Barbados – A Special Place to Retire

Barbados has always been considered as an ultimate tropical paradise.  The development of its infrastructure, technological and physical, combined with the warmth of its people, diverse real estate, scenic landscapes and panoramic ocean views have made it in demand by many.

There are returning nationals, who after living all their lives abroad, seek an inviting retreat in what they have always considered to be home.  Oftentimes, foreigners as well, who have visited the island and fallen in love with its charm, decide that this is where they want to retire.  With a plethora of activities and a very active senior community, there is no wonder that retirement here is seen as pure joy.

The cost of living on the island is higher than in the USA but the many perks of being in the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP), including special discounts and favoured treatment, allow it to feel quite manageable.  As regards property, there is a wide selection for those within a modest budget including traditional homes in mixed residential neighbourhoods and also many options for those in the luxury market who prefer gated golf, tennis and marina communities.

Average 3 bedroom middle class houses may range from US$175,000 – US$375,000 dependent on size and location but there is definitely something for everyone, with rents ranging from US$700 –  US$1750.  The average 2 bedroom home may start around US$125,000 – US$325,000 and can be rented from US$500-1250.

There has been an increase in foreigners looking to retire here due to the high quality of life but as in every country there are regulations.  Those over 60yrs old can apply for immigrant status but must show proof of sufficient means to support themselves.  There is also the option of applying for a Special Entry Permit as a Retired Foreign Property Owner which allows regular visits and extended stays.  It should be noted that foreign buyers can purchase property as easily as their local counterparts.

Top Tips for Moving to Barbados in Your Retirement Years include:-

  1. Visit the island regularly first to see which aspects you are passionate about and which locations you prefer.
  2. Stay longer, 3-6mths at a time, to truly immerse yourself in the culture, engage in the activities and experience the cost of living
  3. If you truly feel the desire to stay, meet with the Immigration Authority to find out the rules and regulations and the best options specific to you.
  4. Consider renting long term first (1yr plus) in a location you like, before committing to purchase

The plus side of relocation is that you will immediately enjoy the laid back lifestyle and many activities which are suited to retirees.  You will be able to import your personal and household items free of duties.  You will make tons of friends as the people are warm and inviting.

The downside is that you will not be able to claim any benefits from the Barbados Social Security System so you need to ensure that you save well and then transfer enough funds to a local bank account to cover your expenses. It is essential to note that health care on the island is very good but it can be expensive and therefore it is recommended to have insurance.

With a stable economy and political structure, diverse real estate product, activities in abundance and attractive landscape, Barbados is definitely a top pick for retirement.  Be reminded that Barbados has one of the highest rates of centenarians per capita in the world.  Come and relax!  After all, don’t you want to join this elite club?


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Cherita O’dell is the Broker of this agency who brings a wealth of experience to the table, having been the Sales & Marketing Manager and Operations Manager of several 4-star hotels and in addition, the Marketing Manager of 2 luxury condo developments. She knows how to promote property for sale & rent and get them noticed. She is one of the best real estate agents in Barbados and won the The Agent of the Year award in 2019.

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