February 08, 2016 by Kat Kalashian
Best Of The Balmy Caribbean And So Much More
The final landing place in the New World for Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1493, today the Dominican Republic is a white-sand haven that is surrounded by warm turquoise waters and enjoys year-round sunshine. This affordable island paradise boasts both beaches—both remote and resort—and also virgin jungle and mountain hideaways (often with ocean views).
The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean but so much more, a melting pot with an eclectic population and a diverse history informed by Afro-Antillean, European, North American, and Latin cultures. This not-so-little island has a lot to offer and a long history of welcoming foreigners.
The Dominican Republic is also one of the most affordable spots in the whole of the Caribbean, a place where you could embrace a white-sand retirement even if your retirement nest egg is nothing more than a monthly Social Security check. If you can swing a travel budget, island-hopping around the Caribbean could be your new retirement hobby from this convenient base.
The Dominican Republic makes establishing residency easy, and the country embraces—even rewards through incentives—foreign investors. Residents are eligible for local home financing, can import household goods and a car tax-free, and can qualify for citizenship (and thus a second passport). As a fun bonus, residents pay for higher education in pesos, while nonresidents pay in dollars. If you’re looking to take a class or two in retirement, the cost would be trifling.
In addition, residents can and do work here. On my recent visit, I met expats who own and operate gyms, hotels, boating and surfing schools, restaurants, boutiques…
Some expats capitalize on skills from previous lives and careers, skills that are often much needed and valued locally (pool building, architecture, mechanics, etc.). Others offer consulting services for overseas clients or run websites with overseas client-bases. These enterprises often fully fund the expat’s local lifestyle.
Much of this expat activity is focused on the Samaná Peninsula, specifically the small fishing town Las Terrenas. Once a hamlet and still largely unknown among North Americans, Las Terrenas was discovered in the 1970s by Europeans looking for an affordable Caribbean getaway. Today, Las Terrenas is a vibrant international community with residents from
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