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Relocating

Ndbrown
February 15, 2018 06:57PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Hello all! My husband and I plan to make the jump to St Croix this spring/early summer. We both have fantastic jobs and all, but we want to live a simpler lifestyle. We plan to come with 10-15k in savings in hopes to find a rental and look for jobs once we're there (though we are doing our best to apply ahead of time). I have two main concerns: 1. We have pets, one large dog and two cats. 2. Would we be able to obtain a rental with our savings (maybe pay a few months advance?) And no current proof of income? I'm hoping my expectations are realistic here. Any advice is appreciated!

Re: Relocating

Gumbo
February 15, 2018 07:06PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 478

Re: Relocating

Scubadoo
February 15, 2018 09:06PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Quote
Ndbrown
We both have fantastic jobs and all, but we want to live a simpler lifestyle.

We certainly have a different lifestyle on STX but most folks would not characterize it as simpler.

10-15K is a good chunk of change to start with but may not last as long as you might think. Airlines will not transport pets in cargo after a certain date into summer due to heat so better compare that to your schedule.

Lots of advice on older threads in this forum on making the move. Have you been to STX before? A PMV is always a wise investment to check things out and start lining up details like housing and maybe even some job interviews.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 15, 2018 10:47PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

That's a very good point about transporting the pets, that actually never occurred to me.

Unfortunately I agree, the money definitely won't last long. I'm hoping at the high end it would at least cover the moving expenses plus a few months rent if needed.

I have been to St. Thomas and loved it. I have found a few positions that interest me online which I'm quite qualified for, though I'm afraid my out of state address will scare away potential employers. While I know "simpler" may be open to interpretation, I think our main goal is to eliminate the idea of working to obtain things...the things don't make you happy, the experiences do. I feel at the least, this will be an experience ????

Re: Relocating

Alana33
February 16, 2018 06:45AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Make sure all your flights with your pets, especially your large dog, who will have to fly in baggage compartment are on Boeing planes.

They don't accept animals in baggage compartments on any Airbus flights. Call to make plane reservations. Don't try to do it online. Airlines also have size and breed restrictions. Info on kennel and carrier sizes, etc. Check them out.

I usually fly American. Wish my 65 lb. pup could get frequent flyer miles!

Animals are required to have current rabies shots, have paperwork from veterinarian such as certificate of veterinary inspection and certificate of health. You'll need those to fill out paperwork at check in at airport.

You'll have to take your animals out of their kennels and carriers so they can be checked by TSA for contraband.

Keep your leashes handy or already on them up to this point. Take them off when inspection is done and they're returned to carriers.

Once they've been checked and back in kennel, you have to zip tie all 4 corners of their kennels or carriers to prevent them opening during transport.
Make sure you have the zip ties.

Dog will be required to have an unopened water bottle and dry dog food securely taped to the top of kennel.

$10,000 - $15,000 will be gone in a flash! By the time you pay, first, last and security deposit, utility deposits, buying groceries, cleaning supplies, buying a car. Linens, towels, silverware, dishware, etc., all add up in no time and are expensive here!

I had absolute $ticker $hock when I got back on island at prices in grocery stores and Kmart after living in FL for a year.

If you have a decent car with good ground clearance, bring it!

Good luck to you and your furry friends.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 08:28AM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Thank you so much for the tips! Really appreciated! We have a jeep Cherokee we plan on bringing, so we should be set on the car.

Re: Relocating

Alana33
February 16, 2018 09:36AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Your pets have to get checked by Vet and certificates signed within 10 days of departure.

You can't reserve a space for your dog in baggage hold and they do have a limit on how many animals they will transport on any given flight. Not sure about in cabin limits.
Very nerve wracking.

I ALWAYS sit on right hand side so I can see luggage and dog being loaded. I alert the departure gate personnel as well as the captain that I'm traveling with my dog.

If dog doesn't get loaded, I will get off the plane. Hasn't been necessary, thankfully. All the captains on our flights have all been very good about letting me know my pup has been loaded.

Good that your bringing your Jeep.
Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.
I'm sure someone from STX can recommend a mailing service you can mail things to.

Make sure you choose a rental that gets good cell phone and internet service, a propane stove, generator back up and access to cistern for water if generator goes down.

We're still in recovery mode after our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes in Sept. 2018 hurricane season begins anew in June and officially ends Nov.30.
Bring power surge protectors for your electronic equipment.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 10:09AM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Cell phone service is a great point. We have Verizon currently, I understand AT&T seems to be the preferred choice down there. Would you suggest we switch prior to the move, or once we get There?

We also hope to bring our desktop computer/printer, and maybe a TV. Just not sure the best way to haul these things, waiting on a rough cost estimate from the cargo company. Wes plan to basically sell off all of our other belongings.

Re: Relocating

Alana33
February 16, 2018 11:11AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Switch prior to move.
Pack your electronics extremely well!
Someone on forum should be able to advise re: shipping items to STX.

Re: Relocating

Gator's Mom
February 16, 2018 11:17AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 788

Switch NOW to AT&T and get a plan (NOT prepaid) that supports a wifi hotspot on your phone and wifi calling. Get new phones if you can - I personally think iphones work best in the VI - we use fairly new SE's with lots of memory. Much easier to do this on the mainland.

Carry your digital data with you - I have all of mine on a small 4 terabyte remote storage device - it's 4" by 3" amazing. Pack your computers in original boxes or have a mail service pack and then send via the USPS. You'll need a PO box or a box at a mail service to do this prior to shipping of course. Otherwise, take your computer/s on the plane with you. Cargo the TV, printer, monitor etc.

There is no residential mail service in the VI BTW - you need to get a PO box.

HEALTH INSURANCE - make sure if you COBRA your plan works in the VI or at least in the emergency room. There are travel health policies that may help you bridge over until one of you is employed by an employer that offers insurance. No ACA in the VI unfortunately. A lot of people who live in the VI have med evac insurance, which may be really valuable post-Irmaria and the subsequent hospital failures.

Another option for pet shipping is [petboardship.com] out of Fort Lauderdale. They overnight ship so hot weather limitations are not a factor most of the time and prices are reasonable.


Quote
Ndbrown
Cell phone service is a great point. We have Verizon currently, I understand AT&T seems to be the preferred choice down there. Would you suggest we switch prior to the move, or once we get There?

We also hope to bring our desktop computer/printer, and maybe a TV. Just not sure the best way to haul these things, waiting on a rough cost estimate from the cargo company. Wes plan to basically sell off all of our other belongings.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2018 11:28AM by Gator's Mom.

Re: Relocating

Gator's Mom
February 16, 2018 11:29AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 788

We're in the process of moving to STX right now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2018 11:32AM by Gator's Mom.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 12:48PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

I really can't express enough gratitude to you all for your help. This is a bit stressful ( I plan out EVERYTHING), but having tips like these help ease my stress a bit! Gator's mom, best of luck to you in your move!!

As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

Re: Relocating

Gator's Mom
February 16, 2018 01:12PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 788

So going bare .... that's possible.

Travel health insurance plans good for a few months are really cheap - a few hundred dollars at most for peace of mind. A slip and fall could set you back $20K - just saying.


Quote
Ndbrown
I really can't express enough gratitude to you all for your help. This is a bit stressful ( I plan out EVERYTHING), but having tips like these help ease my stress a bit! Gator's mom, best of luck to you in your move!!

As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

Re: Relocating

islandjoan
February 16, 2018 01:16PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,487

Alana, order from vitacost.com to get your spices, if you need any while here.
If you order when they have a 14, 15 or 20% off promotion, that will wipe out the $9.99 shipping charge.


Quote
Alana33

Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 01:25PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Just did a quick check on travel insurance. very good idea, thanks.

Re: Relocating

vicanuck
February 16, 2018 03:09PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,248

Quote
Ndbrown
As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

When we moved to STX with the family (2 kids), we didn't have health insurance for the first 10 or 12 years. I never worried about it.

Re: Relocating

Gator's Mom
February 16, 2018 03:32PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 788

.... but you had that Canadian fallback plan - as in head north and have coverage if you really need it.

US citizens in the VI without insurance head back to the US and still have no financial coverage even if they really need it because they are VI residents.

Not the same.


Quote
vicanuck
Quote
Ndbrown
As far as insurance goes...im at a loss there. We're younger (27/30), so I'm hoping we could just go without insurance for a couple months prior to securing employment..hope that isn't a stupid idea.

When we moved to STX with the family (2 kids), we didn't have health insurance for the first 10 or 12 years. I never worried about it.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 03:39PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

It's funny really, I grew up in a very low income household, looked forward to one day being able to afford going to the doctor and dentist on a regular basis. I've achieved that, and it is really hard to give up (even though I am healthy). So I really do love the travel insurance idea, but it still may be an afterthought. I know the debate is heavy around health insurance, I just hate that it's so difficult to obtain sometimes.

Re: Relocating

vicanuck
February 16, 2018 04:26PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,248

Well...its pretty much impossible to obtain health insurance in the USVI unless you get a job that offers it or work for the government. I don't think there are any providers writing individual health insurance policies in the VI at this time.

Luckily, I'm a Canadian and can buy affordable ex-pat health insurance through a number of international providers although I've been with Cigna Global for several years.

If health insurance is important to you, the USVI may not be for you.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 16, 2018 05:02PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Luckily it doesn't deter us from the move. It's more of a frustration, but I'm willing to live with that.

Re: Relocating

Scubadoo
February 16, 2018 09:33PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Quote
Gator's Mom
There is no residential mail service in the VI BTW - you need to get a PO box.

There is USPS delivery to condos at least. I have a mailbox just outside in the parking lot and the carrier is there every day. Have packages delivered to the condo office so they aren't sitting outside my door.

Re: Relocating

Alana33
February 17, 2018 06:07AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,762

Thanks islandjoan,
I brought spices I use regularly back with me, along with coffee in sandwich bags. Also brought frozen meats and some staples so I wouldn't be forced to rush out to shop. My maid, Theresa, bought some basic groceries (milk, bread, etc.) for me as well, so pretty well set. Had canned goods stocked in my lower apt. as I had planned on returning in October but hurricanes happened.

NdBrown - one of the reasons I moved to FL last year was to be able to get affordable healthcare insurance. I couldn't get any here as wasn't old enough for Medicare and nor indigent enough for Medicaid and did not have it provided thru my work. I was beginning to have some health issues.

I am glad I made the move as this December, I fell and broke my hip and had to have a total hip replacement surgery.
I spent a week in the hospital and 11 day in rehab.

I received a statement from the hospital showing the total amount
of the costs for my surgery, meds, etc. It was over $63,000.00 without the cost of rehab stay. I only had to pay $400.

My rehab was a 60/40 split so that cost was close to $2000 as I'd not met my deductible for the year.
I was also lucky to have had the operation done by an excellent surgeon in a very good hospital close to home there.

Had that happened here in VI, I'd be in massive debt and who knows if I could've even had the surgery here given the state of the hospitals here after 2 hurricanes devastated them.

I'm back on STT dealing with getting repairs done to my home, insurance adjuster, tenant issues and a whole bunch of other "stuff." I plan on heading back to FL in a few weeks, dog in tow.

I become eligible for Medicare later this year. That will impact my decision as to whether my move to FL is permanent or not as I cannot afford to be without healthcare insurance. I was paying $240.00 per month for it thanks to Obamacare.

Good luck.



Quote
islandjoan
Alana, order from vitacost.com to get your spices, if you need any while here.
If you order when they have a 14, 15 or 20% off promotion, that will wipe out the $9.99 shipping charge.


Quote
Alana33

Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.

Re: Relocating

stxisbest
February 17, 2018 07:46PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 173

Quote
Scubadoo
Quote
Gator's Mom
There is no residential mail service in the VI BTW - you need to get a PO box.

There is USPS delivery to condos at least. I have a mailbox just outside in the parking lot and the carrier is there every day. Have packages delivered to the condo office so they aren't sitting outside my door.

There is also residential / house to house delivery as well. You need to ask the PO for what they deem your physical address (trust me usually it is not what you think is right), then put a mailbox in an accessible location. You will still have to go to the PO to get your packages. You can also keep the PO box if you choose for whatever.

Re: Relocating

Scubadoo
February 17, 2018 08:07PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,953

Quote
islandjoan
Alana, order from vitacost.com to get your spices, if you need any while here.
If you order when they have a 14, 15 or 20% off promotion, that will wipe out the $9.99 shipping charge.


Quote
Alana33

Are you bringing anything else?
Spices are expensive here.

Of course you can also order coffee and spices through Amazon and Walmart and pay the shipping tax. If I'm going to order something anyway I check and see if I can add some of that stuff to the order without jacking up the shipping. Usually I can. Cereal too. I was surprised one time I added 3 12-packs of toilet paper at a great price (I think it was add-on item) and no additional shipping charge. It's trial and error whether adding that stuff will bump up shipping or not. Then there is always the plea to Amazon to get the shipping waved if it's fulfilled by Amazon.

Re: Relocating

Ndbrown
February 17, 2018 11:45PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 12

Alana33, my goodness! I'm glad you got your health needs taken care of, and for so little! That's a story we won't forget!

Coffee is a big one for us. Don't really care what kind or how we get it, but it's basically a staple in our house haha. Is it not regularly available there, or just really expensive? I'll plan on packing up my spices for the move, I do cook a lot.

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