Things to consider before moving your family to the Caribbean

Having travelled in North America and Europe, I am often tired of hearing people complain about the weather.’Oh it’s too cold, it’s 10 degrees.”

The people I have met and interacted with complained about almost anything, taxes, public transportation, foreigners…blah blah blah. They think that the Caribbean is amazing, lots of sunny days, beaches, alcohol, dancing, sex…sounds great, doesn’t it?

However, all the Caribbean has to offer is great, for a while. If you are reading this post and considering moving your family to the Caribbean, I will suggest you back it up and rethink, especially after reading this article.

Disclaimer: I am in no way saying the Caribbean is bad, I have lived in the hemisphere for most of my life, so I think I am qualified to say what I am about to say.

Here are the reasons not to move your family to a Caribbean Paradise:

How you can expect to spend you cash

Healthcare: So unless you are super wealthy like you got a jet and shit or just have a ton load of money; you will find healthcare super challenging. Essentially, most territories lack the skills and facilities to conduct certain complicated medical procedures. Plus, in a lot of territories healthcare in super expensive, say in Barbados, St. Lucia and Antigua. So essentially, if you decide to move your family to the Caribbean and you are not wealthy, at the very least, ensure you have good health insurance.

Taxes: Taxes are the same in the Caribbean, as in many other countries – Depending on your earnings, you can expect to pay anywhere between 20% to 45% in income tax, depending on the territory. No, we don’t cash in on tax returns annually. Oh and there is a VAT System in many territories, so in some places, you pay VAT on most food items with the exemption of a few zero rate items. Zero rate items are items that can be considered a staple in every household, such as, sugar, bread, rice etc.

High corruption in many Caribbean states – The high level of corruption in many Caribbean states ensures that despite high taxes, citizens have poor infrastructure, many power outages etc. So no fancy trains and trams, (I am talking to Europeans here) and no nice clean smooth roads, just potholes everywhere. Here, I am not talking to Americans, I saw too many potholes in America, specifically, Miami and New York. However, high corruption means you can easily get out of a speeding ticket, for example.

People and Culture

It is not secret, Caribbean people can be very friendly. At times, some may consider them too friendly. However, this can also be complicated since many Caribbean Nationals associate kindness and friendly behaviour with flirting. So essentially, what some people may consider a normal greeting (say perhaps ‘Good Morning and a smile’), many Caribbean Nationals will consider flirting. As you can imagine, things can get quite awkward and uncomfortable very easily. Now if you are single, this creates an ideal scenario. Dating is a walk in the park since people as so approachable. Now, if you are married, a simple smile may mislead someone into thinking you intend to leave your spouse and family to start a life with them. This has led many people I know and heard of to a divorce shortly after relocating to the Caribbean.

The up side the Caribbean is that people are very laid back and free spirited. If you go to a smaller island, there is little no traffic jams. People are super easy-going, while this is great for the vacation life, it can get distressing if you decide to live in the Caribbean. A point to note is that this easy-going attitude applies to work-life as well. So essentially, if perhaps you go to a government office to get some work done expect almost everyone to be very laid back. For example: they sit and look at television when they should be getting work done.

All being said, it is not my intention to detour anyone from the Caribbean, however, this post is meant to shed some light and help anyone who reads this post; make informed decisions being moving.

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