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4 Reasons Why Americans Retire in the Dominican Republic

Author: Michael Smith

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 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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