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Best Caribbean Island to Retire: 12 Amazing Destinations

Are you seeking the best Caribbean Island to retire? Then you are in luck. In a quest to help my mum find the right Island to call home, I have visited several Caribbean countries and can help you make an informed decision when retiring abroad.

When I think about retiring abroad, I am mesmerized by the Caribbean’s warm tropical weather, white sand beaches, outstanding healthcare services, and lower cost of living. To make an informed decision, you need to compare different islands and their unique offers.

I have compiled a list of some of the best islands to retire in the Caribbean. Let’s quickly dive into the details.

Best Caribbean Island to Retire

Quick Answer

With its natural beauty, warm tropical weather all year round, reasonable property prices, and a relaxed lifestyle the Caribbean is an excellent retirement destination. Below I have outlined a few island territories and unique characteristics that make them perfect for your retirement years:

  • Dominican Republic: The country’s low cost of living is what amazed me during my weeks there. It is a great retirement destination for retirees living on a stringent budget.
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: I was amazed at how easily I could move around enjoying the beauty of this island country, It was like a Caribbean extension of my country. Retiring in these islands is easier and hassle-free for US citizens.
  • Turks & Caicos: I was blown away by the high-end lifestyle displayed inTurks & Caicos. If you are looking for luxury real estate and upscale retirement communities, you will love it here.
  • Aruba: I felt really safe walking around since the island has very low crime rates. Retirees can settle in over 55 retirement communities located in areas such as Oranjestad, Tierra del Sol, Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, and Noord.
  • Cayman Islands: These Caribbean islands are perfect for those looking for financial security in their retirement. During my vacation to the Cayman Islands, I could tell that the island offered a stable financial environment, healthcare facilities, modern amenities, and a stable economy.

As you can see, each of these islands has something unique for retirees, however, your choice depends on your lifestyle, personal preferences, and current budget. Nevertheless, there are many more islands that we will explore in the sections below. Keep reading as I take you through the unique features and hidden treasures that make these islands the perfect retirement destinations.

Retirement is a blank sheet of paper. It’s a chance to redesign your life into something new and different.Patrick Foley

Best Caribbean Island to Retire – Comparison Chart of 12 Great Places

Check out the comparison chart of the different Caribbean Islands in the table provided below to see how I have rated them:

ISLAND

MEDICAL CARE

LEGAL RESIDENCY AND VISAS

SAFETY

COST OF LIVING & PRICES

Dominican Republic

Varied

Relatively Easy

Moderate

Affordable

U.S. Virgin Islands

Good

U.S. Territory

Moderate

Relatively High

Turks & Caicos

Good

Investment Required

Safe

High

Aruba

Good

Generally Easy

Very Safe

Moderate to High

Bahamas

Good

Varied

Moderate

Moderate to High

Cayman Islands

Excellent

Investment Required

Very Safe

High

St Kitts and Nevis

Good

Citizenship by Investment

Safe

Moderate to High

Antigua and Barbuda

Good

Residency Programs

Safe

Moderate to High

Dominica

Good

Citizenship through Investment

Safe

Affordable to Moderate

Anguilla

Good

Relatively Easy

Very Safe

High

Grenada

Good

Citizenship through Investment

Safe

Moderate to High

Puerto Rico

Good

Varied

Moderate

Moderate to High

1. Best Safest Place to Retire in the Caribbean: Aruba

This island nation is well-developed with the highest living standards. Here’s what I believe makes Aruba stand out as a retirement haven:

  • Guaranteed Safety: I felt very safe exploring Aruba thanks to its low crime rates and its location outside the “hurricane belt.” The country has also been named among the top five safest nations to retire in the Caribbean, making it the safest for retirees seeking a calm and relaxing environment.
Aruba
  • Plenty of Shopping and Entertainment Opportunities: I was never bored in this island with its beautiful beaches and blue waters, I enjoyed swimming and many water sports. As a favorite retirement destination among the wealthy, Aruba has high-end shopping malls and stores, exclusive casinos and nightclubs, fine restaurants, and luxury villas and condos.
  • Special Programs for Seniors: Aruba’s unique residency program for people over 55 years makes permanent residency accessible to many. To qualify, you need an annual income of about US$ 56,200 from your pension or other legal sources and must own property on the Island.
  • Pleasant Climate and Natural Scenery: I really enjoyed the striking desert landscapes, sandy beaches, spectacular turquoise water, and warm, dry climate in Aruba. As a result, retirees can enjoy outdoor activities all year round.
Aruba Natural Scenery

2. Best for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Virgin Islands

This US territory consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and I was lucky to explore them. Here is why retirees will love the U.S. Virgin Islands :

  • Residency and Visas: All foreigners need a passport for entry into the country and must follow the US immigration policies. However, US citizens do not require a passport or special requirements for residency, buying real estate, or working. I felt like I was in mainland America.
  • Incredible Scenery and Adventure: I tried out many outdoor activities like snorkeling, swimming, and sailing. The Island territory is a perfect place for retirees who enjoy a blend of modern American living and Caribbean island life with its rainforests, coral reefs, and white-sand beaches.
U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Better Living Standards: After exploring this island territory, I can confirm that it has a robust infrastructure, diverse dining options, offers duty-free shopping, and a vibrant local culture, guaranteeing a rewarding retirement experience. In addition, the island offers high standards of healthcare with good hospitals, such as the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital in St Thomas and the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital in St Croix.

3. Best for High-End Retirement: Turks & Caicos

The bundle of 8 main islands is a perfect retirement destination for those looking for a less hectic lifestyle. Here are some features that I believe make this island nation perfect for retirement:

  • High-End Retirement: In Turks and Caicos, I noted that everything seemed high-end with luxurious standards. If you love luxury and have lots of money to enjoy your retirement, this island territory is perfect for you.
Turks & Caicos
  • Nature-Bound Activities: I indulged in the the Islands turquoise blue waters, and explored its beautiful white sandy beaches. Retiring here means you can enjoy a variety of activities, including bird watching, cycling, tennis, golf, horseback riding, sport fishing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, and kayaking. The small population in the area guarantees lots of relaxation and peace of mind.
  • Tax Haven: With the growing real estate, Turks & Caicos allows retirees to buy high-end homes, and becoming a resident is pretty easy.  The country is also a tax haven since there is no income, real estate, capital gains, or inheritance tax. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the number of properties foreigners can own.

4. Best for Affordable Retirement: Dominican Republic

This island nation is an ideal retirement destination for people on a budget. Below, I will share a few factors that make the Dominican Republic perfect for retirees:

  • Low cost of Living: The living costs in the Dominican Republic are generally lower than in Europe, the US, and Canada. If you are looking for low-cost areas to live during retirement, I recommend areas like Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Las Terrenas, and Sosua.
  • Sightseeing and Adventure Opportunities: I enjoyed this Caribbean destination and explored its amazing white sand beaches, outdoor activities and sports, and fantastic weather conditions. Moving around is easier because of upgraded airports, and improved roads and highways.
Dominican Republic
  • Significant Tax Benefits: With a $1,500 minimum monthly income, retirees can stay in the Dominican Republic and enjoy different tax benefits.

Although this Island nation is a beautiful retirement destination, my major concern was safety, since some areas are not safe, especially for expats. The U.S. Department of State also confirms that violent crime, sexual assault, homicide, and armed robbery are major concerns in some parts of the Dominican Republic.

5. Best for Tax Benefits: Bahamas

The Bahamas is a great place to retire for foreigners and here is why:

  • Endless Leisure Opportunities: What I love about the Bahamas is its pristine white beaches, turquoise waters, and warm weather, allowing me to enjoy boating, fishing, golfing, and world-class snorkeling. With a well-developed transportation system, the island country is readily accessible.
  • A Tax Haven: If tax relief appeals to you, the Bahamas has no income tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, business tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax, sales tax, or corporate tax. You can also acquire permanent residency by marrying a local or buying real estate.
  • Better Living Standards: The high standards of living stood out during my visit to the Bahamas. Featuring a stable political climate, vibrant local culture, close-knit community, well-developed infrastructure, high-quality healthcare services, and low crime rate this island guarantees a secure and comfortable retirement life.
Bahamas

6. Best for Low Crime Rates: Anguilla

Anguilla is famous for its laid-back but luxurious lifestyle. Below, I share a few factors that make this a perfect heaven for retirees:

  • Low Crime Rates: Anguilla is renowned for its low crime rates, making it a perfect choice for retirees who want a safe environment. I felt safe walking around and exploring villages like Shoal Bay East, Island Harbor, Blowing Point, Sandy Ground, and West End.
  • Many Adventure Opportunities: Boredom is not something you will experience in Anguilla with its colorful coral reefs, bright white beaches, and warm temperatures. I immersed myself in a variety of water activities like swimming, and fishing, outdoor activities like tennis, horseback riding, and bicycling, and enjoyed a thriving culinary scene.
Anguilla
  • A stable Economy: Anguilla also boasts political stability and a peaceful lifestyle, making it ideal for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I was enticed by the Island’s rich cultural heritage, emphasized by art galleries and live music, and a flourishing culinary scene featuring local cuisine and fresh seafood.

Although the British Virgin Islands offer a safe and tranquil environment for retirees, the cost of living may be higher because of the small size of the island, and most goods are imported. In addition, the Island has just one hospital, and if you are not in perfect health, it is best to consider other Caribbean countries that guarantee effective and outstanding healthcare services.

7. Best for Financial Stability: Cayman Islands

This trio island nation comprises the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Here is what I believe makes the Cayman Islands a perfect place to retire:

  • A Financial Haven: This country is an offshore financial haven, with 55% of its GDP and 40% of its government revenue derived from the financial services sector. I was amazed by its high living standards, excellent retirement neighborhoods, and friendly tax system. Global nomads and retired expats can enjoy a unique blend of economic stability and Caribbean paradise.
  • Natural Beauty and Adventure Opportunities: I was blown away by the Cayman Islands’ stunning beaches and turquoise waters offering lots of adventure and sporting opportunities. This nation is perfect for retirees looking for a luxurious lifestyle within a tropical setting.
Cayman Islands
  • Better Standards of Living: Retirees in the Cayman Islands are assured of high standards of living and modern medical services, I could see lots of world-class hospitals. The neighborhoods are great and you can choose where to live based on your budget.
Gabriel Garcia Marguez-Nobel Prize Winner
Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imaginations.Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Novelist and Journalist

8. Best for Citizenship by Investment Policies: St. Kitts and Nevis

Having traveled to this tropical paradise, I believe that St. Kitts and Nevis is an excellent place for retirement because of the following:

  • Excellent Citizenship Programs: Retirees can qualify for Citizenship by Investment when they purchase an approved property valued at $400,000. With a lifetime dual citizenship, retirees who love adventure can travel visa-free to over 140 countries.
  • A Tropical Haven: Exploring the country’s breathtaking mountains, beautiful sand beaches, green rainforests, and fun hiking trails, made my time there memorable. I also engaged in different activities such as swimming, hiking, snorkeling, and bird watching.
St. Kitts and Nevis
  • A Stable Economy: Living in St Kitts and Nevis is a breeze with its affordable lifestyle, laid-back tax policies, secure political climate, and modernized medical facilities. I loved the stability that this island nation offered retirees.

9. Best for Residency: Antigua and Barbuda

Having had the privilege of vising Antigua and Barbuda, here is what I believe retirees will love about this best Caribbean island:

  • Numerous Expatriate Communities: Because of its outstanding residency program, Antigua and Barbuda has expats from around the world. Through the Citizenship by Investment program, eligible families of one to four people can become citizens by investing a minimum of US $250,000.
  • A Leisure Haven: I was blown away by the island’s beautiful tropical climate, stunning beaches, clear waters, and fun activities. If you love coastal living, you will enjoy living in Antigua and Barbuda. There are many beautiful places to visit in this tropical paradise.
Antigua and Barbuda
  • A Tax Haven: This island nation offers retirees an enticing tax regime, including no inheritance, income, or capital gains tax. Retirees can immerse themselves in an enjoyable, relaxed lifestyle owing to a lively and thriving expat community, vibrant local culture, and water sports.

Although the cost of living is slightly higher than other islands, Antigua and Barbuda offer relatively affordable rental prices, and the standard of living is among the best in the Caribbean.

10. Best for Natural Beauty and Serenity: Dominica

Dominica is known as one of the most affordable islands to live in. Here is what I feel makes Dominica the best Island for retirement:

  • Pristine Natural Areas And Spectacular Beaches: I was amazed by the country’s spectacular natural beauty showcased by its colorful marine life, tropical forests, sandy beaches, and world-class snorkeling sites.
  • Affordable Retirement: Living in Dominica is a breeze with lower living costs and relatively low-cost housing. My visit here was quite easy and budget-friendly because everything was economical, from housing and food to entertainment and water sports.
Dominica
  • Great Retirement Programs: The country’s Citizenship by Investment policy attracts retirees seeking a welcoming community of expats and locals and a second passport.

11. Best for Healthcare: Grenada

Grenada offers retirees a fascinating Caribbean sea escape with a great blend of warm hospitality and natural scenery. After staying in this Island nation for a few days, here is what I believe will make Grenada your perfect retirement location:

  • High-class Medical Facilities: I can attest that Grenada has an accessible and well-developed healthcare system, ensuring retirees get quality medical care. Although limited, some top-notch facilities include St. George’s General Hospital and St. Augustine’s Medical Services.
  • Limitless Leisure Opportunities: I enjoyed plenty of opportunities for exploration and relaxation in this Caribbean paradise owing to its lush rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, and picturesque beaches. I also indulged in their flavorful cuisine and local culture and had an easier time making friends with the locals and expats alike.
Grenada

Remember that Grenada’s living cost is relatively high since most products are imported, and electricity and fuel are costly. However, retirees can take advantage of economic citizenship by buying real estate and other specified projects.

12. Best for Cultural Richness: Puerto Rico

This U.S. territory has its citizen’s property ownership without any restrictions and requires no visa. Since I have had the chance to explore Puerto Rico, here are my thoughts on what makes it an excellent choice for retirees:

  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Puerto Ricans love their culture, and I could see this in all corners of this beautiful paradise, including their art, food, music, traditions, and festivals. Retirees can immerse themselves in a culture that blends Spanish, Taino, and African cultures.
Puerto Rico
  • Unmatched Healthcare Services: Healthcare is widely available, especially in major cities, and Medicare is also accepted, although most experts opt for private healthcare. Therefore, retirees can access high standards of medical care in their golden years.
  • Lots of Leisure Activities: I enjoyed lots of outdoor activities, shopping, and dining spots, and couldn’t resist the nightlife. Although the weather was warm during my visit, the rainy season and hurricanes are part of living in the tropical islands. The lower cost of living and affordable rentals made my time there cost-effective and friendly, you will uncover the true magic of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico
  • A Tax Haven: Retirees can also take advantage of the Individual Investors Act which exempts residents from paying federal or Island income tax on interest, capital gains, and dividends. However, to qualify for incentives, U.S. citizens must make Puerto Rico their home for not less than 183 days of the year.

FAQs

What Caribbean Island Is Best To Retire At?

Dominica is one of the best retirement destinations owing to its affordable real estate, tropical climate, strategic location, low crime rates, tax advantages, and low living expenses. Other best expat-friendly places to consider when retiring in the Caribbean include the Dominican Republic, St Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda.

What Is The Safest Caribbean Island To Retire To?

The safest Caribbean island country to retire to is Grenada and it’s ideal to relocate with family or as a solo retiree. Other islands deemed safe to live in include Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Retire In The Caribbean?

Grenada, Dominica, and the Dominican Republic portray the lowest average living costs, making them perfect for retirees. However, the estimated cost in these countries is relatively low and may not surpass $700 monthly for one person.

Conclusion

By now, you should know the best Caribbean Island to retire. Whether you seek an economically sound destination, an active retirement filled with adventure and exploration, or a more laid-back lifestyle, the Caribbean islands have something for every retiree. With the warm tropical weather, outstanding natural beauty, and a sense of serenity, you will enjoy your golden years.

The best Caribbean islands for retirement are the Bahamas, known for its tropical sunshine and beautiful beaches, but high living costs. The Dominican Republic is celebrated for its affordable living expenses, different lifestyle options, and international-standard medical care, and the Cayman Islands is known for its luxurious living options, financial stability, and unparalleled safety standards.

Best Caribbean Island to Retire