The Pros and Cons of Living in PR

Pros Cons Living in PR

It’s important to know the pros and cons of living in an area before you visit or make a big move. Living in Puerto Rico–even for a short time–can be a wonderful adventure or full of stress and culture shock, depending on your expectations and resources. I’ve put together a BIG list of the pros and cons of living in Puerto Rico so you can decide whether moving to  this beautiful island is the right choice. Enjoy, and if you have something to add to the list, go ahead and add it to the comment section below!

Puerto Rico Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Warm weather all the time
  • Longest Christmas season in the world
  • Lots of bilingual people (if you don’t speak Spanish)
  • Some of the best rum in the world
  • People are warm, friendly and helpful
  • Flip flops and sandals year-round
  • Beautiful men and women!
  • Great boating, fishing, diving and surfing
  • All people born in PR are US citizens
  • LOTS of parties and festivals — you will meet people and have a busy social life
  • Always a beautiful beach to be found, usually empty
  • Colonial architecture
  • Delicious local food and some of the best coffee in the world
  • Over 20 forest preserves
  • Easy transition from U.S. (same money, no passport needed, no customs at airport)
  • Lower drinking age (18)
  • Incredible tax benefits
  • You can grow a lot of fruit and native vegetables easily & year round
  • You are living on a tropical island!
  • More affordable than many U.S. cities, other Caribbean islands or Hawaii
  • Good infrastructure (highways system, cable, Internet, cell phone service)
  • You will find yourself exercising more—lots of outdoor recreation
  • You will find familiar stores (Costco, Walmart, Best Buy and food chains)
  • You can hire people for lower wages
  • Like the U.S., they have Social Security, Medicare, and worker’s comp
  • Easy to start and operate a business in certain sectors
  • Housing and real estate–it’s a buyer’s market
  • Health insurance costs are MUCH less. Good quality care (though you WILL wait)
  • A good college education is very affordable

CONS

  • Warm weather all the time
  • You will not be able to vote in U.S. elections (if you file paperwork to become an official resident)
  • The economy is poor
  • Many things are more expensive like cars, milk, electricity, non-native food, gas…
  • You will probably need to send your children to private schools
  • Many homes have no air conditioning (or don’t use it) and lack a dishwasher
  • Culture shock-things are done differently
  • Shipping costs from the U.S. can be high
  • Many online companies don’t ship here, or won’t ship some items here
  • It’s hard to find fresh local fish! How crazy is that?
  • Local TV news is in Spanish
  • High season tourists
  • Traffic in San Juan and surrounding areas
  • Poor public transportation
  • Hurricane season from May to November (but the locals don’t care)
  • Everything (especially in the government) has to be done in person
  • Crime is high in some areas (like most cities)
  • Hard to find a well-paying job, if you are looking
  • You electricity will go out. Often in some areas.
  • Everything takes longer–at least 3x longer
  • Very hard to live here if you are vegetarian or eat only organics (pork is in EVERYTHING)
  • Bugs! Big bugs (but none are deadly)
  • LOTS of stray dogs and cats. It’s very sad to see
  • Finding stores, doctors, restaurants or anything online. Most businesses lack a web presence or don’t have a good one
  • GPS works only part of the time
  • Emergency rooms and hospitals are crowded and not as good as in the U.S.
  • Any doctor’s visit takes all day
  • Waiting in lines at the supermarket–and most other places
  • Bad driving! A left turn across traffic at a red light from the right lane isn’t uncommon.

Areas to Visit

San Juan: A business and tourist hub with preserved Spanish colonial architecture, shops, bars, restaurants, and bustling nightclubs. In San Juan, stay close in either Isla Verde or Condado for the easiest beach access, or in Old San Juan for proximity to historic sites, restaurants, and bars.

Northeast: A short drive from San Juan, this area is densely populated, but low-key and home to beautiful rainforests and secluded beaches

Northwest: World-class surfing, natural wonders and some of the best beaches in the island; Aguadilla, Rio Camuy Cave Park and Rincon are main draws, but also Dorado, with its golf courses and casinos

Southwest: Arguably the island’s most beautiful region, with white-sand beaches, forest reserves, exotic birds, phosphorescent waters, charming colonial architecture, and opulent villas. Head to the western side of the island to be close to charming towns like Boqueron.

Southeast: It’s the land of contrasts, with luxury living, golf courses, miles of beautiful sandy beaches, and undeveloped areas. In eastern Puerto Rico, you’ll find big resorts, nature reserves, miles of beautiful beaches and luxury living.

Islands: The most famous offshore islands are Culebra and Vieques, with clear waters, breathtaking beaches, and coral reefs; uninhabited Isla Mona has beautiful soaring violet cliffs

Do you have  something to add to the list? Comment below and share!

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90 Comments

  • Minerva Rodríguez says:

    Almost everthing about the cons is accurate except the schools. It’s true that there are lousy public schools but it’s also true that there are very good ones. Not all private schools are good, there ones that are awfull and on top of that you have to pay. A person who is going to have success in there personal and/or professional life will get there whether they study in private or public school and me and my family are an example of that.

    • Yirielis says:

      Agree with you Minerva!!

    • Eunice says:

      I have to say after living in US for almost 13 years I came back to a very poor education for my daughters specially in English, and even though I had to correct the teacher she would make me look that I was the wrong one, English in public schools is way too basic and if they opt to have their children in private school is not because of the education but because teachers are absent frequently and kids are out of school with no supervision so sadly parents can’t have a desent full time job, even public schools’ teachers have their own children in private schools.

    • Juan Jimenez says:

      While there are private schools that are bad, the percentage of bad private schools out of the total number of private schools is infinitesimal when compared to the percentage of bad public schools. The education system in Puerto Rico is just as bad as it is in the US, in that it produces masses of mediocre people that just can’t make it outside of the island economy. If you’ve lived there, you know what I mean by that. Not being able to escape to the mainland because of your poor education is like a financial death sentence. All I have is a high school degree from a private school in PR and I make more in one month than some people in PR make in a year, and I pay more just in taxes than most people in PR make in a year.

      • Kiaraliz says:

        Are You Still Currently Living In Puerto Rico ? How Is It Possible To Only Have A High School Diploma And You Are More Financially Stable ..?

        I Currently Live In The U.S Philadelphia Pa
        I Am Thinking About Going Back To My Homeland
        Asking For Advice And Opinion I Am 17 Yrs Old

        • Kiaraliz says:

          And Btw I Was Born And Raised In Puerto Rico Till I Hit 11 yrs old been in the mainland for 6 years now still in school i go to a good special admission college prep school but its not working out for me just wondering if moving back to puerto rico at this time is a mistake

    • Sad to be here says:

      I have lived in Puerto Rico for the past year and 8 months. I am an American and have lived in the states my whole life prior. I am so sorry to have to take exception to several of the Pros that were mentioned. The most sad exception is that the people here are ‘warm, friendly and helpful’. I wish I could say that I have had that same experience because mine has been the exact opposite. I have found the people here to be rude, extremely unfriendly, rarely greet you or smile when passing by, and customer service is a foreign concept. Another exception I have to take is ‘More affordable than most US cities’. We have found it to be extremely expensive to live here, other than the availability of cheap clothing. The other very frustrating part is that you can’t find many of the items/foods that are readily available in the states. The other exception I have to take is ‘Good quality health care’. Oh no!!! I am a registered nurse and I can tell you that this island is a good 20 years behind in the area of health care. It is a beautiful place to live and I agree with several of the Pros mentioned. Unfortunately, considering all of the cons that I have experienced, the pros do not outweigh them at all 🙁

  • Fernando says:

    I am a Puertorican that has lived in the United States for the past five years. In the cons area of this article there are some points that are not entirely accurate. First of all, if you are born in the United States and come here to Puerto Rico I am pretty sure that are ways in which you can vote for the presidential elections. It is true that many homes have no air conditioning but you can easily install one for the rooms that you want and nowadays almost every house in most neighborhoods do have AC units. Local Tv in Puerto Rico is in Spanish the same way that you have Telemundo and Univision in cable programming in almost every state of mainland US. And sometimes the electricity does go out but is not all the time it is normally if a hurricane or a tropical depression is hitting the island. Finally, the bugs are big, but we do not have raccoons or squirrels.Besides these points, everything is accurate and also this is a good article about the island of Puerto Rico.

    • Marni says:

      Fernando–Thank you for your input! It is true…you can vote by absentee ballot IF you don’t become an official PR resident and reside in the U.S. much of the time. I’ll be sure to add your additions to the list of Pros and Cons.

      • isamarti says:

        There’s not such thing as a “Puerto Rico citizen”, you must mean resident, which means living here for at 6 months +1 day during a year.

        • Lianne says:

          There’s actually a Puerto Rican citizenship. Is basically a new concept (2006) implemented by Juan Mari Bras. Although you need to fill some paper work to receive your certificate… it is a REAL thing. But there is only a little amount of Pr’s that actually have their citizenship certificated.

      • Eileen says:

        Puertorricans are U.S.A. citizens, not puertorrican “citizens”. The same as for any estate.

      • Alithia says:

        Actually Marni you are not correct. I was born in PR, went to school in Massachusetts and registered there to vote in 2008. Lived in PR from 2009-2014 and still voted absentee in Massachusetts, while living in Puerto Rico. I did not vote in PR in 2012, but I am sure if I would have voted on both no one would have noticed.

      • Mae Berlingeri says:

        There is no such thing as absentee ballot, if you become a resident of PR. Voting in the US Federal elections and being a resident of PR is technically a federal fraud. The right to vote in federal elections does not your citizenship follow… is your residency. Anyone that says its possible is ignorant of the laws.

        • Juan Jimenez says:

          No, that is not true. There are no federal elections in Puerto Rico so there is no such “federal fraud.” You should educate yourself before claiming you understand such things. You don’t.

      • Harvey Flea says:

        Sadly, there is no such thing as a PR citizen…yet! iIndependencia!

        You might want to do more research.

        Also, it is neither easy to start nor run a business.

      • Juan Jimenez says:

        Not really. There is no law that says you can’t vote in PR as a territory -and- in a state because you own property there, for example. And it’s not double-voting either, because PR does not participate in presidential elections.

    • Izzy Cruz says:

      There are no racoons or squirrels, but there are huge iguanas eveywhere… Lol!!!

  • EHC says:

    Hurricane season is actually from June to November.

  • Sandra says:

    I moved here 2 months ago. A con for me has been finding any job that doesn’t have a bilingual requirement. I am trying to learn Spanish but that’s not good enough! Being fully bilingual in both SPANISH and English is a requirement at any employer.

    • Jeniffer says:

      You can call 787-641-0101 I have friends in LinkActiv that only speak in English.

    • Roxana says:

      Sandra, we are thinking of moving there as well. I was wondering about the bilingual requirement. What field are you looking in?

    • Jessi says:

      I’m thinking about moving to PR but that’s the one thing I’m really worried about. I speak enough Spanish to get by in southern Texas but that’s about it.

      • Marni says:

        Jessi,

        You know more Spanish than many here! It’s actually very easy to get by without knowing Spanish well. Puerto Ricans are very accommodating and most places you will find someone who speak English.

  • isamarti says:

    About gas being more expensive, it depends. Gas prices are usually lower in PR than 19-15 other states and DC. Something that could also be a CON, we use the metric system for some things, which can be confusing for some state residents. Gas prices as given by liter, roads are measured in kilometers but distances given in miles… We also have our own measure for land, a “cuerda”, which is slightly smaller than an acre.

  • Jim Crotty says:

    Good lists! I would add on the pro side the rich cultural traditions of music and art are accessible at festivals and museums. I would say the ease of speaking to the average Puerto Rican in English is overstated. Setting up a business is not all that easy, depending on the type (given the many permits/licenses needed). On the con side, water service is not reliable either, though not as bad as electrical service (a generator and water tank are very useful).

    • isamarti says:

      Infrastructure issues depend GREATLY on were you live…

    • jacqueline santiago says:

      I was born in US and moved to PR when I was 11. Now I am 51 so I have lived most of my live in PR. I live in the South part of the island, in Ponce and the electricity and water service are pretty good. Water service has never gone (only 2 days because of a broken tube in the time I have lived here which has been since I arrived to PR). I wouldn’t say electricity is excellent or perfect because we have been out of it but only in very rare cases (maybe maybe a day in about 18 to 24 months)But it all depends on what municipality you live and from what water supply do you get your water.

  • Sham says:

    A few things I’d like to point out is that one of the pros could be that we would celebrate almost anything? We have one of the biggest lists of holidays and we even celebrate/throw parties for holidays that have nothing to do with us (5 de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day for example).

    Also, on the cons:

    Some of our bugs are indeed deadly, not all but for example, a sting from an Alacran can send you to an emergency room easily.

    We have monkeys running wild in some of our towns and very poor control over that population.

    Many many stray dogs are victim to rabid squirrels (yes, we have squirrels and mongooses too). We are one of the countries with a persistent presence of the rabies virus thanks to this.

    Iguanas (gallinas de palo) everywhere, dead on the streets or in the yards of your houses. They’ve already destroyed certain habitats and ecosystems.

    Not all the public schools are bad, there are some specialized schools and some are great.

    Press is extremely sensasionalistic which tends to set people off on frenzies in times of emergency (this leads to long lines in gas stations, super markets, fights…)

    Activities like snorkeling and scuba diving can sometimes be depressive due to the high contamination of our beaches and death of some of our reefs.

    Contamination everywhere? House supplies, junk, old used and burnt out cars left in rural areas, rivers and abandoned places.

    If you’re a dog person, taking care of your dog will probably cost you more than taking care of yourself. High rates and prices for everything pet-related.

    • Marni says:

      Sham,

      Thank you for the very informative list! I’ll update with some of your info.

    • isamarti says:

      We DO NOT have squirrels, only ignorant people who can’t tell the difference between a squirrel and a mongoose. They are however a real problem and as much as 80% carry rabies, hence all pets, dogs and cat must be vaccinated against it by law.

      • Marni says:

        I haven’t seen a squirrel yet…much less a rabid one! Plenty of mongoose and iguanas though!

      • CarlitosR says:

        Yeah… The thing is that most of the people in P.R. call the mongoose “ardilla”which means squirrel and it might be confusing to some people that have no idea how to call a mongoose in spanish

    • isamarti says:

      Also, none of our bugs are deadly unless you happen to be allergic. There some small scorpions in the dry forests of the south, centipedes that can grow quite big, in forested areas, and small tarantulas. Their sting can be painful, but deadly only in VERY rare cases that involved medical complications.

    • isamarti says:

      And finally, being the owner of 5 dogs, and 2 cats, I can attest to the fact that veterinary services are a LOT less expensive in PR than in the states. It’s the same as with human medicine.

    • Shay says:

      I moved to the US from the island almost two years ago and believe me animal care costs in Puerto Rico are MUCH cheaper. Example in Puerto Rico a dental cleaning for my dog is $45 here the estimate was $300!!! In fact health care here is very expensive and always has extra fees. I’d rather spend a day in the doctors office than a few hours and then get an extra bill a month latter.

    • ericka says:

      why dont folks spay and neuter their pets? stray dogs and cats dont magically appear; they are the result of lack of care and concern. this is a sad blight on the island.

  • Luis S. Angueira says:

    In the pros I will add the following: the public and private universities and college are excellent (ex. University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Mayagüez Agriculture & Mechanical Arts College (CAAM), Inter American University (IAU), University of Sacred Heart (USC), Metropolitan University UMET, Multidisciplinary Study Center (CEM), and others), less expensive and the students can request federal grants and student loans besides other benefits. Cars are more expensive but the license/tag and insurance are less expensive. Our coffee and Rum are considered the word champion. The article mention beautiful woman but did not mention that we ha have five Ms Universe. We also have many of famous artists (singers, actors/actress, musical compositors/compositions), baseball & basketball players, boxing champions and astronaut. We have excellent (including 5 star) hotels and golf courts consider by players as the best.

  • Carlisse says:

    In the PROS list you should add: great college education for a very very low tuition (University of Puerto Rico) average is $1000 per semester! And is in the top 50 public colleges of USA ( I think 10th or 15th)!

  • Anais Rivera says:

    I am born and raised in PR and this is what kills ne from my island.

    Cons:
    The roads are terrible, lack of care
    Traffic rules are not obeyed.
    Hospitals and doctors suck, dont get sick or you will spend 24 hrs waiting before any doctor can see you.
    Electricity bill is a joke, way to high for the service you get.
    Government services are lthe worst. Dont try to go to any of the offices because either everyone is at lunch, on the phone or closed.
    Puerto rico hourly salary is 7.25 hr
    Did we emphasized on the awful traffic and awful public transportation system

    Pros
    Salsa is a must
    Hiddem gems everywhere
    Best beaches
    Its only 2-6 hrs flight from lots of states
    We take U.S currency
    Bacardi Rum Factory
    A rainforest that doesnt have crazy dangerous animals.

  • andres rodriguez says:

    Just in case, no there are no squirrels in PR that I know of. We have mongoose which some people from the mountains call “ardilla” which translated in English means squirrel. So they might be some concussion.

  • Tania Franco says:

    Hurricanes are scared of Puerto Rico ^_^ they always make a curve before getting too close to us lol

    And we are mostly medium class economy. There are also millionaires and poor.

  • Michelle Hicks says:

    I would like to address the comment about no air conditioning and that of higher electric costs.
    The moderate climate here along with constant trade winds makes air conditioning only an issue if you live in a “dead air space” area. In Charlotte NC I had to have air cond. and heat. Here I use fans exclusively and am quite comfortable. That leads to electric costs. Yes, per kilowatt our costs are higher but it is not necessary to consume as much. I do less laundry because it’s mostly shorts and T-shirts.
    Grow your food…year round to offset import prices and the biggest gift of all… learn to exercise patience. It may not be efficient, some times ridiculous slow here but hey relax… you’ll live longer.

    • isamarti says:

      And supplementing with solar is more efficient here. 🙂 In places like Cayey and Adjutas temps can drop to the 50’s (F°) during winter. Record low I believe is 42F°, so it all depends on where you set up residence.

      • CarlitosR says:

        The average low weather in winter time is 65 to 70 and it is very rare to have lower temperatures,yes there was a record low around the 40° a very long time ago but it is very rare. Im from Bayamon where its hot year round but lived in Cidra located in the center and mountainous region of P.R. where it gets lower temperatures in winter time. I live in Massachusetts right now and i miss my Island’s weather very much.

  • Mayra says:

    Good article. To add on the con list, lot of restaurant employees are not aware of the ingredients in some foods, if you have a food allergy, this is a problem.

  • Neville says:

    Festival’s, Festival’s and more Festival’s

    Everything is close by

    Always something to do

    Rich culture and history

    Laid back life style in some areas

    Can’t go wrong with the hot weather

    Culture shock-things are done differently…happens to anyone and everyone that crosses
    the Atlantic to live in the Island….adjusting is easy due warm hospitality

    Warm weather all the time…big PLUS!

    Hard to find a well-paying job, if you are looking…the biggest con. Most companies are laying off employee and settle somewhere cheaper i.e. Dominican Republic also now in Cuba

    Great for boat get away to change scenery going to Icaco’s, palominos, Culebra which has the best beach in the Carribbean Flamenco beach!

    A lot of migration

    Live in the Carolina’s and miss it everyday! Can’t wait to go back…

  • Eileen says:

    Puerto Rico has very good doctors the only thing is to much time to be seen in a doctor office.

  • Jorge A. Santos says:

    You can get direct air transportation in/out from Puerto Rico to most important cities in mainland USA at reasonable fares. Example; 2 hours from Miami, for less than $150.00

    You can visit one of the most beautiful Rain Forest of the World (El Yunque), go swimming or scuba diving, play golf (Rio Mar, Rio Grande), visit a fluorescence bay (Fajardo) (about 5 in the World, 3 in Puerto Rico) and play casino, (Fajardo, Rio Grande, Carolina, San Juan) all in one day!!!

  • Nereida says:

    I disagree with the comment written by Anais. I grew up in New Jersey and have lived here since 1976. There are many excellent doctors here, most of which have studied in U.S. medical schools. I am a diabetic and quite well controlled. It is true that the waiting time is longer. We have pharmacies like Walgreen’s and CVS that are open 24 hours. Private health insurance and co-payments are lower than in the states. Very low property taxes, if at all.

  • Graciela Eleta says:

    Having lived in Boston, New York and Cincinnati, I would say biggest pros of living in PR are:

    A) Great place to retire!!
    B) Weather is excellent for 9 months of the year. Breezy, cool at night, warm during the day. Also NO overcast skies and sun does not set before 6pm! Can enjoy outdoor activities year round! Aug-Nov are hot, rainy and muggy.
    C) cheap and fast access to all main cities in USA via daily flights on US airlines
    D) warmth of its people!! Always fun, happy, optimistic, caring. Very open and welcoming to foreigners.
    E) laid back pace. While all services are slower, it makes us slow down to a more human pace.
    F) all kinds of cultural, sports activities available! Paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, cycling, snorkeling, swimming, zip lines, horses! And all in some of the best beaches in the world! Clear blue and empty!
    G) great food! And new restaurants opening all the time… Many hotels too.

    Love it here! Just wish we could turn economy around to provide growth and jobs.

  • Wilmarie says:

    Pro
    college and private school IS REALLY cheap.
    No deadly snakes, bugs or bears

  • Jose Gerena says:

    Puerto Rico is the real land of opportunity and blessing. The land of the great Agueybana, the land of beauty and amazing people. I don’t know why, but the people that is born in Borinquen have great talent. In boxing, Gomez, Trinidad, Cotto, and a lot more. PR is the land with more boxing world championship per square mile per population. PR is the land with the most beautifull and intellegent woman in the world per square mile per population with 5 Miss Universe. The same equation with artist, singers, actors, ball players including Roberto Clemente, Cepeda, Alomar, Rodrigez, Martinez, Williams and a lot more. Singers, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Chayanne, Luis Miguel, and a lot more. Puerto Rico is the land of professionals in every career. Puerto Rico is not a poor place like the article said. The name said everything, Puerto Riiiiiiiiiiiiicoooooooooo….
    Where in the world every family have a TV at home, have electricity at home, have a car, have food with out having a work, Puerto Rico have more Hospitals, Schools, restaurants, Universities, parks, commercials centers, hotels, per square mile than any other country in the world. And that’s a poor economy. I know something, the economy is changing but Puerto Ricoooooooooooooooo is Rich… And I can go on and on and on about Borinquen Bella. But let me finish with this, the country in the world with more Light during the night is Puerto Rico and that’s mean exactly that, how Rich and Bless we as Puerto Ricans are. God bless The Tropical Island or Puerto Rico.

  • Brenda says:

    Hurricane season is from MAY until November.

    • Angel Molinary says:

      I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and in my humble opinion most of the pros and cons are accurate. However, the official hurricane season according to the US Weather Service: June 1st to November 30th. The laid-back pace talked about is if you don’t live in the Metropolitan Area (it’s not as bad as bigger cities, but it is still a hassle). The reason behind a higher cost of living is simple: most consumer goods have to be imported (hey, it’s an island, for heaven’s sake), and the biggest con of all, which no one has mentioned up to now, is that most of us are prone to “leave things for tomorrow” (procrastination, I believe it is called), and this can be a real inconvenience when requesting goods or services in most of the offices you’ll visit, either public or private. (The laid-back pace is partly a result of this “character trait”, you learn to live with it…) All in all, it’s a fun place to live in, with its fair share of good things and not so good ones…

  • Rob Johnson says:

    Such a long list of pros and you left out THE BEST RUM IN THE WORLD…

    Shame on you…

  • Mari says:

    Interesting points. I have to add that more than 90% of our houses are made of cement, means they are strong. I love my island! : )

  • Lydia says:

    No country is perfect, but Puerto Rico almost is. I never seen big bugs, unless you live way up in the mountain. You have access to cable TV through out the Island so there is English TV programming everywhere. Food is a bit expensive but there is variety of goods, and yes, you can be a vegetarian. If you don’t find your favorite vegetables in your local market, or “plaza del mercado”, go to Walmart. On the other hand if your house or apartment does not have air conditioning, you can install one for a few hundred dollars. Most houses do have it, but use it usually only at night because of high energy costs. This is paradise. Problems yes we have some, but most of them are caused by the irresponsible actions of some people and government, and others by uncontrollable forces of the economy, and nature. There is a lot of potential in this beautiful Island.

  • whatamess says:

    INHERITANCE LAWS! Check them out BEFORE YOU MOVE! You will be SHOCKED to find out what they are. This is especially important for those in second marriages or gay couples. Contact a local inheritance attorney and do your own research as well. The laws are NOT what they are in the US, for the most part, the government states HOW and WHAT will be divided among forced heirs. BE INFORMED!

  • Marisa says:

    We moved to Puerto Rico 2 years ago from Rhode Island and while the list is pretty accurate there were a few items left out. Cons: the governments local and state are all very corrupt. Many of the local police departments and the PRPD have been known to be corrupt as well. The crime rates are very high. The locals have not been welcoming nor friendly. 1/3 of the population is on some sort of government assistance.

  • Flower Dream says:

    Violent crime and drug addiction are off the richter in Puerto Rico. The island is filthy dirty. The pollution is disgusting. There is garbage everywhere! Don’t kid yourself that crime is limited to certain areas. It is really sad what has happened to what was once a beautiful island!

  • F T Figueras says:

    Despite all the cons and pros, PR is still a wonderful place to visit, but not to live. It has become expensive in the last decade and the government is bankrupt in large part to a long history of rampant corruption. Most Puertorricans never pay their fare share of taxes and cash is king, meaning cash transactions are never reported. Only large business cannot take advantage of this, but EVERYONE else does.

    Sadly, the concepts or respect and consideration towards other people are almost lost, specially in large urban areas. It is one of those places where knowing the right people is still extremely valuable. And it is true, that having a good time and partying for any reason trumps responsibility and in many instances good manners. How is that a Pro? Not in my book.

    But when you get to know them, Puertorricans are essentially goodhearted people. And if we are to believe a recently published Berkley University study, the genetic composition of Puertorricans is as close to perfection as any human could be.

  • Maggie says:

    I’m visiting from my retirement home in a very poor Appalachian area of east Tennessee. Many of the “cons” in this article are cons at home, except voting and (maybe) language — I’m still trying to understand Tennessee accenst. Poor, conservative, rural areas have the same problems nationwide. From my point of view, Puerto Rico’s big problems stem from the ignorance and bigotry of mainland Americans. I wish the US citizens and residents of this beautiful place the best in the coming years.

  • Kristin M says:

    I really enjoyed this article! My son has high-functioning autism (formerly known as Asperger’s) and ADHD and struggles with social skills and bullying in his school. I am considering simplifying our lives and finding him a more intimate school setting that also is “friendly” to kids with special needs such as himself. Can anyone recommend a school to check out in Puerto Rico?
    My husband currently makes about $90,000/year in automative sales and financing. Do you think he could find a similar job in PR… either in automotive sales or another form of sales? Are excellent salesman compensated well in PR? Thanks, everyone!

  • Juan Jimenez says:

    One more thing to add to the list — starting a business on the island is an act of severe masochism. Between the useless bureaucrats that add zero value to the island’s economy or the well-being and future of its residents, and the equally useless -and- ignorant environmentalist who would oppose the use of dihydrogen oxide if someone let them, starting a business in PR is an act of futility. And then people wonder why the economy is in ruins…

  • Carroll Kelly says:

    Based on where I came from, Long Island, New York, some items on my list PROs on living in PR are the very low property tax, great coffee, panaderias and local food, My personal list of CONs includes the limited variety of live music. I like Puerto Rican music, but I miss the opportunity to listen to live country, blues, bluegrass, etc.
    Although long lines everywhere might be considered a CON, if you approach it as if you were Puerto Rican, it becomes a pleasant social event. There are always some great conversations taking place.
    On a note about doctors: Thus far, on the several occasions when I needed healthcare in PR, for myself and my very elderly mother, the care has been excellent and far less expensive as compared to NY. My healthcare experience includes two trips to the emergency room. And, my mom’s doctor gave me his cell phone number, so I can call him directly. Try getting that level of service anywhere else.

  • Sully says:

    I lived in puerto rico many years. It is a beautiful island and would love to live there. I am a nurse practitioner / completley bilingual..and it was impossible to find a good job for me. Low employment opportunities; food;gas;electicity bills are way too high. & some people are friendly but most are not. Bad costumer service. I currently live in massachusetts & im Puerto Rican. I wish i could go back to puerto rico & live there all my life. Unfortunatley that will not be the case unless there is a mayor government change and employment growth. Great article though. Just an honest opinion based on personal experience.great place to visit. But Think twice about living there.

  • Paul F says:

    My family has considered moving to PR . I am a master tech in automobile and diesel repair including large emergency generator repairs .. Are there jobs of this type located on the island?

  • Terry P says:

    My wife and I have no kids left at home, we are both educated, are retiring and don’t intend to work, except as desired if we find something we want to do. In our past, we have lived in Arizona with the scorpions and rattlers, Florida with the bugs and gators, and Arkansas with the moccasins and hillbillies, so we’re not too worried about the big bugs and iguanas. My question is simple and is based on affordability. I’m retiring on about $5,000 per month gross. Can I live at least fairly comfortably in PR today?

    Thanks Terry

    • Lawrence Bliss says:

      Terry — Did you get any answers? I’d like to know if you followed through and have moved to PR. We are in exactly the same situation, and are planning to move in about a year … maybe 18 months. We’ve lived in Maine with the hurricanes and shoulder-deep snow, and in San Francisco with the earthquakes and skyrocketing costs. We should talk.

      Thanks. Larry

  • Theresa says:

    I live in mi I was living in putero Rico for eight months before I moved to PR an am thanking on going back ,I just did not have any friends who spoke in English I wish to meet people who talk in English to make friends and work with, let me know were are they hanging out at.:-)

    • Tereza says:

      Hey, I’m going to move to PR with my husband and don’t speak Spanish yet. I’m a little bit scared. I would definitely need an English speaking friend over there! And a friend that got the same name? Awesome! lol

  • Rob says:

    Are there any freelancers out there earning $100K-$200K? I want to know if the tax breaks are real if you live in PR and do business with mainland US clients. And if you do, what part of the island did you choose to live and why? Thanks!

  • Susanne Coyle says:

    There is a very successful (TNR trap,neuter,return) feral cat program in Jacksonville, Florida and other cities. I think it would work great in PR if people get serious about our street dog/cat overpopulation.

  • My husband and I, with our 2 kids (10 and 8) are planning a relocation later this year; who would we contact to pursue opening a business in PR? Also, any recommendations on realtors? We are booking a quick trip to cruise neighborhoods and hopefully decide on a location.

  • Tej says:

    Hi! I’m looking on making a move to PR, but am trying to get all my ducks in a row and do the proper research ( this article and all the comments are helping on what to expect). From what I’ve experienced cost of living overall from parts of the west coast and chicago, its definitely cheaper in PR. Any suggestions would be awesome in regards to some great websites to job search as well as find apartments. Thank you!!

  • Meg says:

    Wow there are too many comments on here for me to read!!! But you PERFECTLY described the pros and cons of this beautiful island that is “crisis island”.
    I would like to add the biggest con yet- which is wanting to have a baby, and Zika. We’ll likely not risk the chance and move back to the states- maybe for good. And it’s unfortunate bc we just started getting used to it here… 🙁 I hope it’s all hype, but Zika will seriously affect people’s decision on living in Puerto Rico 😑

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