The Ex-Pat Challenge

santanatwins

New member
Jan 20, 2004
153
8
0
I've always liked this site for the incredible amount of good information you can find if you put the time in and search. For those that keep up like i do, there has been a lot of recent talk in the budget thread above. I for one, have read the thread in it's entirety and find i always look back to see what has changed and what basic expenses remain the same. So it got me thinking.........

How much would it cost for an expat, who did a little pre-arrival homework and preparation, to live a casual life in the northern part of the country today? Not a bare-bones one meal a day life, but your everyday, hot shower, take the kids to the movies once a week, chat online with finds back home, real "Tony the Tiger" corn flakes for breakfast life.

Well, we are all about to find out. It just so happens that after 15 years of working for the same company, I was told my position would be eliminated. Just goes to show you nothing in life last for ever. But with the bad comes the good. I will be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks, and will be receiving a severance package for my years of dedicated service......that's the least they could do.

For those that don't know, I have a 7 year old son, who lives in Nagua with his grandmother, who I would visit at least 4-5 times a year. Well, I decided I would take the opportunity to rent an apartment for a month or two so I could spend some much needed time with my son.

Although I am Dominican by blood, I was born and raised in New York which would make me a Dominican-york. I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle of a pure expat and a Dominican. Once I open my mouth, a local can tell I'm not from the island and have many times been confused for being puertorican.

I plan on documenting all my expenses and adventures on a blog and on DR1 so that others can learn from my misadventures. My mother lives in Puerto Plata so she's asking around for a furnished apartment I could rent since I will only be needing it for 2 months. I'm not planning a budget so whatever expenses come about I will document and explain any options I may have had before spending the cash. My fiance will be spending 2 weeks with me so this will give everyone an idea of what a family of 3 would spend in a 2 week period.

As far as expenses like health insurance, car, school etc... I will be getting quotes and posting the info. I'll still be covered under my employers health because of Cobra, but my mother and step dad can fill me in on what they spend for car and health insurance. School will be out in June, but I will ask my son's grandmother what she currently pays for school in Nagua.

The rest I plan on winging it. I plan on approaching this as if this will be a permanent move so all the daily in's and outs will be recorded.

If there is anything some of you would like me to investigate, just shot me an email or post on the thread. I'll be signing in on a regular so I'll be able to get back to you within a day or so. I'll be posting pics and short video's of my adventure.

Target date..............June 1st.....
 

Whippet

New member
Jan 26, 2011
131
2
0
Sounds Interesting

I've always liked this site for the incredible amount of good information you can find if you put the time in and search. For those that keep up like i do, there has been a lot of recent talk in the budget thread above. I for one, have read the thread in it's entirety and find i always look back to see what has changed and what basic expenses remain the same. So it got me thinking.........

How much would it cost for an expat, who did a little pre-arrival homework and preparation, to live a casual life in the northern part of the country today? Not a bare-bones one meal a day life, but your everyday, hot shower, take the kids to the movies once a week, chat online with finds back home, real "Tony the Tiger" corn flakes for breakfast life.

Well, we are all about to find out. It just so happens that after 15 years of working for the same company, I was told my position would be eliminated. Just goes to show you nothing in life last for ever. But with the bad comes the good. I will be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks, and will be receiving a severance package for my years of dedicated service......that's the least they could do.

For those that don't know, I have a 7 year old son, who lives in Nagua with his grandmother, who I would visit at least 4-5 times a year. Well, I decided I would take the opportunity to rent an apartment for a month or two so I could spend some much needed time with my son.

Although I am Dominican by blood, I was born and raised in New York which would make me a Dominican-york. I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle of a pure expat and a Dominican. Once I open my mouth, a local can tell I'm not from the island and have many times been confused for being puertorican.

I plan on documenting all my expenses and adventures on a blog and on DR1 so that others can learn from my misadventures. My mother lives in Puerto Plata so she's asking around for a furnished apartment I could rent since I will only be needing it for 2 months. I'm not planning a budget so whatever expenses come about I will document and explain any options I may have had before spending the cash. My fiance will be spending 2 weeks with me so this will give everyone an idea of what a family of 3 would spend in a 2 week period.

As far as expenses like health insurance, car, school etc... I will be getting quotes and posting the info. I'll still be covered under my employers health because of Cobra, but my mother and step dad can fill me in on what they spend for car and health insurance. School will be out in June, but I will ask my son's grandmother what she currently pays for school in Nagua.

The rest I plan on winging it. I plan on approaching this as if this will be a permanent move so all the daily in's and outs will be recorded.

If there is anything some of you would like me to investigate, just shot me an email or post on the thread. I'll be signing in on a regular so I'll be able to get back to you within a day or so. I'll be posting pics and short video's of my adventure.

Target date..............June 1st.....

Look forward to following your progress
good luck!
 

skinny36

New member
Mar 2, 2010
260
20
0
I've always liked this site for the incredible amount of good information you can find if you put the time in and search. For those that keep up like i do, there has been a lot of recent talk in the budget thread above. I for one, have read the thread in it's entirety and find i always look back to see what has changed and what basic expenses remain the same. So it got me thinking.........

How much would it cost for an expat, who did a little pre-arrival homework and preparation, to live a casual life in the northern part of the country today? Not a bare-bones one meal a day life, but your everyday, hot shower, take the kids to the movies once a week, chat online with finds back home, real "Tony the Tiger" corn flakes for breakfast life.

Well, we are all about to find out. It just so happens that after 15 years of working for the same company, I was told my position would be eliminated. Just goes to show you nothing in life last for ever. But with the bad comes the good. I will be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks, and will be receiving a severance package for my years of dedicated service......that's the least they could do.

For those that don't know, I have a 7 year old son, who lives in Nagua with his grandmother, who I would visit at least 4-5 times a year. Well, I decided I would take the opportunity to rent an apartment for a month or two so I could spend some much needed time with my son.

Although I am Dominican by blood, I was born and raised in New York which would make me a Dominican-york. I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle of a pure expat and a Dominican. Once I open my mouth, a local can tell I'm not from the island and have many times been confused for being puertorican.

I plan on documenting all my expenses and adventures on a blog and on DR1 so that others can learn from my misadventures. My mother lives in Puerto Plata so she's asking around for a furnished apartment I could rent since I will only be needing it for 2 months. I'm not planning a budget so whatever expenses come about I will document and explain any options I may have had before spending the cash. My fiance will be spending 2 weeks with me so this will give everyone an idea of what a family of 3 would spend in a 2 week period.

As far as expenses like health insurance, car, school etc... I will be getting quotes and posting the info. I'll still be covered under my employers health because of Cobra, but my mother and step dad can fill me in on what they spend for car and health insurance. School will be out in June, but I will ask my son's grandmother what she currently pays for school in Nagua.

The rest I plan on winging it. I plan on approaching this as if this will be a permanent move so all the daily in's and outs will be recorded.

If there is anything some of you would like me to investigate, just shot me an email or post on the thread. I'll be signing in on a regular so I'll be able to get back to you within a day or so. I'll be posting pics and short video's of my adventure.

Target date..............June 1st.....

I await the outcome with bated breath!! :)
 

La Rubia

Bronze
Jan 1, 2010
1,336
28
0
Lemons into Lemonade

Sounds like you're handling the layoff gracefully.

I look forward to hearing your experience, thanks for sharing it.

First question, Nagua??? I'm wondering what it's like up there. . . . .

Best of luck to you!
 

santanatwins

New member
Jan 20, 2004
153
8
0
After 15 years of flying around the world to 50+ countries, you get tired of spending more time in hotels than in your own bed. You know it's bad when co-workers see you in the states and ask what your doing here (if I had a $1 for every time someone would ask if i got my Kuwait residence I wouldn't need unemployment). I look forward to spending the time with my son who has missed having a father figure to keep him in line. His grandmother did a good job up to now but he seems to be pushing the boundaries of what he can get away with lately.

Nagua is ok. Not too small and not to big. The noise can get a little nerve racking on the weekends but if you keep to the outskirts of the city you should be fine. I did notice that food cost about 5%-8% more compared to puerto plata. I attribute it to higher distribution cost since, to my knowledge, they don't have a main shipping port. One major + is the Samana highway. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to get to SDQ airport compared to 1 hr 45 minutes to POP airport. And when you want to get away for a weekend, your 1 hr from rio San Juan or Samana.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
42,577
6,189
113
Best of luck. My day of reckoning happened similarly about 12 years ago and I ended up full time in the DR. Enjoy the ride.
 

CaptnGlenn

Silver
Mar 29, 2010
2,321
26
48
Bravo!!! You might already know that there has been an ongoing thread in this forum regarding moving to D.R. on a limited budget. That thread has disintegrated to nonsense comments and name calling... so I'm looking forward to hearing some "hard facts" and real life experiences about costs of living as an ex-pat. Since you have strong local family contacts, obviously your experience would be different than someone moving without any ties, but I think the information you're planning to post sounds like it will be valuable to everyone.

It might also help others reading the posts and blog if they knew a little more about you... age, (or age range) would be helpful since the needs and expectations for retirees would be different than younger people; lifestyle, hobbies/interests, any work related information, (if you choose to work once you're moved), etc. etc., these things help readers "put themselves into your shoes", or relate their own situations to your own.

Best of luck and once again... BRAVO!
 
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yanandu

Banned
Jan 23, 2011
472
9
0
Best of luck - I was suprised at the dis-harmony on the other thread. However in the case of Capt it does seem a bit like pot calling kettle black.

Have fun. Nagua had a nice fish farm.....

Yanandu
 

santanatwins

New member
Jan 20, 2004
153
8
0
[/QUOTE]
It might also help others reading the posts and blog if they knew a little more about you... age, (or age range) would be helpful since the needs and expectations for retirees would be different than younger people; lifestyle, hobbies/interests, any work related information, (if you choose to work once you're moved), etc. etc., these things help readers "put themselves into your shoes", or relate their own situations to your own.

Best of luck and once again... BRAVO![/QUOTE]

well, to answer capt question.......

I am 42 and have always dreamed of moving to DR. But being realistic, i know the job situation is bad out there so I don't plan on moving permanently anytime soon.

I use to rent an apartment in Santiago 7 years back when my son was born, but the airline I worked for stopped flying to Santiago so my monthly commute turned into a trip every 2 months and then every 3 months. Back then if i recall, I spent $2200 USD getting the basics for a 3 bedroom apartment. I got all the utilities connected under my name with no problem. And i was lucky to find a new 3 bedroom apartment for around 7000 pesos in El Paraiso right off Av Bartolome Colon. If I recall the exchange was around 40 to 1 so i was paying just under $200 USD.

The fact that I am Dominican helped out alot back then but the minute I would speak people would know I was from out of town and start talking in dollars instead of pesos. I learned quickly back then when I should send my wife at the time to buy something so I wouldn't be paying inflated prices.

My mother retired with her husband to DR four years ago and they built a 4 bedroom house on 750 m2 in Puerto Plata. They are a treasure trove of information I turn too whenever I need info on anything. My step-father is meticulous when it comes to record keeping. He actually has a book where he jots down his electrical usage for everyday and under what condition. Such as turning his flood lights off over night, turning on and off the water heater, and when family come over and stay etc.....

So my move this summer won"t be entirely with no experience but i plan on approaching it as if it was. My twin brother, who is also getting laid-off, will also be coming down with his kids but he likes to roam the country so I'll be getting input from him about other cities like Bonao and Moca which he plans to visit.

As I said before, if you have any questions you'd like to know that you haven't found the answer to here on DR1, let me know and I will try my best to find out....
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,948
514
113
So be it. I do wish you the very best of everything that the DR has to offer. If we can be of any help, do not hesitate to ask.

42 is kinda young to just go and hang out, so what do you plan to do???? With Spirit, Ameriican, Continental and Jet Blue flying into Santiago, there must be some opportunity for you there and at least three times the opportunity in Santo Domingo.

This will be a very welcome addition to the overall fund of knowledge regarding moves to the DR..

All the best

HB
 

santanatwins

New member
Jan 20, 2004
153
8
0
At 42, i guess you can call it a mid-life crossroads (not a crisis). In honesty, if I added up all the time I spent with my son his whole life it probably wouldn't be more than a years worth. I probably spent more time in Kuwait these past few years than in New York and DR combined.

I figure I could use the time in-between jobs to spend some quality time with my son and do things I know he doesn't do with his grandmother. I usually take him to ride the karts in Fun city and I get day passes at Playa Dorada so he can enjoy the pool and play with other kids. But with a month or so off, I plan on taking him to some rivers and horseback riding. Maybe go bike riding in the Malecon so I can get some much needed exercise in. He already outgrew his last bike so it's time for a new one. I would like to find an English class for him so he can start picking up more than what they are teaching him in school.

As far a working at the airport, the pay probably wouldn't be anywhere near what I could make working for Jet Blue in New York. So I would be better off commuting back and forth like I use to. But I will look into the possibilities once I'm there. I'm headed down there with an open mind to everything.

I've been planning this for sometime now and kept notes on things I wanted to find out about so I have a semi-road map to keep me busy for a few weeks. It will be interesting.
 

hedon

Member
Mar 26, 2008
92
21
8
I've always liked this site for the incredible amount of good information you can find if you put the time in and search. For those that keep up like i do, there has been a lot of recent talk in the budget thread above. I for one, have read the thread in it's entirety and find i always look back to see what has changed and what basic expenses remain the same. So it got me thinking.........

How much would it cost for an expat, who did a little pre-arrival homework and preparation, to live a casual life in the northern part of the country today? Not a bare-bones one meal a day life, but your everyday, hot shower, take the kids to the movies once a week, chat online with finds back home, real "Tony the Tiger" corn flakes for breakfast life.

Well, we are all about to find out. It just so happens that after 15 years of working for the same company, I was told my position would be eliminated. Just goes to show you nothing in life last for ever. But with the bad comes the good. I will be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks, and will be receiving a severance package for my years of dedicated service......that's the least they could do.

For those that don't know, I have a 7 year old son, who lives in Nagua with his grandmother, who I would visit at least 4-5 times a year. Well, I decided I would take the opportunity to rent an apartment for a month or two so I could spend some much needed time with my son.

Although I am Dominican by blood, I was born and raised in New York which would make me a Dominican-york. I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle of a pure expat and a Dominican. Once I open my mouth, a local can tell I'm not from the island and have many times been confused for being puertorican.

I plan on documenting all my expenses and adventures on a blog and on DR1 so that others can learn from my misadventures. My mother lives in Puerto Plata so she's asking around for a furnished apartment I could rent since I will only be needing it for 2 months. I'm not planning a budget so whatever expenses come about I will document and explain any options I may have had before spending the cash. My fiance will be spending 2 weeks with me so this will give everyone an idea of what a family of 3 would spend in a 2 week period.

As far as expenses like health insurance, car, school etc... I will be getting quotes and posting the info. I'll still be covered under my employers health because of Cobra, but my mother and step dad can fill me in on what they spend for car and health insurance. School will be out in June, but I will ask my son's grandmother what she currently pays for school in Nagua.

The rest I plan on winging it. I plan on approaching this as if this will be a permanent move so all the daily in's and outs will be recorded.

If there is anything some of you would like me to investigate, just shot me an email or post on the thread. I'll be signing in on a regular so I'll be able to get back to you within a day or so. I'll be posting pics and short video's of my adventure.

Target date..............June 1st.....
Sorry to hear about your job loss . I would be really interested in how your apartment search turns out. I am thinking about relocated to Puerto Plata, so any information I can get is helpful . Good luck
 

CristoRey

Welcome To Wonderland
Apr 1, 2014
11,989
8,252
113
Sorry to hear about your job loss . I would be really interested in how your apartment search turns out. I am thinking about relocated to Puerto Plata, so any information I can get is helpful . Good luck
Seeing how this thread is over 12 years old...
SMH.
 
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Reactions: Kricke87

RDKNIGHT

Bronze
Mar 13, 2017
2,851
1,541
113
After 15 years of flying around the world to 50+ countries, you get tired of spending more time in hotels than in your own bed. You know it's bad when co-workers see you in the states and ask what your doing here (if I had a $1 for every time someone would ask if i got my Kuwait residence I wouldn't need unemployment). I look forward to spending the time with my son who has missed having a father figure to keep him in line. His grandmother did a good job up to now but he seems to be pushing the boundaries of what he can get away with lately.

Nagua is ok. Not too small and not to big. The noise can get a little nerve racking on the weekends but if you keep to the outskirts of the city you should be fine. I did notice that food cost about 5%-8% more compared to puerto plata. I attribute it to higher distribution cost since, to my knowledge, they don't have a main shipping port. One major + is the Samana highway. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to get to SDQ airport compared to 1 hr 45 minutes to POP airport. And when you want to get away for a weekend, your 1 hr from rio San Juan or Samana.
keep an 👁️ out for amet when travel on the Samana highway,