St. Maarten, a top retirement destination in the Caribbean

St. Maarten, a top retirement destination in the Caribbean

Why You Should Retire in St. Maarten

Are you looking for a slice of paradise to enjoy living in while retired? Do you want to retire to the Caribbean, but can’t decide on an island? If you keep reading, you might find the oasis you have been dreaming of in St. Maarten.

For many retirees, St. Maarten is the best place to go in the Caribbean. Once you visit the island, you will immediately be captivated by the beautiful scenery and the amazing weather that stays warm throughout all seasons. The island boasts white-sand beaches, lush green hills, a diverse population, a growing economy, friendly people, and a wide variety of delicious food options! No need to hang up any tropical artwork when the view outside of your windows is so breathtaking.

With so many great things, you could say that Sint Maarten is the perfect Caribbean destination for retirement. Let’s break down some of the main reasons.


Culture and History

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, as part of the Leeward Islands, Sint Maarten had been conquered by Spaniards, British, and Danes, before finally the French and Dutch agreed to divide the island into two parts. Sint Maarten (Dutch side) and Saint Martin (French side) share a rich history of sugar cane and salt production, this brought sailors, adventurers, slaves, and migrants from Europe, Africa, neighboring islands, and some countries in Asia. All these nationalities with their cultural heritage have been influencing the island for over 500 years.

Nowadays, Sint Maarten is one of the most multicultural islands in the region, making it an enriching experience every day. You will meet people from all over the world, taste their culinary traditions, become part of celebrations, and perhaps why not, adopt some things from their culture.


It’s all About Food

Whether your retirement plan is to have the kitchen of your dreams and cook amazing homemade meals or become a restaurant foodie trying out new things all the time (or something in between like most residents), Sint Maarten has everything for you!

Doing groceries in Sint Maarten is a whole experience, from the attractive gourmet supermarkets with high-end products to the big distributors or mini markets. Being able to stock your pantry with things from the French or Dutch side, and finding great quality, variety, and fresh produce every week, is something that you don’t find easy in the Caribbean. Now, on the other hand, the restaurant scene in St. Maarten is from another level and you won’t be disappointed. All over the island, you will find barbeque shacks with ribs, grilled lobster, and Johnny cakes like the famous “Lolos” in Grand Case, Amazing Asian restaurants with their own twist, great Italian food from Pizza to Gelatos, Caribbean cuisine, Indian, Fusion cuisine restaurants, super delicious French bakeries for breakfast or a sweet treat, Mexican, Nepalese, Peruvian, spectacular bars with renowned mixologists and their unique cocktails. The options are so many and with such great quality, that we can proudly say that Sint Maarten is the culinary capital of the Eastern Caribbean

retiring in sint maarten - bakery simpson bay

No Property Taxes

Starting with the construction quality and the great locations, Sint Maarten (Dutch side) has no annual property taxes, and this is a great advantage, especially when you are ready to retire. If you are purchasing a property as an investment and are planning on renting it as a source of extra income while you are ready to retire, you need to take into consideration that although there are no property taxes in Sint Maarten, income tax and turnover tax/room tax might be due when renting out the property. Sint Maarten’s real estate market offers options for every budget and taste. Depending on what you are looking for, with the assistance of a trusted realtor, you can find waterfront properties or apartment complexes with private marinas, giving you the option to dock your boat just a few steps away, you can also find spectacular villas with breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea with all the shades of blue the ocean can give you, or get ready and invest for your retirement days in one of the many new luxury developments in construction. Protecting your real estate assets with a Private Fund Foundation is also something to consider.


Tax-Free Imports

In this online shopping modern world, it is quite nice when you can order something from anywhere and receive it in your house by only paying the shipping fee, and this is exactly what happens in Sint Maarten, there are no taxes on imports or exports, making it very convenient, particularly when you have decided to relocate and are moving. This advantage will allow you to bring your personal belongings, furniture for your property, and even your vehicle.  When you live in Sint Maarten, it is very common to shop online in any of the well-known stores in the US or Europe and receive in just a few days.


Warm sunny weather all year long

Having a wardrobe that looks similar (if not the same) all year long is something that for many gives peace of mind. Not having to worry about the seasons and living a life in flip-flops is relaxing and convenient. Sint Maarten’s climate stays about the same all year long, usually around 27-28°C (81-82°F), it is breezy, sunny, and warm. For those escaping from harsh winters, this is the place to be.

Tax incentives

Sint Maarten offers retirees over 50 who meet the requirements, a low tax bracket of 10% on global income, this is called Peshonado Regime, and here are the most important requirements:

  •  The taxpayer must have lived outside of Sint Maarten for a consecutive period of at least 60 months (5 years) prior to moving to Sint Maarten.
  • The taxpayer has reached the age of 50 at the time of registration in the census registry.
  • Within two months after registration in the population register, the taxpayer has registered with the competent Tax Inspector as a taxpayer who wishes to qualify for the application of the Penshonado Regime.
  • The taxpayer is living in a home in Sint Maarten within 18 months after being registered in the census registry.

It is crucial to ensure that your immigration process, registration at the Census Office, and application for pensioner status are completed seamlessly and on time. You can rely on the integrated services provided by the team at BrightPath Caribbean, along with HaVen, to ensure a smooth transition to your retirement years.


Would you like to know more about how to start the process?

Retiring in St. Maarten is a simple process when you do it with the team at BrightPath. To retire as a pensioner the applicant must be at a minimum of 50 years old, among other basic documentation such as birth certificate and police record, the applicant must present sufficient savings, and show proof of a real estate purchase of a minimum of USD 255,000 within the first year of residency. Note, if you are a US Citizen, the real estate purchase nor the age requirement may necessarily apply for retirement purposes in Sint Maarten.

Contact us today and Get Started! At BrightPath Caribbean our goal is to help you make your dream retirement a reality, making it easy for you while we handle all the paperwork. Our team of professionals can assist you with every step. By booking a free consultation via Zoom, we can answer all your questions and start your residency request while you are abroad, our team can order your personal documents and will follow up and keep you updated on every detail.

The retirement life that you have always pictured is possible, and we are here to help. Book your free 30-minute consultation to start your Caribbean dream!

retiring in sint maarten - simpson bay lagoon


1. What are some compelling reasons for retirees to choose St. Maarten as their retirement destination, particularly in terms of climate, culture, and culinary offerings?

St. Maarten offers retirees a captivating blend of warm weather year-round, rich multicultural heritage, and a diverse culinary scene, making it an attractive retirement destination for those seeking a slice of paradise with vibrant cultural experiences and delicious food options.

2. What are the advantages of retiring in St. Maarten in terms of property ownership, tax incentives, and tax-free imports, and how do these factors contribute to a comfortable retirement lifestyle?

St. Maarten’s real estate market offers options without annual property taxes, and retirees can benefit from tax incentives such as a low tax bracket of 10% on global income for those over 50. Additionally, tax-free imports make relocating and shopping for personal belongings, furniture, and vehicles convenient and cost-effective for retirees.

3. What is the process for retiring in St. Maarten, including eligibility criteria, required documentation, and assistance available from BrightPath Caribbean?

Retiring in St. Maarten involves meeting basic eligibility criteria such as purchasing real estate for a minimum of USD 255,000  providing essential documentation like a birth certificate and police record, and showing proof of sufficient savings. BrightPath Caribbean offers assistance throughout the process, including free consultations, document ordering, and residency requests, simplifying the retirement process for individuals dreaming of a Caribbean retirement.


Do you have additional questions?
Contact us today to begin your journey to residency!

Disclaimer: Our articles are not intended as (legal) advice and do not take your personal circumstances into consideration. BrightPath does not accept any liability for damages resulting from using the provided information. We highly recommend you to seek personalized advice from us or before you act or fail to act because of the content of our articles. BrightPath is a privately-owned consulting firm that assists clients with filing applications for residence permits and/or business licenses at the relevant government departments. None of our directors, employees or agents hold or have held any position with the government of Sint Maarten and our service does not provide for any preferential treatment with regards to any application. All information provided and statements made only serve to provide you with a general understanding of immigration, residence and business incorporation procedures on Sint Maarten.
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