How to move to Aruba, Taxes and cost of living
How to move to Aruba?
Expat Taxes in Aruba
Once you decide to move to Aruba, you’ll become an expatriate or ex-pat. You will have to pay taxes on your American income, whether that’s Social Security, a different pension, or another form of payment. The United States has a tax treaty with the Netherlands, which extends to Aruba. Therefore, you won’t have to pay an entirely double tax on your American income.
Taxes in Aruba vary based on worldwide income. Depending on your Aruban tax bracket, you could be taxed anywhere from 7% to 59%. This money doesn’t include property tax, however. Owning land in Aruba will also result in taxation, which varies depending on the property’s value. A long lease has a different tax bracket.
Once you’ve purchased a property in Aruba and fully retired from your home country, you’re ready to move to the island! It’s a complicated process to move, let alone across the ocean to an island. However, if you’ve already secured your home and residency permit, you’ve done most of the work.
First, you’ll have to take care of all your affairs at home. Make sure that you’ve sold or rented your property, unplugged from your local community, and pared down on your belongings – where you’re going, you won’t need those winter clothes anymore!
Ideally, your new home will come with some furnishings, or you’ll be able to buy them on the island. It’s not worth flying your kitchen table across the ocean–the customs and expenses are a huge hassle.
If you’ve made it on the plane and have your visa settled, all that’s left to do is settle in and enjoy island life. It’ll take some time to adjust to the time zone, unpack, and get your bearings. However, it won’t be long before you feel like you’ve lived in the sunshine and sandy beaches forever.
Living in Aruba as an Expat
Living in Aruba as an ex-pat is a fantastic experience. Many people go for a visit and decide to stay for the rest of their lives. Because people from all over the world move to Aruba, it’s a very diverse island. As an ex-pat, you’ll be able to experience all of the cultures, cuisines, and languages on the island.
The clash of cultures results in some unique and fantastic fusion food. From fancy restaurants to local holes in the wall, there are tons of opportunities to try new food in Aruba. It’s not all beach bars and Italian restaurants–those are for the tourists. Of course, you can’t live there without trying the native food.
The best way to find out about living on the island as an expatriate is to experience it yourself. Once you’re there for longer than a vacation week, you’ll realize how many hidden gems the island has to offer. Soon you’ll be the island expert and be able to identify your favorite spots.
Cost of Living on Aruba
While the quality of life in Aruba is very high, the cost of living is also very high. Most of this cost comes from the expense of importing everything into the island. Food, clothes, and everyday necessities are expensive. Grocery shopping is one of the most significant expenses for island residents.
However, there are some advantages to being a local on the island. Tourist prices are higher–if you tell shop owners, you’re a local (or even better, pay in the Dutch florin instead of U.S. dollars), you will probably be able to score a lower price. As you live there, you’ll learn when things are more on sale as well.
Many of the utilities involved in living on the island are not as expensive. There is only one electric and water company, and one internet and cell service company. Both aren’t too pricey. Garbage collection is government-funded and picked up once a week. If you live in a retirement community, these will probably be covered for you.
Long-term residents of Aruba find that they can save money by not eating out and only buying necessities. However, if your income is enough to retire to Aruba, you likely won’t need to worry too much about the cost of living. You’ll have plenty of time to try everything on the island and decide your favorite.
If you are a first time buyer and need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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