that we seriously considered moving to the Caribbean. You are right, for Americans, it is a lot easier as far as paperwork to move to the USVI, and there is the thought that the USVI is technically part of the US. We never really seriously considered moving to SXM, as that time, it was extremely difficult for US citizens to get residency that allowed them to work and we knew that we would have to work, unless we hit the lottery! Ultimately we decided that it wasn't for us, for a bunch of reasons. I honestly don't think that I am cut out for island life, in terms of the STUFF that one has to put up with in order to live there. Hurricane season is the least of one's troubles. I don't deal well with stuff that doesn't work the way it's SUPPOSED to and if you can't do that, you don't have the constitution to survive, living in 'paradise'. The thing that cut it for us was medical care. When you get older and you need GOOD medical care, for SERIOUS things, island life can be challenging.

We compromised and moved to Florida. I don't regret it for a minute, in terms of the weather. (Now the MONEY sucks in Florida, but that's a whole different issue... smile)

As always, Pat's advice is wise. If you are considering taking the plunge, rent somewhere for a year and see how you cope with what's required.


Carol Hill
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205065
09/20/2019 03:13 PM
09/20/2019 03:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,136
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,136
St Maarten
We made the move from US to Sint Maarten almost 12 years ago and don't regret it for a moment. (Well, Irma made us pause for a moment) A huge change and I guess difficult for many people, but we've adapted pretty quickly and find we can live here better than we could have in the U.S. Only downside is not being near to family, but they're spread all over now anyway, so everyone has to travel and they certainly don't mind coming here!

Taxes on the French side sort of kept us from looking there. Only tax on Dutch side is on income. Have not found any language barrier here. We're quite happy with our choice.

No matter the side, you must be very patient!


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205070
09/20/2019 03:46 PM
09/20/2019 03:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,787
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,787
Rhode Island
Bill and Elaine, when you wrote you found you could live better in SXM than in the US, what do you mean? Certainly not with the price of food items.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: RonDon] #205075
09/20/2019 04:33 PM
09/20/2019 04:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,136
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
Traveler
BillandElaine  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,136
St Maarten
Yes, for sure! We get sticker shock when we go back to the US. We also consume a lot less here.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205077
09/20/2019 05:36 PM
09/20/2019 05:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Sweden / Saint-Martin
Lars Offline OP
Traveler
Lars  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Sweden / Saint-Martin
Thank you so much so far, dear friends.
We already own an apartment (Résidence Hôtel Mont Vernon) and regarding health care the EU is great after retirement, BUT it’s worth thinking about: when being able to walk t20 minutes along Baie Orientale whenever you want to swim nude - will one really enjoy it fully?
I and Anette believe so, but I fully understand that one should not reach the dream destination, because what’s then left?
Tricky, Lars

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205081
09/20/2019 06:18 PM
09/20/2019 06:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,158
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,158
Portland, OR
Everyone has to make their own decision. For me, I wouldn't have the patience. The infrastructure doesn't support the number of visitors and isn't kept up, and the government corruption would drive me insane. I respect those who can overlook the shortcomings and who consider SXM their paradise. I love visiting there, but living there isn't for me.


[Linked Image]
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: BillandElaine] #205082
09/20/2019 06:37 PM
09/20/2019 06:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,288
P
PelicanPirate Offline
Traveler
PelicanPirate  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,288
We certainly think about and have participated in threads here years ago on the topic. I guess the biggest obstacle I remember that “scares” us was the residency permit for US citizens.

Have the requirements for such permit changed much in 9 years?

And what were they again?

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #205087
09/20/2019 10:15 PM
09/20/2019 10:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 933
S
SammyM Offline
Traveler
SammyM  Offline
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S
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 933
Hello Lars ... it wouldn't be hard at all for many of us to pack up and move permanently to Sint Maarten, but because it is not a U.S. territory there are many factors that stand in the way other than the occasional hurricane that strikes. For people 65 and over on Medicare it would not apply to U.S. citizens who move and take up full-time residency in a foreign country. So, we'd have to have the additional income that would allow us to purchase health coverage on the island. But, specialized health care would be a challenge compared to living in the states so that would have to be thoroughly investigated before making such a move. Also, as mentioned previously in an earlier post the infrastructure is also concern that we would have to deal with. Sometimes it's simply better to have a destination that you love to visit, but wouldn't necessarily want to move there. My wife and I also love Florida and have many relatives there, but would never consider moving there because we love the change of seasons in the northern state where we reside.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #262893
08/20/2021 11:26 AM
08/20/2021 11:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 2
London
Margod Offline
Member
Margod  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 2
London
I don't know people who really like to move. Because it's always expensive and very often not safe.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: SammyM] #262937
08/21/2021 10:40 AM
08/21/2021 10:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,547
MIA
I
irina Offline
Traveler
irina  Offline
Traveler
I
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,547
MIA
Well we moved there. Then back here! Gavernment recruited my husband to be Psychiatrist on island (they didn't have one then) and then Curacao would not approve his US license. Even though there was reciprocity then.
Cheers
irina
Not to mention the shake down from the movers to get our stuff to the dock and the carton company not wanting to sell us cartons!

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #262978
08/22/2021 09:23 PM
08/22/2021 09:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,055
PA
biglar Offline
Traveler
biglar  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,055
PA
Medical care would be the biggest worry for my wife and myself no matter how beautiful the water might be and how delicious the food may be. I had a medical problem about 10 years ago on SXM and when I went to a doctor for the problem, he had to look it up on his computer. Still wasn't sure what to do! That did it for me! My wife had appendicitis a few years ago while on Turks and Caicos and they have a first class medical system. It is a Canadian healthcare system and the doctors were great. In and out in a few days without her appendix. Only problem was that she couldn't leave until I paid the bill. Bill was close to $5,000, but they took my credit card without any problem. My health insurance reimbursed me when I got home. Only problem is that we don't enjoy Turks and Caicos as much as we do SXM. So, we decided we will enjoy our visits to the various islands in the Caribbean, but still call the good old USA home. Medical care is too important to us at our age.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #262979
08/22/2021 09:53 PM
08/22/2021 09:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,683
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,683
Brookfield, CT.
Lars,

Island living sounds great but there are so many layers to be considered. At the risk of boring you, please let me repeat my earlier suggestion:

My best suggestion to you is think long and hard and possibly live there for a year, experience the different layers of bureaucracy and deal with the down-sides of island living before you take the leap. If it proves to be a good year, then go for it, but if not, at least you will have had the full island living experience. We realized, as good as they are, it isn’t all about pina coladas and beautiful beaches.

Good luck with whatever your decision may be. 🙂🙂

Last edited by pat; 08/22/2021 09:54 PM.

Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Lars] #262980
08/22/2021 10:09 PM
08/22/2021 10:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,753
B
Bahston Offline
Traveler
Bahston  Offline
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B
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,753
This thread was resurrected from 2019. My guess is that the OP has already made a decision.

Re: Retiring and moving permanently? [Re: Bahston] #262982
08/23/2021 04:13 AM
08/23/2021 04:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,380
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,380
Ohio
Correct so I will shut it down as it was also spammed.


J.D.

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