Retirement in Jamaica

I am still years away from retirement but I will not deny that the thought has already crossed my mind. My recent return to the UK was a major wake-up call about where I want to live for the foreseeable future. As someone who has spent much of the last 3 years living in Jamaica, I do have experience and opinions about living here.

Pensions and Retirement Age

Retire in JamaicaLiving and working in the UK most of my life I witnessed the retirement and pension age steadily rising, with experts claiming that I will have to wait until I am 67 or 68 to receive full state pension. When I do receive my State Pension it may equate to between £84.45 (US $140) and £110.15 (US $184) a week, which I would be expected to live on in London….Mmm! I’m not sure that would be possible. The facts are that even as a homeowner in the UK, with no mortgage, the cost of living is high and it is possible that the figure I would receive each week would be the same as my monthly heating bill alone.

Thoughts of the huddled, hunched up figures moving around padded with clothes, their scrunched up ‘sea faring’ faces turned away from the cold air, that I had seen in London last month, crossed my mind. Brrrr! There are many pensioners in the UK suffering hardship and it is now becoming more common for this group to pool their resources and buy a property with their grown children and their families in order to live a more refined life in retirement. Plans for holidays in the sun become more and more enticing, but it is always back to the cold for the majority of the time.

Retiring in Jamaica

There really is ‘something about Jamaica’ that will tickle your taste buds. It will leave you wondering if there is a way that you can live long term or retire in Jamaica. ‘Jamaica’ conjures up the sun making everything twinkle and glisten in its warmth, the endless blue sky and sea and the light breeze that brings the sounds of birds singing. Scents of pineapple, mango, coconut and barbecued food tickle your nose, whilst the chink of ice in your favorite drink replenishes and cools you down.

Retire in JamaicaNow consider this is a way of life in your future, if you were to take the same UK State Pension of between £84.45 (US $140) and £110.15 (US $184) a week and exchange that to Jamaican Dollars JMD$ at today’s rate you would expect to get between JMD$15,284.51 and JMD$19,935.93 a week, or between JMD$66,232.87 and JMD$86,389.03 a month to live on. Not bad when you consider that many a Jamaican live on a wage of JMD$12,500.00 (£69 or US$115) a week or JMD$54,166.66 (£296 or US$495) a month. While it may not be a luxurious lifestyle you could live a comfortable and relaxed life in the sunshine on your UK State pension (or US Social Security).

Depending on where you rent you can find a one bedroom apartment for between JMD$30k(£164 US$264) to $50k(£273 US$456) a month in Ocho Rios or any big town on the north coast. Houses can cost JMD$80k(£437 US$730) a month or more if you are in a gated community or in the best areas in Kingston. You can purchase a house for around JMD$9,000,000(£49,242 US$82,186) and up. A gated community 2-3 bedroom house would cost $14,000,000(£76,600 US$127,846) and up.

There is 1/2 acre of land for sale in Ochi Rios for JMD$56,000,000(£306,400 US$511,383) but you can find the same size in Runaway Bay for $2,500,000(£13,678 US$22,830) and in the country for $600,000(£3,282 US$5,480) it really depends on where the land is situated. Depending on how big you build on your property you can expect to pay from $2,500,000(£13,678 US$22,830) for a one bedroom house.

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  1. Marcia Williams

    May 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I just found your site I think it’s great.

  2. Hey Marcia

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, I am pleased that you enjoy the site!

    Bless Up

    Sweet Jamaica Jules

  3. Thank You for this post. It let me know more about retiring in Jamaica. Can you tell me if Falmouth Jamaica is a safe place to buy a place retire? Or where there is a safe place.

  4. Jeanitta Johnson

    August 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Me and my soon to be husband plan to build on his land before i retire . I just love Jamaica ,Im from the US and it is very stressful here with all of the bills and high cost of living .I am currently working on a plan so when the time comes I can move there( need some information on how to get a part time job there)

  5. Great post that I find very informative. I really look forward to retiring in Jamaica next year.

  6. I am dreaming of retiring in JA in the next five years , do you know if americans can own land or work partime ?

    THank you i Love Jamaica

  7. Although still in my late 50s I am looking to retire somewhere away from the absurdly expensive United Kingdom. I have little capital and will have an unearned monthly income of approx $800. I am not looking for the high life, and would relish the opportunity to engage with the local community, perhaps as a volunteer of some sort – I am well educated, physically fit and I still play cricket to a reasonable standard in England. My search so far has led me to India and Jamaica as places where I could enjoy a reasonable standard of living. Both of these destinations attract me immensely. Are there any barriers to my settling in Jamaica? Any help would be much appreciated,

  8. Hi everyone just want to join in on the conversation, I am 49 years of age from the US my husband is from JA we had been dating since 2002 recently gotten married 2013 we just purchased a condo in Montego Bay in a great location I always knew I wanted to retire in JA will be retiring from the federal government in less than four years exactly working on a few ideas to spend my time wisely I love JA before I met my husband I had been visiting JA since 1998. Please feel free to contact me would love to chat with anyone who’s interested in hooking up in JA definitely would like to make friends

  9. This is to Karen, hello I visit jamaica often at least twice a year. I plan on retiring to Jamaica too. I want to purchase land so I may have space for all my old friends. Karen you may email me direct@

  10. What would be a comfortable monthly income to retire in Jamaica?Not looking for a millionaire home but nice townhouse (safe)community or a small home.can you also give a reputable realtor/company.need help ,i would appreciat your feedback.

  11. Good evening and thank-you to all of the posts prior to mine. I have read each one intently. I will be 54 next month, and have enjoyed living in Negril, Jamaica for almost five years. I have a small studio apartment across from the Caribbean Sea.

    I live indigenously with the people, and this is the way I like it. My professor always said I wouldn’t be happy until I was digging in some Anthropological Site. He was close. I am not stereo-typical. Meeting and living with peoples, cultures, and customs is by far one of the greatest experiences of can have.

    That being said, I have no car, no phone, a computer and Skype. I walk everywhere (or swim), shop via my kayak, snorkel, surf, study, work on my art and photography. Mind you, this comes after a twenty-two year
    stint in the United States Navy. So, I self-appoint myself as deserving my life, my way.

    I easily live on my military pension, this goes out to “Tim Wright, of Nov. 20th, 2014 (see above)”: you can easily live the life you speak of on $800 USD a month.

    Once you become acquainted with an area, and become established as a returner, safety will not be an issue. I have had only one incident, and it is because I broke my own rule. As a single female now, I do not go out after dark or before sunrise if unaccompanied. But, I take these same precautions in the city where I live too. Negril is reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s. It is a small quaint town, not overly populated as of yet. All places eventually will.

    As I am currently leaving for JA next month (yeah) I am upbeat about my writing. Please see my web-site if you care to get a “Taste of Jamaica”. Remember there are “two times”; westerner’s time, and Jamaican time.


  12. Hi Everyone

    Thank you for all the comments on my post about retiring in Jamaica, it is great to know that I have influenced some people to go ahead with their move to Jamaica! Sorry for the delay in responding I have been having a bit of a hiatus from the Internet. My website has further information about moving to and living in Jamaica. I hope to see you there soon!

    To answer your questions:

    Don: Falmouth is a historical town which has an old world charm to it. Due to the cruise ship pier development there is a large police presence in the area. There are restorations and regeneration works going on in the town too. You can read more about Falmouth here: Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Jeanitta: Your retirement plans seem exciting, just make sure you seek land through the official channels and ensure you have the Land Title. Building a dream house can be a nightmare if you don’t use a reputable builder with knowledge of building regulations (Jamaica’s are very outdated) and go through the local Parish Council for building permission. As a retiree you can apply for Permanent Residence as a retiree, but this does not automatically mean you can get a part time job. You would need to get a work visa for that, if you do not get exemption in the way of marriage, ancestry or other. The PICA website is the best place for advice and applications forms for this: Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Loxley: Thank you for your support, I am glad you found the post helpful. Keep in touch!

    Patricia C: The PICA website is the best place for advice on immigration, settling here and working and so on. There are different rules for persons migrating from Commonwealth countries to those coming from non-commonwealth countries. Check out the link for PICA for more information on your personal circumstances. Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Tim: The cost of living in Jamaica depends on your living circumstances and whether you plan to come here and rent or live mortgage free in your own property. Currently US$800 equates to about JA$80,000 which you could live quite comfortably on if you have your own home and just had bills, food and leisure expenses to pay. If you rent it might be a bit tight, again depending on the cost of rent and the lifestyle you lead over here. Bills, food and household items can be expensive in Jamaica, so be aware of those drains on your income. Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Karen: Congratulations on your nuptials and the property sounds great! I hope you enjoy your move over here in the next few years. Being the spouse of a Jamaican makes your move here infinitely easier as you have rights, more or less equal to your spouse. You can apply for permanent residency and can apply for exemption from requiring a work visa, if you apply with the Works and Pensions Department. Again the PICA website can be of help to you too, Best of luck and keep in touch!

    Nina: You are a woman after my own heart! I would love to have room for all my friends to move here too, I keep reminding them that the weather is a blessing and will be good for aches and pains when they get older! Best of luck with your plans too, Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Lisa: As with the answer to Tim, it really depends on where you plan to live and your lifestyle over here. Rent and property prices can vary massively even in the same town. A good start for a reputable Realtor would be with the Realtors Association of Jamaica, which can be found here: Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Elizabeth: Thank you for sharing your story, it sounds as if you have had a very exciting life so far! You have definitely settled in to life in Jamaica your way and I would love to hear more about your escapades when you return to Jamaica. Good Luck and keep in touch!

    Thanks again to everyone and keep it Jamaica!

    Bless Up Jules

  13. Hi Julie. Thank you so much for your info on retiring in Jamaica. I am planning on coming down this year from the UK (Jamaican born) and even though I travel to Jamaica every year I know it’s gonna be soooo different living there. I really valued your insight. It’s reassuring to know that others are doing the same as me and that people like you are willing to share their experiences. Thanx

  14. I have just found this website and have enjoyed all your contributions on jamaica and retirement. My wife and I have made the commitment to sell up in London and retire early to JA. My wife has Jamaican heritage and family out there so acquiring status shouldn’t be too differcult. I hope to have a small business as a electrician..
    I’m currently fact finding at a distance on building our home which I will project manage when we get out there full time in 4 years. We’re doing our first recces in October 15 looking at land (near the sea, St Thomas & Westmorland ish).
    I would be so grateful for any advice recommendations tip bits, you name it.
    4 years in the planning and one shot at it. I want to know everything you know and more. Let’s chat..and spread the word,”Jamaica is lovely”.
    Regards T

  15. Hey Lovetta
    Thanks for the warm comments, I am glad to help where I can as it can be an overwhelming time and I have had some help too, so it is a case of ‘pay it forward!’ Plus it never hurts to make more friends over here! I would love to hear more about your planned move over here if you would be willing to share?! Which part of the island are you going to be based in and when are you coming? My private email address is if you want to get in touch. Or, if you click Authors ‘Bio’ at the top of the post it links you to my email address and website address. Take care for now Bless up Jules

  16. Hey Tony
    Thank you for the comment. I understand about your feelings of trepidation about having one shot at this. Many a tear have been shed over a building project gone haywire. But by using a project manager, or if you have the time and experience project manage yourself, this way you have more control over the proceedings. I am not sure of the specific advice you are looking for but I will start with this much…

    Fact find first and check out the areas you are thinking of buying in, if you can stay in the area even if it is for a long weekend and try out the area (or as my dad always said, ‘have a mooch about!). Make sure you get the land title and have an up-to-date surveyors report that has photographic and measurable evidence of the boundary lines (i.e. boundary is 2 meters from Ackee tree, or when you come back you may find it is 2 meters the other side of the Ackee tree!) A Valuator will give you an accurate price / value for the land. Use reputable professionals and do not cut corners, even if it takes longer the correct way. Make sure your architect designs something to suit the land and ask them to incorporate as many sustainable building methods as possible as this will put you in good stead for the future. So this means solar / wind power, (serious) rainwater harvesting, using glass that minimises interior heat transfer and a design that maximises interior coolness without the need for constant Air-Con and so on. The facts are that Jamaica is getting hotter and drier, so be prepared. The government is already bringing in new policies regarding rainwater harvesting on new building developments, so I expect these types of regulations to get more prevalent in the future. The one and only electricity supplier in Jamaica, JPS, is very expensive, but you can now sell excess electricity back to them, which is a massive blessing (especially in retirement!) Next make sure your main contractor has references or comes recommend. Also, mega important make sure your contractor has experience of pricing a build of your size. Many a build has fallen foul of a contractor getting dazzled by the figures and under-pricing the project, whereby the workers will not work for free when the money runs out and the build is never completed. Cheapest is not always best, be warned! Get planning permission, the inspections will ensure you are getting the work completed within the regulations and the build is strong and safe. Hope this helps for the time being! Take care and keep in touch. Bless up Jules

  17. Hi Jules, great article thanks for putting this out there for everyone to read. I am also planning to retire in JA. My wife and I bought land in Falmouth, Retreat Heights, years ago. We started building our dream home there on the land now. All the points you mentioned about the correct way of purchasing the land, going through the local parish council, etc.. It is all correct. I did work with an architect to design to design the house of my dreams. I am blessed that I have great family there that have been helping and managing the build for me. They have done a great job and couldn’t have done it without them all the way from Canada. But to your point I have heard lots of horrible stories. I am definitely looking forward to the day when it will be completed and I can enjoy all the wonderful things Jamaica has to offer that you mentioned in your piece.

  18. I’m in my late 40’s, lived in Canada my whole life (with an 17 year stint in the Canadian arctic, which is the reason why my sights are set on a WARM climate to retire in. i’ll be keeping an eye on your site and Blogs with great interest. you do a great job! keep the info coming.

  19. Hi Tony S
    Thank you for taking the time to comment, I am glad that you found the article to be of interest. I am pleased to hear that you are having a good experience with your build, as I said it isn’t all doom and gloom over here! It is viable to have a ‘long distance’ dream build as long as you have the right people around you. I would be interested in getting the details of the architect you used over here, you can never have enough recommended professionals in your contacts book!
    Best of luck with everything
    Bless up Jules

  20. Hi Tim B
    You are a man after my own heart! I don’t think it gets as cold in the UK as a lot of Canada, but I too cannot deal with that kind of weather for the rest of my life! I am glad you enjoy the blog, I will be adding some new articles soon after having a bit of a hiatus! Let me know if there is anything in particular that you would like me to write about.
    Keep pushing for the dream, Jamaica will envelope you in a warm embrace!
    Bless up Jules

  21. Hi Jules,
    Thanks for your feedback and best wishes. See below the architect I used. She is no longer living in JA. She now resides in Atlanta, but I was able to work with her electronically during the process.

    Jahaira Hilton-Davis
    Creative Director

    éclat design studio
    678 592 8088

  22. Thank you for the article and responses. It is almost a confirmation for me. I have lived in Canada for the past 32 years. I have been getting depressed for the past 10 years; it has become increasingly hard for me to survive 7 plus months of winter each year.
    In 2011 I married a Jamaican and he migrated here with his two children now 15 and 20. I spent the last ~3 years settling them into life in Canada. They ofcourse being “freshies” think “foreign” is the best and they will soon own BMWs. Now I have a one year old and I want nothing except to grow him on wholesome food and sun in JA. I am so conflicted.

    I was thinking that I should start staying winters there and even looked up rentals. I feel scared doing this without my husband but I figured he can stay in Canada to work and then I can start the process while there of finding land to buy or building on family land.
    Reading your article was an epiphany and knowing so many people are transitioning there. THANK YOU

    I have always said we should form a Returnee/New Resident Association so we can share info like what was entailed in this article.
    What do you think?

  23. Hi Tony S

    Thank you for passing on the details of your architect, it is great to share good professionals with others planning a similar adventure!

    Best of luck with everything.

    Best Jules

  24. Hello, I am a 60 year old woman from Oklahoma, U.S., and never really been anywhere outside the U.S. Although I have always thought about moving and retiring to Jamaica, and pursue my dream of writing for the rest of my life. I would want a small apartment or studio size in a safe location near shopping and cafes and lovely environment. Where would be the best andnsafest places to live that fit what I am hoping for? Is this a possibility on a fixed income of 850.00 per month U.S. dollars, to include utilities and food? And what about medical and dental costs there? Insurance plans? I would be renting, but would like to know if there are apartment units like this for sale too? Any information would be great. Thank you

  25. Audrey Smithson

    July 4, 2015 at 2:24 am

    My name is Audrey. I am a Registered Nurse and I recently returned to Jamaica to live from the U.S.
    My husband and I own a set of apartments that we are currently in the process of placing on the market for short and long term rental. It would be a wonderful opportunity to make these self contained fully furnished apartment available to others like myself who desire to live in Jamaica in a neighborhood that is quiet , safe and only minutes from most businesses and entertainment.
    As returning residents to Jamaica we also welcome the opportunity To make ourselves available as support persons to assist anyone needing guidance and advice in the transition process of adjusting to life in Jamaica..

  26. Hi everyone, I am currently in jamaica. I come here every year for about 6 weeks because I have a non profit organization. I am only 33 and have the option of retiring at 55. As a teacher I get 2 months off for the summer. I am currently considering to either buy a house or a piece of land to eventually build my dream home. I’m not set on a location, most people are telling me to look in mandeville close to NCU so that I can have the option of renting it out to students. I am confused because when I come down I am back and forth between Kingston, St Elizabeth, and even now and then ochie. I started to take steps such as contributing to nht.U2US

  27. Hi Jules,

    Thank you for the site and all the information. I was searching for information on house building in Jamaica and got here. My husband and I bought land last year and we are planning on building for our retirement. We love the location in St. Mary (we are both from a small village in the country) right outside Ocho Rios, the community is a mix of small houses to mansions and within walking distance to James Bond Beach. Our biggest concern is crime and was happy to see you address, thank you.

    We heard about a local bank that will build on your land but have not been able to get confirmation on which bank. What we heard was you get a mortgage with the bank, design the house plan with them and they higher the project managers/architect/workers and get the house build to your specification. Do you have any knowledge of this?

    Also, for those interested our seller may have more land for sale. I could confirm with him for those still looking for land.

  28. To the comment on Kat wanting to move to Jamaica, yes, Mandeville is a great place, there are loads of returning residents , students and everything is in close range . Also you can check out ST ANN, which is a good place if you want to be closer to the tourist and beaches.
    I am looking to return to Jamaica also , and thinking of starting up a business, so for me it’s also a confusing and indecisive decision, but some how I’ll get there . All the best in your search .

  29. Hello,
    I want to move to JA.
    Before have been there for a week as a tourist in 1992.
    Was nice, but have no idea about living there permanently.
    Need to communicate with experienced people who moved and living there for years.
    Interested in any information about moving there and possibly starting a business.

  30. Hello Ergun ,
    Where are you at the moment? when are you planning to settle in Jamaica, Maybe we could come together and get things done, Please do get in touch.

  31. Hello Toby,

    Thanks for your message,

    I am 56 yrs old , currently living in Turkey now.But some of my family members are USA citizen that I visit them almost for 30 years.
    After 28 years I am single now and want to begin a new life without stress and problems.
    As I mentioned, have no idea about long time living in Jamaica or somewhere else except Usa.
    I worry about what to do, where and how do I have to begin.
    My planning about going to there is about 2-3 months later.
    After I have to visit my son that he lives in Florida, planning to travel from there.
    Please tell me about your situation, where are you, what are you planning to do there and also when are you planning to go to JA.
    waiting your e-mail concerning your status and ideas
    Thanks for your interest again, let’s keep in touch.:))

  32. I am looking at moving to Negril in the spring of 2016……any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m 62 and have an SS income of 2000 a month.
    Would I be able to live comfortably on this income.

  33. Well, folks, I want to thank you for letting me know I made the right decision about retiring in Jamaica.
    I’ve been traveling there for 10 years and have fallen in love with that island, and it’s people.
    Am in the process of building a home.
    Don’t have a plan for a retirement date, but as I watch the home go up, I’m starting to believe the time will come sooner than planned.
    Would love to hear from others that have made the move or are about to.
    Life is short and I want to spend it where I am the happiest.
    Much Respect,

  34. My husband and I bought 1/2 an acre of land in Black River St. Elizabeth. It took us over 3 years to find something that we both like. We started building a 3 building single family home about year ago and everything is going smoothly. We were luck to find a good lawyer and within 3 months of finding the piece of land, we were given the title. We also found an excellent builder. He is very young, but he is absolutely brilliant. We also found a brilliant architect. The only draw back is that my husband has to be there each time they are working on the house. This allows him to get exactly what he wants. We are in our late 50s and we are hoping to retire in the next year when the house is completed. My mom is also a returnee. She went back to St. Elizabeth 26 year ago when she retired from her job in London and she does not have ant regrets. We are currently a Florida resident and you might wonder why we want to live in Jamaica when we have the sunshine in Florida. Although we are in good jobs and we own our home, the cost of living is ver high. To be honest, there is no place like home. We go down to Jamaica 2 or 3 times each year and we were born there, so we know what we are going back to. We are blessed to have such a beautiful Island. I do hope that things will get better for our fellow citizen. God bless Donna

  35. Hello Karen, I am looking forward to retiring soon, where, I’m not sure but I’m leaning toward Jamaica because I was born there and it’s always warm. But I left Jamaica at the age of six and have never returned. As an American woman I would like to hear more on your experience. Thanks Virginia

  36. I stumbled upon this blog quite by chance almost 3 hours ago and I’m still engrossed in reading!

    This is an excellent blog; please keep up the good work, Julie. You’re doing a great job providing very, very useful information and giving valuable insight. I really appreciate your blog.

    I live in the UK but occasionally travel back to Jamaica, the land of my birth; I simply cannot, will not let go. Jamaica captivates me and having been ‘uprooted’ then ‘transplanted’ in another land just before I hit me teens, I’ve always had feelings of ‘unfinished business’.

    I’d like to exchange experiences Jamaica with other readers – especially of the rural areas; I’m from Clarendon. I’d particularly like to hear from anyone that has returned to Jamaica and have settled in Mandeville or planning so to do.

    Love and thanks

  37. Hello.
    I live in NYC and I would like to know if they Accept USA degrees over there?
    And also, do home owners or apartment owners pay property taxes?
    Thank you!!

  38. Hi,
    I find this site extremely interesting, having moved here in November 2014. My husband and l purchased land in St Elizabeth (2/3rd acre) and awaiting our building permission to be completed. We are hoping to start billing in end of March/April 2016. Like most of you, we moved to jamaica way before our retirement age. Couldn’t imagine myself working until I’m 67 years old. We dealt with professionals in every transactions and received an excellent service. However, when it comes to the house build, we are managing the project ourselves. My husband is a builder from the UK. His knowledge of building in Jamaica is limited and would be looking for a competent Mason. We would like to use a local person, purely to keep the monies within the community, but not sure what the going daily rate of a Mason with one mate. Any help with this would be highly appreciated. My email address is

  39. I love all the comments about Jamaica. I just fond this site and love it.

  40. Hello Julie.
    I wrote to you nearly a year ago with my plan of early retirement, finding a plot and building some amazing condo overlooking some watery vista.
    I’ve just read your reply which I thank you for. Very informative and so accurate having now been to the north coast area looking at the options. The original plan was to arrive in 2019 but hey! Why not sooner, so now we should be all sold up and out 2017. ( It sounds like I’m coming to you personally). It’s Good to reccee and speak to locals about their area, my understanding of what’s required to setup a home in Jamaica then survive it is pretty good.
    Originally it was our intention to build from scratch but I’m really not that brave anymore although I saw some great plots in st Ann’s and st Mary’s, with prices to match. Some serious abandoned builds wetted my appetite but getting information on the them went the Jamaican way, ‘maybe’. I think we will be looking for a doer upper avoiding planning delays. I admire those return/retirees who are building from scratch. We had a realtor showing us around who was good but we weren’t in the buying cycle so we didn’t get her full attention. A proactive estate agent is a must, someone who can seriously network properties and prices. Any recommendations with realtors would be nice.
    The infrastructure seems to be improving with the motorway nearing completion, no doubt improving house prices on the north coast to boot.
    Had a look in the Richmond estate. As a safe affordable hassle free bolt hole, can’t knock it but Colditz had a view and an escape plan. I have been seen the extreme of bathrooms out numbering all the other rooms put together. Those building beware, there are architects and architects. Viewed some new builds near White River which left me bewildered and the price more so….
    Anyway this isn’t a rant but a thank you Julie for setting up a proper site worth blogging to. I am so excited to be joining those that escaped and share some of their experiences getting to Jamaica.


    Tony G

  41. I will be moving to Jamacia December 2016 thank god and have an appartment That I would like to rent long term to someone like myself from Britain who has a pension but would love to go home but is an able to buy.I look forward to hearing from you. My home is in Manderville in walking distance to all amenities. Loving this page Thank You.

  42. I find this site very informative.

    I’m thinking of moving to Jamaica for my retired life. But I do not know the financial requirement for permanent residence. Does anybody know how much money should I have in my bank account?

  43. Hi,

    I love this site, and have been reading many of the comments which have been really insightful. My question is, I am a single mom, wanting to move to Jamaica with my daughter who will start high school (14 yrs.). I cannot afford private schools, but want her to have a good education. Can anyone recommend any other schools (public, not sure if there are any charter schools, or anything that would not cost anything/or hardly anything). I am open to living anywhere in Jamaica, and would base it around the school situation. Also, where do you recommend looking for rental apts/homes?

    Finally, am I reading this correctly – that one can live in JA (as a USA citizen) for 6 months – arriving on a tourist visa, but then needs to leave ? How long does one need to leave – can it be just a 24 hour stay on another island somewhere to return for another 6 months or how does that work? It seems a bit complicated to obtain residency – so just want to have a way to move over there now and would like to know the easiest/fastest way to do so.

    Finally, when coming into Jamaica, will they ask you at customs/immigration if you are coming as a tourist or what? – does one need to tell them you are intending to live there, or could you just pretend you are coming as a tourist? I don’t like to be interrogated by customs, etc. Having to ‘prove’ I can afford to live there..not sure how that all works.

    Thanks for your help with all of my questions!

  44. Hi Donna.

    I am semi-retired and currently going through the process of purchasing some land to hopefully start building this year.Finding a suitable lot has taken years-long story. The area is easily accessible to Black River which I know quite well. I am looking for an architect that thinks outside the box and is prepared to listen to what the client wants. Was this very costly and would you recommend him/her ?

  45. Jamaica….”No Problem Mon!”; But wait I have a problem with the posts as they seem to paint Jamaica as the best place in the world to retire. (I lived in Jamaica for 10 years: 2006-2016; not to mention having visited the island for over 20 years) Far from it though.
    You have to consider the following:
    1) Crime – Crime is world wide and unfortunately in Little Jamaica the media seems to focus on crime too much. But you have to listen and understand the criminal element in Jamaica. Crime happens frequently in the inner cities but there could be a criminal living next door to you and you may never know it. there is no police response time to speak of in Jamaica. so don’t expect any assistance from the police if needed. If you have a house make sure you have some “bad dogs” in the yard. Be sure to build your house with burglar bars (a must) if you are building way in the country side to get away from crime. If you live way out, guess what, that is the perfect opportunity for criminals to visit your house in the country.
    2) Car “A MUST” – The taxis’ are cheap, if you can get one. The taxi drivers will not move their taxis unless there are 5 people in the back seat and three in the front seat (A car like the corolla). Did I mention speed. Buy a car mon!!! But have good insurance; lots of uninsured drivers in Jamaica. Insurance claims can take from 8 months to years to resolve.
    3) Good health!!! Health system in Jamaica not great. Politicians travel to the USA for healthcare. Plan to travel every six months to Florida for healthcare check ups.
    4) Water “Wata” – No good in terms of a consistent flow to your house. Buy a large water tank for storage and to catch rain water. The government has problems with water; remember I warned you.
    5) Electricity – Big problem…no consistent flow of electricity to your house. Consider investing in solar and a generator (a must). If a hurricane comes electricity may be out for weeks to months depending on the severity of the storm.
    4) resolve your own issues – you have to become a jack of all trades in Jamaica. Learn to be a mason, electrician, politician, negotiator, policeman and others to live comfortably; or else you could be the victim of botched services.
    I may move back to Jamaica in 2021 (When I retire) but I will have a different perspective on life in Jamaica having experienced it first hand. If you don’t need any services in Jamaica, life is good. But try and get something done quickly it will not happen. Even to repair a vehicle will try your patience or if you may have to visit 3 government agencies to get something done and have to contend with non caring government employees (Try and register your car there and you will see what I mean). If you ever visited Jamaica and stayed at an all inclusive resort, things are different there because employees are trained to the standards of service you would expect in the UK/USA/CANADA but it is by no means indicative of life outside of the resort.
    Good luck everyone!!

  46. Hi,
    Great site. I am thinking of retiring in ten years. I don’t think I would like to buy a house. I am looking more towards a Senior living community (gated) or a condo. I would like somewhere safe in a good area. I have not been to Jamaica in 20 years and need help in finding a great location. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  47. Can anyone recommend a local architect with a professional approach, one who will engage with the client to achieve the best results?

  48. Pam,
    I don’t know of any Senior living communities in Jamaica, but there are gated communities that are springing up on the North Coast. Think of the living anywhere between Montego Bay to Boscobel along the North Coast. Go to the real estate web sites like Century 21 or NHT…etc.. to get a good idea where the gated communities are.
    Engage professional services at your own risk!!! I dealt with an attorney in Ochi Rios and had adequate services. There are lots of stories of professionals ripping off locals as well as foreigners (attorneys, architects..etc.) I wouldn’t recommend anyone because you may come back and say “You recommended him/her”… There are lists of professionals who were stripped of their license to practice their trade in Jamaica and there are lists of persons on the government register. Look for the list of acceptable trade persons listed with the government. But be attentive of what they are doing for you and “you” are the client so make sure they are working towards what you want.
    Good luck!

  49. Hello everyone,
    I’m in my late forties and have a family home in Mandeville. ( I currently reside in Canada) I would like to do an extensive renovation to the home. I would love any recommendations for any companies that does such work.

  50. Claude,
    Thank you for your comments about the facts of JA. Sure it isn’t easy to survive at the third world countries, problems never ends. But could you tell us about the other face, like relations with the locals or foreigners, and as you wrote that you have lived ten years, were you happy there..?
    Please inform us about the reasons that you could spend a lot of time there

  51. Hi Claude,

    Thanks for your advice.I take nothing for granted and continue to do my due diligence.

  52. Hi Ergun, I can tell you that Jamaica “Mon” is a great place to live. The Locals are friendly and if you want anything you have to pay for it. Literally….Get pulled over by the police for speeding, you can get out of the ticket by the “Left or write” mentality. Once the locals know you are a foreigner, they will try their best to be friendly. The reasons you could spend a lot of time in Jamaica is because you are “going nowhere” fast. Not in a hurry “No Problem”. Jamaica is not the fast paced society like UK/USA/CAN…You may find a lot of things to do in Kingston, but even Kingston closes down after a certain hour. You can live comfortably on a USA social security pension of $1,000 monthly (Current exchange rates of $127 Ja$ to one us$ = $127,000 Jamaica dollars monthly). And you get a raise if the USA raises social security because of the cost of living. lots of beaches, bars and churches. So go and enjoy yourself, stay awhile, get to know the locals and you will feel free in Jamaica.

  53. My husband and I are looking forward to moving to Jamaica this year. The article was great, and I appreciate all of the great advice in the comments!

  54. i am looking for an architect to design a villa in the style of the British Colonial Architecture. please share architect’s contact info if you are happy with your architect’s services.

  55. I will be moving to Kingston with my husband and 18 y/o daughter. She wants to attend UWI. We are retired military from the US. Does anyone know the minimum $$ amount required to obtain permanent residency for all 3 of us??
    Also, is it possible to obtain a work permit under the permanent residency retirement?

  56. My sister and I are Jamaican” in our 50″s who want to move to Jamaica with our children and grandchildren. It is more urgent now since the election. We migrated to the US with our parents as children and have only
    visited as tourists. We would like info. on safe community to live n raise children and live a healthy lifestyle. (Organic gardening) & & Start own business.

  57. Good Day Char

    Thank you for commenting on my guest post. Jamaica is a wonderful place to live and you can fulfil all of the things on your wish list that you mentioned. I am a great fan of anything organic, eco friendly and encourage everyone to plant something, go green and live as sustainably as possible! It’s good for you, Jamaica and the environment at large.

    I would also highly recommend having some sort of business idea. There are limited employment opportunities on the island and wages aren’t particularly high. Therefore any entrepreneural approach will make it easier to make a living.

    Should you wish to get in touch by direct message with further details of your plan to move to Jamaica, I will be happy to outline how I can assist you further. I can be reached at

    Good luck.

    Bless up Jules

  58. Good Day JLynnaB

    Thanks for commenting on my guest post. You can retire in Jamaica and lead a very comfortable life if you have the means to do so. UWI have large educational centres in Kingston and Montego Bay and are a well respected educational institution.

    Should you require information about the stipulations of obtaining permanent residence, PICA is the government agency that deals with all types of immigration. The current fee listed on the website for permanent residence is JA$100,000 per applicant, which is non-refundable (these fees sometimes change and their website isn’t updated, so please contact them directly to check for accuracy). If you have no ‘ties’ to Jamaica you would normally have to have been living and / or working on the island for at least 3 years before you can apply for it. There are concessions for retired people, although you would need to contact them and check about getting a work visa, if your status is retired. The website can be found at

    Hope this helps! Good luck.

    Bless up Jules

  59. Good Day RoyD

    Thank you for commenting on my guest post.

    Your planned building project sounds fantastic. Jamaica has a beautiful natural beauty, which lends itself to building a fabulous property for taking in the views and ambience of the island. There are colonial designed properties all over island which are simply stunning and worthy of being featured in the glossy magazines. Do you have a favourite colonial designed property in Jamaica?

    In terms of recommendations, I prefer to engage in direct messages, so as to keep potentially sensitive information private. I am a great advocate of supporting Jamaican based talent and businesses by creating partnerships and collaborations with them. If you would like to get in touch with your contact details and further information outlining your requirements I would be happy to assist you in moving closer to creating your ideal Jamaican home. I can be reached at

    Bless up Jules

  60. Good Day Susan

    Thank you so much for your lovely message, I am really pleased you found the guest post that I wrote helpful. Retirement and Good Living has the best readers, doesn’t it?! I just love the way everyone gets involved and shares their own experiences and advice with others!

    Good luck with your own move to Jamaica.

    Bless up Jules

  61. Good Day Rosemary

    Thank you for taking the time to comment on my guest post and welcome to the site.

    Mandeville is a popular destination for those who prefer cool climates and there is a thriving population of returning residents and other people who came from overseas setting up home there.

    Renovations are an ideal way of adapting what you have to what you want! There are also many ways to retro-fit older properties with newer technology and design features that make the property more sustainable. This ensures outlays on utility bills are kept to a minimum along with your environmental impact.

    In terms of recommendations I prefer to discuss potentially sensitive information in a private message. Please get in touch with me with more information about your requirements at whereby I would be happy to assist further.

    Bless up Jules

  62. Good Day Annette Gordon

    Thank you for commenting on my guest post.

    I am pleased to read that you are looking for a local architect, I am a great advocate of supporting Jamaican talent and businesses. If you would like advice or assistance regarding your building project please contact me at with further information about your project and your contact details where I will be happy to assist you further.

  63. Bless up Annette Gordon


  64. olivia clennell

    June 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Jules, When You Say Bills And Food Are Expensive In Jamaica, How Expensive? Electric, Is Cheap Buy Your Own Gas , No Council Tax To Pay , You Can Have Your Own Water, Clothing Wear All Year Round .

  65. Hi Guys!

    Thank you for all your comments and feedback to this post, I really appreciate it!

    If anyone needs any further assistance on moving to Jamaica, please check out our websites!

    Sweet Jamaica Blog
    and our sister website

    Have a blessed day!


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