Moving to DR... advice please

Curious11

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Mar 13, 2006
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So my parents are looking to retire to the DR within the next year (we currently live in Rhode Island). They just returned a few days ago on vacation and loved it. They met up with a realtor who moved down there from Ohio a year and a half ago and she was alot of help. My parents want myself and my son to move there with them. And I have a few questions about education and health care. My son is 3 years old. My parents believe it would be beneficial for him to grow up in the DR for a few reasons: 1) they think American life is too faced paced and that we all need to take a step back. and 2) he would get the chance to become bilingual in the DR school system. I think these are two very big assests, but I worry about his future if he were to return to the US to live as an adult. My parents were told that the schooling is very good in the DR, and I read that certain schools are accredited based on where you want to further your education (Europe, US, etc). Any advice or info on this matter would be greatly appreciated. My 2nd concern is healthcare. Again my parents were told that it is as good, if not better, than the US. Is this true? I am not sure of any more questions I have at the moment... but any information you guys can share would be wonderful! Thank you so much :cool:
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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Which part of the DR are you looking to move to? For schools, Santo Domingo is perhaps your best bet, with Santiago a good second. Sosua/Puerto Plata also has some options.
 

Tamborista

hasta la tambora
Apr 4, 2005
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Good Healthcare and education are going to cost you.
Do one of you have a job or source of income?
 

rellosk

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Curious11, welcome to DR1.

My advice to your parents are that they should take it slow. No one should move to a foreign country based on the advice of a Realtor that they met on their first time visiting a country.

DR1 is a wonder source of information. Use the search button to begin your research. There are many things one should know before moving to the DR.

Your question regarding education and health-care are good ones. If you want an education equivalent to a non-urban US public school education, then you must pay for a private school. There was a thread on the cost of the various private schools, some of which can be expensive.

Private medical care in the DR, while adequate and much less expensive than in the US, may not be on par with medical care in the US. For everyday needs, ex-patriots have said they are comfortable with the care they have received. For life threatening conditions, most have expressed they would rather be treated in the US. There are many threads discussing this.
 
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macocael

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Curious11 said:
So my parents are looking to retire to the DR within the next year (we currently live in Rhode Island). They just returned a few days ago on vacation and loved it. They met up with a realtor who moved down there from Ohio a year and a half ago and she was alot of help. My parents want myself and my son to move there with them. And I have a few questions about education and health care. My son is 3 years old. My parents believe it would be beneficial for him to grow up in the DR for a few reasons: 1) they think American life is too faced paced and that we all need to take a step back. and 2) he would get the chance to become bilingual in the DR school system. I think these are two very big assests, but I worry about his future if he were to return to the US to live as an adult. My parents were told that the schooling is very good in the DR, and I read that certain schools are accredited based on where you want to further your education (Europe, US, etc). Any advice or info on this matter would be greatly appreciated. My 2nd concern is healthcare. Again my parents were told that it is as good, if not better, than the US. Is this true? I am not sure of any more questions I have at the moment... but any information you guys can share would be wonderful! Thank you so much :cool:

I would say that you need to take these comments with a grain of salt. Good health care is not terribly expensive here, compared with the States, but medications are, and are sometimes hard to find. The latter is not covered under insurance unless you have a plan from work. Schooling is a tough thing. Good education is private education; the Dominican public system is not an option. You can pay upwards of 10,000 US at the top school (not necessarily the best school, but rated tops), but somewhere around half that is probably what you will end up paying.

But the emotional and moral consequences are more important: will your kids be happy here? This is a developing nation; it is not the States. Even many Dominican Yorks cannot cut it back here on their "native" soil. Now I am raising my family here, and I think it is just great for some of the very reasons you mention and many others. But my daughter was born here. Your children on the other hand will have to make a huge transition, and they may not like it. The mores are very very different here.

I will get back to you on this with more detailed comments,but I have to run. The other posters gave some good advice. Take it slow, come on down have a look around, contact some of us on the board to help you get oriented. Dont make any hasty decisions.
 

Curious11

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Mar 13, 2006
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My parents have done research for years on the DR and always said they wanted to move there. After their visit last week, and looking into real estate etc, it confirmed those thoughts. As far as schooling... I just enrolled my son in a private preschool and it will cost about $2,500 a year for 3 days a week. As far as income... we will have some. Along with the fact that my parents will be selling out $500,000 house here and apparently banking in the DR is quite good and we can live off the interest. The house they want to buy is located in Maimon.

Another thing about healthcare... I will still be covered by my health insurance in the US and plan on returning periodically for doctors appts. etc for myself and my son.
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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Curious11 said:
...apparently banking in the DR is quite good and we can live off the interest.
Once again, do more homework. Banking in the DR can be perilous. Major banks have gone under (I'm not sure if depositors lost principal) and the currency has fluctuated wildly. Interest rates are high because the risks are high. I would keep my money in a US FDIC insured account, especially with rising interest rates in the US.
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Go easy.
Banking in Dr. As Rellosk stated, it is not that simple.
Many scams are around.
A move cost money, settle in cost money.
Rent first, learn culture and society. Learn about costs, medical care, schools.
Then buy, invest or whatever you chose.

In what bank will you invest in DR, be safe and live off interests?
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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living off interest is a dangerous move, since anything paying more than 10% is probably risky in terms of exchange rate or bank failure.
 

Curious11

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Mar 13, 2006
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"US Dollar Bank time deposits (CD's) pay up to 10% at the moment, and if you are going to live in the country, then deposits paying up to 22% in Dominican Pesos might be worthwhile as well."

I found this online and it is similar to the information my parents recieved while in the DR.
 

Tamborista

hasta la tambora
Apr 4, 2005
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Before you put all of your parents lifetime savings into RD Pesos @ 22%, please take a look at the history of the Tasa over the past 5 years. While 22% may seem attractive to you now, if the Peso happens to depreciate to say 40 , just for illustrative purposes, (I am not predicting this will or won't happen), you'll have lost ALL of the interest in Currency devaluation.

For now there ain't nada wrong with US Treasury's @ 4.6% until you figure this out.


In the meantime take a look at this history!

http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26541
 

macocael

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Yeah be careful: your "research" is just that-- second hand info from the internet and some sources here in DR, but things here dont always pan out the way the "research" would indicate. You will learn this once you relocate. To put it in semiotic terms, the "signifiers" here are floating, never fixed. Learn the language -- in every sense -- before you make any serious decisions.

Your preschool is one example: You will be paying 8000 pesos monthly to have your child looked after for only 3 days (full days?). I pay 3300 for five full days -- in the capital. Next year I expect to be paying much more, but the school will be more advanced, with more resources, and more students. However, the present school has done a bang up job up till now, and frankly a preschool doesnt need much to do a proper job, nor should you pay so much for preschooling. What is it they are offering your child that makes a parttime schedule worth so much?

However, back to my original point about moving the kids: if your child is so young, the transition will be easy, and in fact I think your child will enjoy being here as much as or more than the States. I wish you the best of luck. Just be sure to make lots of friends, Dominican and others, because networks count for a lot down here.
 

Curious11

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Thanks macocael. The preschool I enrolled my son in is here in Rhode Island, not in the DR. It is 3 days a week and they are half days (8:30am-11am). Again the tuition is around $2,500 a year, nevermind next year when he would be in full day kindergarten. This is the same Catholic school that my brother and I attended as kids, actually. Private schooling around here is very expensive, but the only way that I would go.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Another poster made a comment about whether or not my son would like moving down there... but he wouldn't know the difference. He is 3 years old, and although the move will be a total change, he really wouldn't know otherwise. I think he will love it! To be honest I know the oppurtunity to become bilingual is highly sought after here in the US and if he decides to return, he will have a huge advantage in any field. I think this will be setting him up for success in the future.
 

macocael

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Ah, sorry I misunderstood. No, now that i understand your situation better, I think indeed you could make the transition with the child easily enough. Plus if you are thinking of living somewhere along the Northern coast, as many do, then yourchild would have the double advantage of thebeaches nearby and the beautiful countryside, which for a child is sheer heaven. You would be able to give him a real childhood -- which is just what my daughter has, and I am convinced of its value. she is very happy here. However, i strongly urge you to get rooted in your community, get to know everyone, be active, participate. Some people tend to isolate themselves in expat colonies and that is not good, especiallly for thechild.

Since the child was born in the States, he will have the US passport and can return whenever and if he likes.

Look, any questions you might have as you begin to make your move, dont hesitate to ask. we are here to help.
 

Curious11

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Mar 13, 2006
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We will be returning frequently to the US- atleast a few times a year. Based on my son's school schedule there of course. But my brother and his family will still be in states as well as all my extended family, and my sons other family. We are actually looking at a farm in Maimon which I think is just wonderful. My parents (who are in their mid-late 40s) think the world needs to take a step back and that it would be very beneficial for my son to grow up on a farm. I am so excited to make this move- I think it is a once in a lifetime oppurtunity that I really need to take advantage of. I have alot of hurdles to work out in the US before we can finalize plans, but I am anxious to get change lifestyles. :cheeky: So glad I came across this board and I appreciate the help and advice thus far! Look forward to chatting with you folks in the future as well!

Also as far as networking down there- I think we will have a good advantage because my parents best friend (who will be moving down with us) speaks a good deal of Spanish. I took Spanish in high school but thats not saying much! I look forward to learning it much better and adapting to a new culture!