The How & Why of Retiring to St. Kitts and Nevis

High net worth retirees are setting their sights on this two-island nation, and it’s easy to see why. The benefits are enough to check everything off the list of those looking for a Caribbean feel and a slower, quieter beach life. St. Kitts is the bigger of the two islands, with Nevis located just across the channel, so you can find the atmosphere you’re seeking simply by crossing over a channel, either way.

Cost of Living

The cost of living abroad in this country is considered moderate, simply because most everything must be imported. You won’t find the cheap prices here that you can find in the rest of the Caribbean and/or Central and South America, but St. Kitts and Nevis has its perks.

What expats retiring abroad are finding out is that this country has no taxes on inheritances, foreign income, or capital gains. It allows you to get a second passport with dual citizenship that then allows for visa-free travel to 103 different countries. The population is friendly and speaks English. These types of perks can arguably outweigh the higher cost of living.

Rent ranges anywhere from $1,000 per month to $1,800 per month depending on where you choose to live and how many bedrooms you need. While that range is considerably high, you can tell which products are more expensive thanks to the fact that they must be imported. For example, a gallon of milk is $14, but a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is only $10. A water or soft drink is under $2 and eggs and bread are in the $2 to $3 range. If you want to make St. Kitts and/or Nevis your new retirement home abroad, you can certainly budget for a lifestyle that isn’t completely expensive – but you’ll likely still have to pay high rent prices. Just consider the pros of living on either of these islands and weigh out your options!

Retirement

If you’re traveling from one of the 103 countries which allow visa-free entry into St. Kitts and Nevis, you can simply enter with your valid passport. This will allow you to stay for up to 90 days before you must either apply for an extension or leave and come back. You can only leave and come back a few times per year, so if you wish to retire abroad here, you’ll want to take advantage of the investment by citizenship program. Technically, you can apply for a one-year residency which must be renewed continually, but the investment route is what St. Kitts and Nevis is most known for. It’s the oldest program in the world and it leads you on a direct path to citizenship.

In order to take advantage of this program, you’ll have to either purchase real estate or donate to the sugar foundation. Your investment should equal $400,000, and if you purchase property, you’ll need to have it for five years before citizenship can be gained. This program will allow you a dual citizenship and visa-free travel to over 100 other countries – just another perk of living in paradise.

Medical and Transportation

When choosing a place in which to retire abroad, you’ll take other factors into consideration. Cost of living and the process for residency are, of course, the foremost factors, but medical facilities, transportation, and things to do matter too.

The Joseph N. France General Hospital is located in St. Kitts and the Alexandra Hospital is located in Nevis. You can go to Consumer Resource Guidethese hospitals for your everyday treatments, but if you have any major health issues that might result in a need for serious treatment, you’ll have to have an emergency evacuation. This is important to know when making your location decision.

Transportation is mostly public and there are buses used mostly by tourists. You can take ferries, and there’s an airport that receives flights from the United States and the UK, so you’re somewhat limited in your transportation options here. The ferry service that runs between the islands, however, is convenient and helpful to those who want the ability to travel back and forth during their retirement abroad in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Climate & Activities

The islands offer a tropical climate typical of the Caribbean. The daily average temperature in any area is about 77 degrees in January and February, and 82 degrees from June to October. Humidity and rainfall are more present in the warmer season, but those cooler months are dry and very mild.

Water activities and ecotourism are widely available in St. Kitts and Nevis. Sailing, hiking, and outdoor festivals are some of the favorite activities for those who live abroad there. If the outdoors and the beach are part of your overseas retirement plan, St. Kitts and Nevis is more than appealing.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABasseterre%2C_St._Kitts%2C_St_Kitts_and_Nevis_(32050657843).jpg

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