Join discussions on moving to and living in the USVI, ask questions, share info & tips! (Vacationing? Visit Travel Message Board)


Retire St Croix

Catscott
May 15, 2013 01:15PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 1

Hello,

We are thinking about retiring to St Croix from Washington D.C. Does anyone have any wisdom to be shared? Are there many on this board who retired or are retiring and moving to St. Croix?

Re: Retire St Croix

speee1dy
May 15, 2013 01:18PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 4,935

bring patience and lots of it. but seriously, please read through past posts especially related to cost of living, crime and the health care. it is a beautiful island and there is much to enjoy but there is much to drive you nuts.

after reading past posts come back and ask as many questions as you need, someone will answer your questions.

welcome

btw, i grew up in md and i miss it up there.

Re: Retire St Croix

noOne
May 15, 2013 09:23PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,625

Quote
speee1dy
btw, i grew up in md and i miss it up there.

Beginning of the end?

Re: Retire St Croix

rosesisland
May 15, 2013 10:09PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 299

I've lived in D. C. And other than the cost of our electricity at 50 pkw, if you could retire there, I'm sure you could make it here with a few adjustments. And, yes, please read a lot. The crime and housing, other than electric are near the same. Just as in D.C. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Live the dream, I am and am retired and living here.

Re: Retire St Croix

Ric
May 15, 2013 10:32PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 396

We did exactly that and lived on STX for 8 years before returning to states to assist family. Read the moving stories under "what to expect" at the top of the page. Some are old but still valid. Good luck.

Re: Retire St Croix

speee1dy
May 16, 2013 08:13AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 4,935

noone, beginning of the end of what?

Re: Retire St Croix

noOne
May 16, 2013 08:55AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,625

Usually when someone says they miss it somewhere, they leave.

Re: Retire St Croix

speee1dy
May 16, 2013 10:32AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 4,935

i have not lived in md since 1997, by hubby does not want to go back there. lol

Re: Retire St Croix

Ca. Dreamers
May 17, 2013 08:21AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 209

Quote
Catscott
Hello,

We are thinking about retiring to St Croix from Washington D.C. Does anyone have any wisdom to be shared? Are there many on this board who retired or are retiring and moving to St. Croix?


We are retired (from several enterprises) and moved to STX in October of last year.

Took a lot of planning & effort to purge all of our interests in California(ranches & homes) and then reinvest here (new home).

We made a bunch of trips here looking for RE and observing the island over the last 4 years.

If you can live here without money and isolation (family and old friends) issues it can be the most rewarding time of your life.

Plan, plan, plan and don't be afraid to visit, OFTEN.

CD

Re: Retire St Croix

OldTart
May 17, 2013 10:20AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 3,212

Apart from the obvious drawbacks related to whether or not island life would generally suit you, one of the largest attrition rates here is amongst those of retirement age, both longtime residents and locals who've lived the majority of their lives here. One reason is the high cost of living and the fact that retirement income goes much further in most stateside communities; the other is health care or lack of it. Literally dozens of my friends have left over the years for the latter reason. I've also known several couples who bought vacation property here and kept it up for years with the expectation that this would be their retirement home. As age and health issues advanced, they sadly opted to sell here and make their retirement homes in stateside areas where more health care opportunities abounded close by.

As the previous poster said, a lot of thought, planning and preparation has to go into such a decision and you absolutely should visit as much as possible. Good luck!

Re: Retire St Croix

Iris Tramm
May 17, 2013 10:27AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 693

Quote
OldTart
Apart from the obvious drawbacks related to whether or not island life would generally suit you, one of the largest attrition rates here is amongst those of retirement age, both longtime residents and locals who've lived the majority of their lives here. One reason is the high cost of living and the fact that retirement income goes much further in most stateside communities; the other is health care or lack of it. Literally dozens of my friends have left over the years for the latter reason. I've also known several couples who bought vacation property here and kept it up for years with the expectation that this would be their retirement home. As age and health issues advanced, they sadly opted to sell here and make their retirement homes in stateside areas where more health care opportunities abounded close by.

As the previous poster said, a lot of thought, planning and preparation has to go into such a decision and you absolutely should visit as much as possible. Good luck!

I agree with everything OT said, especially regarding health care for those folks entering the retirement (i.e., more health care problems) phase of their lives. You will not find specialized (or even good) health care here unless you're wealthy enough to bring your own concierge physician, in which case, you've got enough money that I can think of a half dozen other places to retire where you won't have to deal with the excessive crime, poverty, and lack of infrastructure found in the VI.

I can't belive I agree with OT. I think my head just exploded.

Re: Retire St Croix

Linda J
May 17, 2013 01:26PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 3,893

We throughly enjoyed our time on STX. But financially, we'd have been a lot better off staying where we were or finding someplace warm on the Continent.

Re: Retire St Croix

gonetropo
May 20, 2013 06:06AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 376

After reading the previous posts I thought I would offer a contrarian point of view.

We retired at 50 and had planned to move to the Grenadines for years. We did and loved it. In early 2009, we sold our place and not being ready to move back to the States, decided on STX. We had previously owned a place on STJ and was familiar with the USVI.
STJ was very similar to where we had lived in the Grenadines so it wasn't an option for the same reasons.

First of all, all islands are expensive...bar none! Whether Hawaii, Bermuda, Caymans, USVI, they all cost more for your everyday conveniences than than almost any mainland destination. Housing is a portion of the expense along with food and energy. There are also many more frustrations that come with island living...not sure why, but it is a fact. It can sometimes be difficult to acquire things but this is significantly better than years ago.

After living in the islands, and specifically STX for 5 years, there are other annual costs that are definitely SUBSTANTIALLY less that you need to factor in. These can certainly offset the costs of higher food and energy. As I mentioned, housing is a factor but one mans dump is another mans castle so I am not going to factor in this cost. I can say that prices are substantially less that what they were 5 years ago.

Food and energy are more and these are expenses that hit you in the face every month. . So, what does it add up to as additional costs over a year.....we estimate for our family of 2 about $3000 annually in additional costs. About half of this is energy (electric) costs.
This certainly can be offset but installing some solar which we did.

The largest offsets that we have seen are income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and heating and cooling costs.
We pay the same federal tax as if we lived in the States but no State income taxes. Now, you can avoid this cost in the States by moving to Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota or Washington. The other large difference is property taxes.
Our home would cost 3-4 times more in property taxes if it were located in Florida, and maybe even higher. We also do not pay sales tax which is trivial. And of course, we have A/C but have never used it and you don't need a furnace or heat pump.

So, you have to really look at more than just the monthly costs. You also have to be in a decent financial condition to move to an island. Too many people move here with no financial assets and expect to live well and when they can't and then they complain about the costs.
Dah! It's a big decision and takes some thought. This is not Gilligan's Island.

Re: Retire St Croix

STXBob
May 20, 2013 08:05AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,899

USVI has a hidden 5% sales tax called the Gross Receipts Tax, which is compounded by the number of local middlemen. For example, if a food distributor pays 5%, and then a restaurant pays 5%, then that 10% tax gets built into the price on the menu.

Re: Retire St Croix

AJ
May 20, 2013 06:13PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 12

STXBob no fair counting the gross receipts tax because its reflected in the price you pay for groceries, gas, etc. Otherwise you would be double counting. Gonetropo thank you for considering the overall financial picture in a way few people on these boards do. I have a vacation home in STX and as I approach retirement age my current inclination is to maintain a stateside residence and keep my vacation home as well. My parents who were long time STX residents found it necessary to come to the states for medical care from their 40's on. I would be worried about health and medical care which is only exacerbated by the poor and perhaps worsening condition of the hospitals. Everyone's situation - family, finances, health needs etc. are so individual that my only advice is to try and visit multiple times before making any real commitment. St.Croix has a lot to offer but it is also limited in a number of ways. You need to come with your eyes completely open.

Re: Retire St Croix

STXBob
May 20, 2013 06:49PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,899

Let me clarify. gonetropo listed the various taxes that the USVI does and does not have. He/she said we don't have a sales tax. So I said we have a Gross Receipts Tax instead.

Re: Retire St Croix

JohnLPC
May 20, 2013 10:43PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 15

Trade ya ... I'm ready to get outta DC/MD happy

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Settlers Handbook
Only $17.95

The Settlers Handbook for the U.S. Virgin Islands is your guide to moving to St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.

Whether you are dreaming about island living, received a job transfer, are a new resident, or plan to retire in the USVI later down the road - this book is worth reading!

Order Today

Advertise

Join VIMovingCenter.com Today!

Tell prospective and current residents about your business.

Learn More →

Sister Sites

VITraders

USVI Books & Souvenirs

VInow

USVI Vacation Guide

Living in de V.I.

USVI Relocation DVD

Proud Supporter

VI Olympic Team

For over 45 years, the Virgin Islands has celebrated the Olympic tradition by sending our athletes to compete.

Learn More →

Newsletter Signup

Sign up now for our FREE Virgin Islands Moving Center Newsletter and we will email you regular updates on what's happening in the Virgin Islands & on VImovingcenter.com. You can unsubscribe at any time. Simply fill in the form below.

CAPTCHA

×