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Dominican Republic

Is retirement to the DR a good idea??

Postby Kay » Fri 16 Feb 2007 19:19 GMT

Plenty what?

Anyway, I'm keeping out of this - the mention of transferring fifty bucks kinda put me off. :twisted:
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Retiring to the Domincan Republic

Postby governor52 » Sat 17 Feb 2007 22:24 GMT

Hello

I have been reading the contents of this forum with interest as I am also retiring from Her Majesties Prison Service in August (aged 55) and my wife and I are moving to the Cofresi area. We have made several visits and got married on the beach in January. (idylic). I have also been offered a job by EMI at Sunvillage resort, Cofresi.

Any help and advice, particularly with work permits and retaining old age pension rights in the UK would be most useful.

Ken
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Postby DRAddict » Sun 18 Feb 2007 03:31 GMT

Hello Ken & welcome to the DR forum!

Cofresi Eh?? - Just up the road apiece from us & a place I have some friends who own properties at. Are you intending living IN Cofresi or somewhere close to it? Hopefully you will be renting for a while until you get your feet under the table & learn your way round. Having a job offer already is a GREAT step up the ladder - I hope that comes to fruition for you as I recall MY initial job offers for hotels (just over 14 years ago) that actually turned out to be naught once I got here - Dominican wishful thinking by managers who couldn't complete .:roll: .......... Bless them!!

So when is the big day planned for? What answers do you need? Have you another trip across here due soon? I am due to the UK in May if you would like to have a brief person to person chat then! I shall be travelling in the south of Watford area basically - South Bucks (my old stomping ground), Warwickshire & Wiltshire (niece's wedding!!).

Feel free to ask what you want to know on here & I'll get back within a day or two to answer (unless it is a big golfing week in which case it might be 6 or 7 days!!). If you prefer to e-mail me then PM me first, give me your e-mail address & I will respond to that.

So, where are you in service? "She who must be Obeyed" (Ginnie) used to be in the probation service many years ago & then later taught mature students to be Social Workers in the High Wycombe area. I bet you two will have a lot to gas about especially when she starts telling you of her visiting to the local prison :oops: when we were supporting an American friend who was falsely imprisoned for 14 months! I think she noticed a wee difference between here & 'The Scrubs'.

I look forward to hearing from you & again ........ WELCOME. ~ Grahame.
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Re: Retiring to the Domincan Republic

Postby DRAddict » Sun 18 Feb 2007 04:02 GMT

governor52 wrote:Hello

Any help and advice, particularly with work permits and retaining old age pension rights in the UK would be most useful.
Ken


Sorry, forgot to answer THESE initial questions!!

Work permit is NOT necessary - you will doubtless be applying for your 'Temporary Residency' (lasts 12 months & then you apply for the Permanent Residency) & that will give you the right to work here. I can introduce you to some reasonable (& trustworthy) lawyers who can handle that for you - normally you go down that road after about 2 months here! What position has EMI offered you? Is it a full time job within security at the hotel or more a commission only position?

Old age pension rights will NOT be affected. Much more on that when you are here on your next visit as I hate advising on minimal information. I am 'Retired' now & am receiving MY income from investments we have made here. Once my OAP starts in October 2009 I shall be an even happier bunny than I am right now! :lol: 8) The one beef I have with the pensions people right now is that they do not pay the heating allowance to us!! We did apply for a air-conditioning allowance (especially when a member of the pensions dept came calling to our house for a social visit a couple of years ago) but that didn't seem to get much support for some reason! :wink:

Hope that answers the questions to your liking .......... next ones??? ~ Grahame.
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Postby governor52 » Sun 18 Feb 2007 13:23 GMT

Hello DRAddict
Thanks for the info.
I have been offered a job as a investment manager at SunVillage. We invested a small amount on whilst on holiday last year and have a good relationship with the management team. They have no english people on the team which is why they want me on board. To be honest we should be able to survive quite comfortably on my prison service pension in any case so I'm not overly concerned if it dosn't pan out as planned. We intend renting initially somewhere close to Colfresi. We are going to rent our house here which should more than cover rental over there.

I live in Lancashire but I am a southerner by birth. Have parents and siblings in Surrey and Sussex. I work for the security audit section of the service so visit jails all over the country. Means I live in hotels monday to friday.

We will not be back again before the big move so it will be good to try and have contact with you when you are in UK. Really need some guidance on getting personal gear over and best options for flights. Everywhere seems to offer only return tickets. Did you by return and just not use the return bit. The other thing is do you need to spend a set amount of time in UK or just maintain a bank account here.

I tried to PM you with my email address but it says it cannot do it becaus not a regular member.

Ken
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Postby DRAddict » Sun 18 Feb 2007 15:49 GMT

governor52 wrote:I tried to PM you with my email address but it says it cannot do it because not a regular member.

Sorry Ken, my fault - I should have remembered that 'New Member' restriction!! I am a resourceful fellow though & have obtained your e-mail address via a 'friend of a friend' whom you have already contacted on e-mail :lol: I will respond later today with any answers not covered here!

governor52 wrote:We will not be back again before the big move so it will be good to try and have contact with you when you are in UK.

That is a pity but I am sure a meeting in the UK will be possible. I'll give you some indication of my itinerary (when I know it) & hopefully we can set a date/time etc.

When IS the big day though?

governor52 wrote:Really need some guidance on getting personal gear over ...

We came with 3 suitcases the first day we moved (plus a Cavalier King Charles spaniel in his box) - other than that we just topped up on a subsequent visit. What is it that you NEED to bring?? New country, new environment, new LIFE, ........... why not leave all the clutter of years past back in the UK? OK, I know some things are essential to a person's needs in terms of memorabilia, but if you can shake as much of that off as possible & concentrate on basic, I think you will fine the move much less fretful!
Clothes???? You will not need the heavy duty stuff to keep out the cold!! Bring just light wear & top up with other stuff as & when you need it!
Electrical items are all 110 v. here so most that you have in UK will not work without a step up transformer ...... with the electrical syste here that is NOT a good idea - we tried it 14 years ago!!
Car?? Best to sell there & buy something bought here - S/H is sufficient (you need to get to know the Dominican way of driving first!!) & beats the hassle of trying to get something through Aduana (customs!!).
Nick-Nacks ....... These are just dust collectors & should be avoided as much as possible.
Favourite CD's, Favourite books, some cooking utensils not available here, small tools that are not 240 v (unless you have 220 v into the house you are renting) can all be left for when you make a trip back to UK or friends & family come visiting!!

Other than that, my advice is to basically "Forget it" - Sell & buy new!! Bringing a container load in free of tax is an entitlement in law once you have started the 'Residency' process - regrettably the Aduana boys do not always recognise the law & will make excuses as to what THEY consider should be covered by 'FREE entry' & those they feel they can charge you on. This lack of clear rules & understanding does cause a lot of problems when negotiating with them - believe me!!

governor52 wrote:.... best options for flights. Everywhere seems to offer only return tickets. Did you by return and just not use the return bit.

The DR has NO restrictions that dictate you must have a return ticket. This is a misconception put on by the Airline companies. That said however, getting a one way seat OUT of the DR can be difficult & two way expensive, so you might like to look at a schedule flight with American Airlins, Virgin, Continental which gives you the right to delay &/or change return dates over a 12 month period (sometimes longer). Less expensive airlines via a European connection appeal to us as this means we do not have to suffer the beaurocracy regularly encountered in the US terminals. Het flight flies from Brussels, Martinair flies from Amsterdam.


governor52 wrote:The other thing is do you need to spend a set amount of time in UK or just maintain a bank account here.

If you are referring here to your rights as a UK Passport holder in terms of Taxes, Pensions, Social Services & National Health ....... you will need to study the papers put out by those individual Departments. Will you fit the 'Resident but normally domiciled' or the 'Non Resident' category?? The choice you make (as a result of your circumstances) could affect your tax position quite a lot & an accountant would be a good idea to get friendly with.

Do you speak Spanish already? If not, please do learn some as quickly as possible. You CAN get by with English & pointing, but it is far easier to integrate if you know the language. You don't have to be fluent (heck, I am not after 14 years here) but making the attempt to speak Spanish goes a long way to becoming more accepted by the Dominicans. It also means you get fleeced less often :lol:

Will get back by e-mail so you have MY e-mail address a bit later today! ~ Grahame.
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Postby governor52 » Sun 18 Feb 2007 16:50 GMT

Hello Grahame
You are an absolute jem. One thing I need to know which is high on the priority list is about pets. My other half dotes on our two cats and wants to bring them with us. As you did it with a dog it can clearly be done so lots more info please.

We are both learning spanish in preparation. Sue is going to take lessons with the lady who translated our wedding documents. Unfortunately, I work away from home so I have got a computer programme to use in the hotel at night.

Your advice about goods and chatels confirm what we were going to do anyway. And I have seen the driving over there so know the problems and definately won't be bringing my car.

I retire officially on 4th August and we are planning the move at end August beginning September.

I look forward to email chats. Just be aware I am away from home Monday to Friday and don't have access to email. I gather you got an email address from she who must be obeyed. When you contact me I will give you my hotmail account and if you use that during the week Sue can reply on my behalf.

Ken
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Postby DRAddict » Mon 19 Feb 2007 04:00 GMT

Hello Ken,
As stated in my e-mail earlier, this is being posted here in case some of the information it contains might prove educational for others thinking of coming to live here in the DR!

Bringing cats IS possible but you must check with each airline first. I recall American Airlines, Continental & Virgin put restrictions on for Merengue (our Cavalier KC) which meant we could not leave until November!! Something about the possibility of confusion in transit & animals getting too hot if left on the runway in error!! If they are put in the forward hold (under the pilot’s seat) then heating will not be a problem – further back & they have to switch heating on for the whole trip. If the flight is NOT fully booked, sometimes they will allow small animals to travel in the main cabin, so check that possibility too.

There are numerous Ministry of Agriculture legalities you have to submit to – you had best check this with your Vet. IF you have serious problems, let me know & I’ll put you in touch with Judy who runs a kennels here & goes to the airport regularly to check animals in. For the time being, it is best handled by your own vet for the prescribed jabs & documentation.

Make sure the Spanish you are learning is LATIN AMERICAN Spanish & not the Spanish, Spanish!! There are no ’ths’ where there should be ‘S’s’, so Casa IS casa & not Catha!! Don’t worry too much about grammar, the Dominicans don’t!! Try to learn words because when Dominicans speak, you will have to recognize words & then put them into sense by interpreting what is being said. One of the best ways to learn is by finding the words pf everyday items in the dictionary, writing the correct AND phonetic spelling on to a sticky paper & then saying that word every time you pass it. 10 new words a day & inside a month you know 300 words!! That is 280 more than I knew when we first came here!!

You are correct – I did get your e-mail address from ‘She who must be Obeyed’. Your e-mail to her had both addresses on it so I am replying to both now (Hi Sue – nice to speak to the pretty one in the family too!!). Ginnie is my “Other Half” (the intelligent half) & we moved out here together from South Buckinghamshire. If you found those articles of Ginnie’s interesting, ypu can probably fine the links to others by going on to www.casabush.org – something we are slowly putting together for people interested in moving out here. The one thing you MIGHT enjoy is the weekly summary of Dominican North Coast news!

Right, that’s it for this epistle – I am off for a long bath & early morning now. It is 23.50 now & by the time I get this up onto British Ex-Pat, it will be after midnight. This does constitute an early night for us I know, but I am Na ……….............. very tired!! ~ Grahame.
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Postby Mad.Les » Thu 1 Mar 2007 23:12 GMT

hi Ken,
your possibly aware but there is a show at the ExCel centre in docklands in London from 30th March to 1st April.. Its run by C4 TV called 'A Place In The Sun' , there are lots of seminars and advice for FREE... including the departments you need to chat to ie pensions, tax etc.. If this is of interest to you there is a discount on the £10 entry ticket, all you need to do is quote the promotional code BKC and a second ticket is free..
check it out at www.aplaceinthesunlive.com or phone 0870 040 0071


So why have you decided on Cofresi ?

Les
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Postby governor52 » Fri 2 Mar 2007 06:52 GMT

Hello Les

Thanks for the info about the show. I was aware of it but not sure if I can attend becuase of work committments.

The reason for Cofresi is because that is where the job offer is. We have stayed at the SunVillage Resort several times and love that part of the coast. We will probably settle in Puerto Platta area rather than actually in Cofresi, but certainly in that vicinity. We are going to have a lastminute.com week on 30th April to have a look at properties before our big move in August/September.

I hear you are going out shortly. Hope you have a great time (he says through gritted teeth, dead jealous)

Grahame has my email addresses so if you want to communicate that way you can. Perhaps we can meet up when you get back and swap thoughts and ideas.

Speak to you soon
Ken
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Postby DRAddict » Wed 7 Mar 2007 17:05 GMT

Well, I met with 'The Big Man' & his lovely wife yesterday. We went first to the school where they handed over all their goodies INCLUDING 3 baseball gloves (just WHERE do you find those in the UK??). They had a wee tour of the school & met the director but I suspect they were more entranced by the kids in their lovely clean uniforms!!

After this we went down to the Fire Station & met 'the lads' plus the Colonel Fire-chief. There was a small 'demonstration' on in town yesterday somewhere (we didn't see it so it MUST have been small) so the 'Press Corps' I had invited along had to attend that rather than come take photos & interview Les, so I am unable to put photos up yet - I'll leave that for Les to do later!!

A quick trip round the port area & then on to the shops to be able to put a pair of shorts on to the lad!! Hey this guy is even cheaper than ME!!! He negotiated a decent looking pair for just about £3.00!! My reputation as Mr. Cheapy Cheapy of Puerto Plata has just taken a SEVERE knocking!! :oops:

We then had a quick drink in a Sea Front cafe before checking out a couple of 'possible' areas for future house purchase & then it was back home to meet 'She who must be Obeyed'! A very enjoyable time for us to meet people who are a tad more intelligent & interesting than most of the 'Malaga/Benidorm' brigade that visit the All-Inclusive hotels here!!

I finally got them back to the hotel around 4.00 pm - just in time for 'happy hour' or whatever it is they celebrate in hotels at 4.00 pm these days!!

Today they are viewing houses with a couple of local Realtors (Estate Agents to us Brits!!) but they have strict instructions NOT to buy anything no matter HOW appealing it might appear!

If Les doesn't come on before ........... more to follow on Friday!! ~ Grahame.
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Postby DRAddict » Fri 9 Mar 2007 05:48 GMT

Well it is now Friday (albeit 01.40) & it officially Mad Les's birthday!!

Happy Birthday Les

Grahame & Ginnie
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Birthday Boy

Postby governor52 » Fri 9 Mar 2007 16:11 GMT

Hello folks.

Happy Birthday Les, Hope you have/had a great day. Get Grahame to give you my email address and we can chat when you get back.

Grahame, just a quick question while I am here. Do you recommend we come over on a tourist visa and then apply for temporary residence when we get there or do the business over here first. Not sure which is easiest. Can't remember if I told you or not but we will be coming over for a week on 28th April for a look round at properties etc. Can you recommend a decent B&B (or equivelent) we can stay at in Puerto Plata as we can probably get a cheap flight only deal. Hope you enjoy the intelligent conversation with Les and his Lady.

Ken & Sue
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Postby DRAddict » Fri 9 Mar 2007 17:07 GMT

Hello Ken & Sue,
Yes ..... definitely come over on the Tourist Visa & then progress to temporary Residencia once you are here. This process should be started after about a month (maybe two) & will cost you (here) around US $1,200 each (might be a discount if you apply for both of you at the same time!). The process will take about 4 months to get the Residencia card but once you have put the papers in to the lawyer & been issued with a Reference number from Imigracion, you are perfectly legal.

B & B's are not common over here but a small hotel (ApartHotel Lomar for instance) would cost about US $30 per night. My advice would be to look for the 'Last Minute stay anywhere in Puerto Plata All Inclusive' deal as overall this would work out cheaper for you. Once you are in the hotel complex for two weeks, you can look round as to what suits YOU best!. I have a 2/3 B/R house in mind for you (US $750 per month plus utilities) but YOU need to make sure it meets your needs & specifications!!

Flight only deal might cost you £400 per person. Food & lodging in a small hotel would be a further £540 which (divided by two) would mean cost per person around £670. A 'last minute' deal at less than that would be beneficial to your bank balance!! Keep me informed & I will advise accordingly. If you decide on Flight Only I will chose a suitable room for a couple of nights then show you alternatives once you are here - I will also of course, pick you up from the airport & deliver you to the hotel I chose!

Don't tell him I said so but Les is a great guy & will be a good addition to the Ex-Pat community here. Alison (his Lady) is of the same mold ...... just a lot prettier!! ~ Grahame.
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May I join in!

Postby Shaz » Tue 13 Mar 2007 12:14 GMT

Hello DRaddict and all whose post I have been reading through with interest. I wasn't sure if this was the right conversation to join or not as we are talking a sort of semi-retirement. I say semi-retirement as we both know we could never do nought all day!!

Firstly a bit of background. We have recently returned from a 2 week all inclusive staying at the Bahia Principe San Juan. (We chose Bahia Principe as we have visited there Tenerife property 4 years running). Now at this point I know you're rolling your eyeballs saying 'Oh no not another lot making a decision on a 2 week all inclusive holiday'!!! You'll be pleased to hear we'd never be that stupid. We will never make a definite decision until we have returned and done an exceptional amount of research. We have however been looking for a place to move to for quite a few years, never actually agreeing on anywhere, or feeling like it would be right for us.

Up until a few years ago, I worked in the travel industry for 22 years. This gave me the opportunity to visit the most amazing destinations in the world, Barbados, Mauritius, Bahamas, USA, Africa (I grew up there from age 6 to 24), but to name a few. However I have never in all my travels, fallen in love with a place and it's people the way I did in DR. My husband and 2 daughters felt exactly the same. He has owned a property in Florida before, and moved around living in Cyprus, Paris and a few others I can't recall as a child. I was born in Derby, emigrated with parents to South African at the age of 6, educated there and eventually followed my family back to the UK at the age of 25.

None of us wanted to leave the DR. Our second week went so slow, we all said it felt like home, and we were made to feel like family by some of the locals we met! My eldest daughter (18) has already applied for a job over there. She has realised there is nothing for her future here in the UK and wants out. It was only once we got home and watched 'Place in the Sun' on Sunday & it was about DR. (We never watch it, we were just flicking through the chanels, and there it was.) It was like fate, as the day before I'd just been looking through some websites and accidentally come across details on retirement in the DR. So after all this, we have decided and agree at long last on where we want to go. So I am at the very early stages of my research. At present we are getting our business valued as that's the first thing we need to get rid of. We've had enough for a long time. We own a 7 vehicle coach company and the red tape is just making it harder and harder.

The reason I'm contacting you, is we still have a 13year old from my first marriage. I have looked into a Private School in Sosua which sounds very good. I don't yet understand the grade system as we have Year 1 - Year 11 here and as you know they finish somewhere between the ages of 16 and 17. I will be contacting them directly for more information. Had she been younger I would definitely have considered putting her into a Spanish speaking school, but as this is a detrimental time in her education, I think it only fair that she concentrates on getting good grades without having a language problem. I'm sure she'll be fluent in after 6 months there anyway. My big dilemma is that she has her aims set on being a dance professional or in that industry. At present she does 3 or 4 dance classes per week after school, ie. ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop. Ballet and Modern are at exam level as she needs certificates to get into a Performance or Dance College when she completes her GCSE's. I have tried to search on the web for dance classes in the DR but to no avail. Do they have any such Dance schools? If not we may have to postpone our intended move away from the UK to 3 and a half years further down the line or put her into a perfoming arts boarding school over here. I do not like the idea of either of those options. I don't mind her returning to the UK or USA once she's completed her education to attend these special colleges. But right now, I like having her around too much. She really want s to move to the DR as well.

You always ask if people speak Spanish. I speak Afrikaans (like Dutch), French, Italian, Minimal amount of German & Portuguese. None are completely fluent anymore, however, I can get by when necessary. I love the Spanish language and Try my best when in Spanish speaking countries, but I've never had lessons (which I'm now hoping to start after the Easter hols). With my tongue for languages, I can't see me having a problem. David on the other hand does not have a tongue for languages so I'm hoping he'll join me in the lessons.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, especially regading the dance schools as at present I'm finding that my biggest stumbling block.

Regards
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