Investigating to move to Puerto Rico

I'm Frank. My wife and I are researching PR to move to.

Here's what we like and or need:

1. Walkability to shops, eateries, pubs, etc.
2. Stand alone home with decent yard for dog and gardening.
3. Do not want to live in a big city, but need one big enough to have good services.
4. We would like to live a moderate lifestyle in retirement.  A home of 1,200 square feet or more, but we don't need a mansion. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out several times a week. Enjoy beer, wine with dinners. Take day trips regularly. Swim, snorkel, learn to dive.

Can any of you point me in the right direction to get more info on these issues:

1. What's it cost for daily living. Lots of info available on Panama, Costa Rica, etc., but not much for Puerto Rico. I've talked to enough people and read enough that it seems legit that you can live on $2,000 to $3,000 a month in many expat countries, but I think PR is more expensive.

2. Legit sites to research home prices in PR.

3. We're hoping to make an initial trip down to start our investigation/adventure in March/April. Recommendations on how to get the most out of that time. I don't want to spend the week being a tourist. We can see the sights after we're living there. How do we and/or what should we do, to get the best immersion experience in a short stay?

3. I'm a stage IV oral cancer survivor. That means I had 6.5 weeks of radiation into my mouth/throat area, as well as chemo. As I age, it will continue to degrade more and my need for specialist will increase. Are highly specialized doctors available in most larger cities, or would we have to go to San Juan for that type of medical?

4. What have you found to be the best, or easiest, way to learn Spanish?

I hope your lives are much back on track now. Thanks for your input.


1. You can achieve a pretty good lifestyle on $2-$3,000/month. We lived there with two small kids in private school for about that much.


3. Rent a car. Drive around. Eat on the side of the road. Talk with locals about your wants and needs.

4. Some specialists are available in the smaller cities like Aguadilla but many are only available in San Juan.

If you need continuing care from medical specialists, you may want to stay in the US mainland.   Not sure about the availability of the type of care you need, but I would check it out very carefully.  I suspect that most specialist, if available, will be in the SJ area.

That being said, make a trip to the island and check out the various areas and medical services.  Good luck to you!

To Sitka's point, my suspicion is that there are few specialists on the island, and those that are local are at the end of their careers.  Many young health professionals (and other professionals) are leaving the island for better opportunities on the mainland.  So while you may find that someone to provide you with the particular care you need is available, that doesn't mean that the service will continue.

Regarding most of your other questions, there are extensive threads on those topics.  The search function can be a little tricky, but sometimes a little creativity in your terms is all that's required.

I will try to address some of your questions:
Depending on your age, you can have or not Medicare Advantage program and that will mean that your 2000-3000 budget is feasible. If you and husband are too young, you are looking at 700 or more a month each for health insurance, that would completly blow your budget.

Get a quote from these companies, which is based on your age and plan:
Triple S Tel. (787) 774-6060
1-877-357-9777 (Toll Free)

MCS health insurance

Most expats seem to use Tripple S.

Rental depends on the area and can be 400-500 or 900-2000 a month.

Since you never been in PR, I recommend that you use AirBnb and spend 2-3 days in each of different parts of the island to see what you like. Most common areas are Metro, Dorado, Rincon, or the east coast and the towns around Fajardo. Stay at an AirBnb in each of the areas. Driving from one to the other area can be 2-3 hours so you would see very little if you stay in one single place. See the 78 municipalities and compare them to get an idea

As to walking distance to stores, cafes, etc, I would say that for the most part you can forget it unless you are in the town centers which means houses almost touching each others and not much yard or super expensive real-estate (2000-4000 a month). Almost anywhere you have to drive even if it is only a couple of miles.

Spanish: Meet the locals, make friends with them, also take this course: … nt+spanish


Check out:
And: … 80858.html

Call them, they should be able to recomend a clinic or doctor for your specific issue.

As to close to a particular clinic or not, it depends how often you have to see the doctor or be treated, if not often the moving far from it and getting the right home in the perfect location is more important than the clinic location since you will travel there rarely.
Hope this helps

Thank you for the good info everyone. Much appreciated!

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