Dreaming about spending every day chilling on a tropical island when you retire? You should definitely consider Guam. This small Pacific island is a great option for Americans looking for a good balance between the benefits of island life and the advantages of being domiciled on US soil even in retirement. Below, we listed a few of our favorite reasons why you should consider retiring in Guam.
No Visa or Residency Permit Necessary
Guam is considered US soil. Any American citizen in good standing and in possession of a valid passport can move to Guam. As an American territory. it shares many similarities with the mainland that make a move to the island much easier. Chief among them is the same currency. The United States Dollar is used on the island, so you won’t be losing out on any currency exchanges.
English is spoken throughout the island as well, so you won’t need to learn a new language either. Another bonus is that important American government benefits, like Medicare and Medicaid, are honored in Guam to help you deal with your health concerns later in life.
That being said, finding the perfect place to enjoy your retirement in Guam is a considerable investment of time and money. You want to make sure you get a home you’re happy with. You can use the web to search for real estate in Guam prior to your move. When you arrive, we recommend booking an interim place to stay for at least two weeks. This time will allow you to physically view your options for a potential long-term home and make any adjustments or minor renovations.
Staying in an apartment versus a hotel will better prepare you for the experience of living in Guam as a local since it better simulates ordinary domestic life on the island. During this time, you can discover which grocery stores and markets you prefer, where to do laundry, and how to best navigate the island while running other errands.
Cut Down on Your Commute Time
Guam is a small island that measures 212 square miles. You won’t need to travel far to get items or go to places. That said, the preferred mode of transit around Guam is via private vehicle. This is because public transportation infrastructure is not as widely developed on the island when compared to many US cities. Knowing how to drive and having a valid driver’s license will definitely come in handy if you choose to live in Guam.
Switch to a Slower Pace of Life
Retirement is your time to relax and unwind after your years in the rat race. Moving to Guam will give you a much-needed change of scenery and lifestyle. It might take some adjusting after years in the career trenches, but you will soon learn to embrace the slower pace of island life.
Be prepared to wait awhile longer when you’re driving, waiting in line, or ordering at a restaurant. Be kind, calm, and patient when dealing with customer service personnel. The Guamanian people are warm and friendly, but they’ll be more likely to lend a hand if you treat them well.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Guam is a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. If you love the outdoors, then this is the place for you. Daily visits to the beach and refreshing swims in the ocean could be your norm in retirement. The island has many dive sites, so you can also get certified for scuba diving and go on many underwater adventures—barring any prohibiting medical conditions, of course.
The ocean isn’t the only enticing thing about Guam. The island also boasts a lush green terrain and several hiking trails that feature scenic views of waterfalls, rivers, and more. These trails are free to enter and vary in difficulty—from easy, family- and senior-friendly routes to more rugged ascents for the experienced hiker.
The Tropical Heat Can’t Be Beat
Kiss harsh winters goodbye in retirement. Leave your jackets, coats, and boots behind on the mainland when you move to Guam. Replace them with a wardrobe of t-shirts, shorts, and slippers that you can wear all year round.
Guam enjoys a tropical climate with a dry season that runs from January to May, while the rainy season is between October and December. An occasional typhoon may appear during this period, but in general, the weather is highly agreeable.
A Great Jumping Off Point for More Adventures
While Guam may be a 12-hour flight from the US mainland, its proximity to Asia makes it a great starting point for travel to the continent. If you plan to use your retirement to travel more often, flying around Asia is much more accessible from Guam in terms of distance and time. From your home base on Guam you can make quick trips to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and SoutheastAsia.
Lots of Benefits for US Military Veterans
If you’re a US military veteran retiring on Guam might be particularly enticing for you. The island has two military bases where military and veteran discounts can be enjoyed for items like gas and groceries. This can help stretch your savings a lot further.
Guam’s large military population also means that many restaurants offer military discounts, usually 10% off. Be sure to bring your veteran or military ID to enjoy them.
Senior Specials in Various Establishments
One of the many perks of becoming a senior citizen are the discounts you can enjoy. In Guam, senior citizens can enjoy discounts at restaurants (usually 10% off) around the island. If you’re a senior (over 55 years old), you get a 10% discount at Ross Dress For Less on Tuesdays. This is a popular Guamanian department store where you can pick up clothing and houseware.
Retiring in Guam is an exciting prospect. The island offers many American services and commodities but retains a unique Pacific island spirit and culture. Learning to embrace both aspects will make for a wonderful adventure in retirement. We can’t wait to welcome you!