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  1. #1
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    I realize that this is my first post (and it appears that many others post a very detailed question and then never post again), but I stumbled onto this site after speaking to a friend this morning about retirement. I am 45 years old, married with two sons (13 and 10). We live in the USA (CT) and are sick of the high cost of living and the general ratrace aspect of life here. The thought of moving to an island is a romantic dream at this point. But after spending a few hours browsing this forum, I am intrigued by the possibility that it might be more than a dream?

    I have a few high level questions:

    1. What $$ (in US$) "nestegg" would you realistically need to accumulate in order to pursue this dream? Assuming you would sell your home here and liquidate everything, and live a lifestyle similar to what you had in the US.

    2. How do you deal with your finances in DR upon relocating? Do you put everything into a DR bank and go from there? Or keep US accounts and move money to DR as needed?

    3. Does it make sense to become a DR citizen?

    Thanks for opening my eyes...
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 07-17-2008 at 10:23 AM. Reason: created new thread

  2. #2
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    Default lil' numbers, lotsa words

    Quote Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
    1. What $$ (in US$) "nestegg" would you realistically need to accumulate in order to pursue this dream? Assuming you would sell your home here and liquidate everything, and live a lifestyle similar to what you had in the US.
    2. How do you deal with your finances in DR upon relocating? Do you put everything into a DR bank and go from there? Or keep US accounts and move money to DR as needed?
    3. Does it make sense to become a DR citizen?
    1. if you sell/liquidate everything you have nothing to fall on should something go wrong. bear in mind that luxury items are more expensive here than in US. if you wife is estee lauder fan she'll fork out a lot more in DR. i am all for living "dominican way" and you say you want to keep US lifestyle yourself so no barrio houses for 20k usd, a nice house in POP in a good area will be anything from 100k usd above. average more or less 2k usd a month as living expenses. double whatever you normally spend on holidays (i presume you'd want to travel sometimes) as it is rather expensive to travel from here. the details have been covered.

    2. i kept my european accounts. you'll end up buying lots of stuff over the internet and account in the states helps. i have been told, however, that CDs rates are better in DR.

    3. i would like to know that myself. i guess for americans it makes sense tax-wise, isn't that so?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply! I really meant sell/liquidate the house here in the states, and everything that we would not move to DR. If I could come up with US$1-2 million in liquid assets, would that be enough to live comfortably in DR for the rest of our lives? The variable is of course the kids...college, etc.

  4. #4
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    using numbers is not good :-) many people read this site so beware.
    the answer is yes, thou, as long as you don't stuck this money into a mattress :-)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dv8 View Post
    using numbers is not good :-) many people read this site so beware.
    the answer is yes, thou, as long as you don't stuck this money into a mattress :-)

    Thank you for the advice...trust me, I am quite far from that goal! Also, this thread is full of numbers, is it not? People posting their monthly cost-of-living...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply! I really meant sell/liquidate the house here in the states, and everything that we would not move to DR. If I could come up with US$1-2 million in liquid assets, would that be enough to live comfortably in DR for the rest of our lives? The variable is of course the kids...college, etc.

    1 mil - no.

    2 mil - yes. you shold be OK, living without having to work and reasonably comfortable.
    But without "investment" of course. "Investment" in DR is a serious gambling. If not Russian roulette. Some people win of course. But I personally doubt about a gringo without connections and various types of "protection". I saw enough "investors" in these years.

    Stick to CDs and US Government bonds.

    Personal reasonably informed opinion if it is allowed and tolerated.

  7. #7
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    Agreed on the investing side...it appears that a common theme here is to rent, not buy. Thanks for the input.

  8. #8
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    Yes, investing anywhere in the DR is a horrible gamble; I recommend you put all your money into CDs at IndyMac!!

    A fraction of the amount you are talking about, put in Banco Central CDs and/or a reputable Dominican investment house at 14-16% will generate enough income for you and your family to live comfortably w/o touching the principal. Put the rest wherever you feel it is safest.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK74 View Post
    1 mil - no.

    2 mil - yes. you shold be OK, living without having to work and reasonably comfortable.
    But without "investment" of course. "Investment" in DR is a serious gambling. If not Russian roulette. Some people win of course. But I personally doubt about a gringo without connections and various types of "protection". I saw enough "investors" in these years.

    Stick to CDs and US Government bonds.

    Personal reasonably informed opinion if it is allowed and tolerated.

    I know people who live in the DR quite nicely on far less than a 1 million investment could bring in.
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 07-17-2008 at 04:40 PM. Reason: removed personal attack

  10. #10
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    numbers depend a lot on "what somebody names a comfortable living".
    i am myself a small business man in the Dr since 13 years passing up's and down's during that time, living with dominican wife and actually with one 5years old in a 2 bedroom/2bathroom/1 living room/1 kitchen/ rented beach front appartment in Punta cana we spend an average of $3.000.- US per month which includes the bilingual school for the Boy and the gas i burn on my daily road to work. i don't htink we are living in some kind of "luxury", but we eat what we want, we drink our wine late eve on the pier in front of the house aso.
    it depends a lot on which area of the island somebody lives, costs for the same things specially in renting a appartment/house vary a lot, and the kind of daily stuff somebody names "usual".
    also schools of course vary within a huge range of rates,
    everybody names an other kind of car "usual/average"
    and prefers a different kind of wine(sorry for that example, but i have friends who pay 50-80US$ for a bottle of wine to name it "good", i am myself happy with my copa of 250 pesos per bottle cheap imported one),
    so livestyle can only be calculated after a lot of details are on the table.
    basically i would highly recommend the following points:
    * first of all visit the country several times to check out some of the very different spots to find out which living sourroundings would suit your family's likings. some are fine in a barrio aside a mayor city, your mentioned amount of belongings i would assume you will look more on a nice penthouse in a upper area in the capital city or a beach property in punta cana.
    * after you found the area/surroundings which suit you you should first only rent, because very often after a while a specific area looks different than it has been expected just by descriptions on a bord/forum/vacation aso.
    * with the time you will start to get yourself involved in the community where your new home is located, you will get your bown connections, you learn step by step how it works over here. then you can start to think about investments over here, maybe purchase your own property/house instaed of a rental home, make some business, bring your money to a dominican bank aso.

    til then i would recommend to just rent a place which suits you and learn about the very different way of life in a very different contry. leave your money at home, bring just what you need for your living and don not break up all bridges to your home right away. always count on the worse, would mean you loose what you bring in and you have to go back again.
    a citizenship i would not recommend until you are completely settled over here after several successful and happy years on the island, to find that out a simple residency is absolutely enough.
    good luck
    Mike

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