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Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas

Pros and Cons of Living in Nassau

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Nassau, Bahamas.

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What are the pros and cons of living in Nassau?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Nassau responded:

"We moved from a different international location. Our interview process was extremely long so we were able to do a ton of research before making our decision to move. Boots on the ground is the best way to get a feel for any country and would suggest a visit prior to decision. Love the lifestyle here. willing to deal with all the negatives to live here. We have made great friends and remain active socially. Research the schools if you have kids. Some fit better than others. We are very happy with our decision for our kids (7/4). You must be flexible to live in any foreign land and the Bahamas is no different. Understanding the culture is paramount to a successful tenure. Unless, you have enough money to isolate yourself in certain areas. Happy to explain or speak on any issue to help someone out," explained one expat in Nassau.

"While The Bahamas has a lot of restrictions and needs much work in terms modernizing there infrastructures (internet, cable, power systems, bureaucracy, police force, food sources management, etc) if you can find a way to work within the current limitations you can enjoy and mostly peaceful and beautiful country that offers much in terms of natural beauty, sunny weather, friends, boating, watersports, island hopping, financial benefits (think taxes), and natural beauty. It is an ideal place for people to retire who have a good healthcare plan. If you do not need to work here, have an income coming from abroad and are not in a rush for anything to get done this could very well be the place for you. I have been here for a number of years, am not retired but work online and have loved my experience here. I also have met people that have had to work here with local companies and they usually burn out in about 4-5 years as working here is quite difficult and not at all what it would be like in North America or Europe. You need to be ready to adapt and face new challenges that just do not exist on the same level in a first world country. Here you can have issues like employees do not show up for work if the weather is good for fishing, or if they got a good paycheck and went out the night before. The red tape of getting anything done within the public sectors and government is very long and extremely frustrating. Expect everything to take twice as long as advertised. One of the best things about living in Nassau is the ability to travel to the family islands. The family islands are where the real beauty of the islands is at. If you do not need infrastructure such as schools, large hospitals and large grocery chains then the family islands might be where you want to be. Keep in mind things are generally more expensive on the family islands as goods need to be shipped in on boats that might only come once a week. Also the family islands are more susceptible to hurricanes during the hurricane season. But if you can live with those things will get to enjoy more of the natural beauty of The Bahamas including pristine white sand beaches and sandbars with crystal clear waters," said another expat in Nassau.

"There are not mainly positives about living here except for the lack of income tax and the weather. The country lacks many of the conveniences of first world countries and the cost of living is prohibitive unless you are paid substantially by an employer from your home country. There is almost no agriculture or manufacturing here and everything is imported. The cost of groceries is 1.5 to 2 times the price than that of the U.S. There are frequent brownouts in the summer and the quality of the tap water isn't very good. Dealing with the government and local businesses can be extremely frustrating as "island time" is a real thing. There isn't a sense of urgency about much of anything or consistency of information provided by the government. Local businesses very often do not have websites or if they do, they don't update them with the latest information. Customer service is lacking in general, and the quality of restaurants, salons, etc. is generally not on par with the U.S. As far as positives, the people here are generally friendly and polite. The medical care we have received has been quite good and same day medical appointments are the norm. There is usually not much of a wait once you get to your appointment, either," remarked another expat in Nassau.

"Like: The weather is usually great. The sea is beautiful with its clear waters and Sandy beaches. The people are generally friendly. It's a boating paradise. You meet many interesting people. Dislike: The government is quite corrupt and seem to take bribes to allow companies to come and plunder resources such as oil from the sea. They also do not enforce laws enough and the extremely rich get away with far too much. Lastly they do not take enough pride in their land to keep the roads and beaches clean of litter. People seem to discard there trash anywhere and everywhere," explained one expat living in Nassau.

"The people are amazing. There is a large influx of young locals who are transforming spaces, thinking, culture and experiences. Older locals are gracious and wonderful. Certain areas have seen better days but there is a move to bring them back to former glory. The place has real beauty, despite the need for urban regeneration. There are lots of nearby quiet places a boat ride away in neighbouring islands. Overarchingly I feel grateful to be able to call this home," said another expat in living in Nassau, Bahamas.

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What do expats in Nassau appreciate most about the local culture?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Bahamas on our Bahamas forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Bahamas Network Contribute
Help others in Bahamas by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Bahamas.

Expat Healthcare Advice in BahamasHealthcare & Health Insurance in Bahamas

Expats in Bahamas offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Bahamas.

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Spend a year working remotely from the Bahamas with their new Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) Program. Plus, you can apply online and get approved in 5 days.

Nassau, Bahamas

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats NassauNassau Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Nassau.

Bahamas Index Nassau Index
An index of all of our site's Nassau information.

Expat Healthcare Advice in NassauHealthcare & Health Insurance in Nassau

Expats in Nassau offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Nassau.

Digital Nomad Life Nassau Living in Nassau

More about what it's like living in Nassau.

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Nassau-in-the-Bahamas5 Tips for Living in Nassau in the Bahamas

Expats who choose to live in the Bahamas can explore a Caribbean paradise. Find out what it means to call Nassau, on the island of New Providence, your home.

Bahamas Forum Bahamas Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Bahamas on our Bahamas forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Bahamas Network Contribute
Help others in Bahamas by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Bahamas.

Expat Healthcare Advice in BahamasHealthcare & Health Insurance in Bahamas

Expats in Bahamas offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Bahamas.

Bahamas-Extended-Access-Travel-Stay-(BEATS)-ProgramBahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) Program

Spend a year working remotely from the Bahamas with their new Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) Program. Plus, you can apply online and get approved in 5 days.

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