Why We Decided to Move to Puerto Rico

We are moving to Puerto Rico!  Here is the story of how and why we decided to pack up and move.

While on a Caribbean Cruise three years ago, we had a half day stop in old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I immediately loved the brief glimpse of the island, the people, and the food.  Spending so few hours in a city, is quite frankly, enough for one decent meal and walking around the restaurant neighborhood.  And one meal can change your life, at least for me.

2015 summer visit in Isla Verde
2015 summer visit in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico

Knowing we needed more time, a 2 week vacation was planned a break-neck 2 years later along the North and East Coasts to see more of the island.  It was still not enough!

After some number crunching and serious talk about options, we decided our best course of action was to move to the Caribbean.  We have secured a year lease on a beach community house in Puerto Rico that will serve as home base so that we can slow down and explore the Caribbean!  For the next year (at least) we are going to practice Slow Travel and explore as much of the Caribbean as we can.

Our beach in Puerto Rico

Why the Caribbean?  Why not?  Have you seen this place?  It is GORGEOUS!!!!

The locals are hardworking, friendly, happy people that have welcomed us with open arms, and bent over backward to help us at every turn.  There are tax incentives to move our IT consulting business to PR, while at the same time we will be helping the local economy (that is the real win-win situation).

The Caribbean is a great value and has so much to offer.  Puerto Rico, while a territory not a State, is still part of the USA.  Complete with same currency, same electrical plug, no visa or travel restrictions for Americans, no quarantine for my dog, same phone plan and I am keeping the same phone number.  Puerto Rico is the Caribbean’s version of Hawaii’s less expensive Latin cousin, with a far more culturally diverse neighborhood. There are many “foreign” islands nearby with cool stuff to do, places to visit, and new food to eat.2016_SunriseJanuary

So stay tuned for Caribbean cuisine, adventure, history, culture, scuba diving, hiking the rain forest, travel tips, beaches, and more beaches!

78 thoughts on “Why We Decided to Move to Puerto Rico”

  1. Hi Jen! I’m confused about the Tax Incentive…How does your IT Consulting Business help the local economy? In your Youtube video when you explained it, you said you can get approved for the tax incentive if your business is based in Puerto Rico but your customers are not. Can you explain that a little further?
    Thank you!

    1. For Export Services business, the employees and work are based in Puerto Rico, while the customers are based outside the island. All of the business income is earned in Puerto Rico, and paying local taxes and fees on the island. This creates jobs on the island, and all of the business administration and overhead costs are paid on the island. All of the income to Puerto Rico and the business are sourced from customers outside the island, so this is new income to Puerto Rico. Here is more information on the Tax Acts http://jentheredonethat.com/tax-act-60/

  2. We’re thinking of moving to Puerto Rico! Would love your thoughts on best areas to check out! We were in San Juan in April and want to come back in August to check out other areas!

      1. Hi Jen my name is Isabel Im a NewYorker.. seriously thinking of moving down to la isla bonita with my hubby and two teenage boys. My mothers family are from the luquillo area. We are staying in Humacao for Thanksgiving week at Palmas de Mar and would love to see if there is any possibility of a lunch date. You seem like my kinda people. Look me up on FB or just reach out to me if your bored

        1. Definitely hope to meet you when you visit. Several people have asked about meetups, so that may be in my future.

    1. Move down to Puerto Rico! Stay in the U.S. and pay 0% capital gains with 80 degree weather… About 3,000 people already here!

  3. Great! We’ve been deciding after visiting over the last 2 years, I think our plan to relocate is coming together soon!

  4. Lived in Cabo rojo,Puerto Rico for 3 years , 2011-2013, and absolutely loved it !!!! Moved back to Florida and regret ever leaving ! Guess what ?moving back beginning of 2018 !
    There is more pros than cons so I’m going back to enjoy my life !!!!!

  5. How exciting! We are preparing for an extended trip to SE Asia in hopes to stay for at least a year and then next on our list was the Caribbean. Glad I found this post as it’s now reassuring me it’s possible! Safe Travels!

  6. Hi Jen,

    I’m a reporter for the Miami Herald, and I’m writing a story about people who are moving, or have moved, to Puerto Rico recently. I was wondering if you were still living there and if you would be willing to talk with me more about why you chose to move and how your experience has been. Please email me if you’d be willing to talk. Thanks!

  7. Amazing for you to make the big leap to living in Puerto Rico! Totally agree that the Caribbean would be the perfect place to do it. I’m interested to hear what kind of number crunching as well as other factors in order to make this work. But enjoy it and excited to see all of your adventures there!

  8. Moving to Puerto Rico is the easiest “international” move an American can make. I was reading about the tax incentives a while back and it was just about enough to make me consider a move, too. You’re so right that it’s a great home base to explore the rest of the Caribbean. Now I’ll have to catch up on your more recent posts so I can get the scoop on how your adventures are going.

  9. I haven’t been to PR yet but it’s definitely somwhere I’d like to check out. I’ve been considering where i’d like to stay on a more long term basis and hadn’t considered PR but maybe I will now.

    1. We have lived in PR for almost a year and we still love it! There is so much to see and explore on the island.

        1. Jim – we have a different experience that Abroad Dreams (I read the site, too), as well as a different business model for our company and employees.
          We met with lawyers for Tax Act 20/22 over 6 months before moving to the island, to determine if we would be eligible before we made the big move. We are in the process of filing our first tax return as PR residents, so I do not have all of the actual breakdowns. I will share our experience and the tax results in the coming months.

  10. I am moving myself and my business here as well in January! I locked in a lease as well at a very nice condo in the Carolina area. I am happy for you guys:)

  11. That’s amazing! Congrats on your move! I haven’t been to Puerto Rico, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the people!! I’m also a big fan of slow travel. I find that too many busy days just wears me down too much and I can’t enjoy it as much as I would like! I can’t wait to read more of your adventures in the Caribbean!

  12. Its great that you set a goal and now you are working towards it. Your slow travel totally makes sense. Wish we could do it too. waiting for the right time

  13. Moving to Puerto Rico sounds like such an adventure! And living on the beach too…what a dream come true. Are you enjoying living there?

  14. Best of luck in Puerto Rico! I visited the island for the first time this past May and was completely taken with it, too. What area did you move to? I also love the concept of slow travel. There’s nothing like spending enough time in one place to really get to know its customs and people. Cheers to your new adventure!

    1. Ditto for a drink if you end up in Puerto Rico! The Caribbean is a small place and I am looking forward to bumping into you!

  15. Good for you! Not many people take the final step to leave their home and their comfort to try something scary and new! Puerto Rico sounds like a sweet place to call home;) if you’d ever be up to contributing to my blog as a PR local, shoot me an email! I’m always looking for local advice to add to the site!

  16. I don’t blame you for moving here! I LOVE island life and the idea of living on an island is even better. We wish you the best of luck, everything we have heard and read about Puerto Rico has been great! It’s nice that you had such a wonderful impression on your cruise beforehand too! It’s going to be amazing!

  17. Hi everyone. I’m thinking of moving ti PR next year and would like to know if palmas de mar is better then guaynabo pr. I have 2 girls and need good schools and safe place to raise my girls. Can anyone in PR advise me. Thanks

    1. I know from the Moms in Palmas del Mar that the Palmas Academy is highly rated. They teach in English for most/many courses. We do not have children, and I do not know any parents/children in school in Guaynabo. Best wishes for your possible relocation to the island.

  18. Very nice to see this and will be following your adventures!
    We went to PR a few years ago and really enjoyed it. In the back of my mind I see us spending a while there in the future. We are digital nomads and can pretty much work/live anywhere. We are currently house sitting on Isla Mujeres (off the coast of Cancun) during the summer and are considering other locations for next year. I’ve seen some sits there and also some reasonably priced rentals.

  19. Found your blog and I love it!

    I’m actually planning on moving my family to Puerto Rico, in Aguadilla, around this July. We already found the perfect house and are working out the lease …

    I wanted to ask you, did you use a moving company to get your stuff down there? If so who did you use and would you recommend them?

    Anything you wish you did differently?

    Moving is always stressful, but I’ve NEVER moved even to another state much less to another island!

    Would love it if you had any advice for another American family looking to make the move to Puerto Rico 🙂

    All my best,

    1. Caleb, that is awesome!! So excited for you. We are going to Aguadilla this weekend, and I will write about our adventures!
      I received quotes from several moving companies, and we decided it was easier/cheaper to buy new. We are in a partially furnished rental, and we bought a new couch, bed, some shelves, tv, and a patio set. We still spent less money buying new stuff than shipping would cost. We sold both of our cars on the mainland, and bought a used car here in Puerto Rico – again, much cheaper and less hassle to buy a car here than to ship one and pay all of the taxes and fees. We paid for First Class airfare and brought the maximum bags allowed per person (airfare was cheaper than shipping). The only thing I would do differently is to bring LESS stuff. I thought I was really packing light, but I have tons of stuff here that I do not need or use. I plan to donate all of our extra stuff to the local church. Life is simple here, and we love it!!

  20. Well that looks like a dreamy place to live. I love your pictures, so amazing! I am looking forward to learn more about your living there!

  21. Just did a Google search for “moving to Puerto Rico” and found your piece. Have you made the move? We are moving to the Condado area this summer. We bought a house two weeks ago and my daughter has been accepted to one of the schools in the area. We are so excited. Best of luck to you!

    1. Thanks! So excited for you, too! Yes, we relocated in January 2016 (so three months now), and we LOVE it! Stay tuned for more updates on living in Puerto Rico, already published how to get a Driver’s License in PR, and more helpful tips for you.

  22. Good for you and your husband! I’m so glad you took the move to Puerto Rico! That’s one place I’d really love to visit, so I look forward to reading your updates on what it’s like carving out a new life there! Suerte!

  23. ¡Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico! We chose Puerto Rico also after a 2 week honeymoon here in 2005. We traveled the whole main island and also Vieques. We felt pulled toward the west coast more than any other area. It then took us another 6 years to finally buy a place and then another 2 to move here for good. But now that we are here I can’t believe we waited so long. I suppose good things take time…and Puerto Rico is probably one of the best decisions we’ve ever made in our whole lives. It fits us so perfectly.

    Daily when I awake to perfect temperatures or look out at the ocean and the chickens and exotic fruit trees and do things I never did back in Colorado like catching iguanas, singing in a band at fancy mansions by the sea, eating mofongo, chatting non-rushed (it’s island time!) with neighbors in Spanish or even squashing humongous cockroaches, I feel I am writing my own amazing bio-flick. So glad you are enjoying Puerto Rico as well. You never know maybe we’ll run into each other on this Isle of Enchantment. It truly feels like anything is possible here. Nos vemos.
    Cassie w/ LifeTransplanet.com

    1. I looked at some of the photos from your farm, very impressive! Yes, I hope to run into you on the island sometime.

  24. My wife and I just came back from our 3rd trip in Puerto Rico. This last trip was a slow trip and we skipped as many highways as we could and chose local beaches over resort beaches. This last trip was by far the best. We are going back in August to look at properties! Hopefully, we will be making a permanent stop sometime soon!

  25. I randomly came across your blog and just wanted to ask you some questions! I just booked a trip with my girlfriend to PR in May and we are both super excited. I’ve done a lot of research but wanted to get insight from someone who lives there. Where are some good places to check out while there? We are staying in old San Juan and will be renting a car so we are mobile. I’d love to get some ideas from someone who knows good spots! Also, how worried are you in regards to Zika? Is the mosquito problem that serous??

    Thanks so much!

    1. Breyden – YAY! Puerto Rico is amazing! Check out my posts on Fajardo, Isla Verde, as well as the El Yunque rain forest (easily accessed from Fajardo). I am still new to the island and explore something new everyday, so check back for new posts.
      I wear lots of bug spray (high concentration of DEET) but I still get bit. I am not currently, nor am I trying to get pregnant, so Zika is not really a concern.

  26. Congrats on the big move! What an amazing place to call home. Hoping someday I can move my family here as well. How would you say the education is for children? And what about healthcare? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Jenna! We are so excited. We do not have children, but many people talk about how good the schools are. Just like in the mainland, parents need to research the school district and school before any big move. PR is part of the US, so it is the same (overall) healthcare system. My current healthcare plan covers us (just like visiting another state), but I will need to change my plan soon (just like moving to a different state). We are moving to a little beach town, so I may need to drive into a larger city for doctor visits.

      1. I’m so happy to see your enthusiasm about PR. My husband, myself, our 3 children ages (13, 6, 3) along with our Great Dane and mini pig (about 50 lbs) will be renting our home in CA for an extended stay in PR. Main goals are to learn Spanish with my kids an strip them of the cali entitlement bringing them back to realize that life is so much better than this. If you have recommendations of anywhere we can do a 8 month to 1 yr rental I would be so appreciative. Looking for a more beach local vibe than touristy. Reading your post just inspired me even more. Thank you!!!

        1. That is wonderful. I highly recommend looking at rentals in Palmas del Mar community of Humacao. There are several reputable realtors located in Palmonova Plaza.

  27. I can’t wait to see and hear about all your new adventures! Congratulations on the big move!! I’m so happy for you. I hope to one day move, at least states. My boyfriend isn’t too excited about the idea, but maybe one day.

  28. Interesting!
    I actually left Puerto Rico almost 25 years ago for the same reasons… I guess the world is our oyster.

  29. Congrats on taking the big leap! Puerto Rico would be a great choice for those wanting something not too different from the U.S! I’m hoping to buy some property in Europe over the next couple of years!

  30. I am excited for you. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures. Please let me know if you need anything. Giant hugs ♡


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