Filled with illustrious beaches and tropical islands, the Bahamas is a premier vacation and retirement spot in the world. In the Bahamas, retirement options range from pleasant homes to luxury facilities and marinas. People are always taking advantage of the Bahamas lively outdoor activities such as snorkeling, sailing, water sports, kayaking, bird-watching, golf ranges, bicycling, nature tours and more. With a vast selection of fine dining and adventurous nightlife (clubs, bars, casinos), the Bahamas facilitates a high quality of living. For individuals looking for pleasant retirement spots, the Bahamas is ideal for water and boating enthusiasts, with 100s of gorgeous islands to explore.
Their government is an independent commonwealth, under Queen Elizabeth II and was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Bahamas rests on 5,358 square miles and has a current population estimated at 389,482 (2019 to date).
Geography, Landscape and Topography
The Bahamas comprises over 700 islands, with 16 major islands and 30 inhabited ones. The terrain is largely flat, and the highest peak is at 207 ft (63 m) above sea level. The climate is generally very warm and dry, with higher rainfall in the summer as opposed to the other seasons. The average high and low temperatures generally rest at 78 F (25 C) January and 90 F (32 C) in July.
There exists quite an abundance of shopping opportunities for individuals of all income divisions. New Providence Island is the epicenter of all shopping in the Bahamas, as it provides a wealth of lucrative malls, outlets, and stores.
Finance & Economy
Tourism comprises over 60% of the country’s economy. The “Bahamian dollar” is the country’s form of currency; however, the US dollar is widely accepted and yields an even 1-1 exchange rate
Property & Residency
Foreigners seeking a luxurious Bahamas retirement can apply for residency upon $500,000 purchase of property. Any individual owning property in the Bahamas may apply for an annual homeowner’s residence card. Upon qualification, this card grants individuals and their families the ability to reside in the country for a full year. Additionally, this qualification enables individuals to enter and exit the country at their discretion. The homeowner’s residence card does not allow the individual or family to work in the country as this permission requires an annual $500 fee. Foreigners looking to buy property in the Bahamas must supply a permit, allowing for the purchase of 5 or more acres of undeveloped real estate. Additional permits are required to procure any property other than a private residence and to leasehold and freehold these transactions.
The cost of living in the Bahamas is a bit higher than that of the United States and legal fees are approximately 2.5%. Buyers are obliged to pay half of the 4-12% stamp duty on the purchase price, depending on the market value of the property.
Property tax rates are distinguished based on the recent purchase price. Any property sold for $250,000 or less is not taxed. Property sold between $250,000 to $500,000 is taxed at 0.75%, and between $500,000 and $5 million, the rate is 1% (the first $250,000 is not taxed).
Aside from luxurious living, many seniors decide on retiring in the Bahamas due to the country being a tax haven. There is no income, wealth, sales, inheritance, capital gains, gift, corporate, or business taxes. This obviously draws significant economic appeal and helps create a pleasant retirement experience.
There is no bus service on most islands; however, New Providence and Grand Bahama both provide this service. You can find readily available Taxis at airports and tourist spots.
Air: Travelers can effortlessly reach the main islands through air travel, as “Bahamasair” provides inter-island flights. The Bahamas bears 3 international airports located in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and their flagship location of New Providence. You can find direct flights to and from the United States, Europe, Canada, and more.
Ground: Main roads are often kept in good condition, but side roads can often be poor. Many people use mopeds as a method of transportation. Vehicles drive on the left side of the road.
Water: With numerous ports and harbors, the Bahamas provides lucrative water transportation options. You can find ferries, cruise ships, and more on New Providence and Grand Bahama.
If god-forbid, someone runs into an urgent medical emergency, consider making your way to New Providence and Grand Bahama, as they supply the large hospitals. Smaller islands supply medical clinics with comparatively limited services.