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Question for all u 25 to 50 yr old EXPATS

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jsmith
(@jsmith)
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I was wondering for those of you that made the move from the states if you moved there with all intentions on finishing out your days there or if it was for a couple years. the reason I ask is I know a few people that lived there and grew tired of various things or just had rock fever. The longest time that a family I know has stayed was 7 years. I'm 35 married and own a construction business here in S Jersey. My wife and I have spent a good amount of time on St Thomas and we also got married there in Nov. We are seriously thinking of moving down but I'm nervous of growing tired of it now I know everyone is differant and it's what you make it but I would appreciate anyone who made the moves feedback. Thanks JUSTIN

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Topic starter Posted : June 26, 2010 10:07 pm
Marty on STT
(@Marty_on_STT)
Trusted Member

I made the move here, without a PMV, over 12.5 years ago, just cuz I hadta get the heck outta MI....it's my home now, I don't plan on leaving...

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Posted : June 26, 2010 10:12 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Most of us are Americans, living in a US territory. We're not expats. "Continentals" is the more common word for us transplants.

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Posted : June 26, 2010 10:20 pm
rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member

I know one other tradesman from the ny/nj area who has become even more cynical (if you can believe it) since moving here. He is in his 50s with a wife and young family (second for both of them.)

To succeed here you must WANT to be here, and you must embrace what you find when you get here. If you can do that, then make some plans. If not, don't sell the farm because you'll be back stateside before you know it.

Good luck, whatever your path.

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Posted : June 26, 2010 10:22 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

My man Marty where u been I haven't. Seen your name around in a while. STXbob I Used the word loosely I shouldve used transplants.

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Topic starter Posted : June 26, 2010 10:26 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
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Rks thanks for your response.

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Topic starter Posted : June 26, 2010 10:51 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I'm a little older than 50, but I'll answer anyway.:-)

We moved down 15 years ago via our sailboat and lived aboard for 10 years and then bought some rental investment properties. We always planned to return to the states someday. We still plan to. It's just been a little longer than I really expected it to be. I was thinking more like 5 years. When we finally retire and sell our properties, we will move back. The main reason is the cost of living. Once we retire, our money will go further in some big grocery chain in FL, or "wherever" than in the local Plaza Extra. We can buy a little retirement cottage or condo in the states for way less than we could here (particularly right now). We can actually travel via car to visit family or sight see (I love road trips), and when we do want to fly, we will have more options and pay a lot less for tickets. For us, the cost of living, proximity to family, conveniences, etc. outweigh "living in paradise". We don't go to the beach, so why pay for it, ya know? We DO enjoy our ocean view, so we'll just have to find something nice to look at wherever we end up.

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Posted : June 26, 2010 10:58 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

Wow Juanita usually you look forward to retirement it seems in your case where do you go from there? In my opinion the Vigin Islands are the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Florida is our second choice we have family there. Great post thank you and good luck on your plans
Justin

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Topic starter Posted : June 26, 2010 11:17 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Older than 50 - been here 35+ years ------------- you have to like what is here - you have to get off island - you must have different interests that can occupy you over the long term - you cannot have a weak constitution for drugs and alcohol - you must be able to work at something to stimulate your mind - money can be an issue - health issues can be a deterrent as you age - overall an extremely mellow and accepting society.

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Posted : June 27, 2010 4:49 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Ditto Exit Zero's always excellent advice. There are plenty of people who have been here 20+ years. For newcomers, there is an "ah-ha" moment at about 6 months when a lot of people realize that the perception and reality of living in Paradise didn't match up. Then there are the young people who decide to have children and want to return for school purposes. Frequently one partner in a relationship says "No mas" and so either both leave or they break up. For slightly older folks, at some point the need for specialized health care, long term care, etc. starts staring them in the face. If you are nervous of growing tired of it, come down with a plan to stay for x number of years, don't burn your bridges back home, don't feel bad if you change your mind.;)

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Posted : June 27, 2010 12:29 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

East Ender and Exit Zero both very good post thanks for the advice. It also seems alot of peoplehang it up after 6 months. Justin

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Topic starter Posted : June 27, 2010 1:46 pm
Marty on STT
(@Marty_on_STT)
Trusted Member

Jsmith, I still read the Board just about every day, but I don't reply very often anymore...it would just be repetitive....

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Posted : June 27, 2010 2:23 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Jsmith, I still read the Board just about every day, but I don't reply very often anymore...it would just be repetitive....

That's why the search function is such a good option. There's a lot of great advice on here, and much of it doesn't need to change over time. There are several threads, if I remember correctly, about what people like and dislike about the VI, how people handle the things they don't like, what things are deal breakers, what type of person does well in the VI, etc. In general, Exit Zero and East Ender are right on.

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Posted : June 27, 2010 4:15 pm
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

Wifey and I often talk about "will we be still here in ___ years?"
Our answer: Who knows, ...ten years ago we didn't even predict we'd be on St Croix!
Many of the reasons that brought us here are the same that might take us somewhere else.

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Posted : June 28, 2010 11:32 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i am soon to be 48 my bf is 58. i have lived here for almost 6 years. i never wanted to move here in the first place but did out of necessity. at first my bf really liked it now we both would like to go elsewhere

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Posted : June 28, 2010 11:47 am
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

We bought our condo 3 years ago and have been renting out our place until our children graduate high school. Although we will be spending much more time on the island once that happens we'd still like to travel around and see the world, how much depends on the budget. We've taken a major hit over these past few years being in the building trades. What drew us to the islands is of course the absolute beauty but also from an investment perspective. We can rent our place out when we are not on island and use the income to supplement our travels. We have also made arrangements stateside by building our home in a resort area that we will be renting out when we are not in residence.

Although we have been back and forth to the islands many times, the longest that we stayed was for 3 months while we renovated. I could easily see us putting down roots and staying for many years. Being from the same town in Iowa for most of my life I really don't need much to keep me intent for the long haul. A few good resturaunts, nice goup of friends for impromptu dinner parties, volunteering and supporting local charities and of course the beach, views and the ocean. I'm aware of the frustrations of day to day living on the island and am not looking at our eventual move with rose colored glasses. We are not running away from anything nor are we looking to start over in life. My husband of 20+ years and I find it refreshing to have the chance to live our dream.

With all of that said, I don't think that I could just sell everything and move to the islands. Our plan is to have the best of both of our worlds.

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Posted : June 28, 2010 12:56 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

Speee1dy and St croix thanks. Molly I remember reading when u bought 3 years ago was it on Stt ? We have the similar situation we thought of buying an investment property here in NJ. Is your husband plan on staying in construction there? I plan on bringing my construction/remodeling business with me. Before anyone post I know the economy is slo down there as it is here in Southern NJ and the hoops needed to jump through to get licensed I know a contractor on Stt he says how frustrating it is. Molly sounds like u have a great plan good luck. Justin

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Topic starter Posted : June 28, 2010 6:00 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

Thanks Justin for the kind comments.

So far so good for us, the STT property is making a modest profit but we also have a very nice family renting our main unit that have been great. He is very handy and is able to fix anything and they both do the housekeeping for the turnaround on the small studio that we rent out weekly to help offset the cost of their rent. They have been there for 2 years now and are thriving.

We ended up buying in STT when we sold another rental property of ours and wanted to take advantage of the 1031 exchange, STT was a perfect fit for us at the time. We bought an absolute dump in an area that we like and totally gut renovated it. It's not a palace or in any exclusive community by any means but we love it. Our goal is to eventually buy a freestanding house and do the same. We're not quite at the retirement age (I'm 41 now) when our children graduate and like to stay busy so I think that would keep my hubby and me happy busy whittling away on a new project.

I know that there are services that will help to expedite the licensing process down there, we have the contact number for a law office that helps out. The general contracting license is the big one that takes the most time. I know that painting, carpentry and other sub licenses are much easier to obtain and don't require the written test.

Surprisingly although the economy has affected the tourism trade it hasn't had the devastating effects on the housing market that many stateside communities have had. I think that a much larger percentage of homeowners on the island have minimal or no mortgagest at all. Anyone with further information on that please correct me if I'm wrong.

Good luck with your endeavors, I know that any trustful and competent contractor would do well on island. I think that it would just take some time to build up a solid reputation. Be prepared, VERY prepared for what you find on island. It's amazing the shoddy work that we ran into. During our renovation we had to jack hammer out the concrete floors because some yahoo poured concrete directly over all of the plumbing pipes.

Molly

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Posted : June 28, 2010 7:31 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Justin, Here is a view from the other side of the hill:

I retired to STX two months ago. I could have retired to just about any place in the world. Eastern Europe has been very kind to me. So why VI? To paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara, "...as God is my witness, I'll never be cold again."

When I announced my retirement, people asked, "What will you do there?" I've had all I can handle with sailing, snorkeling, and diving. When I get the time, I'll resume my writing.

This was the right time, and STX was the right place. I have no plans to leave.

For now, maybe the best approach - given your age and situation - is to continue over the years to visit the VI from time to time. Stay a little longer than a few weeks. See how you like it. There's no need to rush.

Best wishes to you and yours,

Edward

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Posted : June 28, 2010 9:03 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

Molly thanks for the great info I will definitelyy take u up on the phone number to expedite the process. I'm looking into if I can begin the process before I arrive maybe someone out there would know. I know what u mean about the shotty workmanship I've seen a lot of jury rigging. My wife and I r thinking of buying a fixer upper before we make the move and also come down periodicalLy to renovate.

Edward thanks for your response congrats on retirement I'm sure your the envy of all your friends and family. Were definitely taking our time I've been researching everyday for 3 years now and Ive been checking in here for the same amount of time. We've been there 5 times and spent a month there last Nov into Dec for our wedding / pmv. We absolutely love it there and hope to someday call it home. Best of luck Edward. Justin Smith

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Topic starter Posted : June 29, 2010 3:14 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Is 'shotty workmanship' kind of a combo of shoddy and shi**y??

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Posted : June 29, 2010 3:47 am
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

He's from New Jersey, I'm from Iowa. Shoddy, Shotty all the same. Ship High In Transit is still the root of the word. I'd like to hear your dialect whan you realized some @$$whole plumber buried your plumbing under 4 inches of concrete. Just for laughs of cousrse! What's your dialect for (you didn't mention the word yahoo) lazy people that pretend to be busy but screw us anyway amd when we notice they are long gone.

Thankfully we came prepared for anything and dealt with it. The nice thing was that we were fortunate enough to meet many friends along the way. I think that by the time we were done I was almost given an employee badge at Home Depot.

Best of luck and all comments made in fun but much truth behind them.

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Posted : June 29, 2010 4:59 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

It is what YOU make it. You can create excuses for why NOT to do something. What can't you elect to make decisions on WHY to do something.

It is what you make of it!!!!! This is true in anything in life.

Good luck!

billd

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Posted : June 29, 2010 12:16 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

Exit I know it's shoddy but some of the work I saw didn't meet shoddy but sh*tty. billd I was just telling my wife the very same thing at dinner last night how we over think things and look at the downside.I told her that's the reason we've been in nj our whole life and maybe it's time to be more free spirited more like Jimmy Buffett I told her. Justin

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Topic starter Posted : June 29, 2010 2:09 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

It is what YOU make it. You can create excuses for why NOT to do something. What can't you elect to make decisions on WHY to do something.

Yes, it would be great if people here made most of their excuses to succeed, and not to fail.

There'd be less of this:
"I skipped work so I could go to the beach."
"I did my part. Somebody else screwed up."

And more of this:
"I skipped the beach so I could do your work."
"I did my part, and I stayed on the other guy's a$$ until he did his part."

But I'm being doubly unrealistic. A lot of people here don't even give excuses when they fail. They just fail without explanation.

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Posted : June 29, 2010 3:37 pm
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