You have all heard the horror stories about economy in Puerto Rico – everyone agrees that it sucks. The island’s debt is in the neighborhood of 72 billion and our governor has openly admitted that this debt is not payable; there simply is not enough cash flow. To add insult to injury, today was, reportedly, the first time in the island’s history that Puerto Rico has missed a debt payment. This officially (although denied by the local government) puts Puerto Rico in default and will undoubtedly force a complete debt restructuring.
I am sure you also heard about the high unemployment rate and the hordes of people moving to the States to look for jobs and a better future. In fact, there has been much press regarding the fact that there are more Puerto Ricans living in the mainland states than there are on the island.
All of this is true..
Why then would you ever consider a move to Puerto Rico? After all, we did it and we really like it – are we crazy?
The fact of the matter is that the media does not tell the full story. There are two growing groups of people that are moving to Puerto Rico – the digital nomads, like us, and the wealthy business owners. I also suspect that there soon will be another wave of incomers – the baby boomer retirees (my opinion).
So, here are 15 reasons to move to Puerto Rico:
- Tax incentives – I talked about this in a previous post, see Taxes In Puerto Rico – the new tax haven. Bottom line is this, Puerto Rico is trying to attract wealth and business to the island and has created several amazingly attractive tax breaks, even for people like us. Update: After working with an accountant, we discovered that these incentives are not as good as everyone says, read more about Puerto Rico Taxes.
- Beaches – I love Puerto Rico’s beaches. There is something for everyone here.
- Do you like long walks on unobstructed, sandy beaches? – check out Luquillo and its 12 miles of shore.
- Are you a surfing enthusiast? – visit Rincón and its world-class surf beaches.
- Do you want to dive or snorkel? – how about visiting Mona Island, Caja de Muertos, or Vieques? Where the fish have amazing colors and octopuses, turtles, and rays are common.
- Are you looking for the perfect picturesque and unique spot, perhaps with a little rock to add some interest? – check out Cabo Rojo or Isabela. Puerto Rico is regularly featured in professional photography magazines because it is such a beautiful island.
- If adventure is your thing, you can literally find anything an adrenaline junkie could want on our beaches, including paramotors and flyboards.
- Perfect weather – I don’t know about you, but I love wearing shorts all year round. If that is you too, than Puerto Rico is the place for you. Temperatures on the island average 80 in lower elevations and 70 in higher ones – that’s year-round folks! I have been here for 7 months and I think I have seen maybe two cloudy days, the rest of the time it has been sunshine every day!
- People – you will find some of the friendliest, warmest, and funniest people here. The island natives are extremely helpful, happy people and the culture is open and welcoming to all. Characters are welcomed in Puerto Rico!
- Part of USA – you do not have to worry about customs, visas, or residency problems. As a commonwealth territory, Puerto Rico is part of the USA and you can relocate here with no hassle.
- Cheap property costs – if you buy property in Puerto Rico and it is your primary residence, you do not have to pay property taxes. If you purchase vacation property, the taxes are still cheap. The prices are cheap too. You can get a beach-front condo in Luquillo for around $100K. Try finding that in the States.
- Low cost of living – Puerto Rico’s cost of living is cheaper than in the States. See my posts Cost of Living in Puerto Rico – 6 month review. Update: Maybe not quite so cheap, see my in-depth comparison of Cost of Living in Puerto Rico to USA and Spain.
- Inexpensive healthcare –healthcare is MUCH cheaper than in the mainland. Even without insurance, it is quite affordable – in fact, medical tourism is booming in Puerto Rico. Update: See my recent post on Health Insurance Costs In Puerto Rico.
- Bi-lingual – both Spanish and English are official languages of Puerto Rico. As an American, you don’t really have to worry about a language barrier, there is always someone around that speaks English. We know people that have lived here for 16 years and barely speak any Spanish.
- Familiarity – let’s face it, new environments tend to be scary. In Puerto Rico, however, you will find many US department stores, restaurants chains, and everything just looks familiar. It is not such a huge culture shock as moving to Ecuador, for example. Simply put, it is USA with a Latin flare.
- Lots of other Americans – you will find that there are lots of Americans living in Puerto Rico. In our area there is a ton! Some are year-round residents, like us, and some only winter here but there are plenty of folks to become friends with – makes life a little less isolated or lonely.
- Good infrastructure – in general, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is very similar to that of USA. You will find high-speed internet and USA cell companies in most cities. Electricity and potable water are not as much of a problem here unlike some other Caribbean countries.
- Low insurance costs – this is the single biggest savings we have encountered here. Insurance, whether car, health, or homeowners is very cheap in Puerto Rico compared to the mainland. You can save thousands of dollars by living on the island in just insurance alone.
- Short distance to USA – if you want to live in tropical paradise but still want easy access to your friends and family back in the States, Puerto Rico is only a short plane ride away. In fact, all flights from USA to Puerto Rico are considered domestic.
- Land of opportunity – this speaks to the poor economy, because it sucks, Puerto Rico is still an uncharted territory (no pun intended), it really makes just about anything possible. For folks with a little money or a little ingenuity and an entrepreneurial spirit, Puerto Rico can be the beginning of a beautiful thing and a new land of plenty.
So, there you have it. These are 15 reasons to move to Puerto Rico. Are you next?