More often reserved for vacations than retirement, many Caribbean countries roll out the red carpet for baby boomers ready to rev up their next big adventure. Beyond the perks of warm weather and a closet without winter coats, the islands welcome those exiting the fast track with a laid-back lifestyle, tax incentives, affordable health care and lobsters on the grill. Live the dream, pack your bags and write the next chapter of your life under a palm tree. You’ve earned it.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The trio that makes up the U.S. Virgin Islands — St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix — offers some of the best retirement scenarios in the Caribbean. Easy to get to from the U.S. mainland, passports are not needed, and for those looking for a second career or a part-time job, a work visa is not necessary and there are plenty of opportunities as the islands get back on their feet following the wrath of last year’s hurricanes. St. Thomas is the top choice for tax-free shopping, nightlife in the cruise port of Charlotte Amalie and lazy days in Magens Bay with a 1-mile stretch of perfect beach and acres of coconut groves. In St. Croix, the east end is mostly residential — the better the view, the higher the price — with a few restaurants and golf courses. On St. John, Trunk Bay Beach is the recipient of umpteen “best beach in the Caribbean” awards courtesy of the pearly sand and clear water. Nature lovers find plenty to do in the national park, which covers 60% of the island. Nonstop flights coming onboard this fall include Spirit Airlines between Orlando and St. Thomas, in addition to flights from Fort Lauderdale and St. Croix. American Airlines, which already serves St. Croix and St. Thomas with flights twice daily from Miami, will begin daily service between St. Thomas and Charlotte, Philadelphia and New York later this year. Early next year, United Airlines will fly nonstop between Washington Dulles and St. Thomas, and JetBlue Airways will offer flights from Boston to St. Thomas.
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