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


Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 19, 2018 03:00PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

My husband and 7 year old little boy live in Texas and we are going to be relocating to USVI in the next 2 years. I am just starting to research and read everything I can get my hands on at this point. Of course having a child, schooling will be very high on our priority list and then we can go from there. I know that we need to plan a trip to come visit, but I was just wanting honest feedback on which island would be best suited for us. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Scubadoo
January 19, 2018 03:37PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Too much an open ended question without enough info to answer. Presumably you either don't have employment lined up or you wouldn't be asking the question. So employment will obviously factor in. St John is tiny and more expensive so probably will not be for you unless you have very specific requirements. If you haven't found out already there is no option for individual medical insurance for US citizens, only group plans with employers available. There are schooling options on STT and STX.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 19, 2018 04:01PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

No worries. Thank you for the reply. I will check back in with more specfic questions. Thank you.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Afriend
January 19, 2018 04:12PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 419

All you’ve really told us is that you are from Texas, you have a 7YO and you want a place with access to good schools. From that little information you want strangers to tell you what island will be best for you. Quite frankly, it’s impossible for anyone to make recommendations based on so little info.

As Scubadoo mentioned, will you need employment or are you are one of the fortunate few who have a large trust fund or a good source of independent income?

If you need employment what type of skills and experience do you and your husband have? How marketable are those skills? What type of income level do you need to support the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed? Are you aware that on average wages in the Caribbean are often lower then they are for comparable positions back in the states and that living expenses are often higher?

If the quality of education is important are you thinking of sending your child to one of the private schools? If so, are you aware that tuition will run you somewhere around $13,000 to $15,000 per year? If you are planning to just use the public school system are you OK that your child might not receive a “top notch” education?

Did your research show you that the 3 main islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John) are quite different from each other? Do you understand those differences and how they may affect your family?

Do you have any idea of the type of housing you want? Do you have a housing budget?

Are you aware that the islands were recently damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria? Are you willing to risk living in an area where storms can change your life in an instant(sort of like what happens when a tornado destroys a town or two in Texas or Oklahoma)?

You see, we need that type of information before we can make meaningful suggestions and even then you may find that once you actually visit the islands the suggestions you get may not be right for you.

So help us help you by sharing more about you and your family and what you hope to gain by relocating. You’ll find once you share that info the contributors here will be more than glad to help guide you.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

East Ender
January 19, 2018 07:45PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 4,860

Lots of Texans on St Thomas. You can celebrate at the Texas Society Chili Cook-Off each year. wink

But, yes, what sort of work do you need or want? Have you visited for an extended period- a couple of weeks at least?

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

AandA2VI
January 20, 2018 10:48AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,102

I think STT is the best of all three but different strokes for different folks. Really will depend all on what kind of lyfestyle you want to live.

STT has the most to do socially. If you’re a hermit and want country livin and few people - STX and STJ would be better options.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Scubadoo
January 20, 2018 11:13AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Quote
AandA2VI
STT has the most to do socially.
??

Maybe when it comes to bars and late night scene. Seems STX is constantly having big parties, parades, public celebrations/events, ag fair, mango melee, boat parade, more than I can keep track of.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

speee1dy
January 20, 2018 11:20AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,282

if you can visit the 3 main islands. check out schools , hospitals, dr. job situation
really, you need to come visit before you even decide, especially since you have a child that will most likely attend public school, unless you can afford 15 k or more per year

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Scubadoo
January 20, 2018 12:20PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Today we have a dog parade in C'sted. Any excuse for a party. Mardi Croix is coming up soon.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

terry
January 22, 2018 11:13AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,535

Budget for around $10K a year for a private school that will probably be below the standard of Texas public schools.

I would have loved to have been raised there but would not raise a child there unless I could afford private school and still not sure.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 22, 2018 02:56PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

Thank y'all SO much for the replies. I work for HEB (Texas Grocery store company) at the corporate level in advertising. I have many years of customer service experience and would be able to take a job within the local hotel industryor local office. As for my husband, he currently works in the car business as a wholesaler. He buys the trade-ins at dealerships and runs them through the weekly auction or sells to other dealerships. He is open to getting into something new or possibly thinking about starting up a small car lot in STT. Both of us are ready for a much slower, less stressful way of life.

We plan on taking 2-3 trips to the island and checking out all 3, but I really feel that STT will best fit our needs. Schooling is important to us, so private school will be an option we consider. I know you said around $10k-$15k per year.

For housing we are thinking about renting at first until we find what we are looking for, unless we find something right away to buy. We are open to a house or condo with budget no more than $2500-$3000 a month.

Random question, I know that hurricanes recently hit, but what do you do during the storm? We live close to Port Aransas that was hit really hard by Harvey, but a lot of people evacuate, so what happens in the islands?

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Scubadoo
January 22, 2018 04:36PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Quote
JLloyd
Random question, I know that hurricanes recently hit, but what do you do during the storm? We live close to Port Aransas that was hit really hard by Harvey, but a lot of people evacuate, so what happens in the islands?

People in structures not suited for hurricane resistance or subject to flooding can go to designated shelters to ride out a storm. We do not have large swathes of area subject to flooding like coastal cities which drives evacuation. There is typically no off-island evacuation apart from visitors wanting to get off island early. Most people will stay put in the homes and close up the shutters. Plywood is not especially effective.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 22, 2018 04:42PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

Thank you for your answer. Good to know.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Afriend
January 22, 2018 05:31PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 419

Be aware that the idea life on a Caribbean island is slower and less stressful is a bit of a myth. That “slowness” comes from the fact that almost everything takes longer to get done. When the repairman you call to fix your refrigerator says “I’ll be there later, mon” he really means “not now”. Later can mean tomorrow, 3 days from now or even next week. When he does come he tells you you need a $20 switch but he doesn’t have one. So he goes out to search for one. That may take him another day or two only to tell you there are none on the island but you can have one shipped in from Florida. It will arrive in about 10 days unless you want to pay $100 to have it sent by Fed-Ex. And that’s only dealing with your refrigerator. You are bound to repeat the procedures with any appliance, electronic gizmo, plumbing part, or car part. And dealing with power surges, power outages, water shortages, limited selections in the grocery stores, long lines at the bank, an inept Department of Motor Vehicles, less then helpful bureaucrats, etc. all add to stress.

Life in the islands is not all palm trees, sandy beaches and pina colada’s. We have the same everyday stresses you find in any other parts of the world. The rats race here just as they do “back home” - it is just a different venue.

Some people can adjust other have difficulty. That’s why everybody will tell you to come for a visit before making the move.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Scubadoo
January 22, 2018 05:42PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Quote
Afriend
The rats race here just as they do “back home” - it is just a different venue.

All true but I'll take the rats here over the mainland any day. At least here when I'm done chasing the rats I can go to the beach and sip that pina colada.

Oh and it helps to cope if you have a little Macgyver in you to help ride through waiting for those repairmen and parts.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 22, 2018 05:42PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

Thank you.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 22, 2018 05:43PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

stxisbest
January 22, 2018 09:16PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 164

Quote
terry
Budget for around $10K a year for a private school that will probably be below the standard of Texas public schools.

I would have loved to have been raised there but would not raise a child there unless I could afford private school and still not sure.

Budget for 15k, (1 child), and you will be safe. Had two go thru Country Day-(now Good Hope Country Day), from beginning to graduation. Oh don't forget summer activities and possible trips. Cannot speak for any other schools. No worries mon, it'll work out. cool

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

JLloyd
January 23, 2018 12:00PM

Registered: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 8

Is the school year similar to ours, August through June? What kinds of things did your kids do during the summer vacation?

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

plindholdt
January 23, 2018 01:38PM

Registered: 6 weeks ago
Posts: 13

I have a question regarding what everyone does for health care since there is no individual health insurance? Do you go to Puerto Rico for yearly check ups and get your medications there since many have no prescription required in PR? Or is most everyone working for employers with insurance or on Medicaid?

Thanks

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Afriend
January 23, 2018 02:16PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 419

We go back to the US, not Puerto Rico, for our annual check-ups and all but very basic routine medical care. We get most of our prescriptions back in the states, also.

Consider getting Medical Evacuation Insurance which will fly you to a hospital back in the states if you have a major medical emergency.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

plindholdt
January 23, 2018 03:26PM

Registered: 6 weeks ago
Posts: 13

Quote
Afriend
We go back to the US, not Puerto Rico, for our annual check-ups and all but very basic routine medical care. We get most of our prescriptions back in the states, also.

Consider getting Medical Evacuation Insurance which will fly you to a hospital back in the states if you have a major medical emergency.

So are you able to retain individual health insurance in the states and then use that when you return for yearly exams and prescription refills? Thanks for help.
Hoping everyone is recovering well from the hurricanes and so happy to see the islands beauty returning. From what I have read it seems the islands truly pull together and help each other out in the times of need. I am so sorry for poor help you have received from the government. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

janeinstx
January 23, 2018 04:01PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 618

What makes you think the aid from the Feds was poor?

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

Ca. Dreamers
January 24, 2018 09:30AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 356

Quote
plindholdt
Quote
Afriend
We go back to the US, not Puerto Rico, for our annual check-ups and all but very basic routine medical care. We get most of our prescriptions back in the states, also.

Consider getting Medical Evacuation Insurance which will fly you to a hospital back in the states if you have a major medical emergency.

So are you able to retain individual health insurance in the states and then use that when you return for yearly exams and prescription refills? Thanks for help.
Hoping everyone is recovering well from the hurricanes and so happy to see the islands beauty returning. From what I have read it seems the islands truly pull together and help each other out in the times of need. I am so sorry for poor help you have received from the government. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Of what government are you speaking?

If we had to depend on our territorial government we'd be in the dark for infinity. We thank the all the US Federal agencies and off island linemen that assisted in repairing and restoring our power gird and helping return us to a somewhat normal life.

CD

Re: Family of 3 Relocating

ironheadUSVI
January 25, 2018 05:17PM

Registered: 7 months ago
Posts: 149

Quote
plindholdt
I have a question regarding what everyone does for health care since there is no individual health insurance?

Thanks

There are many competent and skilled doctors in the VI, and dozens of pharmacies. You don't HAVE to go off island for good care.

Join the discussion. Click the button below to Login or Register now!

Click here to login

  • Blue Ocean Transport

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.

The current 18th Edition, released in January 2016, will help you explore your dream of island living. A solid reference book, it was first published in 1975. That's 40 years of helping people move to the islands. A must read. Order today.

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 →