4 Reasons Why Americans Retire in the Dominican Republic

4 Reasons Why Americans Retire in the Dominican Republic By Evan Tarver

Many Americans have looked at overseas destinations for retirement living. With a lower cost of living, better climates and more hospitable locals, many locations outside the United States provide better retirement options.
The Dominican Republic, for example, is a great retirement option that many people are taking advantage of. In 2007, the country introduced Law 171-07, which is a special incentive that has benefited retirees, allowing people to retire to the Dominican Republic under very loose circumstances. To retire to the Dominican Republic, a person must provide proof of a stable source of income of at least $1,500 a month. The income can come from a government pension plan, a private pension or independent income. There is no minimum age restriction on qualification for retirement to the Dominican Republic.

This law has enticed many American retirees to move to the Dominican Republic, along with the attraction to the white sand beaches, the favorable climate, a stable infrastructure, good health care and the low cost of living.

1. Low Cost Of Living
When Americans think of retiring on a budget, they normally think of Latin America, and for good reason. And the Dominican Republic is one of the least expensive places to live in Latin America, making it a very desirable place to retire.

A monthly budget of $1,200 allows an American retiree to live comfortably in the Dominican Republic. A monthly budget of $2,000 would allow a person to enjoy a larger home with household help and afford more expensive entertainment options.

If a retiree prefers to purchase a home rather than renting, the monthly cost of living could be much lower. It’s possible to buy an upscale apartment for less than $100,000.

2. Growing Expat Community for Additional Amenities and Services
While white sand beaches, clear water and year-round sunshine is important for almost any retiree, it’s possible to find all of these things anywhere in the Caribbean. What sets the Dominican Republic apart from the rest of the islands is that the country boasts a more European lifestyle. This lifestyle is more familiar to Americans, giving U.S. retirees a way to live in a tropical community and still feel at home.

In cities such as Santo Domingo and Las Terrenas, for example, there are growing expatriate communities. In these communities, it’s easy to find international products, fellow Americans and a more Western lifestyle. In fact, the Dominican Republic is only a two-hour flight from the east coast of the U.S., providing the opportunity to visit home when necessary.

3. Infrastructure Allows for Easy Living
The Dominican Republic has recently upgraded its airports, allowing for easy travel in and out of the country. New highways and road systems have cut down on travel time on the island. In years past, driving on dirt roads meant it could take as long as six hours to travel from one end of the island to the other. The new roadways make it possible to make it across the island in three hours or less.

These infrastructure improvements have cut down on the cost of living, making it easier to transport food to markets and stores and reducing the prices of grocery items.

4. Simple Retirement Application Process
As mentioned, the Dominican Republic allows any person to retire to the country if he can show proof of a monthly pension, plus an additional $250 for each person who is joining in the move. The application process normally takes roughly 45 days for approval. As with other retiree residency programs, this retirement qualification also comes with benefits and tax breaks.

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Five Reasons The Dominican Republic Is A World’s Top Lifestyle And Investment Haven

Living, Retiring, And Investing In The Dominican Republic


Five Reasons This Caribbean Nation Is A World’s Top Lifestyle And Investment Haven

I’ve been watching the Dominican Republic for more than a decade, waiting for the time to place it on our short list of the world’s top havens.

At last, I believe this Caribbean nation’s time has come.

With a stable government and a steady economy that grew by 7% in 2015, the Dominican Republic is ripe and ready for expats, retirees, and investors looking for a safe and affordable option in the Caribbean.

What makes the DR so attractive right now? I put it down to these five things:

1. Prices Represent The Best Value In The Caribbean…

From real estate to the general cost of living, it can be hard to believe you’re in the Caribbean. Prices across the board are more Latin American.

You could live well in the DR on your monthly Social Security check alone.

The Dominican Republic: The Best Value In The Caribbean

Specifically, a budget of US$1,155 would provide for a good lifestyle, without having to watch your pennies as you might back home. With a budget of US$2,000, you could afford more entertainment and extra household help, for example, and really enjoy the good life.

Invest in a place of your own, and your monthly living costs would be much, much less. This is a very realistic and appealing option, as property prices in this country are a bargain, certainly relative to elsewhere in the Caribbean.

You could buy an apartment for as little as US$100,000 or even less.

2. The Established Expat Community Means Amenities And Services You Won’t Find Elsewhere In The Caribbean…

The Established Expat Community

White-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, warm turquoise water, year-round sunshine—you’ll find them in abundance here in the Dominican Republic… and, of course, pretty much everywhere else in the Caribbean, as well.

What sets the DR apart from other Caribbean islands and nations is its more sophisticated lifestyle—one that is strongly European. Santo Domingo, the oldest permanent European settlement in the New World, boasts impressive colonial architecture, along with modern shopping options, theaters, museums, and stadiums (béisbol is a national obsession).

In our favorite spots in this country, you won’t have to worry about being the first expat in town. In Las Terrenas, for example, on the Samaná Peninsula, you’ll be welcomed by locals and expats alike. And you’ll enjoy a wide range of products (from patisserie-baked pain au chocolat to German salami to Swiss cheese) thanks to a diverse and multicultural local community.

In fact, if you love the thought of European life but would rather be within a two-hour hop of the U.S. East Coast (and enjoying better weather than in most of Europe), then this could be the paradise you’ve been looking for.

3. Developments In Infrastructure Make For Easy Living…

Infrastructure Make For Easy Living

Recently upgraded airports mean you can get to the Dominican Republic from the U.S. East Coast in two hours.

On the island, new highways have cut journey times out of the capital by half and more. No more getting lost down dirt tracks or driving a painful six hours when you want to reach the opposite side of the island.

Best of all, this easier accessibility by both road and air has helped reduce day-to-day living costs. On parts of the island, food and grocery items have, over the last couple of years, fallen by as much as 30%. Where else in the world is that the case?

4. Easy Retiree Residency…

Residency in The Dominican Republic

The government is welcoming of foreign retirees.

If you can show proof of a monthly pension of US$1,500 (plus US$250 for each person you’ll be bringing with you), you can qualify for provisional residency in just 45 days.

And, as with other retiree residency programs in other countries, qualifying comes with perks, benefits, and tax breaks.

5. Not Ready To Retire? The Red Carpet Awaits Investors And Entrepreneurs, Too…

Not Ready To Retire? The Red Carpet Waiting For You

With its central location in the Americas, a fast-developing infrastructure, and a generous package of tax incentives, the Dominican Republic is one of the best places in the Caribbean region to do business. The government welcomes foreign investors to its industrial free-zones.

If you have a business to transplant or are looking to set up your own business in a tax-friendly, benefit-laden location, you owe it to yourself to investigate the opportunities here—especially if your work falls under any of the following categories: telecommunications, infrastructure, renewable energy, agribusiness, call centers, software development, manufacturing, or tourism.

Start up a business in a free trade zone and, thanks to Law 8-90, you’ll qualify for a 15-year exemption on all income taxes, corporate taxes, VAT, municipal taxes, export tax and duties, and incorporation and capitalization taxes.

You don’t have to be in big business to take advantage of the Dominican Republic’s tax incentives. The government is committed to tourism growth. It recognizes the potential in its coastlines, its jungles, and its historic capital city. Its big agenda is “sustainable tourism,” and it’s rolling out the red carpet to those willing to help boost its tourism efforts and accommodate visitors in town.

Start a tourism business here—a boutique hotel, a tour business, or dive shop may qualify—and, under Law 158-01, you’ll receive tax breaks for the next 10 years on income taxes, VAT, real estate transfers, property tax, import duties, and more.

All while living in one of the world’s warmest, safest, and friendliest havens.

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