The Caribbean features many locations with low cost of living, affordable education and beautiful scenery. If you live in a city full of skyscrapers and unfriendly people, the Caribbean islands are a very pleasant change of lifestyle. Caribbean countries preserve their traditional values and oppose changing the natural beauty of the land. If it is tropical scenery and a laid-back atmosphere you seek, the Caribbean is a great place to live.
Costa Rica is an excellent destination for both visitors and residents. It is located at the Central American isthmus, on the border of the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is an inexpensive place to raise a family. At the time of publication, the average water bill for a family of four is around $18, an electric bill is $50 and a digital cable television bill is $40 per month. Groceries cost around 60% of what they do in the United States. Costa Rica is booming in state-of-the-art medical technology, with 25 medical device companies residing there. At the time of publication, the exchange rate is approximately 501 Costa Rican Colons for $1.
Nicaragua is surrounded by long, relaxing beaches and is covered with freshwater lakes, volcanoes and hills. It is a conservative country that preserves its traditional values and history. The tenth-largest lake in the world is Lake Nicaragua. The islands on the lake were created hundreds of years ago when the Mombacho Volcano exploded. If you are planning to live in or retire to Nicaragua, the country features excellent incentives if you are over 45 and have a monthly income of at least $400. These incentives include paying no taxes on any out-of-country earnings and being permitted to bring in up to $10,000 worth of household goods, duty-free. Cost of living is much lower than the United States. A 30-minute consultation with a United States-trained physician is approximately $35. You can buy a two-week supply of beef for around $65. At the time of publication, the exchange rate is approximately 22.3 Nicaraguan Cordoba per $1.
Panama is located in South America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its economy relies heavily on tourism. An estimated 1.7 million tourist visited the country in 2010. Panama has very affordable living costs; electricity costs approximately 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour and trash collection is only around $7 per month. A can of beer from a store or a cup of coffee in a restaurant cost around 30 cents. Panama also has very affordable beachfront land, without sacrificing beauty for price. At the time of publication, beachfront lots start at $32,000. The government offers incentives to those who move to Panama and live in old, restorable houses and buildings. A few of these incentives are tax exemptions and low mortgage rates.
Belize is on the east coast of Central America, in the Caribbean Basin. It is part of the British Commonwealth, but is not a British colony. Regardless of the high taxes in England, British people can move to this tropical paradise and live virtually tax-free. The beautiful scenery and low cost of living makes Belize a desirable destination for retirees. At the time of publication, a large house in the Cayo District of Belize can be rented for $300 per month. Starting at age 45, a person that moves to Belize can take advantage of the Retired Person’s Incentive Program, which offers tax-free living. At the time of publication, the exchange rate is 1.95 Belize Dollars per $1.