I will give you my breakdown. We have a 3 bedroomed house. I have spent 173 days here this year and the other bedrooms are occupied mostly only at holiday time i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc. We have a small pool and although we have 7 aircos we are very frugal with them and like Tom & Karen we encourage the nice breeze to cool the house rather than run the aircos.
Here are our costs for this year 2009 (12 months)
Security:$660+ Maintenance contract $123
Pool maint $800
House taxes $1060
House insurance $946
Septic pumped $80/time
We have a small car and there are costs associated with that. As for food, expect to pay about the same as you do where you live now, maybe a little less if you are in the States. I'm from Canada so the costs are basically the same.
Thanks. That's very helpful. Yes, right now I'm in the states. It's a hard decision for me to decide if this will be worth my while. I still find it hard to get certain information. People have given me lots of good advice. However, I am not certain where I stand if I am retired with tax-free income. If I am able to stay 6 months or longer-do I have to pay into the country's medical system. If so, although I have my own insurance, will I be entitled to use the country's medical? Or, do I need to rely on my own insurance?
Do you have a list of the companies that provide excellent services for mail forwarding?
I know this seems like a silly question! I know that with palm trees, there must be coconuts. However, does Aruba grow Bananas? How about Mango, and other fruits/vegetables that require lots of sun? Example Oranges, Lemons.....
Are there any fruit stands in Aruba, or, would I have to go to grocery to purchase?
As for fruit growers here, no there are none. This is a desert island
and the cost of water makes it too expensive to grow anything like
that that needs a lot of water. Some people in their yards and having
an irrigation system grow lemons, mangoes and other fruits but you
will not find them at the stands. Fruit is brought in from the US and
I will make my decision in the next month or two if I will try to move there or Europe. I will, however, consider taking a vacation there just to see what it's like. My usual vacation spots have been Puerto Rico and Cayman Islands, and of course, Europe (Germany and Italy).
I'd like to thank everyone for their input and help.
I'd say that cars are more expensive than in North America.
If you're looking for a second hand car this link might give you an idea, just remember that the prices are in AWG. http://www.4salearuba.com/
Second hand cars are often offered for sale parked along the roadside. I bought my second hand car after seeing it parked with a sign "4sale" at the stadium. When I couldn't get it to start after being off the Island for a couple of months I caller the seller to ask if she had a mechanic she could recommend. He boyfriend came to help, started the car and even put air in the tyres.