Is Jamaica A Good Place To Retire?
The Pros & Cons of Retiring To Jamaica
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Is Jamaica A Good Place To Retire? | (Photo: NCB)
by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
After visiting Jamaica continuously for so many years, you might be wondering if it is time to settle down and make this paradise your home, especially if you are retired.
But, you may be weighing your mind, considering the differences, the pros and the cons. So let me help you, here are some of the pros and cons of retiring in Jamaica, plus a few other things you may need to take into consideration.
Pros of Retiring In Jamaica
- The food - The food is one of Jamaica's key draws, as are the traditional Jamaican specialities. Jamaican food is as diverse and distinctive as Bob Marley's reggae music, from the many seafood dishes to the jerk chicken and bammy on the side.
- The People - The friendliness of Jamaicans is a universal observation made by tourists who have visited the country. The inhabitants of the island are generally laid back.
- Entertainment - Reggae originated in Jamaica, where there is nonstop entertainment.
- Lower Cost of Living - This is an apparent benefit that will become clear when we explore the cost of living there later in this article.
- Beaches and Excursions - Being on an island, you have access to a lot of beaches and a laid-back way of life.
Cons of retiring in Jamaica
- Crime - Some areas of Jamaica are more likely to face a higher level of crime due to the country's subpar educational system and low employment rates. So when considering where to move to in Jamaica, you need to research carefully if it is a violent area and if they are violent areas nearby.
It is also not advised that you move into the area you were born in, especially if you are older. In most cases, the persons you were close with are no longer living in that area and this may lead to isolation. It is best to move to at least a semi-developed area. This way, you won’t lose all the creature comforts you have grown accustomed to.
- Power Outages - Around 8 power outages occur a year, which can happen anywhere. They are typically brought on by severe weather events such as thunderstorms. The JPS (Jamaican Public Service), which provides electricity, has used smart grid technologies, which has resulted in a 30% decrease in these outages from the previous year.
- Health Insurance - Medical insurance presents a significant problem for ex-pats in Jamaica. Since all citizens and legal residents of Jamaica are entitled to free medical care, the hospitals are usually overrun by sick persons who are unable to visit private practices. Ensure that you have identified at least a medical insurance company that offers a package you think will work for you.
Things to consider when deciding to retire in Jamaica
- Utilities - There will be ongoing monthly expenses to take into account once you have secured your modest dwelling. These consist of cable, internet, water, power, and maintenance. The majority of these are payable online.
The price of power in Jamaica is comparatively high. It might be as hot as 89°F, so you might be tempted to leave the air conditioning on all the time, but doing so would likely result in a hefty electricity bill. Depending on how frequently you cook, you may also need to purchase cooking gas on occasion. In Jamaica, portable cylinders are used to transport cooking gas to home rather than pipelines.
- Cost of Living - According to estimates, the cost of living in Jamaica is about 25% lower than in the United States, while Jamaican rent is about 2/3 less expensive than American rent. An individual might require little under US$700 per month to live well in Jamaica, not including rent or mortgage.
However, Jamaica's minimum wage won't reach US$240 per month until April 2022. In Jamaica, a person with a tertiary education makes an average monthly salary of US$670. However, you could live well in Jamaica if you get remittances, a pension from home, or the opportunity to work remotely for an international firm.
- Transportation - The Jamaica Urban Transit Company is a publicly funded, state-run bus company (JUTC). These buses are available in major towns across the island. They are distinguishable, all being bright yellow with their route number and stops displayed in the front. Online bus schedules are available, however, they aren't necessarily the most accurate.
Minivans, official passenger taxis, and smaller, privately owned buses known as "coasters" are all available on the island. These follow set routes and have a set fare that changes depending on how far the route is. Although they are more expensive, chartered taxis can take you to almost any place on the island. Larger coaches, like the Knutsford Express, can transport you comfortably from city to city.
Jamaica may need improvements in some areas, but for a retiree looking for a new place to call home, the fresh air, warm people and good food will surely put the island as a top contender.
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References & Sources For Is Jamaica A Good Place To Retire?
- Glen (2021) Retire to Jamaica: The pros and cons you must know, Where To Retire Cheaply. Available at: https://wheretoretirecheaply.com/retire-to-jamaica-the-pros-and-cons-you-must-know/ (Accessed: November 24, 2022).
Is Jamaica A Good Place To Retire? | Written: November 24, 2022
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