It used to be one of the best-kept secrets in the world: a picture-perfect tropical island paradise where one could move abroad to retire in laid-back luxury. Today, however, the secret is most definitely out and I'm working with more and more British expats who are investing in St. Lucia real estate and heading off to make their Caribbean retirement dreams come true. |
So, what is it that makes the lifestyle and investment in St. Lucia real estate so attractive to British retirees? In the first of two articles (because there's way too much going for it for just one) I want to share with you some of the many benefits this beautiful island has to offer in terms of your retirement.
Beauty, Beaches and Balance
The first, and arguably most compelling, aspect is the island's spectacular natural beauty. From the verdant interior to the endless sun-kissed beaches, the pristine landscape is a major draw card for those to whom a more relaxed lifestyle appeals. With so much of the island still undeveloped, depending on how you wish to spend your retirement, you can purchase anything from well-priced St. Lucia real estate in a luxury waterfront development to a charming plantation cottage in a remote inland region.
Because of the sheer diversity of St. Lucia real estate available for foreign investment, in my experience you can achieve an uncommon lifestyle balance in retirement – with access to not only the vibrant towns of Castries and Soufriere, but also the pure, unadulterated peace and tranquillity of untouched stretches of coastline and lush rainforests.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Of course, retirement is certainly about taking your foot off the pedal and not having to work anymore. However, with the average age of retirees getting younger, I know from speaking with so many expats that it's important to choose a destination where you can remain as active (or not!) as you like. In terms of highly accessible leisure activities, St. Lucia is almost unbeatable.
Water sports play a major part in the local leisure scene, with sailing, diving and fishing taking centre stage. Even if you've never put more than ten toes in the ocean before, the opportunity to explore this aspect of the Caribbean is, literally, right on your doorstep – and it's definitely not something reserved for the young. As long as you're young at heart, you can discover a whole new world in and on the oceans that embrace the island in a safe and enjoyable way.
There's plenty to keep you occupied on dry land as well, with a huge network of easily navigable nature trails through the inland rainforests, which offer superb walking and bird watching opportunities. There's also a host of coastal walks suitable for all levels of fitness (of which I've barely scratched the surface!), and the UNESCO World Heritage Pitons to explore at your leisure. If you're a golfing aficionado like me, or plan to take it up in your retirement, I think the island's excellent 18-hole golf course is one of the best in the Caribbean.
A Land of Endless Summer
After a lifetime of endless British winters, the prospect of the equally endless tropical climate of the Caribbean is one of the most appealing aspects for retirees looking to purchase St. Lucia real estate. While it's warm, sunny and often experiences high humidity, the island is actually a good deal cooler than others in the Caribbean due to the prevailing north-easterly trade winds – which offer some relief at the hottest times of the year.
There really are only two seasons here: wet and dry. During the wet season – July to November – I've seen the island experience very heavy rainfall, but temperatures do not actually vary dramatically throughout the year. The yearly average is between 24°C and 31°C, only rarely rising above 32°C or falling below 22°C.
The temperature of the ocean remains at a balmy 27°C to 29°C, and with an average of nine to ten hours of sunlight every day, it's not hard to imagine a pretty idyllic daily retirement schedule.
In the second of our articles on retiring in St. Lucia, I'll get down to tin tacks to cover the more practical benefits – including ease of residency, purchasing real estate, lower cost of living and infrastructure.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His indepth local knowledge and wealth of experience in luxury St. Lucia real estate, are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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