The relationship between the United States and Cuba has not improved much in the last four decades. Things were looking up for Cuba under Obama, but not so much under Trump. Politics aside, a number of Americans have begun living in and retiring to Cuba in 2018.
It is hard and complicated to try and summarize their relationship between Cuba and the United States, as there are many social and political factors in play. Still, the future looks brighter now than it has since the 1960s.
Obama re-opened the American Embassy in Cuba paving the way for a reconciliation of sorts, but this fell on the wayside when the new administration began. Cuba is changing, and I believe that in our lifetime we will be able to travel freely and do business with the Carribbean country.
Cuba is a beautiful islands with a lot of history and a lot to offer the world. Its music, food, baseball, and culture are something everyone should experience. Even with all the political obstacles keeping them apart, Americans still have a love for Cuba.
Americans consume Cuban cigars (my choice is the Cohiba Siglo IV), listen to Cuban music, eat at Cuban restaurants, etc. And now, in 2018, Americans are beginning to live and retire to Cuba.
Cuba might not be the first thing that you think about when you are choosing a place to retire to, but it is “the” budget destination. Cuba offers everything that an American retiree is looking for. Good medical care, warm and cozy beaches, cheap living expenses and much more.
A question that needs to be answered is, how can an American retire in Cuba? The answer isn’t an easy one especially if you want to go through official channels.
The only way to become a Cuban resident is to marry a Cuban citizen. This will get you an automatic Cuban passport. Cuban travel or work visas are short termed and are very restricted, so the best option you have as a retiree is to get a Snowbird Visa.
Snowbird Visas are given to retirees who wish to come to Cuba for the cheap medical attention. A Snowbird Visa is given for 6 months and can be easily renewed. You can live in Cuba with a Snowbird Visa and just keep renewing it.
It is important to know that as an American you cannot own property or a vehicle in Cuba, you can only rent. You can only buy property, a car, or start your own business if you are married to a Cuban national.
You should not retire in Cuba thinking that you will maintain yourself with the salary from the business you open or the job you get there, a Cuban salary is not enough to give yourself a good lifestyle. Yes, you can open a business there with a Cuban partner, but you can’t work for someone and take a job away from a local.
Consider living and retiring in Cuba only if you have the sufficient funds to provide for yourself and your family from money coming in abroad. You will find this to be true in just about all expat countries, such as Panama and Mexico. You can start a business or work for a foreign company. You can’t compete in the local job market and take work away from citizens. The government wants only high net worth retirees or those that will bring jobs and money into the country.
It is highly recommended to receive at least $3,000 USD a month from your pension before you consider retiring in Cuba. The rent in Cuba is cheap, but as an American the best option for you is in the tourist area which are a tad pricier than the rest of Cuba.
Many Americans who are now living in Cuba are surprised by the strong American presence that exists in the island. American college students choose to study abroad in Cuba, Cuban Americans make up a huge part of the population in Havana, and American entertainment is sold all over the Cuban black market.
Still, if you are thinking about moving to Cuba you probably already know what life is like in the island. How there are no fast food chains, big outlet malls, movie theaters showing American movies, etc.
The main problem that many Americans have when they travel or stay in Cuba is the food. Good Cuban meat is hard to find and it can be expensive, you have a much better shot of obtaining good meat in a restaurant.
The grocery stores that they do have only offer one product for the most part, so if you don’t like that brand there is nothing you can do about it. Fruits and vegetables are delicious and come in a healthy supply so you won’t suffer with that.
Choosing to retire and live in Cuba may not be easy, but it is an adventure. Cuba is unlike any other place in the world. You won’t regret taking a risk and moving to the island, you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t do it sooner.
For those of you not ready for Cuba, you might consider Panama. This is the most popular Latin expat stop, and life is easier than in Cuba. As an American, you can get residency in Panama by investing $22,000 in their reforestation visa program or by buying property for $330,000 or more.
I hope you’ve found this article on retiring in Cuba to be helpful. For more information, or for assistance with any second passport program, please contact us below by filling out the form, Thank you. We’ll be happy to assist you with a second passport or a second residency.