Retire In Cuba
One Of The Most Affordable
Places To Retire In
Retire in Cuba
Who would have thought that one of the world’s most affordable places to retire is also known to many as the “Pearl of the Caribbean.” Where is this place? Cuba. Yes, that’s right, Cuba.
Cuba is unique among Latin American retirement destinations primarily due to the developments of word history of the past fifty years. Yet, it holds so much natural beauty and such a warm and friendly populace that when you are considering Latin America to find one of the cheapest places to retire, Cuba must be included on your list.
First, if you are considering Cuba for retirement, you must look at certain political realities. These, for better or for worse will play a role in your decision. This means that if you are an American citizen, present bans on travel would make Cuba inaccessible as a retirement destination. This of course may soon change, as removal or loosening of current travel bans to Cuba may become a reality at some point in the near future. For those, however, that are citizens of other nations, the road to retirement in Cuba is wide open.
Prior to making a final decision on whether or not to retire in Cuba, it is wise to visit the island as a tourist. In so doing, explore the areas of the island not designated specifically for tourism. Take a gander at how everyday Cuban citizens live. Yes, Cuba offers a simpler existence to what one may find in other Latin American countries, but to some, this will be a benefit as opposed to a detriment.
Another huge difference about retiring in Cuba as opposed to other countries in the world is that there is simply no mechanism for a foreign citizen, or a Cuban citizen for that matter, to own private property. This, however, does not exclude you from being able to find long term leases for homes and apartments issued through the Cuban government. The majority of housing in Cuba is modest, but there have been recent government sponsored “western” style communities built specifically to attract Canadian and other Western retirees seeking inexpensive places to retire or for long-term stays.
Any person that has decided to retire in Cuba should also visit their Cuban Embassy or nearest consulate. This will facilitate any potential immigration headaches which could occur if a person enters Cuba solely on a tourist visa and then extends their stay without governmental approval. Permanent residency permits are rarely granted by the Cuban government, but many expatriates who have retired to the island use revolving tourist visas which require them to depart and return, many doing so on the same day, to extend their visa. This style and cycle of visa extension is the most popular for retirees living in Cuba.
Another important thing to keep in mind is how foreigners are allowed to conduct financial transactions in Cuba. Foreign citizens, even those residing on the island, must use the convertible peso. This is different from the domestic peso used by Cuban nationals. The procedure for opening a bank account in Cuba and converting foreign currency to convertible pesos should also be taken care of at the embassy or consular level prior to arrival. This will decrease the likelihood of experiencing potential problems with your finances once in Cuba.
Admittedly, Cuba will not be the ideal place to retire for everybody. For those, however, that seek a wonderful climate touting over 300 days of sunshine per year, pristine Caribbean beaches, a healthcare system that produces highly trained doctors and the ease of a simple lifestyle, Cuba is definitely a worthy and affordable place to retire.
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