Mexico is synonymous with retirement but does not offer entrepreneurs, investors, and families what it once did. Today, the best Plan B and retirement strategy lies in the Caribbean.

Especially as an American retirement strategy, Mexico is a country whose location, beaches, and tourism have made it a familiar retirement staple. But, this is primarily because the cost of living is better than in the US inner-city.

Thus, Mexico is the perfect retirement strategy for US citizens living off social security and Brits with nothing more than a pension. 

For those retirees, retirement planning focuses more on the cost of living and simply making their monthly check go as far as possible. 

However, for entrepreneurs, investors, business owners, and families that demand a lifestyle that is more synonymous with living than retiring, the Caribbean is where to go. 

Retirement strategy – Mexico vs the Caribbean

In the United States, Florida was the original go-to destination for elderly Americans switching into retirement mode. 

With the onset of digital nomads and remote work, retirement transformed into an earlier life stage and was no longer the province of the 70+ club – Americans began to remote-retire in their late 50s and early 60s, and Mexico became the upgraded choice.

Likewise, in the pre-Brexit era, Brits enjoyed the freedom to retire quickly and luxuriously in Spain. 

However, thanks to the British decision to go with Brexit, the only direct and easy pathway to a post-Brexit life in Spain is to leverage the power of the Spanish Golden Visa.

So, the number of British pensioners has also been on the rise in Mexico – but that is not the only thing on the rise in Mexico.

More importantly, as remarkable as Mexico was, over the past decade, the cartels have expanded their grips to encompass all of Mexico. Now, the cartel violence has spread into areas that were once off limits to such activity – namely, the regions favored by expat retirees.

So, as great as Mexico once was and may still offer some options for those who prefer the Pacific climate over the Atlantic climate, the best retirement planning focuses not south of the US border but in the middle of Europe and the United States – the Caribbean Five.

The Caribbean Five is the name given to the British Commonwealth countries of:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia

These Caribbean countries rival Mexico—as well as most of Central and South America—with their stunning natural backdrops and quaint coastal cities that provide the ultimate retirement experience. 

But they go beyond that, as it isn’t all about sandy beaches and crystal clear water; the Caribbean Five are the intelligent and investment-forward choice for retirees who want to live carefree and get the best value for money – by investing it and preserving it for generations. 

Granted, various factors make a destination “retirement-worthy.” So, with over thirty years of global leadership and experience in global citizenship and residency, Astons is here to assist. 

Climate

One of the first things retirees consider when looking into a retirement abroad is the weather. 

Very few people desire a retirement in foggy or rainy cities, and the vast majority like to spend their time in places where they can enjoy the luxuries of life – through a region’s natural beauty and its amenities.

Both Mexico and the Caribbean can offer this. 

However, Mexico is a big place with a broader range of climates than the Caribbean. The arid, desert, and mountainous areas are much less desirable than the shoreline. Yet, the coastal regions are also saturated with tourists most of the year.

Caribbean islands have a more constant, tropical climate that remains year-round in terms of temperature and weather. 

This stable, enjoyable climate makes the Caribbean Five a far superior choice over Mexico for those who have good weather as a top priority.

Unlike Mexico, the Caribbean Five only offer an Atlantic lifestyle—the Northern Atlantic being the warmest and most comfortable waters. The Pacific is among the colder offerings and is prone to rain—which is what you get along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.

But, for retirees that want it all – the Caribbean Five is the place to be.

Luxury vs economy lifestyles

For Americans living off social security, the US is undoubtedly very expensive, especially in big cities like Miami and Los Angeles. 

The same is true for Brits living on a pension, especially for those living anywhere close to London. 

In travel terms, Mexico is the economy option and their best choice.

However, in today’s world, retirement is not about ending one life and beginning another but about ridding yourself of the waste and enjoying all of your successes.

The Caribbean Five provides a far superior level of lifestyle. Not only do they offer the luxury that a successful retiree demands, but they also level up their lifestyle to a degree where that luxury is their new standard. 

Taxing your retirement

Taxation is a critical concern for anyone looking to make an international move – especially for American retirees. 

For US citizens, taxation will follow wherever you go around the globe, so choosing a low-tax jurisdiction and understanding Double Taxation protections is vital to preserving wealth and other potential sources of income.

Mexico falls miserably short in this category, as its progressive income tax system can reach highs of 35%. Coupled with the US tax requirement, Mexico’s framework can be very detrimental.

And, with the constant attacks by the UK government on their Non-Dom tax program, the future is not very bright for British retirees in Mexico either.

The Caribbean Five, on the other hand, provides a much better alternative—simply stated, they are among the best tax havens in the world.

The countries are a zero-tax environment on global income, wealth, capital gains, and inheritance.

This allows foreign retirees to structure their tax situation far more strategically. It doesn’t matter if a Double Taxation agreement exists or not – there is no income tax.

This is a monumental advantage for US citizens who are contemplating renouncing their US citizenship as part of their retirement strategy.

However, renunciation requires having another citizenship – once again, the Caribbean wins. 

Retirement strategy wealth management – A Caribbean forte

The most important element of a modern retirement strategy is that it is not simply a stage of life; it is a generational investment. 

The era where retirees spend their savings to survive is long gone.

Modern retirement is an investment strategy, and successful entrepreneurs, investors, and families know it includes far more than themselves – it echoes for generations to come. 

In fact, for many, the ‘retirement years’ are the most advantageous time for them to preserve and expand their wealth through investments, financial planning tools, and global citizenship solutions. 

Thus, a genuine retirement strategy needs to leverage domestic and international [including offshore] banking opportunities. 

Mexico does offer a robust financial services sector, which includes global giants such as HSBC and Spain’s BBVA. 

However, to put Mexico’s banking system into perspective, the US retail giant Walmart [known as Asda in the UK] is a major player.

Mexico’s high tax regime and regulatory complexity can make wealth management more of a headache than a strategy.

Also, the constant fluctuation of the Mexican Peso is another critical concern.

When it comes to banking, the Caribbean Five thrives in this area.

These countries have booming financial sectors aligned to work with foreign investors – especially those with Caribbean citizenship. Offshore bank accounts, resilient trusts, flexible LLCs, and estate management firms are some wealth management solutions readily available in the Caribbean.

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the currency throughout the Caribbean Five, is pegged to the US Dollar, making it much more stable than the Mexican Peso. 

This makes financial planning in the Caribbean much more strategic and beneficial, especially with larger estates and creating generational wealth to pass on to descendants.  

Healthcare

Healthcare is essential for everyone and a primary concern for retirees.

Mexico and the Caribbean offer excellent healthcare infrastructures, but Mexico, due to its larger size, has more variance in quality depending on where a person lives and your expat insurance.

Waiting times for procedures and appointments in Mexico are also longer on average due to the higher demand and a smaller private healthcare system.

The Caribbean Five is a different story, however. 

Grenada, for example, boasts an outstanding healthcare facility in St George’s Hospital. The hospital has massive funding and backing from local and international sources and is the lynchpin in Grenada’s medical tourism sector.

The Caribbean – as a whole – offers better healthcare costs than the US and maintains a high level of overall quality.

With Caribbean citizenship, the second passport offers access to not only domestic private healthcare solutions but also the ability to easily travel to other Caribbean destinations.

This can be an additional advantage for US citizens who utilize the VA, the United States Veterans healthcare system. 

The Caribbean VA Healthcare System has numerous locations around the Caribbean, but there are no VA facilities in Mexico. 

Legal Status – Easy living vs visa-jumping 

One of—if not the most—vital factors to consider when looking into retirement destinations is what legal status you intend to use to live on and how easy it is for you to get it; sadly, this is commonly overlooked and can lead to a bad overall experience.

Regardless of why you are relocating abroad, residing in a foreign country requires obtaining legal status in the form of residency or citizenship to do so. 

There is no competition between the Caribbean Five and Mexico in this area.

As US citizens are provided a 6-month entry stay in Mexico, many Americans resort to visa-jumping and simply leave Mexico several times a year and return to restart their 6-month clock. 

As seen recently, that is not a viable option if borders were to close and you were on the wrong side at the wrong time. 

A person can obtain permanent residency in Mexico through investment or savings – and as of January 2024, the required minimum amount is nearly $300,000 [approx. £240K or €280K]. 

Proof of income is another option and requires a minimum monthly income of nearly $7,500 [approx. £6000 or €7000]. 

But, you need to genuinely ask yourself and compare those numbers to what you would get with the Caribbean Five and its citizenship by investment solutions. 

The Caribbean Five offers citizenship by investment [CBI] programs that allow entrepreneurs, investors, and families to become citizens by donating to a government fund or through a real estate investment.

The donation options—which are all ESG-focused—start at $100,000. The previously mentioned state-of-the-art hospital in Grenada utilized its ESG-focused National Transformation Fund.

The various real estate options begin at $200,000, and, depending upon the country, range from hotel shares to traditional home ownership. 

Thus making the Caribbean Five a superior investment and retirement choice.

The Caribbean Five programs offer a retirement solution with citizenship benefits [not limited to]:

  • An economy pegged to the USD
  • An unparalleled luxury lifestyle
  • A second passport
  • An alternative legal identity
  • A Plan B that can be activated long before retirement if necessary
  • Enhanced global mobility
  • Passive income opportunities while waiting to retire
  • Offshore banking with citizenship protections
  • The option to renounce your native citizenship – if so desired
  • Genuine tax havens

Caribbean citizenship by investment programs offer an investment and retirement strategy that doesn’t take years to establish. These programs operate very streamlined, with processing times ranging from two to eight months.

Thus, there is always time to make the Caribbean Five your retirement solution.

The Caribbean CBI programs allow retirees to reside as citizens and access all the related privileges and rights, making their retirement experience much easier and more enjoyable. 

This critical element of a retirement strategy, alone, puts the Caribbean Five above Mexico and essentially any other option in the Western Hemisphere. 

The Caribbean Five is the optimal retirement destination.

Astons – Your strategy partner for global citizenship success

The citizenship by investment industry originates in the Caribbean and maintains the world’s best and most effective programs to this day.

Additionally, Astons has been a central part of that history and evolution and remains an official partner and provider for all the Caribbean Five programs.

For those seeking to level up their retirement strategy to the Caribbean luxury edition, schedule a Free Confidential and Comprehensive Consultation with Astons today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Quality of Life compare between the Caribbean Five and Mexico?

There is not much of a comparison to be made.

The Caribbean Five are islands, thus they do not have the vast geographic space that Mexico has.

Meaning, the lifestyle is very much a standard regardless of where you choose to live on the island – a lifestyle of unmatched luxury.

The Caribbean Five are essentially crafted specifically for a community who not only expect the best, but demand it.

Simply stated, in the Western Hemisphere, the Caribbean Five provide a Quality of Life that is among the best that can be found.

In Mexico, if you are not investing in a tourist-related zone, they regardless of how much you spend on a property, you will still essentially be using the infrastructure that the locals have at their disposal.

It is possible to create your own luxury microcosm in Mexico – if never leaving your house is your goal.

How does the process of permanent residency in Mexico compare to the Caribbean CBI programs?
How does the property process compare between the Caribbean Five and Mexico?
What about maintaining the property?
What happens if I change my mind about where I want to retire?