CJ Invest, News, Special Reports

How (And Why) to Retire in the Cayman Islands

By Alexander Britell

When it comes to making lifestyle decisions, the pandemic has only strengthened the appeal of the Caribbean, as more people flock to the region for sanctuary, seclusion and stability amid an uncertain global situation. 

It has led to a number of new trends, including growing real estate demand in some Caribbean nations and an increasing number of destinations launching extended-stay programs for remote workers, such as the new Global Citizen concierge program launched in the Cayman Islands (first reported by Caribbean Journal Invest).

But it’s also leading to renewed interest from another demographic: retirees. One of their top choices? Grand Cayman. 

But it’s also leading to renewed interest from another demographic: retirees. One of their top choices? Grand Cayman. 

“We are experiencing growing interest from people looking to make plans for their retirement,” Sue Nickason, VP Marketing and Sales at leading Cayman Islands real estate brokerage Provenance Properties, the official Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in Cayman tells Caribbean Journal Invest.

“One aspect of that planning process includes acquiring a property in Cayman for either part-time or full-time residency.  Retirees appreciate Cayman’s excellent healthcare facilities, modern infrastructure, tropical year-round weather and nonstop flights from major cities in North America,” Nickason says.

Indeed, Cayman has long been popular with affluent retirees, thanks to its strong healthcare sector, abundant recreational opportunities on land and sea, and an enduring record of safety, among other factors. 

Healthcare is a particularly strong factor, she said, pointing to the four major hospitals in the Cayman Islands and the more than 1,000 healthcare and wellness professionals providing a range of services across the destination — with a ratio of around 4.5 doctors per 1,000 residents.

A rendering of the new OLEA real estate community, the first for-sale development at Camana Bay in Grand Cayman.

In recent years, the opening of the renowned Health City complex has only reinforced that standing. 

But it’s far more than that, Nickason tells Caribbean Journal Invest

Cayman has a low crime rate; a long history of sound governance; one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world and a standard of living that’s largely unmatched in the wider region. 

And Cayman’s tax neutrality means it’s easier to budget for retirement expenses, with an absence of personal, recurring property, capital gains, inheritance and sales taxes. 

“The Cayman Islands is an ideal address for living an active lifestyle as a retiree,” Nickason says. “An additional draw is the absence of any restrictions on foreign ownership of property and the absence of recurring property, income, capital gains, sales and inheritance taxes.”

cayman islands retire
The Kimpton Seafire and Residences at Seafire in Grand Cayman.

So how do you do it?

Retirees need to invest a minimum of US$1.2 million in developed real estate in order to qualify to earn a certificate of permanent residency for 25 years.

For aspiring centarians, that can be renewed for another 25 years. 

Once obtained, the holder must maintain a minimum 30-day residency period each year in Cayman and demonstrate an annual income of $145,000 not derived by working in the local economy. 

For more, visit Provenance Properties in the Cayman Islands.

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