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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Not living in fantasyland, but if these surges are taking out appliances why do people not have these hooked up to surge protectors?

Most people think a power strip is a surge protector. It's not.

Lots of appliances and electronics get "fried" by either brown outs, or spikes.

I know that a power strip is a power strip and a surge protector is a surge protector and I do think most people know the difference between the two. Maybe because I know the difference is why I've never had anything "fry".

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Posted : November 27, 2015 7:12 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Not living in fantasyland, but if these surges are taking out appliances why do people not have these hooked up to surge protectors?

Most people think a power strip is a surge protector. It's not.

Lots of appliances and electronics get "fried" by either brown outs, or spikes.

I know that a power strip is a power strip and a surge protector is a surge protector and I do think most people know the difference between the two. Maybe because I know the difference is why I've never had anything "fry".

If one didn't know the difference because say they couldn't read the package that either said "surge protector" or "power strip" wouldn't one still be able to ask someone at Radio Shack, KMart, Cost U Less, etc to help them, if they were not, in fact, a mute?

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Posted : November 27, 2015 7:17 pm
monogram
(@monogram)
Advanced Member

My Macbook did fine without a surge protector all throughout undergraduate and graduate school in the States. It was fried a week after being back in the VI. WAPA, like many third-world energy providers, will wreck your sensitive hardware. I obviously use surge protectors in my home.

The problem is that most libraries, restaurants, etc (places where people might utilize their laptops) don't have extra surge protectors laying around. Reasonable, non-apologist minds would suggest that WAPA do something about their flawed system, as it negatively affects both locals and tourists alike. Apologist loons would suggest that nothing be done structurally, because individuals can simply carry a surge protector on their person everywhere they go.

The apologists are now defending WAPA--perhaps the most plainly inefficient entity in the VI. LOL. I needed some humor today! D

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Posted : November 27, 2015 7:36 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Not defending at all. In fact, I made a sarcastic comment yesterday about how "thankful" I was to finally have my first holiday here without a power interruption. WAPA is a joke, but until that joke is fixed, I will continue to protect my sensitive electronics, including bringing surge protectors with me if I plan on charging things away from home.

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Posted : November 27, 2015 7:44 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

sparty, the power outage came a day earlier. they just didnt time it right this year.

i was told it was island wide. i dont know as i was at work

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Posted : November 28, 2015 1:24 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

I haven't had a power outage of any kind on STT since at least Aubust.

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Posted : November 28, 2015 1:50 pm
shangirl
(@shangirl)
Advanced Member

We all know what a surge protector is here in Florida but that is because we are the lightning capital of the world and when lightening strikes the wrong pole as it loves to do....fry goes the electronics if they are not attached to a surge protector.

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Posted : November 28, 2015 9:55 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

Spart. Didn't know you are on stt. This was stx

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Posted : November 29, 2015 12:33 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Not living in fantasyland, but if these surges are taking out appliances why do people not have these hooked up to surge protectors?

Most people think a power strip is a surge protector. It's not.

Lots of appliances and electronics get "fried" by either brown outs, or spikes.

I know that a power strip is a power strip and a surge protector is a surge protector and I do think most people know the difference between the two. Maybe because I know the difference is why I've never had anything "fry".

If one didn't know the difference because say they couldn't read the package that either said "surge protector" or "power strip" wouldn't one still be able to ask someone at Radio Shack, KMart, Cost U Less, etc to help them, if they were not, in fact, a mute?

Didn't mean to strike a nerve there Sparty! I stand by my statement. But I will rephrase it. Most people assume a power strip offer surge protection. I hear it all the time, "But I had it plugged into the surge thingy"...

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Posted : November 29, 2015 6:29 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Understood. Can I safely say most people aren't bright?

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Posted : November 29, 2015 7:30 pm
redeyesadie
(@redeyesadie)
Advanced Member

Understood. Can I safely say most people aren't bright?

(tu)(tu)(tu)

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Posted : November 29, 2015 7:59 pm
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

Surge protectors all have different ratings depending on the load of the device being protected. They also have a limited lifetime according to how many "hits" they take. One of the best protectors is made by Monster. When it detects a surge, it cuts power to the devices and will not restore power until it has stabilized. Very expensive but well worth the money.

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Posted : November 29, 2015 8:32 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Surge protectors all have different ratings depending on the load of the device being protected. They also have a limited lifetime according to how many "hits" they take. One of the best protectors is made by Monster. When it detects a surge, it cuts power to the devices and will not restore power until it has stabilized. Very expensive but well worth the money.

Exactly. I have our televisions, blue ray players and plugs for phones, tablets and pc all protected. Even added one for refrigerator even though it isn't ours. I will say though after 5+ inches of rain we had not a flicker from WAPA. I was very impressed.

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Posted : November 29, 2015 9:06 pm
CaptainMalibu
(@CaptainMalibu)
Advanced Member

Man, I read quite a few posts on this topic last night. When it comes to discussions like this, it requires a "read inbetween the lines" approach. For me, I have the challenge of reading between the lines while combatting the "see what you want to see" tendencies of someone who thinks about their upcoming move on a daily basis which is still almost 8 months away!

Fortunately for me I am determined (stubborn as hell) and an experiential learner (find out the hard way) so I am undeterred by all of the "downsides" presented in some of these discussions. I still appreciate the presentation of all sides of the coin here but I don't expect every day to be rum on the beach basking in the sun. I am fully prepared for the hangover and sun burnned side of life...if in the end I decide to "evacuate" the island, it won't be with my tail between my legs.

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Posted : December 2, 2015 7:50 pm
Rambo
(@Rambo)
Active Member

Ok so my question is.... Is it really that bad there?

I spent over 10 years in the military, and now work as a civilian and Me and the wife lived in some real 3rd world crap-holes...

The military really opened my eyes to how great the United States is, and how well we have it.

But even here we have lived places that have a murder a day, like Las Vegas.

I do understand 3rd world, and it takes a little getting use to. After a while it become routine.

I'm talking meat hanging in the sun covered with flies in the "store".

Nasty holes in the floor for you to squat over to do your business.

Checking your cars for trip wires before you open the door, just so you don't have a "fatal accident".

I mean we even lived a hour from the Iraq and Syrian boarders... Some real 3rd world wonder-holes.

So is it really as bad as some of you say?

We are now planning for retirement is it really 3rd world, or is this a little blown out of proportion?

Are you allowed to bring your weapons in country with you when you move?

Can't you order most items you need from online places like Walmart or Amazon? To help reduce cost of living?

We are Tossing around between VI, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica...

What is a fair amount of annual retirement income, considering you would pay cash for your home?

And any true thoughts would be appreciated, honesty is a great thing.

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Posted : December 16, 2015 5:45 pm
jj00802
(@jj00802)
Advanced Member

Ok so my question is.... Is it really that bad there?
I spent over 10 years in the military, and now work as a civilian and Me and the wife lived in some real 3rd world crap-holes...
---------------------------------------------

RAMBO---- This specific thread specifically asked for "reasons people leave" and many people do not want or enjoy the 'island life'. The US Virgin Islands is a great place for island life that still has some benefits of being part of the USA, but it depends on the individual perspective and preferences to determine if people will enjoy life here or rush back to stateside living. ------------JJ

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Posted : December 16, 2015 8:08 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Ok so my question is.... Is it really that bad there?

We are now planning for retirement is it really 3rd world, or is this a little blown out of proportion?

Are you allowed to bring your weapons in country with you when you move?

Can't you order most items you need from online places like Walmart or Amazon? To help reduce cost of living?

We are Tossing around between VI, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica...

What is a fair amount of annual retirement income, considering you would pay cash for your home?

And any true thoughts would be appreciated, honesty is a great thing.

Well, it's not like the mainland, USA.
There are quirks to island living.
Some good, some inconvenient, some bad.
It really is up to the individual as to whether you take to it or not.
Some love it and some don't.

That being said, best thing to do is come for a year and rent to see if island life is really your cup of tea before you buy a home or condo, spend your money and decide after a year, this isn't for you. Plus, it may take awhile to sell your property, if you decide you don't like living wherever.

Someone else may be able to answer your questions regarding bringing a gun into the VI.

Sometimes you can order things from the states, sometimes they don't ship here. There are a couple different threads on this forum and subject that you can search...such as this one:
https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,251885

As for whether Costa Rica, PR, or one of the U.S. Virgin Islands,
that's a personal choice so you have to do your homework.
They're all different. Have you been to any of them, previously?

May be a good idea to do some premove visits to narrow your search, if affordable. Off season is best time as rates for accommodations are not as high as Dec. - May.

I know in Costa Rica one usually has to pay cash for a property.
In VI and PR, you can get a bank loan for a mortgage.

As for annual retirement income, again, that is a personal choice depending on your preferred lifestyle. There's not much to do in terms of nightlife. There's the occasional art show, entertainment at Richold or Pistarkle theater and other such events over the course of the year.
However, there's no "vibrant" nightlife.
What do you like to do for entertainment?
Do you eat out a lot?

It is expensive to live here.
Rents, utilities, groceries, gas, etc. are higher than in FL.
Many condos, if purchasing have high monthly HOA fees.

There is no individual health care insurance being offered at this point in the VI so you may wish to see if your coverage transfers or check other options.

Do your research and ask your questions.

Read the various threads and do a search on different topics.
Good luck.

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Posted : December 16, 2015 9:43 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Are you allowed to bring your weapons in country with you when you move?

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,247726,247806#msg-247806

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Posted : December 16, 2015 9:48 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

LOL Rambo its NOT third world. Anyone who even insinuates that, clearly hasn't been to a third world country. It'll be like the ritz compared to where you've experienced. I've heard cruise shippers call STT third world. Ridiculous.

I will say that STX on MY feeder (10) is horrendous. Power out at the first sign of a rain. We even made a game out of it. We bet dinner on how long it'll take to go out when it starts raining. Then we leave when it goes out and lose pay the tab lol. Most of the time for at least 3-4 hours. 50% of the time its for 24 hours. I don't want to jinx it but hasn't been off for like a week and half.... but it hasn't rained much either lol.

In STT northside I had outages 2-3 times a month maybe. For an hour or two at most.

I just got back from Costa Rica. NOT a fan. In truth I thought we would want to move there next (not that we want to leave). Wanna talk about EXPENSIVE? If you're white expect to pay twice to three times what Ticos pay. Thats not my observation thats what the Ticos TOLD ME lol. We stayed in Puntarenas, Arenal - La Fortuna and down to Jaco. Maybe Caribbean side is better? Hated Puntarenas. I can honestly say you couldn't pay me to go back to Puntarenas. Arenal was beautiful. Stayed in Tabacon for a couple nights - nicest place EVER. This all goes without saying that the rainforest and the wildlife is amazing. We enjoyed the vacation but wouldn't move to that area. e will check out caribbean side after our big trips this year but I was shocked on how expensive it was. More than here thats for sure. :-O Even though the rainforest and animals were really amazing... I just don't think I can give up my VI waters. I have my pics up if you want to take a peek: http://www.photosvi.com/Costa-Rica/

PR is NOT for me. Way too many people and too much smog. Its fun to jet over there for shopping and taco bell thou lol. Hunny is going this week for work - but tickets for me are $250!?!?! Insane. Usually $110 RT from STX in advance. Must be because of Christmas. Kinda bummed but he always brings me back starbucks hahahaha.

Cost for a home? You have $3-400K cash laying around?? If so then kudos. It'll take that for a decent move in ready nice-ish place (with insurance) in STX and STT more like $700. You can totally do a condo for a LOT less. You could find a cheaper home but in reality how much work do you really want to do? $250k you likely need to gut the kitchen and they'll be some other work and unlikely a very good view but once you get to the $300 range places start to get better. I would say $500 would get you a nice place with a good view. Kim Lucan is one of my bestie and IMO the most knowledgeable realtor here. St. Croix Island Life Real Estate is her company. For retirement I would suggest STX even though I personally prefer STT. For monthly living.... I would say two retired people.... $1500 a month would be enough with no rent. Thats for food - bills - and entertainment. If you want to eat out all the time - double it lol. We average $100-$160 a dinner for two at a place like Zion (my FAV) or Galangal (sp). Of course you can always hit up cheaper places @ $20 a plate.

Ordering stuff on amazon and walmart is a pain in the ass. Maybe its just because I am not very patient. Recently I have been online ordering a ton, giant rug and furniture even lol. Have tho shop that to Paradise freight and then pay them to being it by boat. Not everything will shop here from amazon. I order some small stuff but most things I just go without or buy a ton of when they have it locally. Recently Plaza West had Applegate bacon. I bought every single package they had - $130 in bacon lol. The checkout lady must though I was mad but I've been trying to get some chemical free bacon here for a while. Speaking of has anyone see the giant avocado oil CUL had??? So bummed I didn't buy more. I know better lol, I digress. Its best to come down and stay a month and if you're retired make it two... why not. You'll get a good idea on if you like it. You can pop over to STT and STJ too while you're here - seaplane is cheap in advance and check those out too. If I was retiring and had to pick one island it would be St. John BUT thats only if you got a lot of cash cause that island ain't cheap! Close to STT and BVIs which is why I would choose it. Here you're limited to a plane whenever you want to leave. There you can take ferries. Good luck. The VI is amazing and the more I travel the more I think I might be a VI till I die kinda person.

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Posted : December 16, 2015 10:08 pm
lily1025
(@lily1025)
Advanced Member

For the people who are still living there but have cited many negative attributes that drive away transplants....what keeps you living on the islands?

For me, a big part of it is that I no longer fit in in the states. I don't like how people don't look at or greet one another. I don't like cookie cutter anything. I don't like keeping up with the Jones. I don't like gigantic grocery stores. It all just feels strange and overwhelming to me now.

just reading this topic for the first time. could not agree more!!...and it gets harder and harder to go back to the mainland.

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Posted : December 16, 2015 10:52 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

Rambo - I don't even live in the USVI and would be somewhat insulted by your post. Is it 3rd world - not even close. I have visited STX in October, and like you, had my own vision of what it would be like. After my visit, I was so wrong, and glad that I was. I would suggest visiting for a few weeks, rent a vehicle, talk to everyone you encounter and you will realize this is not a 3rd world country and that there are some awesome people living here. Are there bad areas, sure, what area in the states doesn't have that? But once you meet the locals and those that moved there, you realize why many people may fall in love with these islands. I will go back in a heart beat, and hopefully run into those people again, and those that we didn't. We met so many great people there, I can understand why the attraction by many who visit. Go visit, rent a vehicle and just explore all the areas. You'll understand quickly that attraction.

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Posted : December 16, 2015 11:56 pm
Rambo
(@Rambo)
Active Member

AandA, JJ, Alana, OT thanks for the information, a lot of good info there!

Yeah AandA2VI we have been discussing budget and I think we will prob br looking to cap the house at about $600k. I don't want to take a loan, and I don't want to eat into the retirement too much. I think that's going to be the level where we would be comfortable, just in case, "it" hits the fan... And prob a annual retirement income of $60k maybe a little more if I decide to dip into the reserves. But yeah we are not "night club" people and I love to cook, BBQ, and smoke my own meat. We eat out on special occasions a few times a month.. But other than that... I would much rather prep my own.... Nothing like a little food made with a whole lot of love... But that might change some as the kids find their way on there own.... Yeah when we go out here, I drop between $125-$175 but that is for me the wife and the 2 kids ( who will be gone when I retire, God willing in the US Military)

AandA, Very interesting your take on Costa Rica.... I have thought about the Jaco area, also Tamrindo area...

Yeah we have been toying with the idea of renting to get a feel for each... I'm just one who hates renting... When I was young I said never again... Throwing money down an empty hole...lol. I do see your point about about maybe renting for a few months to ensure I'm making the right decision.

Alana33 yeah I definitely need to check into that with my health insurance company... I have Cigna health care.....But that does bring up a good question... Obamacare affect you all?

AandA2VI also btw some nice images there... I'm also a photographer.... One of my many hats...But mainly, fashion, glam, and fine art.... Done a few clothing campaigns... And my fair share of publications.... Took down the website a while back, but I'm sure if you google me, or just go to places like 500px you can see some of my work...

Daveb722.... I never said it was 3rd world there... It was brought up at the beginning of this thread... And I just have a hard time believing that the USVI is 3rd world .... I know what 3rd world is and I just can't see the VI falling in that category .... So I was looking for some clarification... Just to see if people were being overly dramatic, or if there are some true 3rd world issues there.

Thanks all for responding... But from what I'm hearing...there are some good tips here.

This is a great site for people like me, I have already picked up a few good tips.

Sounds like buy a new jeep to bring with
Buy some ups, and surge protectors
Look for gated communities and good security
Buy a home with a backup generator
Dont go anywhere solo.

Thanks all for the info... Any more is greatly appreciated

Sam

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Posted : December 17, 2015 8:01 am
Rambo
(@Rambo)
Active Member

Yeah I'm leaning towards VI or PR.. over Costa Rica mainly due the the fact, they are US territories. There is a little comfort in knowing that simple facts.

These are the types of threads I like....good info, I always say prep for the worst, due diligence, and things usually end up better than expected. I refused to go through life with rose colored glasses...

Thanks again

Sam

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Posted : December 17, 2015 8:12 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

... Yeah we have been toying with the idea of renting to get a feel for each... I'm just one who hates renting... When I was young I said never again... Throwing money down an empty hole...lol. I do see your point about about maybe renting for a few months to ensure I'm making the right decision.

... I have Cigna health care....... Obamacare affect you all?

Briefly, do NOT purchase real property until you've lived here for at least a year - preferably two or three. Many people I've encountered over the years have made that decision to regret it most deeply. The attrition rate of newcomers is (no exaggeration) huge and for a huge number of reasons. There are rarely quick turnovers of real property here.

There is no coverage here under the Affordable Care Act and once you establish residency it's unlikely that your Cigna plan will cover you. Cigna offers plans for expats but you can't qualify for any such plans as a US citizen. Right now, affordable individual health insurance is a pipe dream. This should be a major concern for you, particularly as a retiree and even more so if you have any major health issues. We have "adequate" medical facilities but you should know that many seniors who've lived here for many, many years opt to move stateside for more accessible, affordable and state of the art care.

Just a couple of things to mull over. Good luck!

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Posted : December 17, 2015 8:51 am
Rambo
(@Rambo)
Active Member

... Yeah we have been toying with the idea of renting to get a feel for each... I'm just one who hates renting... When I was young I said never again... Throwing money down an empty hole...lol. I do see your point about about maybe renting for a few months to ensure I'm making the right decision.

... I have Cigna health care....... Obamacare affect you all?

Briefly, do NOT purchase real property until you've lived here for at least a year - preferably two or three. Many people I've encountered over the years have made that decision to regret it most deeply. The attrition rate of newcomers is (no exaggeration) huge and for a huge number of reasons. There are rarely quick turnovers of real property here.

There is no coverage here under the Affordable Care Act and once you establish residency it's unlikely that your Cigna plan will cover you. Cigna offers plans for expats but you can't qualify for any such plans as a US citizen. Right now, affordable individual health insurance is a pipe dream. This should be a major concern for you, particularly as a retiree and even more so if you have any major health issues. We have "adequate" medical facilities but you should know that many seniors who've lived here for many, many years opt to move stateside for more accessible, affordable and state of the art care.

Just a couple of things to mull over. Good luck!

Yeah I'll have to check that out, good tip, I never thought about it too much, but I'm sure I can figure something out for health care as it will be insurance as a retired Fed. And I'm sure they have insurance for the Feds that actually live and work in VI.

But that is interesting that the turnover rate is so high... I would expect if you did your research (not on tourist sites, but pages like these) you would get a good feel for what you are getting into...

To be honest the reason I'm looking at places like VI is simple...
Warmth
Location for photography
I want a slow, laid back life style.

Plus
Getting tired of watching everyone, I mean everyone with their hands out. Over the last 6-7 years the number of people looking for handouts here in the mainland has shot up drastically.... People have just given up... And I'm not talking about 1 or 2 but by my best guess 50% of America seems to be on government assistance... The true numbers, but that doesn't count those to cheat the tax system. Even the ones who work, try to limit their hours so they qualify for government programs. I just shake my head.... This kills me to watch... And you can't avoid seeing it anymore... It has started to affect middle class America, It's getting close to a time for a serious change of scenery. I would rather watch waves from my porch, while reading on my iPad...

Like I said before I severed in the military for a little over 10 years, it's hard for me to watch so many people "give up" and just bad mouth the US, because they don't give them enough free stuff.

It seems like I'm one of the few who doesn't cheat the tax system... It's Hard to watch..., hard to watch....

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Posted : December 17, 2015 9:27 am
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