After working hard for so many years to create a brilliant life for you and your family, you deserve to wind down once you finally retire. While the Caribbean islands are attractive, they can also be busy and suffer higher crime rates.
That's why Bermuda is a great option that should definitely be on your short list. Being in love with Bermuda is a great start, but it could also be the perfect retirement destination, too? Here’s what it’s like retiring in Bermuda.
A lot of people assume that Bermuda is only suitable for a quick getaway before returning to their day-to-day lives. That’s not the case. Here’s what we’ll cover to show what it’s like to retire in Bermuda:
Pace of Life
Retiring well means finding a destination that combines the right level of amenities and social infrastructure with a more laid back pace of life. Bermuda is a small island (just 25 square miles) with a population of around 65,000, which means there isn’t the hustle and bustle here that you find in major cities like New York and Boston, which can only add stress.
In general, Bermuda offers the slow, relaxing pace of life that retirees are searching for with plenty of locations that offer peace and tranquillity. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on, as one thing Bermudians certainly love to do is have a good time.
You can combine your relaxing pace of life with regular barbeques, parties and dancing. And there’s always something going on to keep you as active as you want. It’s the perfect place to re-immerse yourself in the laid-back culture that you can’t get in many other destinations.
Bermuda is now a modern, cosmopolitan, thriving destination. It has all the simple but important benefits from superfast WiFi and luxury boutiques to first-rate healthcare in the form of the King Edward VII hospital.
Cost of Living
The cost of living on an upscale island like Bermuda can be more expensive than other options. However, that’s what you can expect from such a popular thriving destination.
The main reason Bermuda’s cost of living is high is because everything has to be shipped in. From foodstuffs to concrete blocks, the cost is passed on to the consumer.
However, Bermuda is seen as a far more exclusive island than many in the Caribbean, which is why it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And although your cost of living is higher, you can expect a sophisticated island community lifestyle away from the stresses of normal life.
What’s more, in Bermuda you get glorious sunsets, serene ocean views and wildlife you simply don’t see in US Eastern seaboard towns and cities and these make a little extra expense easier to accept.
That doesn’t mean Bermuda is expensive everywhere. There are nine parishes on the beautiful island, with some areas much cheaper than the commercial center that is Hamilton. It all depends on the type of environment you want in your retirement days – whether you want to live in a town or a quiet, tranquil parish.
In Bermuda, the ‘default weather setting’ you’ll quickly grow accustomed to is blue skies with plenty of bright sunshine. While the temperatures are generally mild, the island’s weather can throw up some surprises. Those in the West End might be pulling out umbrellas during brief showers while those in the East End are basking in glorious sunshine.
That’s not a bad thing, though, as the wind is necessary for world-class sailing and the rainfall throughout the year keeps the golf courses and parks lush. It’s also the island’s main source of fresh water - collected on our traditional white roofed buildings and stored in large tanks beneath them.
The Gulf Stream and the Bermuda-Azores High help to make Bermuda a sub-tropical destination. The Gulf Stream pushes warm, equatorial water to the island which ensures comfortable temperatures all year round - from the mid-60s in the winter to mid-80s in the summer.
Heavy downpours on the island rarely last longer than a couple of hours and although big hits are rare in the hurricane season, Bermuda’s stone buildings are incredibly strong and many have withstood hurricanes for centuries. So there’s nothing that will disrupt your retirement in Bermuda and make you want to go elsewhere.
If there’s one thing that sets Bermuda apart from other retirement destinations – apart from the superior beaches and weather - is the plethora of amenities available throughout the island all year round. Some of these include:
Bermuda’s cerulean waters give you plenty of ways to enjoy the brilliant blue water.
- Whale watching.
- Sailing and boating.
- Unparalleled beaches.
- Snorkeling and Diving (with more than 300 shipwrecks to explore).
Pink sand beaches and rocky coves connect with plenty of beautiful parks, forests, gardens and caves, which you can enjoy all year round. With peaceful forays and exciting adventures, the island offers plenty to make your retirement enjoyable and memorable.
- The Bermuda Railway Trail National Park - from one end of the island to the other.
- Bermuda’s crystal caves.
- Secluded spots.
- Bermuda Arboretum.
- The Botanical Gardens.
- Southlands Nature Reserve.
- Spittal Pond - where you can see the engraved initials of one of the first visitors to Bermuda, in 1547. They didn’t settle here.
Bermuda offers many ways to unwind and unplug from the everyday. Whether you’re after invigorating adventures during your retirement or chasing serenity with spa treatments for relaxation, Bermuda excels in each department.
- Hiking and biking.
- World championship golf courses.
- Luxury spa treatments in calm surroundings.
- And a host of other amenities for tennis, squash, horse riding, cycling, running, gymnastics, ballet, tai chi, pickleball and volleyball.
Arts and Culture Amenities
Fusing African, Caribbean and Portuguese heritage with British charm, Bermuda has blended the old and new into a cultural mix you just can’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s contemporary fine art or seeing Gombey dancers at festivals, you’ll constantly find yourself exploring something new in Bermuda.
- Royal Naval Dockyard.
- City of Hamilton Walking Tour.
- Scaur Hill Fort and Park and many other forts.
- Masterworks Museum.
- Bermuda’s theatre scene.
- Haunted history tours.
Go on shopping sprees that take you to the island’s finest studios and the quirkiest boutiques to stay up-to-date with the latest trends from high-end international retailers.
- Washington Mall.
- Town of St. George.
- The Clocktower Mall, Dockyard
- The Bermuda Perfumery.
- The Hamilton Stores, especially Front Street and Reid Street.
- Miles Market and Delicatessen.
Nightlife and Restaurant Amenities
You’ll never feel far from home with Bermudian cuisine, born from a mix of Native American, African, Asian, Caribbean, Portuguese and European influences. Take advantage of the freshest of fish in the restaurants, or enjoy chilling out in lounges with live music, often by local musicians.
- Fresh markets.
- Food trucks.
- Bar, lounges and restaurants.
Travel Time and Visas
If you’re a USA, UK or Canada national then you don’t require any kind of visa providing you are staying for less than three months. If you want to stay on the island longer than three months but less than six months you can stay with a short term permit visa, once approved. If you want to stay longer than six months you need a Residency Permit.
You qualify for one of these when you buy either a vacation or a permanent home in Bermuda. As non-Bermudians can buy property in Bermuda, retiring here is definitely an option to consider.
Although many assume Bermuda is a faraway destination to travel to the uniquely beautiful island is located 700 miles off the coast of the Carolinas. It’s an easy two-hour direct flight from New York and under three hours from most US Eastern seaboard cities. There are direct flights from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Toronto and London. So, if you are retiring from the US and want to fly back to visit the family, or they want to come and join you in the sunshine, it’s easy.
Is it a Genuine Option?
Retiring in Bermuda is a genuine option. It’s secluded without a sense of isolation. It’s thoroughly modern, yet manages to maintain its enviable calmness. It’s a perfect destination for retirement and for vacations.
The weather has attracted visitors from around the globe and it’s a place of peace and calm. A sanctuary where time slows to a gentle sigh of contentment. A place where entertaining family and friends when they come to visit becomes a real pleasure.
The other bonus is that you can retire or semi-retire in Bermuda by purchasing a condo. Bermuda is very popular so it’s no surprise that property prices are high for individual homes and villas, whereas a vacation condo can give you the same lifelong experiences and views but at a much lower price.
Buying at a lower price makes retirement a viable option. Swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and other facilities are often included in the right type of condo development and these are fully-managed by a management company. So not only will you be paying less, you’ll also have access to world-class facilities that someone else looks after for you.
Want More Advice on Buying a Condo?
Your condo has to be perfect for you. It’s a big commitment that you need to think about, not only financially but culturally too. Whether you’re a first-time condo buyer or a real estate veteran, we’ve got something that can help when you’re making your investment decisions. Download our free Condo Buying Checklist to learn more.