Retiring to Jamaica

by John E. Tarsey
(Wasaga Beach,On,Ca)


Hi I would like to retire in Jamaica.

I am on a pension and I am selling a house in Wasaga Beach,On,Ca.

I was a drafts person and trumpet player all my adult life. I was also a builder and renovator.

I only need a small place in the sun to play, and maybe build a energy efficient house with help from local people. I can bring the technology. I have a neuro-muscular condition called Ataxia and cant walk properly ( I look drunk and i don't drink) but can ride a bicycle and drive a car & truck.

I have had a few Jamaican friends and tell me i would like it maybe join a band. Could please send any info on living in Jamaica.

ANSWER: August-24-2009 by Wellesley Gayle

Hi John,

Thanks for asking, and thanks for your interest in retiring to our country.

I'll start by quoting your namesake, John (Casey), an American retiree to Jamaica. In an article he wrote two years ago, he said that:

"I will try to give you the most important steps it takes to move to Jamaica. The very first thing you must do is come and explore the island as much as possible. From time to time readers ask me about retiring here without ever having been on the island.

Moving to Jamaica is not like moving across town. This is a third world country with a culture all its own. You need to come and see for yourself what Jamaica has to offer you.

It is very important to see the country and its people away from the tourist spots. Taking advantage of the numerous tours that will take you to plantations, historical sites, and deep into the countryside will help with your decision. Once you have done this, you are ready for the next step." Full Article here.

Take a look at this feedback as well. The asker had a very similar question - except she was looking at other Caribbean islands and she has a child.

For a solid overview of the country, please see my profile of Jamaica page

I hope that helps John.

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I plan on retiring to a Caribbean island also.

Now, most of the island are going to be cheap to retire to simply because the American dollar is strong. As to picking which island really depends on how active of a life style you want.

Personally I would stick to the islands closer to the tip of Miami such as, Cayman islands Jamaica, Puerto Rico or the Bahamas. Because in case of anything they are close to great American hospitals and you have always find travel discounts from the islands to the U.S.

However, Jamaica and Puerto Rico are the two more developed countries and you'll find a lot of the luxuries you enjoy in America. Keep in mind that Puerto Rico is a Spanish speaking country.

With the Larger islands, you can find seclusion along with shopping centers, movie theaters, plays, concerts, American doctors, basically anything you're used to in America.

As far as safety, compared to the other islands Jamaica does have a rep for not being the safest place.

However, I've been there before and it's a isolated situation. It's usually in the ghetto and other poor parts. Same with Puerto Rico. Most of the criminals don't mess with people who seem to have a lot of money, or people who are non-black because their punishment is much greater if they do.

As far as raising a child, most of the island are on a British school system and are strict. I lived in many of the islands and I've attended both Caribbean schools and American schools and there's a difference.

In the Caribbean the work is more challenging. I found American school work to be easy. The islands also believe in having a high standard of class and morals and all the children wear uniforms.

Also, Jamaica is the most racially mixed of the Caribbean. It's also the Largest English speaking island in the Caribbean. It's also very Americanized meaning they have plastic surgeons everywhere, ruby Tuesdays, nail salons, malls, technology capitol of the Caribbean but also still have it's island charm. Puerto Rico is the same Also. But more Americanize, if you go there you'll feel like you're in Miami.
Just stay away from Haiti and the D.R.

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