Several people have asked what it costs to live in Anguilla. I have provided various estimates, according to individual circumstances, for an Anguilla budget here.
The most recent question on that page prompted me to provide a more complete approximation of what it costs to live here. It largely depends, naturally, on what standard of living you are seeking. I'll assume it's half-way between "luxury beachfront" and "bare-bones-getting-by."
If that's the goal, $5,000 per month should do it. Based on how I've defined circumstances below, this can be scaled down by 50% or up... to infinity!
Before laying out the budget for Anguilla living, I'll preface with a general "lay of the land." Anguilla, like all tax-free islands, is more expensive. There is no income tax, no investment taxes of any kind, and no corporate tax.
Since there is no income tax revenue, the government generates revenues from duties on imported items (which is almost everything), taxes on tourism products (ex., hotel stays) and a variety of fees (ex., approx. $5,000 annually for a work permit if you do find a job).
Duties are passed on to you by retailers, making anything from clothes to hardware to groceries more expensive. That said, there are still some bargains, starting with the first item that I list in the following "brief budget for living in Anguilla"...1) Renting an apartment
You can rent an attractive 2-3 bedroom apartment (or condo), not on the beach, of course, but perhaps with a nice (even sensational) view of the sea, for $1,000-$2,000 per month. Less than $1000/month may be getting a little dingy, but still quite acceptable for many.
And remember, regardless of where you live, you are never more than a few minutes from a beach. Prices in the East tend to be less, since the West end is primarily a tourist zone and is also where most ex-pats tend to live.
Most apartment buildings have suffered from high vacancy rates in recent years. So shop around and negotiate to get a reasonable rent. See Nori's information on Anguilla apartments, starting here, and more info on apartments here. Those links should give you good starting points for your research.
Ultimately, you'll have to come down, visit, compare and negotiate.
Add another $200-$300 per month for electricity, propane and water (renter covers those here).
Ballpark total? $1700 per month. But it can be done for much less. Folks often start out paying too much. As they gain experience, they re-negotiate leases and find less expensive ways to do things in general.
I've allowed, though, for you starting out a little on the high side.
2) Groceries will come to approximately $300-500 per month, depending on how much you eat and what (of course). The expense also drops depending on how often you eat out. On that note...
3) Eating out:
This is a discretionary item, but a big part of the fun of living in Anguilla. We have an amazing range of restaurant experiences, from local food trucks and roadside barbecues to world-class culinary experiences, while surrounded with the sights and sounds of the sea.
One of our Favorite Food Trucks, Hungry's!
You can cut your restaurant costs substantially by eating at inland, non-touristy spots such as Hungry's (cheap) or E's Oven (excellent meals, well-priced). This would run you under $100 per week, and you could cut that down to $50 if you stuck to the low-priced restaurants. Start here for information on inexpensive restaurants.
Dining twice per week at the higher-end, beachfront restaurants will cost you closer to $200-$400 (quite a range!). Let's allow for some special enjoyment here, without going wild, and average this all out to $1,000 per month.
4) Gas is expensive here. If you are out and about a fair bit, it could amount to $40-70 per week, depending on vehicle. So purchase a small, used car that gets good mileage.
5) Private medical insurance
This is important. Private medical insurance costs Janice and I (60 years old, in good health) a total of $7,000 per year (for both of us). A good agent can help you find the best program for you. We use Gabriel Bigotti from St. Martin (phone numbers: 599-544-3577 (work) and 599-520-2227 (mobile), or email:email@example.com.
Our daughters, though, being in their 20's, pay only $3,000 per year. The reason that there is not that much difference is that Janice is co-listed as a dependent on my policy.
If you have a serious medical problem, moving here is likely out of the question. Private medical insurance companies will either not cover your condition or will jack up the rates to unaffordable level if they do agree to include it in their coverage.
Assuming that you are in reasonable health, let's amortize this over 12 months to $300 per month
6) Other Expenses
Add $500 per month for odds and ends, which means such things as the cost of renewing your annual stay, the occasional round of golf or other activities, clothes (basically shorts and t-shirts!), and so forth.
So what's the total cost for a reasonable standard of living in Anguilla? I think about $4,500 per month would cover it, leaving you with $500 per month for anything that I may have forgotten or that may be specific to you.
It can be done considerably cheaper. We know people who make it work at half that level. All choices are frugal ones, but they're still happy to live in such a friendly, warm place.
See the rest of this section for more information. You'll need a lawyer to review your lease, and to help you with immigrating (if you can), and so forth. There is lots of good info in this part of the site to move you forward, but eventually you'll need a good lawyer to help navigate the process and make sure that you've not left any exposures open (same for leaving the U.K.).
Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what it will cost you to live here.
Finally, a special request to those who live here. Please scroll down to the comments on this page and add your own experience. Include as much detail as you like. Collectively, this will help people get a deeper feel for what to include in a budget as well as the range of expenses of each type. Thanks very much for helping others who are thinking of making the leap!