Moving to Sint Maarten
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 22, 2012 5:20 AM Last Post By: metjemail
Feb 28, 2012 12:37 PM
Moving to Sint MaartenI posted this in the Caribbean forum, but decided maybe it is more appropriate here.
I have a good job prospect that may require me to relocate from the U.S. to Sint Maarten in about a month. It seems like a trustworthy position, but I wanted to run some numbers by some of you that are more knowledgeable about the island.
- Initial salary is $48K USD with $11K USD in retirement contributions ($60K USD net). I'm a single male with no kids and have no problem living a modest lifestyle. I do require a place that is safe, clean, and with a gym nearby. This increases significantly at 6 months to about $68K USD. I imagine this will be sufficient but I don't have a budget yet.
- Is the strength of an employment contract in St. Maarten as strong as it is in the U.S.? In other words, if it is broken by either party, there IS a pre-determined amount of compensation, etc...
- Can anyone recommend a bank on the island? How simple is opening up a new savings/checking account with direct deposit?
- If I'm working on the Dutch side, it is common to live on the French side? Or vice versa? Is it better to live on the side you work on? What about traffic problems between the sides?
This may be my first opportunity to live outside the U.S. (although I've traveled extensively abroad) and so anything you can offer may be helpful. It is all occuring fairly quickly so I want to be sure to do this right.
Mar 4, 2012 8:00 AM
Mar 13, 2012 11:39 AM
2Not likely to get knowledgeable answers without a lot more specific information. For example, is the employer a Dutch or French company or even a US company? There are far too many variables in a case like this for anyone to provide reliable answers without knowing a whole lot more detail, which presumably you will not want to divulge in a public forum (I certainly wouldn't recommend that you do.)
I would do as everbrite suggests and look for expat forums. But even then how much info will you want to divulge?
Some research into the background of the company you would be working for might be a much better idea. Maybe a phone call to the local Chamber of Commerce to make some off the record inquiries about them. A bit of private detective work. LOL
Bottom line loston, what have you go to lose? If it doesnt' work out after 6 months will you be any farther behind? I think not.
Mar 27, 2012 3:04 PM
Thanks for your help. I just now saw your response. Yes, I am doing some checking around. You are right, I don't want to divulge much specific information. As you know, it can be a tiny world, especially when islands are involved.
I have found a couple expat forums that have been helpful, but I have been a little suprised at the lack of comprehensive information. It this opportunity matures - things are happening slowly - it will be a fun challenge. Another thing, I've always taken for granted comprehensive real estate listings, and these don't exist on SXM. Oh....the things you learn when you consider living somewhere!
Thanks again guys.
Apr 1, 2012 9:00 AM
4I hope you are not talking about buying a place lostonoceanic.
Based on personal experience, my advice to anyone looking at moving to a new country is NEVER buy property until you have lived somewhere for at least 1 and preferably 2 years. What I have seen first hand is people who come with rose tinted glasses to their island paradise only to find after a while that living there is just not for them.
Based on what I have seen (no actual documented statistical evidence) for every 10 that arrive, 5 are gone within 2 years and 8 within 5 years. There is no way to know beforehand if you will 'stick' or not. You just have to try it and see what happens.
Locals invariably are aware of how many end up leaving and when you try to sell the property you bought, never offer what you paid for it. Unless you can find a new arrival still wearing rose tinted glasses you end up losing money.
In 7 years of living on a Greek island (could as easily be any other place) I never saw one person leave with more money than they arrived with.
Apr 14, 2012 10:11 AM
May 22, 2012 5:20 AM
San JuanBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$239.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$125.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$0.00 per night