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Cost of Living - Puerto Rico 2015

 
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peripatetic_soul



Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:30 pm    Post subject: Cost of Living - Puerto Rico 2015 Reply with quote

Update of July 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/12/puerto-rico-cost-of-living

I visited San Juan, San German and Arecibo in the late 90s. Although there was no "state" tax (only federal), the prices of retail merchandise were considerably higher than in the U.S. proper (e.g., PA or VA), thus a negligible difference between the two. After all, it's an island so many products are imports.

One of my students (from summer semester) who is from PR told me about a 12% IVU tax now imposed on all items (except food). On a visit there last summer, he related the soaring costs of everything, continued high unemployment and poverty, dilapidated housing, and escalating crime (involving drugs, weapons, home invasions), of course more prevalent in the cities like anywhere in the world.

PS
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1186
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the cost of living in pretty comparable to cities in the US, if you live in a city. Rent can be a bit cheaper, but utilities are a little higher. But, if you speak Spanish and don´t look in touristy areas, or areas geared to expats, you can find deals. Personally, I would give my left.....um.....if I had one to live in Puerto Rico so would be willing to make a LOT of sacrifices to do so, so I would think how much you would like to live there would come into play too.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on my experience living in San German for 3 1/2 years (for two years of which I commuted to Mayaguez for work) in the mid-90s, I'd have to agree with BBB on this. Wages were low, but so were rent and, with no need for central heating (and no A/C in either of our apartments), utilities. Groceries and other consumer items, generally, ran about the same as what I would have expected them to run had I been back home in the U.S. The big issue was not cost-of-living but unemployment, which ranged from 12-30% depending on whose statistics you were inclined to believe. After a few weeks of job hunting upon arrival, I was surprised to see a full-page ad in a major newspaper where Governor Rossello bragged that under his administration employment was down to a mere 18%. Umm, yeah . . . no wonder it took me so long to find that first job. That being said, as I recall, Puerto Rico in the 90s ranked dead last after all fifty states in education, health care, and numerous other areas. So, yes, poverty is certainly a real issue in PR, but things are significantly better there for the average person than, say, neighboring Dominican Republic or, for that matter, many other places in Latin America.
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