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AIBU?

Living in the Cayman Islands

54 replies

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 10:37

Could anyone give me some idea of what it is like to live in the Cayman Islands. I have been approached about work there (I'm a Secretary and a new firm setting up has asked me to consider this). Its is completely untenable unless you are earning a massive amount of money and what is the daily life like there for ex-pats?
thanks

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AramintaJolly · 08/06/2017 10:42

No idea except that it's low taxation and a U.K. Overseas territory

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayman_Islands

Sounds lovely!

DancingLedge · 08/06/2017 10:43

Lovely place.
Not wild about the social divisions, but then I don't really jell with the tax/money expats.
I'd say visit first , because life in Caymans is a bit marmite- you'll fit in, or maybe be oblivious to those undertones, or you'll hate it.
I guess you can tell its definitely not the Caribbean island I'd choose to live on, but OTOH, I know lots of people who adore it.
Great sea and diving.

Dandandandandandandan · 08/06/2017 10:44

Lots of my friends have done it, some still do. They have all loved it, without exception.

Pros: beautiful weather, fun place to be, interesting work, low taxes.

Cons: small social scene, small island, can be a bit disorientating coming back again.

I would do it in a heartbeat (in fact if jezza gets in, I might well)

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 10:45

I have a child and her dad works on the Island so that is what would encourage me to go - she would see more of him. I have read some comments online that say you need to have a massive salary to survive there or life will be unpleasant. Im not able to command huge sums salary wise although as this company has approached me Im sure I will be better paid than average. Was hoping some wise mumsnetter would steer me in the right direction on it.

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DancingLedge · 08/06/2017 10:48

That's a separated dad,yes?

Only you know whether seeing more of him is a good thing.
Is he keen? Or are you keeping this to yourself for now?

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 10:51

he is very keen *dancing" and we get on very well. Its more the financial end of it Im worried about. At the end of the day a secretary will only be paid so much.

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lastqueenofscotland · 08/06/2017 10:51

I lived there as a child and liked it but it is quite marmite.
My mum found it very weird hense we eventually came back.

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 11:01

Are the people there friendly and welcoming of new comers? I wish I knew someone who lived there now to ask!!

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DancingLedge · 08/06/2017 11:01

Lots of things on islands are just silly expensive, you ration or do without.
Trouble is on Cayman, you're going to be surrounded by wealthy people who care about their money.

So to me there's two questions
Can you afford to live there? My info will be outdated here. Get an idea of salary.

Would you want to live there? With that social mix?

Best way to find out, visit. Get on skyscanner and get a flight. Accepting a job and uprooting DD without visiting would be madness. If you can possibly do so, get out there before you negotiate salary, so you're not doing it blind. Look at rentals, food prices, schools. Could be just a good holiday, could be the start of deciding on a new life. Give this priority.

Exciting possibility, best of luck.

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 11:06

Yes, I think you are right dancing, I dont want to uproot my child and then find out my quality of life is terrible and I'm miserable. I might contact an employment agency as although I have firm offer they might give me some advice regarding life out there.

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ajandjjmum · 08/06/2017 11:27

Get your new prospective employer to fly you over for a week, so that you can evaluate whether it would be realistic for you.

We have friends who went there around 18 years ago for a twelve month period, and have never returned.

We have visited - the one comment that you hear endlessly is 'it's a very small island' - so you would need to be able to afford to escape from time to time!

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 11:31

I would really love someone who lives there to give me a overview of daily life there, ie you need to leave at 6am to get to work as traffic is bad and you start at .... at nights people swim .... best supermarkets etc.

Its like another planet to me at the minute. Not sure if the company will pay to fly me over tbh.

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SovietKitsch · 08/06/2017 11:38

The other to consider, and I don't know the answer but would advise checking, is what happens if you hate it and want to come back with your child? Because once you've lived there a certain amount of time, your child becomes habitually resident there and then your ex may be able to prevent you from bringing her back to the UK.

I would definitely seek advice on this before even contemplating going over.

mygorgeousmilo · 08/06/2017 11:38

Any company trying to get employees to work overseas, usually has some kind of relocation package, even pay rent and expenses, some pay for a certain amount of flights to the uk per year, insurance etc. I think you need to simultaneously find out what you'd actually be being paid etc. I don't think you'd need to worry about traffic on the Caymans, and who knows, even a year or so could be a very exciting experience for your nd your DC. Something to think about would be your options for coming back. Schools etc for your child.

SoNouveau · 08/06/2017 11:58

I have friends living there, retired Tories, they have magic money trees you know and water them daily. Wink

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 12:04

Yes my they do normally, this is a start up though so money is a bit tight for them. Schools are private apparently and costly. There is such a lot to think of and its not like you can telephone someone in London and ask what it is like to live there. There is a small ex-pat population from what I gather and turnover yearly of same.

Im afraid of uprooting my child and is being a disaster. Here she has a pleasant enough life, there is money for groups and clubs and new clothes. Although the weather is terrible I grant you.

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sonjadog · 08/06/2017 12:10

I think I would be demanding in your position. Work out how much monwey you would need to earn to live an okay life there (chekc out the proce of housing, schools, food, etc), and then say to the company that if they want you to go there, this is the salary they will need to offer you. Then if they agree, you can move knowing that you are going to be okay. If they aren't prepared to offer you a livable salary, then say no.

mygrandchildrenrock · 08/06/2017 12:15

I lived there for 5 years, came back to the UK 5 yrs ago. I had 2 school age children with me. Immigration laws are such that you can only live there for 7 years unless you are stinking rich, which I'm not! It was a wonderful place to bring up small children, it really was like being on holiday every day. Often the biggest decision was 'shall we swim in the pool or the sea'. However we weren't really part of the rich ex-pat community. My children joined cubs and brownies and were the only non Caymanians there, because I worked for the government they went to government schools at low cost. You won't be able to and will have to use a private school, of which there are many, but they aren't cheap. Check all that out before you go. We didn't visit before we went, it is incredibly expensive to get to and to stay anywhere. I hadn't even heard of the Cayman Islands before I applied for the job!
It is a very expensive place to live, rent and electricity are massively more expensive than the UK but you won't pay any tax on your earnings. There is no NHS so make sure your employer is giving you health insurance as part of their deal. After I had finished work, we lived there for a month before coming back to the UK and it cost $480 for a month's health insurance and that was 5 yrs ago.
I would do it again in a heartbeat but I'm too old- you can't work there over 60- and have no regrets at all.

SharkInThePark · 08/06/2017 12:17

It is a small island. I loved it but was single and worked insane hours then enjoyed the beach and social life afterward (not huge scene more low-key bars and amazing restaurants). It is expensive in terms of rent utilities food shops. Traffic isn't bad if you live centrally. You'll need to figure out your salary and ask them what package they are providing. You'll have to consider schooling. Not sure if your DCs age but they will not be entitled to any schooling so you'll have to pay for private. Prep and international both very good but expensive (unless your employer might pay). Or if younger you'd need a nanny (quite cheap to employ yourself but lots and lots of paperwork). If you were single I'd say go for it 100% it's a great laid back way of life. With a child I'm not so sure. It's not a "rich" island as such. I mean per capita obviously it is an there are lots of accountants solicitors etc on good money but it's not an ostentatious sort of place. It's quite laid back. Oh and I'd second PPs comment about getting advice on how dcs status if living there a year or so and what rights her dad will have. A colleague of mine spilt from her husband (both ex pats) and wanted to move home but courts wouldn't grant her permission to leave island with child as dad wanted to stay. I'd really be certain of your legal position with dc before going. And do visit it really is small!

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 12:55

Thanks so much for all your help. I have one child who is 9 years old so school is required. Im torn between thinking of the great outdoors experience my child would have any worry re living there. I have emailed the employer who has offered me the role and directly asked what the package includes re healthcare etc. I have 20+ years experience of secretarial work in my fields, legal, medical, financial etc and have a very good CV, Ive moved around lots so Im adaptable and have worked for some very big firms. The agency I contacted came back to me almost immediately so its looking good.

Id lve to chat to a secretary in one of the cayman firms. My childs dad is a reasonable man so hopefully we could have a chat between us about what is best for my dc.

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IWillCrushYouLikeABug · 08/06/2017 12:59

Does your ex pay maintenance? Would it go further there? I think a previous poster's about a child becoming resident and you then being unable to leave is a very important point. You would need his permission.

IWillCrushYouLikeABug · 08/06/2017 13:01
dontcallmelen · 08/06/2017 13:24

Hi I think a poster lives on the island, but cant remember the name maybe someone will come along who has a better recall for names.

user1491812680 · 08/06/2017 14:01

Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated. dont it would be great if someone did come along who lives there. I really need to visit first though.

I'm half petrified, half excited! Sad and Grin

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dontcallmelen · 08/06/2017 14:05

Op it does sound fabulous, sure I would feel petrified & excited in equal measure, racking my brain for the name, I think it's something with furrywall in it, but I could have made that up, as am all over the place today.

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