Relocating to and living in Nassau, Bahamas
With its laid-back lifestyle and near perfect year-round weather and generous tax benefits, it’s no wonder that the Bahamas have become one of the most popular places for HNWIs to purchase real estate in the world. The islands primarily attract buyers from Canada, the US and the UK. When considering relocating to the Bahamas, there are many questions that get asked regarding taxes, citizenship, and lifestyle.
The easiest way to achieve residency in the Bahamas is through purchasing a property. The government makes the process fairly straight forward. The starting point is a minimum investment of $500,000 and if you invest $1,500,000 or more can trigger a fast-track residency program. There are varying residency requirements regarding how much time you need to spend in the islands.
One of the benefits of the Bahamas is the proximity to Miami, which means a very international city is very close by and accessible. It’s easy to conduct business from the Bahamas and the advancement of technology and ability to work remotely seamlessly in recent years has made the Islands even more attractive to the independently wealthy. They can conduct business here and quickly fly to a needed location be it Miami or New York in a few hours. It’s the best of both worlds. You have easy access to major global cities and markets without the stress and complications of living in them.
Residents can save considerable amounts of money in taxes. A property valued at up to $500,000 is taxed at 1% and over this is taxed at 2%. There are no capital gains taxes or inheritance taxes in the Bahamas, but most imported goods have high duties on them. A stamp duty is payable on real estate transactions as well as sending significant amounts of money outside the country. The lowest rate of stamp duty is 2%, and the highest is 8% on property transactions over $100,000. The fees are divided between the buyer and the seller. A 1% charge is applied to mortgages and paid by the borrower. Charges for sending money abroad are calculated at 0.25%.
There are some well-regarded private schools in Nassau. The education system is largely influenced and shaped by the British education system. Most schools have the international baccalaureate program, as well as offering the PSAT, ACT and SAT to cater to US students. The private schools are modeled after the British GCSE. One of the first international schools was the well-regarded St Andrew’s School, which serves Pre-K through 13th grade. Another option is the Lyford Cay International School, which serves kindergarten through high school Overall, the schools prepare students to continue their college studies anywhere in the world whether they be from the US, France or Vietnam.
With a plethora of outdoor activities, private clubs, A-list restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere, life in the Bahamas is both laid-back and sophisticated. The islands very much revolve around the sea and water activities comprise a large part of the social interactions. It's a sailors’ heaven. Divers can also rejoice here. There are also plenty of private clubs to golf and play tennis. For golf, there’s Cable Beach Golf Course, Paradise Island Golf Club, Clue Shark Golf Club and the treasured, the One and Only Ocean Club. For tennis enthusiasts, the Lyford Clay Club is an ideal spot. Boaters can turn their attention to the Cat Cay Yacht Club. Atlantis offers a high-end casino as well as shopping with brands such as Bulgari, Cole’s of Nassau, Michael Kors, David Yurman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Cartier, and Gucci.
Here expats can take in the laid-back island lifestyle without skimping on amenities and services. The Bahamas support a cosmopolitan lifestyle without the stress and many downsides that accompany metropolitan centers around the world today.