Planning for Life Abroad: Cost of Living in the Dominican Republic

Planning for Life Abroad: Cost of Living in the Dominican Republic

If you’re getting ready to take the leap and embrace expatriate life full time, you’ve no doubt figured out that there are quite a few details you’ll need to stay on top of to ensure a successful transition to living in your dream location. Whether you’re a recent retiree or simply in need of a change of scenery living abroad is an incredible experience that enriches the soul and brings so much more to your day-to-day. As one of the most visited places in the world, each year, the Dominican Republic welcomes expats from all corners of the globe and all walks of life to its sunny shores. As a longtime builder (nearly 30 years!) on the island, Casa Linda is thrilled to welcome newcomers to our tropical paradise and to introduce them to the joy of luxurious villa living.

As couples from around the world get ready to join us in their new dream home, one of the most frequent questions we get revolves around planning for their new day-to-day and knowing how much to budget for living expenses. The Caribbean attracts new residents based on its low cost of living and high quality of life, but it’s always wise to have a decent idea of what to expect when you settle in. To help you stay in the know, below, we’ve compiled some quick info on three of the most important areas of expenses. Read on to learn more!

Financial Foundations

First and foremost, the way the cost of living will affect you largely comes down to the nature of your individual finances both at present and in the future. Before you make the decision to move to the Dominican (or anywhere) full time, you need to have an in-depth look at your resources, ideally with a financial advisor that can help you plan for the long term.

While many will be hesitant to do so for fear of being limited, the lower cost of living in the Dominican generally means you can often do more than you’d expect, it just takes a little planning in advance to set yourself up for success.  With a little guidance, you can easily ensure that you’re prepared to settle in and enjoy the tropical lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

retirement in the dominican republic

Key Expense: Housing

Of course, if you’re planning on relocating permanently, or even just having a snowbird destination, for the time being, finding a home to settle into is one of your top priorities. The Dominican has a relatively low cost of housing, and you may be surprised to find that you can often afford a far nicer residence than you can in your current location. Casa Linda is proud to offer breathtaking villas starting at prices as low as $184,700 USD. Nestled on the northern end of the island, our gated community features ten incredible floor plans to choose from, along with multiple amenities like 24/7 security, private restaurants, a VIP beach club and more. Casa Linda makes it easy to live the life you want at an affordable price point, with plenty of opportunities to customize to your exact needs.

Healthcare

Alongside housing, another key focus point to consider when moving is healthcare. For those worried about the quality of care, you can rest easy knowing that the Dominican offers exceptional care on all levels in state-of-the-art facilities alongside highly qualified professionals that are all readily available. One of the biggest surprises for our North America expats is that monthly health insurance can cost as little as $100 USD a month, and the wait time for medical procedures are often far shorter than they are back home. This means that the Dominican is a safe bet when it comes to taking care of your health today, tomorrow, and in the many years to come!

Daily Expenses

After housing and healthcare, you’ll want to have an idea of what your daily essentials (groceries, etc) will cost. Fortunately, the cost for daily necessities is much lower in the DR, and you can expect every dollar to go further with each purchase. With ample fresh vegetation and resources available all year round, the cost of groceries is usually lower than most are accustomed to, and the stable infrastructure means you’ll have access to high-speed internet, cable, dependable electricity and all of the standards you’re used to back home.

Ready To Learn More?

Tired of dreaming of island living? It’s time to make your vision a reality. Contact Casa Linda today to learn more about taking your first steps, and visit our resource centre for more information now!

Moving to the Dominican? Quick Tips & What to Expect

Moving to the Dominican? Quick Tips & What to Expect

Are you ready to take the leap and land in paradise? As one of the most popular destinations for expats from all over the world, the Dominican Republic is a diverse nation full of beauty, tranquillity, and plenty of new and exciting areas to explore. Expat life gives you the perfect opportunity to settle into a new location and start a fresh chapter full of adventure, and there’s no better place to start anew than the sunny shores of the DR.

For nearly 30 years, Casa Linda has welcomed newcomers to our beautiful slice of paradise and helped them design the perfect home to call their own. From custom villas designed to meet your every need to a bustling community that makes it easy to fit right in, life with Casa Linda is simple, fun, and perfect for everyone.

If you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming move to the Dominican, below we’ve included a quick snapshot of what to expect to help ease your transition. Read on to learn more!

Life in the Slow(ish) Lane

If you’re tired of running the rat race and feeling stressed out by the “go, go, go” mentality of the western world, you’ll find the Dominican way of living refreshing. While it can be tricky to adapt to at first, especially if you’re an eager go-getter, you’ll soon learn that life in the DR runs at a much more leisurely pace with less focus on reaching the finish line and more emphasis on enjoying each moment. Everything from your appointments to bus schedules, conversations and even dinner parties move slower compared to what you might be used to.

Though this might take some adjusting, many expats find they grow to enjoy the freedom afforded by having a less frantic pace on a day-to-day basis. Pull up a chair and soak in the sun, play some backgammon, and remember, it’s all about living the life “tranquilo” ‘round these parts! With plenty of daily activities like Spanish lessons, surfing, cooking, cigar and rum factory tours and endless local history to learn, you’ll have no problem filling the long sunny days.

moving to the dominican republic

Your Health and Wellness Are Never A Concern

If you’re worried about your health, or more specifically the care you’ll receive upon moving, you can rest assured that your wellbeing is in excellent hands in the Dominican. In fact, while it often comes as a surprise to prospective expats, the DR is home to a state of the art healthcare system that features high-end facilities, exceptional medical care experts, and readily available access to the treatment you need when it matters, often for less than you might pay at home!

Visa Requirements

Prior to obtaining residency in the DR, it’s crucial to note that visitors are only allowed to stay up to 60 days (which may be extended to 120 days) per visit. Should you plan on residing in the country full time, you’ll need to look into gaining resident status in the future.

Want more expat support and information? Click here.

Not As Foreign As You Might Think

Finally, one of the biggest surprises few expats expect when they arrive in the DR is how familiar they feel with the island early on. This is because the Dominican features stable infrastructure that supports high-speed internet, cable, and telephone systems, as well as many popular western brands are carried in stores. In fact, many of our expats are pleased to report that the Dominican feels just like home, just warmer and sunnier all year round!

What Are You Waiting For?

Need more information on purchasing a home in the Dominican Republic? Casa Linda is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

What to Know About Working in the Dominican Republic

What to Know About Working in the Dominican Republic

Are you planning to move to the Dominican Republic and hoping to maintain your ability to work while also enjoy the many perks of living in paradise? Whether you’re an entrepreneur hoping to take advantage of the lower operating costs, as well as the lower cost of living in the Dominican or simply wanting to keep occupied before entering full-time retirement, there are plenty of ways to make the most of the daily hustle and maintain a healthy working life abroad. Below, we’ll discuss some of the basic requirements needed to ensure that you are allowed to legally work in the DR without any complications. Read on to learn more!

Visas

While the Dominican is relatively accessible for foreign workers compared to many other countries, you will still need a business/work visa in order to legally conduct business within the country. There are two types of visas that allow you to do so: one that permits entry for 60 days or multiple entries for a one year period (up to a maximum of two months at a time), or a full- business visa. The latter is typically granted under a fixed-term contract and permits you to have much more freedom to do things like getting a driver’s license, opening a bank account and more. Applying for a visa is relatively straightforward, but you’ll want to ensure you have solid documentation ready to go including proof of your ability to support yourself while in the Dominican.

Residency Permit

In addition to a work visa, you will also need a residency permit. In order to work in the DR for longer than a 2 month period of time, you must obtain a residency permit which gives you the same rights as Dominican citizens under the country’s national Labour Code. A residency permit registers you in the Social Security System and is also how you pay your taxes. A Residency visa can be renewed on a yearly basis for up to 4 years, after which you may apply for permanent residency. The residency process can be somewhat complex to maneuver, but with patience and a little guidance, fulfilling the relevant obligations is straight forward.

villa coralreef

Written Contract of Work

Finally, in order to be hired for work in the DR, your employer must present a written contract of work documenting your contract terms, compensation, grounds for termination, and all other relevant details. This contract must be signed, and two copies must then be filed with the corresponding labour department.

Important to Note:

As you require residency in order to legally work in the Dominican, you will be taxed on your income, with rates coming in at about 15-25% on everything you earn. If you are externally employed this will be withheld and paid by your employers, but if you are self-employed and your income is Dominican-based, you must pay monthly taxes independently to avoid risking fines or a breach of contract. Additionally, your residence grants you the same labour rights as any Dominican citizen, including the right to unionize, strike, bargain, receive a minimum wage, specific health and safety regulations and more. Just like you should back home, it’s important to familiarize yourself with these rights to protect your best interests, and to be aware of them if you are a business owner that intends to hire staff within the Dominican.

Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted in the Dominican Republic

Whether you’re looking to build an empire or grow your savings for retirement, the Dominican Republic and a wonderful place to work and live. Contact Casa Linda today to learn more about relocating and building the perfect home in paradise!

5 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic

5 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic

Are you eagerly planning on taking up expat life and venturing abroad to start a new chapter in the Dominican Republic? Saying goodbye to a hectic day to day routine and embracing life in paradise is one of the most exciting decisions you’ll ever make, and there’s no better place to settle down than the Dominican Republic. If you’re hoping to heed the call of the island in the near future below are 5 tips to keep in mind prior to moving. Read on to learn more!

1. Budgeting

As with any major life change, budgeting for both major and more day to day expenses will go a long way towards setting you up for success. On a whole, the Dominican is quite affordable, and residents enjoy a much lower cost of living than other popular expat destinations. Casa Linda offers luxury custom villas starting at just $199,999 USD, and with your daily expenses typically averaging less than back home, you can expect to live very comfortably on a modest budget.

2. Healthcare

Second to finding affordable housing one of the most important priorities when moving abroad is securing healthcare for yourself and your spouse. The Dominican Republic has a top-tier medical system and a wide variety of insurance plans starting as low as $700 USD annually for a couple. Whether you’re concerned about an existing condition or merely thinking ahead for the longterm, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be in good hands with the medical staff here in paradise.

5 things to know about relocating to the dominican republic

4. Applying for Residency

If you plan to stay in the Dominican for more than 2 months at a time per trip, you will need to secure residency in order to legally remain in the country. While this process can take some time to go through, it is extremely beneficial to you as a homeowner as it not only allows you to stay in your home with peace of mind but also grants you the same rights and privilege as to any other citizen of the country.

5. Adapting to Your New Home

One of the most challenging aspects of adapting to island living can often be learning to change your mindset to embrace the existing culture rather than comparing it to what you know from “back home”. For example, if you lived a fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle prior to moving to the island, it may take some time to adjust to the Dominicans’ much more laid back approach to living, including their propensity to run behind schedule (or on island time, as we like to say). Relax and be patient, you’ll adapt to the new way of doing things, and before you know it, you’ll wonder how you ever did things otherwise!

Are You Ready To Experience Paradise?

Residencial Casa Linda is the premier builder on the north end of the Dominican Republic. With stunning custom villas and an incredible community available, we make it easy to bring your vision of island living to life. Learn more by contacting our team today!

Your Health Matters: Medical Care in the Dominican Republic

Your Health Matters: Medical Care in the Dominican Republic

Your Health Matters:

Medical Care in the Dominican Republic

Are you planning to retire in the Dominican Republic in the coming future and feeling a little confused while researching some key details? Casa Linda is here to help! As a trusted builder on the northern end of the island, we’ve welcomed countless expats to our beautiful shores and helped them embrace the “life tranquilo” (laid back and easy going) here in the Dominican Republic. We know that moving abroad is a big decision, and our team is always here to support you in achieving your dream slice of paradise! Below we’ll talk about one of the most important aspects for any relocating couple to consider before moving abroad: healthcare. Read on to learn more!

Dispelling the “Rumours”

If you’re under the impression that the Dominican Republic has subpar healthcare due to it being a smaller country, you couldn’t be more wrong. In reality, healthcare in the Dominican Republic has seen vast improvements and expansion since 2001, and now has a world-class system that is carefully designed to provide optimal service at costs that make coverage accessible to everyone. Since introducing the reformed system several years ago, the country has garnered a reputation for leading medical care across the globe and has several state of the art facilities dedicated to advance care with service available in English and Spanish. Not only is the Dominican leaps and bounds ahead of other Caribbean countries in terms of the quality of care offered, but shorter wait times and lower costs overall mean that residents have peace of mind here where it counts the most.

Many of our Casa Linda owners have experienced outstanding service for basic medical care all the way to life saving surgery.  Bournigal Hospital in Puerto Plata has an International Center that deals with expats and tourists by providing English speaking doctors and personnel, and assists with navigating the medical system here.   It is a full service hospital with a variety of specialists, full operating theaters and no wait times.

robotic surgeryHOMS Hospital in Santiago would rival any large facility in the US or Canada and even does robotic surgery!  One entire building is devoted to cancer care.  This hospital specializes in cardiovascular care and has a bariatric and metabolic surgery center tool

 

 

Insurance You Can Rely On

In addition to having one the most advanced medical systems in the Caribbeans, the Dominican’s readily accessible healthcare insurance is designed to make coverage straightforward and affordable. There are several types of plans available to choose from and the average cost of an advanced plan ranges from approximately $700 to $1500 USD annually (per couple). Plans cover doctor’s visits, hospital stays, in-hospital medicines, dental procedures, ambulance services, etc. and can be purchased on a yearly or quarterly basis, making them the perfect choice for part-time residents as well as those looking to make a permanent move.

dominican republic healthcare

Local Hospitals

As we mentioned above, the Dominican has exceptional facilities for care, including dedicated services for a wide range of specialists, surgeries, MRIs and more. With multiple facilities located within a 5-30 minute radius of Casa Linda, you can have peace of mind knowing that the help you need is always close by.

Medicine

For those concerned about current prescriptions, you’ll be happy to know that doctors prescribe the same as other places in the world, and local pharmacists are well trained and able to advise on health issues and medicines. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll still be able to receive service at many pharmacies and generally speaking there is typically little difficulty keeping up with your usual prescription.

Relax in Paradise

The World Health Organization ranks the Dominican Republic healthcare system within their top 100 systems worldwide, meaning that your quality of life is never a point of concern while you adapt to life in paradise. For those looking to take the leap and enjoy safe living in the Caribbean, there couldn’t be a better fit than the Dominican Republic.

Are you ready to discover life in the sun? Contact Casa Linda today to learn how you can get started building your dream home!

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Dominican Republic Fast Facts: From Groceries to Residency, Everything You Need to Know

Dominican Republic Fast Facts: From Groceries to Residency, Everything You Need to Know

Contemplating living life to the fullest and starting a brand new adventure in the Dominican Republic? As the most visited country in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is known worldwide as a beautiful paradise full of tropical greenery, endless sandy beaches and no shortage of ways to explore. As one of the premier builders on the island, Casa Linda is proud to welcome you to the beautiful island we call home, and to help you prepare for your new life abroad. For nearly 30 years we’ve partnered with expats from all over the world to help them build their dream custom villas and settle down in comfort. Below, we’ve compiled a quick list of FAQs to help you get the low down on life in the DR. Read on to learn more!

Q: Where is the Dominican Republic?

If you’ve never visited and are eager to get a closer look at the island before considering buying a home, the Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and southeast of the United States.

Q: What is the national language of the DR?

Spanish. However, for those who aren’t fluent, there’s little need to worry. The DR has a flourishing population of English speakers that includes both locals and expats. The northern end of the island, where Casa Linda’s community is located has a high density of English speakers making it easy to navigate. With that being said, you’ll always find that you get the most out of your new home if you’re able to embrace the local culture and start learning conversational Spanish.

Q: How stable is the economy/government?

This is one of the more most frequently asked questions and for good reason. Fortunately, there’s absolutely no need to worry about the government or the economy in the Dominican Republic. The DR is an incredibly stable country and has one of the strongest economies in Latin America, meaning you can rest easy knowing your investment in buying a home here will always be the right choice.

relocating to the dominican republic

Q: What is the average daily temperature? Do I have to worry about hurricane season?

Winter begone! The average temperature hovers between 24-28°C (60-80°F) in the DR. Those worried about hurricane season have no need when relocating to the northern end with Casa Linda as this portion of the island is sheltered from severe weather.

Q: How long can I stay in the Dominican without a residency permit?

This is one of our most asked questions, as well as one of the most important to know the answer to!

Per the government of the Dominican Republic, non-residents can stay up to 30 days per visit without a residency permit. This visa is extendable up to 90-days as well should the need arise. For those who wish to settle in and stay longer, residency is a relatively simple process involving paperwork from your home country disclosing your income, health, birth certificate, criminal record, etc.

Q: Do Foreign buyers have the same right as Dominicans?

Yes! Unlike many other countries, the DR imposes no restrictions on foreigners when it comes to purchasing real estate, and offers the same legal rights as DR citizens.

Q: What kind of health/medical care is available?

If you’re worried about the quality of care you’ll receive in the DR, you can rest easy. The Dominican has fantastic and easily accessible healthcare available, including specialist services offered in English. With first-rate facilities and healthcare providers readily on hand, you’ll always be well taken care of.

Q: What is the Cost of Living?

In a word: affordable. One of the best aspects of moving to the Dominican Republic is that your dollar goes farther in almost every way. From villas starting as low as $199,900, to significantly cheaper produce and meat that saves on groceries, cheaper healthcare (including competitive insurance rates), and more, retirees, in particular, will be pleased to realize how much more they can do with a small monthly budget!

Q: How can Casa Linda help me make my tropical dream a reality?

By building you the villa you’ve always wanted! As one of the most trusted builders in the DR, our team is proud to partner with you to create the perfect space in paradise. From 2 bedroom bungalows to sprawling 5 bedroom manors, we’re here to help you create the right fit from the ground up. With 10 villa floor plans to choose from, all that’s left to do is customize and watch as your dream comes to life! Learn more by contacting our team today!