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26 Pros And Cons Of Living In Puerto Rico (Expat Advice)

26 Pros And Cons Of Living In Puerto Rico (Expat Advice)

Puerto Rico is one of the most fascinating countries for expats.

There is a natural attraction to warmer climates with a low cost of living. This is where moving abroad to Puerto Rico becomes an option for lots of people.

We have seen various Americans move to Puerto Rico because it is a great place to retire. We have also seen digital nomads move to Puerto Rico because they adore the beach life and warm weather in this country.

Whatever the reason is, it’s essential to understand what it means to live in Puerto Rico for expats and whether or not we think it’s a good option for you.

Pros Of Living In Puerto Rico

Low Income Tax

The income tax is not high here.

This means if you are earning an income in Puerto Rico, you are going to be paying less tax than you would in most states in America or other parts of the world.

This is attractive for those who do plan on earning money in Puerto Rico and are not just moving as a pure retirement play.

Great Weather

The weather is excellent and it is summer throughout the year.

This means you are not going to be worrying about avalanches and blizzards in this part of the world. For those moving from colder climates, it’s nice to not think about the weather during the year.

Low Rent

The rent is cheap here.

This is ideal for those who are looking to live simply in Puerto Rico and want to move abroad with their money intact.

Rent is a fixed cost, which means you do want it to be as low as possible. This is going to happen in Puerto Rico and you can find a good deal.

Cheap Healthcare Options

The healthcare system is cheap here and you can still gain access to American-style healthcare options depending on where you are going.

This is a win-win for those who are looking to get a good deal on their healthcare.

We found this to be important when it comes to older individuals moving to Puerto Rico. A good healthcare system is key.

Vibrant Community

It is important to take a step back and look at the community in Puerto Rico.

You are going to find the people here to be vibrant. There is always something going on and that’s what makes it fun because people are chilled out in this part of the world.

They want to relax, have fun, and just enjoy the day.

Large Expat Community

The expat community is growing in Puerto Rico.

We found this to be important for those who want to find like-minded people in this part of the world. You won’t have much of an issue as there are thousands of expats spread throughout Puerto Rico and you will find someone like yourself here.

Easy To Travel Around

It is not difficult to go from place to place in Puerto Rico.

It’s not a large place, which means you can get to where you want to go as soon as you want to. This is ideal for those who like to see the country and explore as much as possible.

Quality Food Options

Puerto Rico is known for its quality food and you are not going to be disappointed as soon as you move to Puerto Rico.

Living in Puerto Rico as an expat means you will want quality food.

You will get it here.

The food is going to be world-class and there are several local options to choose from.

Great Natural Beauty

Whether it is the mountains, beaches, or parks, there is so much natural beauty here.

You are going to want to immerse yourself in Puerto Rico to see all that it has to offer. We adored this part of Puerto Rico because you can slow down your days and just enjoy the good weather.

Good Beaches

A lot of people move to countries like Puerto Rico with the beaches on their minds.

Yes, going to the beach is a lot of fun and there are numerous options.

You will have a great time lounging under the sun here.

Fun Holiday Season

The holiday season is great because the weather allows you to do a lot of fun stuff.

There is always something festive going on during the holidays and people love partying. You can join in on the fun during this time of the year.

Friendly People

We do have to say the people are great and welcoming in Puerto Rico.

While there is poverty all around you, it is still a country that is happy. They have a great time during the year and you will adore it too.

American Companies

For those who want to have access to US companies in Puerto Rico, it’s not much of a problem.

You will have numerous companies to choose from and that’s what makes it ideal for those who want to get a new job at a known company.

This is also beneficial for those who are going to transfer to a Puerto Rican location.

Cons Of Living In Puerto Rico


This is an important element that has to be thought of.

There is a hurricane season in Puerto Rico and you will want to be aware of the weather conditions during this time of the year.

Hurricanes can happen and that might be new to people depending on where they are coming from.

Expensive Online Shopping

If you love online shopping, you are going to be paying a premium for the service.

This is due to shipping charges.

Getting the stuff to Puerto Rico is expensive and that takes a toll on how much you pay in fees.

Language Hurdles

You will want to learn Spanish as soon as possible.

Spanish is important when you are speaking to the average person in the country. If you don’t learn Spanish, you can still get away with basic phrases but it will be harder to adjust.

These hurdles don’t exist as much at work but it will be useful.

Bad Education System

The education system is not good for those who have kids in the country.

You will have to rely on the private schooling system, which is hit or miss. Some people state it is as good as other nations and this will come down to the type of private school you choose for the kids.

Struggling Economy

The economy is not good.

It is a struggling economy, which means there are struggling people all around you. This is why you have to be careful with your funds so you have a backup financially.

Bad Transportation System

The transportation system is average in Puerto Rico.

It’s not easy to get from one place to the next. You will want to be prepared to wait and/or spend money to find good transportation methods in Puerto Rico.

High Crime Rates

The crime rates are always going to be higher in places where there is poverty and that’s something you are going to have to be prepared for.

There is poverty in Puerto Rico, so the crime rates do tend to be high.

This will also depend on where you live in Puerto Rico.

Poor Internet

The internet connection is not going to be consistent in Puerto Rico.

Even if you choose a “good” Internet service provider, you are still going to have moments where it is hit-and-miss. This is due to the infrastructure in the nation not being as good as it needs to be.

Extreme Wildlife

The wildlife is going to be noticeable when you are in Puerto Rico.

There are all sorts of animals roaming around.

This becomes obvious when you head to the forest areas. Be careful and you will be fine.


Poverty is a part of living in the country.

You are going to see it everywhere. This is why it’s essential to protect yourself from financial strife by having an emergency fund.

This is due to the poor economy of the nation.

High Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate is high and it’s still difficult to find jobs in the country.

You should have a job lined up if you are going to be moving here. Digital nomads likely will have an income source but for those who are looking for a traditional job, it’s best to see what is out there beforehand.

Spanish Is Key For Most Jobs

Spanish is useful for jobs.

It is going to be a great way to open up new opportunities that might not have been there if you only speak English.

This is not mandatory for US companies in Puerto Rico but it’s still a major advantage.

Lack Of Middle Class

There is a limited middle class in the country.

This is due to the income disparity. There are either rich people or poor people. This does lead to a major shift in how the society is split up.

Final Thoughts

These are the main benefits and drawbacks of living in Puerto Rico based on our experience.

We do recommend moving to Puerto Rico for those who have the funds and are looking for a cheap place to retire. It has good weather, great people, and it is a lot of fun throughout the year.

It’s a great place to move to and moving abroad is going to change you. If you are thinking of moving on your own, we feel it’s important to focus on these advantages/disadvantages beforehand.