Pros and Cons of Living in Puerto Rico
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Located among a large group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful and fastest growing places to live in the United States. Aside from its pristine beaches, and beautiful weather, the island also offers some of the world’s best tax incentives for entrepreneurs and business owners. Since I made the move to Puerto Rico in 2019, my company has grown substantially, and I’ve managed to make and keep a lot more money than I ever was able to when living in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I really have never been happier and feel like I’m finally living the life of my dreams. This is why I’ve become so passionate about spreading my knowledge with others looking to make the move to the island. If it weren’t for my business partner, who introduced the idea to me, I never would have known what I was missing. I often get asked about my life in Puerto Rico, where I live, and what I like and dislike about living in such a different place. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of all the pros and cons of living in Puerto Rico.
Pros of Living in Puerto Rico:
1. Business Opportunities
In the past three years, Puerto Rico has attracted thousands of business owners, digital nomads and entrepreneurs who are looking to save money. That’s because the government implemented two monumental tax laws in 2012: Act 20, the Export Services Act, and Act 22, the Individual Investors Act, which provided tax incentives to entrepreneurs who move to the island and establish their business there. A few years later, the two acts were combined into one and re-named Act 60 (what it’s called today). To sum it up as easily as possible, Act 60 is all about tax savings and reduces taxes to 4% for Puerto Rican companies that export services performed in the territory to people or companies outside of the territory. Additionally, capital gains tax is 0%. Keep in mind that if you are going to move to receive these benefits, you need to establish your business on the island. This truly has jump-started the Puerto Rican economy and provided tons of new opportunities to entrepreneurs.
If you love summer, you will absolutely fall in love with Puerto Rico’s weather. Since it has a tropical climate, the weather is usually always warm and so is the ocean. The average temperature is 80 °F (26 °C), so if you’re looking for four seasons, it’s probably not the place for you. The South part of the island tends to be a bit warmer and the North a bit cooler. The coldest month is January with an average low of 70 °F (21 °C) and an average high of 83 °F (28 °C) (weather.com).
3. Friendly People
The one thing I love about living in Puerto Rico is how friendly the people are. Everyone I’ve met who is from Puerto Rico has been really warm, welcoming and willing to help. Additionally, a lot of people on the island speak both English and Spanish, so depending on the area you’re living in, there’s a high change that you won’t need to speak Spanish. Additionally, Puerto Ricans tend to appreciate when you try to speak Spanish, even if you don’t know very much, so I’ve noticed that a little Spanish will go a long way.
1. Cost of Living
According to numbeo.com, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is 3.04% lower than in the United States. And, rent in Puerto Rico is, on average, 52.6% lower than in the United States. Not only will you be saving money in taxes, but you’ll also be saving on lifestyle. Restaurants also tend to be much cheaper than the average U.S. restaurant, so it’s easy to eat out if you’re on a budget.
5. Best of Both Worlds
Not only does Puerto Rico have some of the best beaches in the world, but it also has mountains as well. So, if you’re more of a nature person, you’ll fit right in. In fact, more than 60% of the island is mountainous. The island’s mountains are located on the interior of the island, comprise four ranges: Cordillera Central, Sierra de Cayey, Sierra de Luquillo, and Sierra de Bermeja (discoverpuertorico.com).
Cons of Living in Puerto Rico:
I’d say that hurricanes and tropical storms are one of the biggest downsides of living in Puerto Rico. You may remember hearing about Hurricane Maria in 2017 that wiped out a good portion of the island (in fact, areas of Puerto Rico are still recovering). Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 to November 30 and affects all islands in the Caribbean. That being said, even though Puerto Rico is susceptible to hurricanes, the island only experiences an average of one tropical storm every five years, and hurricanes even less often (Trip Savvy).
2. Old Infrastructure
Puerto Rico has both an old and new world vibe to it thanks to the island’s historic buildings and convergence of different cultures and customs. That being said, however, it has some infrastructure problems that have been an ever-present issue for the past few decades. Some attribute the island’s poor infrastructure to lack of government funding, while others blame it on the continuous amount of tropical storms and hurricanes that the island has had to withstand. Regardless, Puerto Rico could stand to fix up a large part of its infrastructure. Abandoned buildings are common, and broken walls are often left up or only half repaired post tropical storms.
This could be a pro or a con depending on what your weather preference is. As I mentioned earlier, because Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean, its climate is completely tropical. That means moisturized skin and lots of beach days, but if you’re looking for four seasons, it’s probably not for you. I love being able to lie on a tropical beach any time of the year, so the climate is ideal for me. However, if you crave cold - or even cooler weather - you may not love the heat the island offers.