The absolute minimum in dollars to live in DR :)

I am living now in New York City (The Bronx) and I will be going to DR around Feb 2010. I will only have a steady income of US$900 per month. Can I make it there? I already live in a fairly rough neighborhood here so some crime is not an issue! Also I do most of my cooking at home since I keep kosher. When kosher meat is not available I regress to a vegetarian diet and that is not a problem for me. I have seen a few apartments for 300US but I really am not familiar with the neighborhoods. Really I want to be immersed in the "real" Dominican culture. I am already fluent in Spanish. But anyway I just want to see if anyone thinks I could live alright??? What would be the pros/cons?? Thanks so much in advance.... Chad.....

Living on $900.00 in the DR?
You're cutting it close but you can make it on $900.00 monthly steady income in the Dominican Republic. Why? First, because you wrote that you want to be immersed in the real Dominican culture and second, a lot of Dominicans make less than $900.00  and live comfortably. Otherwise I'll suggest a $1,500.00 as a minimum.
The cons: you'll not going to live like an "expat" in a secured neighborhood, with a maid, a decent vehicule, dining out once or twice a week, picking up a bottle of wine at the "Supermarcado" and entertaining friends. And, you will have to avoid living in the tourist areas like the Puerto Plata-Sosua-Cabarette corridor (forget about Punta Cana). On $900.00 a month, you may live in the barrios in Santo Domingo. Your best bet may be near, or in, Santiago which is a prettier city anyhow. Or you can just go to the small town or mountain areas like Jarabacoa. People are friendly and all the surrounding areas are just beautiful.
The pros: if you don't mind living like a Dominican, $900.00 can actually take you a long way. You can live a quiet and comfortable life in the Carribeans and enjoy friendly human interactions where the motto is "no problemo" to every problem. You can enjoy the Ocean, the Mountains, the culture... Well, you already know that that's why you want to move there. There is nothing wrong about living like a Dominican BUT it's quite different from the fast pace life of a New Yorker. Time has different meaning. The culture is different but I love Dominicans!

My suggestion: if you have not already spent enough time in the DR, or lived there before, you owe it to yourself to check it out and spend some time there FIRST before moving in. It can be great, it can be paradise, but it's not for everyone. Is it for you? Oh, one more thing, beside the monthly income you'll need some upfront money to get settled in at the beginning. Maybe 5 grands at least.

P.S. Am I missing something? Your entry came in late November, we're past the middle of January, and I don't see any response to your very reasonable inquiry. I'm new and I probably don't know how to see everything on this blog yet. Sorry if I'm been redondant.

That was a great response Acoquerel. I wish others would also respond as I am certain there are many who have the same or close to the same question which needs answering.


I'm a former New Yorker with some Bronx experience. Now I'm happily retired in the DR, married to a Dominican woman from Santo Domingo, living in a small coastal village and travel the country on my motorcycle. I live comfortably on $1,500 monthly. These facts alone allow me to make the following observations: There is city living and campo living. Without reservation I am aware that even the lowest income city living here cannot compare to the Bronx, either price-wise or from a security standpoint. City liviing is more expenesive here.

Campo (country) living is cheaper and much safer. The agricultural world almost comes to your door, literally, so your diet requirements are certainly better served. There is a closeness of the community that is far more intense than any you may find in the cities.

It takes a bit of effort to change from what you have been accustomed to and adapt to the country lifestyle but the rewards are so much greater. Good Luck.

My apt. in Santo Domingo Este (2009-2010) was three bedrooms two bath, complete with rats and mice from time to time, no screens (as is typical). $190 US per month. It was about $15 a month for electricity (no AC of course). This is on the wrong side of the tracks, and very noisy. If you cannot handle noise, you will have to live in a nicer area and the cost will be much higher.

You do need a good initial investment in an inverter and batteries that will probably set you back about a thousand dollars. But you will have electricity when the lights are out, which is several hours a day. Even poor people have inverters these days.

If you eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, you will find food much cheaper in the DR. But as soon as you add in imported foods like chocolate chips and such, your food bill will skyrocket.

When my wife and I came here about 3 years ago we were able to live on 800.00 a month but we do not live near the beach or a big city.  We also took public transport where we needed to go and ate a lot of rice and fresh fruits and veggies.  Our apartment was very small but secure.  Now we are living in the same town in a large two floor house with a 10 year old Jeepeta and have a Price Mart membership.  Our costs have climbed to about 1100.00 month.  Still not too bad.

I live in Puerto  Plata. My lifestyle is  a modified  expat / Dominican one.   I live  fairly comfortably on  less then 900 US per month.

I have a  2bedroom very secure apartment in a decent  area.

You got good advice to  bring  a lump sum of money to get started. You need furniture,  deposit for apt, deposit for utility  contracts,  an inversor and batteries (most likely) etc etc.  5K will do it easily.

IF you want to work  I suggest  getting your residencia so you can  work here legally  Working  not only supplements your income it  helps create your social network!

My wife and I will be retiring in two years with a retirement income of about $7600 a month, How well can we leave in the Dominican republic with that income? We love to golf and would like to leave in a front beach villa or apartment.

You will have no problem with that monthly income and be able to live where ever you want.
You can live very comfortably on 1/2 that. 


Agreed!!!! you will have a nice life with that income, very nice.

And welcome to the forums!

I know of condos in Cofresi that are on the beach completely furnished with maid & laundry service that you can rent for less than $1000. All you need to bring is your clothes. There's a restaurant next door that is an expat hangout so you'll be able to speak English. It is, however, real important to learn the language. No matter where you live in the world, is always best to be able to communicate in the local language. It is also nice to have a place to go where you can meet and spend time with people from your culture.
I wish you all the best. The DR is a beautiful place to live!

I read the post and just wanted to get updated information.  I am looking to move my wife and I to the Dominican Republic in about 2 years. I have an income of 2800. Is that enough to live there on? Also will we be able to live either on or by a beach? Lastly, Where would be a good place to reside?

Thank you,
Retired Navy Chief

Welcome to the forums Chief.....  Yes that will be enough to live a good lifestyle likely near the beach. On the beach is really  a tough one  - expensive and damages your home and electronics!   So, my advice is near the beach...... There are a lot of different choices here. You need to come down often to visit and check out different areas and choices to live.  This country is very diverse and some areas may suit you better then others.

Thank you for the quick response. Your tag says you as sit in planning moves such as these?

Not really,  its my nature to plan ahead.....  but happy to help you if I can.....

Chief  welcome to the forum. Lots of great folks here with good information, so please feel free to just ask away. Yes  you can live nicely on that here.

This is a big country and there are many different areas to consider. You should plan on a trip and spend a month or two exploring you options.

Bob K

OK thank you. So if we come to spend a month there to explore and find an area, will a hotel stay be the best course or are their other places?  also for a months stay, what would you estimate the cost to be for lodging, food, transportation etc? Finally, I there a company their that can show us a few places/homes

Thanks know you Bob K, I appreciate the insight. How long have you been there if you don't mind my asking

We have been living here on the north coast full time for over 9 years now. I would come and spend some time in the different areas that you are looking at, and not at an all inclusive resort, but in the towns you are interested in.

Bob K

Sounds great, but will there be places to aquire accommodation for a short period of time?

yes there are short term rentals all over the place

Bob K

Great, is there a way to get a list of them? I am not having much luck via the I ternet. It might be that I am searching wrong

No I don't have a list.  You need to first pick out places you want to visit then google apartments, hotels in that city.

Bob K

im t hinking of moving to the dominican republic. recently retired with $1500.00 a month social security. have  wife and 2 children, 10/16 ages. need a safe area with nice home. is that possible? dont want to work full time. any advice?

hows the real estate business in dominican republic? thinkn of retiring there and want to work at my leisure if possible. im licensed in California.

Welcome Chuck, no license required here honey. Its the wild wild west in real estate.

hows the real estate business in dominican republic? thinkn of retiring there and want to work at my leisure if possible. im licensed in California.

what about the frsncuse brokers such as Century 21

Same! no difference, they do not have to be licensed here, there is no license. Also no MLS.

No license, no MLS, no rules....

To work here legally you will need your residency and cedula.

Depending on lifestyle your budget of $1500 for the 4 of you will be very very very tight.

Bob K

is it easy to find work there?

the kids get social security from the deceased father. so 1500 for 2, how does that compute?

No its not easy to find work, its tough. And you need residencia and your cedula to work here.

Yes you need residency and cedula to work here legally.

Budget is still a bit tight.

Bob K

maybe I should rethk. $1500 for two not enough, could be a problem

Hello Bob, my husband and I are planning to retire in Cabarete in about 2 years, we are planning to buy a house and pay off that house, can a couple live on a income of 1,500 U$S dollars live on that income when the house is paid off?

Do you pay rent in that amount?

Do you pay rent in that amount?

$1500 a month living in cabaret will be tight no matter what and even tighter if paying rent or a mortgage.

Bob K

There are other areas  far less expensive if Cabarete is too much!  Check out other parts of the country.

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