Weighing up a new life.

Old Apr 1st 2020, 12:49 pm
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Default Weighing up a new life.

Hi all,

This is my first post and I am not a regular on forums so excuse me if i make any mistakes. In the past week, my business has been decimated, I have lost 80% of my income, my house purchase has fallen through and I can't see it getting any better any time soon.

I am recently married and my wife and I have always discussed moving to the sun to start a fresh life, but with a modestly successful business I always found an excuse. In fact I always said "If ever something catastrophic happens and my business goes down the drain, we will do it - i never in a million years expected that to happen, and so quickly.

My wife and I have discussed purchasing a small B&B since the day we first met and I have always dreamed of having a scuba diving business or at least a business that means i can spend some time outside with people - having spent the last 15 at a computer alone.

We both adore Barbados and have been 3 times, we have also been to Antigua and also enjoyed that, although quite as much. But i am completely open to options.

We plan to have a family and I have been thinking that perhaps, now is the time to make the decision and start putting the pieces in place. I am very much open to one of the islands in the Caribbean, but appreciate we should spend time in any place we plan to move too.

I have had the feeling that it may be one of those "now or never moments" so i was seeking advise as to my next move.

Are there any Caribbean islands were it is easer to move to? Would we be able to purchase a B&B or maybe large (ish) home and turn that into a a business? Or am i dreaming!? I have been browsing websites with Dive Schools for sale and i was very surprised just ow many there were - i work in marketing so i hope that will come in handy when the time comes.

Would my best move be to speak to a solicitor now, go and live on an island that might be more receptive to us moving for 6 months? Buy a business or start one?

I am trying to turn this huge negative into something positive, and with no children and some savings, could we achieve it?

Thank you all and sorry if this is in the wrong place, or this has been answered already.

Joel
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by HopefulJoel View Post
Hi all,

This is my first post and I am not a regular on forums so excuse me if i make any mistakes. In the past week, my business has been decimated, I have lost 80% of my income, my house purchase has fallen through and I can't see it getting any better any time soon.

I am recently married and my wife and I have always discussed moving to the sun to start a fresh life, but with a modestly successful business I always found an excuse. In fact I always said "If ever something catastrophic happens and my business goes down the drain, we will do it - i never in a million years expected that to happen, and so quickly.

My wife and I have discussed purchasing a small B&B since the day we first met and I have always dreamed of having a scuba diving business or at least a business that means i can spend some time outside with people - having spent the last 15 at a computer alone.

We both adore Barbados and have been 3 times, we have also been to Antigua and also enjoyed that, although quite as much. But i am completely open to options.

We plan to have a family and I have been thinking that perhaps, now is the time to make the decision and start putting the pieces in place. I am very much open to one of the islands in the Caribbean, but appreciate we should spend time in any place we plan to move too.

I have had the feeling that it may be one of those "now or never moments" so i was seeking advise as to my next move.

Are there any Caribbean islands were it is easer to move to? Would we be able to purchase a B&B or maybe large (ish) home and turn that into a a business? Or am i dreaming!? I have been browsing websites with Dive Schools for sale and i was very surprised just ow many there were - i work in marketing so i hope that will come in handy when the time comes.

Would my best move be to speak to a solicitor now, go and live on an island that might be more receptive to us moving for 6 months? Buy a business or start one?

I am trying to turn this huge negative into something positive, and with no children and some savings, could we achieve it?

Thank you all and sorry if this is in the wrong place, or this has been answered already.

Joel
Can't help with Caribbean but no matter where you move to, you have to ask yourself what you can offer compared to locals already on the island. What experience do you have running a scuba diving business and what will make your business stand out? If there was money to be made, why are these businesses for sale? You say you have lost 80% of income, so imagine how hard it will be with no safety net. If Corona is affecting you (no idea where you live), then imagine how it will affect the whole tourism industry and especially a small island that relies on tourism. If you are in Europe there might be other options but I wouldn't want to waste more money.

Last edited by Moses2013; Apr 1st 2020 at 1:46 pm.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Can't help with Caribbean but no matter where you move to, you have to ask yourself what you can offer compared to locals already on the island. What experience do you have running a scuba diving business and what will make your business stand out? If there was money to be made, why are these businesses for sale? You say you have lost 80% of income, so imagine how hard it will be with no safety net. If Corona is affecting you (no idea where you live), then imagine how it will affect the whole tourism industry and especially a small island that relies on tourism. If you are in Europe there might be other options but I wouldn't want to waste more money.
Hi Moses,


Thank you so much for your reply. I am actually from London, but you are right, in terms of a scuba dicing business all I could offer would be myself, a family feel, my enthusiasm and hopefully a more professional operation, with well run digital advertising to bring in new business. The majority if not all of the dive schools i have visited myself in the Caribbean could have been vastly improved with not a huge amount of work (things like improved websitses, booking systems, social media and targets advertsing, Google ads, etc)

As my work revolves around social media and marketing, I hope I am in a strong position to make my business stand out from the crowd, but I have no experience of running a Scuba business whatsoever! When you say it like that it does sound a little mad!

I have run my own business for 12 years and I have a passion to dive every year on holiday, I was hoping to make this a part of my new life - we are not looking to make a fortune, just enough to keep us there and fed.

I had never considered taking what i do now professionally, where i could be considered to have skills that perhaps others on the island may not. I would not want to just repeat the same life i have here but maybe it could be done differently, and maybe that would be looked on favourably?

Maybe there is an avenue whereby my normal job could be the beginning, and I would work my way towards a small weekend diving school? i do feel that tourism will get back to normal and that now perhaps, or in the next few months, there may be opportunities to purchase at very good prices both in Europe and in the Caribbean.

Maybe Europe is a better bet for me, we also love Italy, but with Brexit that may become just as hard too! Thanks again for the food for thought.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by HopefulJoel View Post
Hi Moses,


Thank you so much for your reply. I am actually from London, but you are right, in terms of a scuba dicing business all I could offer would be myself, a family feel, my enthusiasm and hopefully a more professional operation, with well run digital advertising to bring in new business. The majority if not all of the dive schools i have visited myself in the Caribbean could have been vastly improved with not a huge amount of work (things like improved websitses, booking systems, social media and targets advertsing, Google ads, etc)

As my work revolves around social media and marketing, I hope I am in a strong position to make my business stand out from the crowd, but I have no experience of running a Scuba business whatsoever! When you say it like that it does sound a little mad!

I have run my own business for 12 years and I have a passion to dive every year on holiday, I was hoping to make this a part of my new life - we are not looking to make a fortune, just enough to keep us there and fed.

I had never considered taking what i do now professionally, where i could be considered to have skills that perhaps others on the island may not. I would not want to just repeat the same life i have here but maybe it could be done differently, and maybe that would be looked on favourably?

Maybe there is an avenue whereby my normal job could be the beginning, and I would work my way towards a small weekend diving school? i do feel that tourism will get back to normal and that now perhaps, or in the next few months, there may be opportunities to purchase at very good prices both in Europe and in the Caribbean.

Maybe Europe is a better bet for me, we also love Italy, but with Brexit that may become just as hard too! Thanks again for the food for thought.
We all have dreams and that's a good thing. I nearly ended up buying land on the island of Abaco many years ago and thought it was a bargain, but after lots of research it would have been a pointless investment (hurricanes/flooding) and I would have never lived there anyway. I live and work in Ireland, so was better off buying a small place in Spain and at least it's easy and cheap to get there.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

You havent said anything that makes you attractive to a caribbean island. You want to enter marketplaces that have plenty of local operators and offer no special skills that are saught by countries in this region. Effectively you wish to compete with locals amd locals and local governments consider that taking the bread from their mouths.

Countries in the caribbean do not want you to take from their economies and most block you specifically. If you wish to stay, you can - if financially self sufficient - Live indefinitely and buy property, often subject to extra taxation as an alien, in a few countries but you cannot work. If you wish to work a few countries will allow you to buy citizenship typically for a 250k fee. Citizenship by investment is the name, but think of it as a fee, these investments rarely return much and those that are real estate linked do not allow you to occupy the real estate, its usually some sort of timeshare or hotel investment.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Thanks uk_grenada.

Would you think a skill set such as social media advertising, would be a useful resource for businesses in the Caribbean? Would that be more suitable or again, is this something that the local skill set could also offer. My wife is also a psychotherapist, again maybe that could be our best avenue?

I would imagine that being here working in London may have afforded me some opportunities and certainly a lot of experience which could help local businesses increase their sales or customer base. The only thing i could offer would be employment of staff from the local area at either a dive school, or b&b or social media advertising businesses potentially. This and a financial investment into a business which i would hope I could grow if that was what would be necessary . I certainly don't have half a million for my self and my wife to invest in citizenship, so if that does not include the business I would set-up which is doesn't, then it would be impossible.

On the times we have visited Barbados we have met ex-pats there, one English couple had a bar, one was a therapist and the husband worked at a sea turtle sanctuary, and I have heard and seen that there is a huge ex-pay community. How have all these people done it? I had always hoped that if i was prepared and willing to commit, there would be a way if I we had the will.

Would a solicitor be able to weigh up my situation and offer me a route forward, or am I flogging a dead horse. Is this a non-starter? Is this something we could work toward by taking action now? Really appreciate your advice as I don't know where to start.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Things were different years ago, people buy citizenship or for example have citizenship by marriage or descent.

None if the businesses you describe are unusual or rare skills here.
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Old Apr 1st 2020, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

I’m sure a local will be along, to confirm, but I don’t think Barbados offer a CBI program, it’s millionaires only there. Places like here do.

Its 250k per family - but it’s really a fee...

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Old Apr 1st 2020, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by HopefulJoel View Post
Thanks uk_grenada.

Would you think a skill set such as social media advertising, would be a useful resource for businesses in the Caribbean? Would that be more suitable or again, is this something that the local skill set could also offer. My wife is also a psychotherapist, again maybe that could be our best avenue?

I would imagine that being here working in London may have afforded me some opportunities and certainly a lot of experience which could help local businesses increase their sales or customer base. The only thing i could offer would be employment of staff from the local area at either a dive school, or b&b or social media advertising businesses potentially. This and a financial investment into a business which i would hope I could grow if that was what would be necessary . I certainly don't have half a million for my self and my wife to invest in citizenship, so if that does not include the business I would set-up which is doesn't, then it would be impossible.

On the times we have visited Barbados we have met ex-pats there, one English couple had a bar, one was a therapist and the husband worked at a sea turtle sanctuary, and I have heard and seen that there is a huge ex-pay community. How have all these people done it? I had always hoped that if i was prepared and willing to commit, there would be a way if I we had the will.

Would a solicitor be able to weigh up my situation and offer me a route forward, or am I flogging a dead horse. Is this a non-starter? Is this something we could work toward by taking action now? Really appreciate your advice as I don't know where to start.
Don't be fooled by other Expats. Some might buy their way in and others still struggle from week to week. It's not only Barbados but any small island can bring other challenges. If it's not densely populated, its the cost if things, lack of choice and a holiday is very different. As a tourist you bring money and leave again. As a resident you are taking another locals job, or are a threat to an existing business. At least that's the feeling you get in a lot of places. In Europe you notice similar on islands like Ibiza or Menorca.
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Old May 24th 2020, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

We traveled to many places for diving and snorkeling. All these businesses were owned by expats and the locals were working there.
It is not that easy to run B&B or a diving shop. Marketing is just a tiny part of it. Practically every place we visited had different problems. Most of the problems were related to the lack of capital or talent.
Before you invest in the islands, do you know that there are many-many issues there due to climate change?
-Beaches noticeably dissappear.
-Issues with drinking water due to the rising sea level, deforestation, and increased drought.
-The algae Sargassum washed on the beaches in a thick layer is causing pollution, health issues, is killing the turtles, and is very costly to remove.
-Fish is fished out. Locals are bombing the fish.
-Corrals are being bleached or already destroyed by stupid tourists.
-Jellyfish is a big annoyance because natural predators are destroyed and the ocean became much warmer.
-Strength of hurricanes has increased 70% over the last 30 years and it is getting worse.
-Huge issues with waste management and plastic pollution. Prepare to breath with toxic air from plastic waste being burnt in the open air.

But if this will not stop you from moving to the Caribian islands, perhaps you can consider working online in what you do the best, marketing, and perhaps your wife can also have online sessions. With an online business you can work for the global market. And this business is not seasonal like tourism.
Also, there may be a good opportunity to start a waste to energy business. Islands import petroleum as the main source of energy and they have huge problem with waste management. But gasoline price for that should go much higher than it is currently now.

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Old May 24th 2020, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

The poster above knows nothing about whats going on here in the eastern caribbean, but seems keen on acquiring eco-warrior status.

1, there are no climate change impacts, our beaches are fine thank you, none have disappeared and none are impacted by anything abiut from self repairing storm damage.
2, Sargassum is an issue sometimes, not recently, on the rough atlantic and north coastlines. This isnt where hotels and resorts are, they prefer the calmer caribbean sea side of islands.
3, The tall tropical islands enjoy rainforest interiors and are wet most of the year inland. Sure there is an ongoung unchanging challenge in the marine climates of low islands, lose the tourists, lose the problem.
4, We dont have any jellyfish issues, and have marine conservation areas/plans.
5, Hurricanes are generally moving north, away from some islands. The idea that their strength has increased by 70% is laughable here, cant comment on asia, we have quiet and active years, there is little proof of changes in strength, there is proof of the northward move, which threatens the US eastern seaboard for sure.
6, Now, oil is cheap, but most islands invest in solar. Caribbean islands are mostly too small for efficient biogas plants but there are other viable options.

To return to the original point, the real reason you cant move here and start such a business is because the governments dont want you to, unless you are very rich. There are locals and to be fair some immigrants already running successful businesses.
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Old May 24th 2020, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
To return to the original point, the real reason you cant move here and start such a business is because the governments dont want you to, unless you are very rich. There are locals and to be fair some immigrants already running successful businesses.
The OP hasn't been online since the day he first posted, so I guess he's accepted by now that The Virus has put the kibosh on his hopes, and he's given up. uk_grenada is absolutely right, as always. None of the islands want more foreigners, unless they're rich - and, preferably, only visiting!
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Old May 24th 2020, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Imperium Britnnicum is over. The ex-colonies want to get on with sorting things out for themselves. that does not include admitting unskilled migration from The Mother Country !
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Old May 25th 2020, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
... a few countries will allow you to buy citizenship typically for a 250k fee.
...those that are real estate linked do not allow you to occupy the real estate, its usually some sort of timeshare or hotel investment.
It depends on a country. A fee can be much smaller and you can buy a property and live there all the time if you wish.
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Old May 25th 2020, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Weighing up a new life.

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
The poster above knows nothing about whats going on here in the eastern caribbean, but seems keen on acquiring eco-warrior status.

1, there are no climate change impacts, our beaches are fine thank you, none have disappeared and none are impacted by anything abiut from self repairing storm damage.
2, Sargassum is an issue sometimes, not recently, on the rough atlantic and north coastlines. This isnt where hotels and resorts are, they prefer the calmer caribbean sea side of islands.
3, The tall tropical islands enjoy rainforest interiors and are wet most of the year inland. Sure there is an ongoung unchanging challenge in the marine climates of low islands, lose the tourists, lose the problem.
4, We dont have any jellyfish issues, and have marine conservation areas/plans.
5, Hurricanes are generally moving north, away from some islands. The idea that their strength has increased by 70% is laughable here, cant comment on asia, we have quiet and active years, there is little proof of changes in strength, there is proof of the northward move, which threatens the US eastern seaboard for sure.
6, Now, oil is cheap, but most islands invest in solar. Caribbean islands are mostly too small for efficient biogas plants but there are other viable options.
Re. 1- Perhaps Grenada is the only island in the world which is not affected by rising ocean level. Is it floating?
Re. 2- Millions of tons of Sargassum. It started in 2011 due to warming of the ocean and it gets worse. Put in your browser: "Sargassum issue in Caribbean"

Re. 3- Put in your browser: "problem with fresh water in grenada"
"Water stress will be one of the greatest challenges, as reduced precipitation and increasing temperatures will cause a lack of water availability in countries like the Bahamas, Grenada, and Jamaica, who already suffer from water scarcity."
But it is good that desalination can be used for producing fresh water. Though it is more costly and has some environmental issues.
​​
Put in your browser: "deforestation in Grenada"
"The key types of land degradation in Grenada and Carriacou as identified in the newly aligned NAP are water erosion, acidification and pollution, loss of soil life, soil fertility decline, and pests and diseases infestation. The key direct drivers are deforestation."
I use Grenada because you talk about Grenada, however these issues are the same in all eastern caribbean islands.

Re. 4. An issue with increase of the jellyfish is everywhere in the world. I judge by our own experience when I was taking steroids for a week after an intense allergic reaction to a string jellyfish. Grenada is not special. Just put in your browser: "jellyfish problem in eastern Caribbean"

Re. 5. Read in Wikipedia and other sources:
"The energy released by (again considering all hurricanes worldwide) seems increased by around past 30 years or so, corresponding to about a 15% increase in the maximum wind speed and a 60% increase in storm lifetime."

Re. 6. Renewable energy is only 1.4% in Grenada. It is typical for all eastern caribbean islands.
https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62699.pdf
"Nearly 99% of electricity is sourced from diesel fuel. The
utility maintains an installed capacity of 48.6 MW spread
across the three islands. In June 2006, Grenada became one
of 13 Caribbean countries to sign the PetroCaribe Agreement
with Venezuela to finance 40% of Grenada’s petroleum
supply for 25 years at an interest rate of 1%."
However there is a goal to increase solar energy production.

Knowledge is power!


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