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Thanks to gorgeous beaches and beautiful scenery, plus the fact that any U.S. citizen can travel to or live in the country without a visa, Puerto Rico is a popular destination for anyone looking to make a life change.

However, before you decide to move to this island nation, it’s important to take a few things into consideration.

map of Puerto Rico

Key Takeaways

  • Puerto Rico has a low cost of living and low taxes but few job opportunities.
  • The area is lovely, and the weather is warm, but hurricanes can be dangerous. Warm, humid weather also brings bugs.
  • The pace of living in Puerto Rico is relaxed, and people are generally friendly.
  • Puerto Rican private schools offer excellent opportunities.
  • Puerto Rican healthcare is on par with the U.S.
  • Puerto Rico has a high crime rate.
  • Getting around Puerto Rico can sometimes be challenging.
  • The internet is slow and sometimes spotty on the island.
  • Puerto Rico is known for its delicious foods from various cultures.
  • Because it’s so close to the U.S., traveling to almost any major U.S. city is easy.

Cost of Living

One of the best parts about living in Puerto Rico is the low cost of living.

The cost of rent or a mortgage depends on whether you live in a rural area or a more expensive city area, but most people will only pay between $400 and $800 per month in rent.

Utilities usually only cost about $300 per month, and groceries cost about the same. Gas is also relatively inexpensive.

Although the cost of living is lower, however, the cost of importing or shipping any goods from the U.S. can be very expensive, so you’ll want to try to find anything you need in Puerto Rico itself.

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Taxes

There are no federal or state taxes in Puerto Rico, so you won’t need to pay any income tax.

Puerto Rico’s sales tax is also only 4%. If you purchase a home, you’ll also find that Puerto Rico has lower property taxes than most of the United States.

holding a no income tax sign

Job Opportunities

Job opportunities in Puerto Rico are limited, and most positions require that you speak Spanish. Many people who move to Puerto Rico either start their own business or work digitally.

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Scenery

Puerto Rico is located on one large island and several smaller islands in the Caribbean. Like most of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico offers lush green areas, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful beaches.

Anyone who lives in Puerto Rico will be able to enjoy lovely views and colorful sunsets and sunrises.

Homes and buildings in many cities are also quite colorful and feature interesting architecture, so even the most urban areas are pleasant to look at.

Puerto Rico written in sand

Weather

The weather in Puerto Rico is warm and pleasant for most of the year. Generally, temperatures are in the low- to mid-80s, although temperatures rise to almost 90F during August, September, and October.

Temperatures rarely drop below 70F for the entire year.

Although you won’t be cold in Puerto Rico, you can expect many rainy days. Most months experience at least 10 days of rain, and some months, particularly August through December, see upwards of 15 days of rain each.

The islands of Puerto Rico also have a hurricane season that lasts from June to November.

Although not all hurricanes will cause damage, many can be extremely dangerous and can cause flooding, which can lead to property damage and even life-threatening situations.

overlooking clear ocean water

Bugs

Warm, humid weather means that there are many bugs in Puerto Rico. Mosquitos are common throughout the islands. Midges and black flies are also frequently seen, especially along the coast.

You’ll also most likely encounter sand fleas. These tiny crustaceans are not really bugs at all, but they do occasionally bite.

Slower Pace

Life in Puerto Rico has a slower pace. People tend to be less rushed and more laid back, making for a more relaxed atmosphere.

However, this also means that you might experience longer wait times for repairs or other services.

Friendly People

Most people in Puerto Rico are friendly and welcoming. Even if you don’t know anyone in the area, your neighbors will most likely welcome you and invite you to social gatherings.

This welcoming atmosphere means it’s easy to feel at home in Puerto Rico.

smiling man holding a mango

Education

Although the Puerto Rican public school system isn’t the best, there are many options for private schools.

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These private schools offer excellent educations, often better than what a student might find at a public school in the continental U.S.

Private schools in Puerto Rico also tend to be less expensive than private schools in the rest of the U.S.

Healthcare

Because Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S., it has access to the same sorts of healthcare as most of the rest of the continental U.S. Puerto Rico is home to many excellent hospitals, and Medicaid is accepted.

healthcare worker with senior

Crime

Puerto Rico has a high crime rate, and many crimes in Puerto Rico are violent crimes, including murder. The murder rating for Puerto Rico is about the same as that of Chicago.

There are also many instances of gang violence. However, you can avoid crime by choosing a safe area to live in, avoiding dangerous areas in cities, and traveling in a group after dark.

Transportation

Public transportation in Puerto Rico is unreliable and limited, so most people prefer to travel by car. However, buying a car in Puerto Rico can be very expensive.

Many people have their vehicles shipped from the U.S. to save money.

Internet

Internet speeds are slow and tend to be unreliable in some parts of Puerto Rico. If you’re living in a more populated urban area, however, you shouldn’t have much trouble with the internet.

If you plan to work online, though, it’s important to factor this into where you decide to live.

woman working at home on computer

Food

Puerto Rico is a blend of many cultures, and these cultures are displayed in the area’s dishes. There are many food options available, and most of the food is fresh and healthy.

Puerto Rico is also known for its excellent coffee.

Proximity to the U.S.

It’s easy for U.S. citizens to travel from Puerto Rico to the U.S. A flight to Florida is only about three hours, and you can travel anywhere in the U.S. from there.

You won’t need a passport to travel back and forth. You also won’t need to exchange any U.S. money, as U.S. currency is accepted in Puerto Rico.

map of flight from Miami to Puerto rico

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