So where would you retire? USVI, BVI, Antigua or Hawaii
So we are starting to plan for early retirement in a few years and would love to hear your opinions.
We will be making a first PMV to VI, BVI and Antigua later this month. We aim to whittle it down to a few places and then rent for 3-6 months before diving in.
We are a UK/US couple who have lived all over the world for the last 30 years. We can handle high prices, potholes in the roads, cistern water, power outages, but high crime is a concern for us - we want to relax now. We are also keen sailors.
We could get residency on BVI or Antigua but USVI would be more convenient in that respect.
On USVI, we'd be happier on STJ because of the crime, even though it's much more expensive
Hawaii - we lived the two years and loved it. Perfect climate and beautiful. Negatives are that the sailing there is extremely limited and that it's so remote from Europe.
You stated - "We could get residency on BVI or Antigua" and that you are a "UK/US couple" - make sure you fully understand the residency requirements for those island as having citizenship and or residency status in the US and/or UK DOES NOT give you any residency or citizenship rights in the BVI's or Antigua - they have their own regulations. You cannot just show up one day to take up residency.
Obviously if you have US citizenship or residency status you'll find it infinitely easier to relocate to Hawaii or the USVI's. If those are you only two options and sailing is a major item on your "wish list" than the USVI's get the nod.
Using your stated choices, this is my opinion. I have not spent much time in Antigua, so my comments are hearsay. Our experience in Hawaii was all on Maui. In the USVI on St Croix
Best Healthcare....... Friendliest island ....... best diving /snorkeling
Hawaii....... .......... St Croix USVI ....... BVI
Best sailing ....... Medicare /SS ....... worst driving
USVI and BVI ....... Hawaii / USVI ....... ....... Hawaii
More like city living....... fewest poisonous snakes/sharks
Hawaii ........... ......... USVI
Worst crime ....... Best local government
Antigua? ........ ............. Hawaii
Most secure ....... easiest relocation
Hawaii ....... ............ Hawaii ......... .......... Just opinions folks....lol
Very helpful comments!!! Many thanks to all - it's so good to have different opinions. Just to pick up on a few points mentioned:
Residency - we are aware of the limitations and have confirmation from the authorities that we could get residency in BVI/Anigua based on net worth and property purchase.
I agree Hawaii's "big city" is its best and its worst feature.
Heatlhcare is certianly an issue to consider - we are in mid 50's and expect that in our dotage we will move to "back" to mainland USA. We were thinking of STJ as having the ameneties of STT close to hand but with less hustle and crime (I know it's expensive!)
Fiji - now that is one we had not thought of - and a coutnry we have not visited - need for a PMV there I think!
Florida - used to live there and probably will again at some point. Definitely a cheaper and easier life. Right now looking for something a little less mainstream.
I have not lived on Maui but did on the North shore of Oahu. It was beautiful and the cost of living about the same as the VI. Driving to work wasn't dad until Honolulu, 6 lanes of stop and go traffic was a pain. I've been on STX got 6 years and traveling back to the states is easy compared to coming from HI. The mountains and beaches are epic and there is so much to do. It can get cool and it can rain for a month. The water temp is cooler but as you said the sailing is difficult. For me for now STX is my choice but when retirement comes, who knows?
Good luck in your quest.
I heard Fiji was extremely dangerous. My aunt went and said it was beautiful but between the HUGE bugs, the excruciating heat and the safety she wouldn't go back. Idk I still have it on my bucket list. Rather Palau and jellyfish lake! Now that's something I have to do before I kick the bucket! Better start on making my millions :-I
We are retiring from Alaska to Saint Lucia in June. Saint Lucia offers many positives such as reasonable cost of living, long term rentals are about one third of a comparable rental in the USVI. The only draw back being US citizens i will probably not be able to find employment, but if i get bored there are many volunteer opportunity's available. We are then looking at Antigua, also Water Island in the USVI. If Saint Lucia might be a option for you please feel free to PM me and we can compare notes.