Guyana is one of the most unspoken treasures still in existence. It’s also one of the only mainland territories regarded as part of the Caribbean, and since so many people have never heard of it, Guyana receives very few tourists.
Guyana is a country covered with unspoiled rainforests. The people are very inviting, and the towns are filled with cultural history. Visas are easily obtained, and costs are relatively low. Since the country is not well known, there are very few tourists to spoil the natural habitat.
Many Americans have decided to retire in the awe-inspiring country of Guyana because it has a low living cost, the people are welcoming and friendly, and if you love nature, Guyana consists of sixty percent rainforest. Here are a few things you need to know to retire in this beautiful country.
Is Guyana A Good Place To Retire?
This country on the northeastern coast of South America has a relaxed, Caribbean feel, and people are especially neighborly. The country is incredibly diverse, with multiple ethnic influences from Indian, African, Dutch, and Chinese, to name but a few. Their major religions are Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, and the cuisine is made up of a mixture of all of the denominations. However, Guyanese people do not identify as one specific race. They consider themselves all part of a mixed culture under the Guyanese umbrella.
Guyana also consists of some of the last and largest parts of unspoiled rainforest and the tallest single-drop waterfall on earth, the Kaieteur Falls. But even though Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the world, they are rich in culture, and the people will make you feel right at home.
Check Is Guyana a good place for US citizens to retire? if you want to know about what this country has to offer you.
What Language Do They Speak In Guyana?
Guyana is one of the only English-speaking countries in South America with strong influences on Creole. The pronunciation might be rough for most people to understand, but British English is taught in school. Communicating with the locals should be easy since the Guyanese people have adopted several U.S. phrases.
Main Things To Consider When You Want To Retire In Guyana?
Planning your retirement in Guyana will require a substantial bit of preparation. Here are three main areas you need to pay attention to:
If you wish to retire in Guyana, you must ensure you are financially secure enough to make this move. To qualify as a retired person in Guyana, a person must receive an income of not less than 2,000 USD from a pension fund or any other source of income. Some retirees invest in property, commodities, or even art in Guyana to provide additional revenue streams.
Guyana’s healthcare system is better than most other Caribbean countries but still inadequate compared to western countries. The government of Guyana has a universal healthcare system that allows Guyanese citizens to use the services at no cost. However, the medical services are limited, and if you can afford them, you should seek help from one of the private facilities in the country. It is recommended that ex-pats purchase private medical insurance before moving to Guyana. Most patients seek medical care for serious inflictions in other countries like the United States or Cuba.
The crime level in Guyana is still problematic. However, there has been a decrease in the overall crime rate in the last three years. Felonies like armed robberies, muggings, assaults, and rapes are still recurring events. Before you retire in Guyana, choose a residence in a secure neighborhood or a fenced village with guards to safeguard your property. Another area you will need to be vigilant with is on the road. The country’s administration has not yet developed the traffic infrastructure properly, and accidents are common, especially with minibusses.
What Are The Best Places To Live In Guyana?
Around ninety percent of Guyana’s population resides in and around the coastal areas since about three-quarters of the country is forested. There are multiple lakes in the remainder of the country. The best and safer towns to settle down in are Georgetown, Linden, and New Amsterdam. Here is why.
After discovering oil off the coast of Guyana in 2015, housing prices in Guyana started to rise, especially in the capital city of Georgetown that is situated at the mouth of the Demerara River. The majority of the houses are made from wood or cement blocks and have running water and intermittent electricity. Since Guyana is so close to the equator, the country has a fairly constant tropical climate and high humidity with heavy rainfall in the late afternoon. The city lies about one meter below sea level, and excess water is drained from the town to the sea by a network of canals with sluices. The town is also located closest to the national airport of Guyana and is the main commercial and manufacturing centre of the country. It has a population of around 130,000 people.
Linden is the second-largest city in Guyana after Georgetown and lies further inland, south of the capital on the Demerara River. This predominant mining town has a population of about 27,000 and boasts numerous museums and cultural sites. Linden is considered by far the best place to live since residents of Linden receive some preferential treatment in the country. Electricity is extremely cheap and largely subsidized by the government, and on certain toll roads, Lindener owned vehicles are excluded from paying a toll fee.
Another one of Guyana’s largest towns is the vintage town of New Amsterdam. This quaint town generally has more rainfall than some of the other parts of Guyana and is situated on the eastern bank of the Berbice River, about four mi (6 km) from the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. The town has about 17,000 residents and exhibits many old buildings from Dutch colonial times. There is also a government-operated hospital and an international port. From New Amsterdam, you will find the Berbice Bridge that directly connects it with Georgetown to the northwest.
What Visa Do You Need To Enter Guyana?
U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Guyana for up to ninety days without a visa. However, if you are an ex-pat who intends to retire in the country, you will need a residence permit that only remains valid for one year and a maximum of three years. After twelve months, you can apply for citizenship through naturalization. The application will only be approved if you have resided in the country for five years, are of good character, and intend to stay in Guyana.
What is the weather like in Guyana?
The weather in Guyana is a constant 23 deg C to 30 deg C / 73.5 deg F to 84.5 deg F throughout the whole year with no real change in summer or winter. The water temperature for swimming is a nice and warm 28 deg C or 82 deg F all year around which means there will be no time in the year where the water is not suitable for swimming.
This would seem the perfect weather but the humidity is around 80% all year around. This means it can be quite humid similar to most tropical areas.
TIPS: Having lived in high humidity areas myself it normally takes your body about a year to acclimatise to the weather and then you will not feel it so much. In high humidity areas clothes on the line don’t dry as quick in the shade but will dry in 30 mins in the sun. Also instead of an air conditioner you can use a dehumidifier instead that will make things cooler at a fraction of the electricity cost.
What Is The Cost Of Living In Guyana?
Living costs in Guyana are much less than in the United States, but items are hard to come by. On average, a couple will manage on a monthly cost of about $928 USD, including rent. This is due to many factors but including lower food costs and restaurant prices as well as low utility and other monthly living expenses.
Here is a table of typical bills in Guyana:
|Utilities (Electricity & Gas)||$84 USD|
|Internet (30Mbs)||$40 USD|
|Petrol (1 Gallon / 3.8 L)||$4 USD|
|Rent – 3 bed / 2 bath / 2 car||$520 USD|
|Mobile Phone||$20 USD|
|Meal for 2 in a decent restaurant||$30 USD|
|Monthly Transport||$30 USD|
Can I Buy Real Estate In Guyana?
If you wish to invest in property, it should cost you approximately $30,000 USD to build or buy a house, roughly $1,000 to $3,000 USD per square meter or $100 to $300 USD per square foot. Renting a furnished house will be between $280 to $520 USD per month, depending on which area you choose to live.
Whether you are buying or renting there are options for all budgets in Guyana. If you are looking for something really cheap then you can go to facebook marketplace. Change your filter to Guyana and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales. Remember prices will be in local Guyanaese Dollar.
While you will find places to buy there you will be dealing directly with the homeowner. As with buying any property in any country make sure you get the right legal advice prior to purchase to make sure the paperwork is in order.
It is always safer for buying or long term leases to go through a real estate agent instead and I have taken the liberty to list a few for you to look at below. They will tell you about local laws and fees and taxes that may be involved.
Here are some real estates that you can look at prices for in El Salvador:
NOTE: If you are searching on google maps for real estates in El Savador then use the word Inmobiliario.
What Are The Taxes In Guyana?
Foreigners living in Guyana for 183 days or more are considered tax residents under Guyanese tax law. This means they will be liable to pay tax on their worldwide income on a scale from between 28% to 40% but will be entitled to an allowance of 780,000 GYD or a third of their income. However, non-residents are not taxed on the income they receive from enterprises outside Guyana. If you receive income from a Guyanese origin, the tax will be deducted at the source, and you will not have to submit tax returns. The Guyanese tax year is similar to the U.S., and you must file your tax returns before April 30th.
Culture In Guyana.
- Sport. The main celebrated sport in Guyana is cricket, basketball, and football, of which cricket is the most popular. Guyana doesn’t have a national cricket team but plays as part of the West Indies team.
- Theatre. Music, theatre, and film are very active in Guyana. Some of the most famous musicians from this country include Eddy Grant, Charmayne Maxwell, and Ram John Holder.
- Cuisine. With so many ethnic origins, the nation prides itself on a multitude of unique dishes and flavors.
On the northeast coast of South America is one of the best-kept secrets in the world, a country called Guyana. The people will make you feel part of their community, and the untouched nature surrounding the towns is breathtaking. You’ll be able to enjoy your retirement like it’s always meant to be.
Here Are Some Other Great Places You Can Retire On A Budget
Here are some other places with similar low costs of living that are safe and offer great lifestyles with large expat communities that you might want to consider looking at.
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