The Top 7 Benefits of Americans Retiring in Puerto Rico

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: March 23, 2024
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Life in the United States isn’t what it used to be. Things are getting more expensive and the political climate is becoming too broken. you’re trying to see where you can go to retire. Many people have this dream of picking up their entire lives and moving to another country. That could be your dream too. Mexico is the most popular country for Americans to move to, but there is a territory that is part of the United States that is also an attractive option. Located in the Caribbean, its cultural vibe and how people lead their lives are so much different than how Americans live. Let’s take a look at why the island of Puerto Rico is a good idea to retire to. We’ll explore the top seven benefits of Americans retiring in Puerto Rico.

Beautiful Weather

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has amazing weather throughout the entire year, which means that you hardly will be cold during winter.

©Radames Valentin/iStock via Getty Images

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean, and as such, it has a tropical climate that visitors crave. The winters are warm, and in fact, the average temperatures are usually around 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. What does this mean? No more cold winters and huddling up inside because it’s January. You will be able to hit the beach or do more outdoor activities all year long.

Amazing Landscapes

Puerto Rico San Juan beach vacation destination

Puerto Rico is filled with amazing sceneries and landscapes that will make you think you’re on vacation 24/7.

©Maridav/iStock via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has it all. If you are a nature lover, then this is the place to be. You can hike gorgeous tropical mountains but also spend time at the beach working on your tan. And because Puerto Rico is an island with miles and miles of coastline, you can do all sorts of sea activities, too. These beautiful landscapes only become more captivating because of the sunny weather that Puerto Rico has all year long.

No Visa For Americans

Buye Beach in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

Because Puerto Rico is a territory of the US, you don’t need a visa to enter.


Soon after the Spanish-American War ended in 1898, the Spanish gave up Puerto Rico and the island became a territory of the US. Since 1952, the island has had its constitution where it elects a governor and a legislative body. Puerto Ricans are also American citizens and have been since 1917. And because Puerto Rico is part of the US, Americans can easily move there without needing a visa or any other documentation related to that.


Colorful houses line the hillside over looking the beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico

©Martin Wheeler III/

One positive of living in Puerto Rico is that it’s quite affordable. The cost of living is fantastic and that’s a big plus when you are retired. Retirees often are on limited income, which means that the more affordable a place, the better. A single retiree will usually pay less than $2,000 per month on expenses and rent. The healthcare costs are also less expensive than in the US, so you’ll be able to go to the doctor and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. San Juan, the capital of the territory, will be a tad more expensive than other cities, though.

Tax Benefits

Aerial view of Fajardo Basin, Puerto Rico

There is a long-term tax benefit for living in Puerto Rico that you won’t find in the US.

©Photo provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/public domain - License

One of the matters that retirees are worried about is taxes. They already have a limited income and they won’t want to be taxed by the government when they are not making any money. Puerto Rico has tax advantages that are attractive to retirees. There is usually a tax exemption on capital gains and near-total exemption on even property taxes. The territory is considered a tax haven that is making many people flock to the island.

Food and Culture

Mofongo with Shrimp and Octopus Puerto Rico traditional seafood plate

The food and culture of Puerto Rico is absolutely unique.

©David Martin Warr/

What better way to spend your time than eating delicious food and experiencing a different culture? Puerto Ricans have a passion for living life to the fullest and their culture is vibrant and full of zest. Imagine going out with friends to the local bar to dance. Or maybe you can eat at a delicious restaurant and then celebrate by walking through the colorful streets. Many festivals celebrate different things that will make sure you have a full social calendar.

Sense of Community

Puerto Rico is all about a sense of community and you’ll make friends really fast living here.

©chispy2, CC BY 2.0 - License

This ties in with the culture of Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rican culture is all about a sense of community. Puerto Ricans are welcoming and extremely friendly. There is also a huge expat community that you can take advantage of when you have moved there and want to make friends. San Juan is filled with opportunities to do just that, but you can also experience that in smaller cities.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © wael alreweie/

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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