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U.S. Territories Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:38 PM
2 posts, read 7,913 times
Reputation: 12


Ok, for all the Native Puerto Ricans out there, and anyone else who would like to chime in too, living there (PR), or not....

I have a chance to move to PR for my job. I make 45k here in the Middle of the U.S. If I go to PR for my company- the pay goes to 120k +. I like where I am, but PR is intriguing (yes- I have been there many times, but only in nice hotels, and for short durations.). I also have the benefit of being able to live anywhere I want on the Island.

Is it worth my while? Or will I regret going there?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:28 PM
12 posts, read 59,005 times
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Smile i would

i sure would. who do you work for and are they hiring?
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:43 AM
59 posts, read 344,110 times
Reputation: 55
Not to rain on your parade but I would definitely get the offer in writing up-front and make sure it is very detailed and spells everything out. To jump from $45K to $120+K within the same company is virtually unheard of. Even considering that part of it is associated with a promotion and something extra for the difference in cost-of-living, it just seems that there must be more to the story. But if the offer turns out to really be that good and there are no surprises, I can't see why you wouldn't take it especially if you can live anywhere on the island you wish - although, again, why they would bump you up in pay that much to send you to PR if they didn't desperately need your skills at a particular location is hard to imagine. Perhaps they don't care where you live but you would still be required to travel to certain locations? If so, then for practical purposes you couldn't really live anywhere but would need to live somewhere within reasonable distance/commute time to where you were needed. Nevertheless, it sounds as if you should have enough flexibility to live somewhere outside metro San Juan, and therefore somewhere with a lower cost-of-living. So, if you're salary is really going to triple and those are really the circumstances, then why not - since there's no reason to think your expenses would triple as well. Sure, they'll go up, but not triple. Since you've been there several times, I'd imagine you've already considered whether or not certain things will bother you - many people who speak little or no English, much crazier driving than in the MidWest, certain specific staples of life you might love but not be able to get there, will you miss the change of seasons, etc. Anyway, good luck whatever choice you make. And indeed, if you decide not to go, please do let us know the company/job info if they would consider hiring from the outside. PM me if you don't want to post it. Thanks!

Last edited by mythspell; 01-24-2008 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:36 PM
1,772 posts, read 4,074,256 times
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Second mythspell comments. I'm sorry to be skeptical about the salary increase. It isn't Iraq (not yet anyways) where hazard duty pay could see someone effectively triple their income for the same job. But if it isn't some "potential income" or other fuzzy math, and actually a no-kidding contractual pay scale, then it's worth considering.

That aside, the biggest thing is going to be the re-culturalization. Traffic, local attitudes, demographics, language (not knowing Spanish well will hinder your ability to fully integrate) and the acceptance of crime in your daily routine (think "you're not in Kansas [up here] anymore", no pun intended) are the big items. If you're happy living the Midwestern life, PR does not resemble that reality in any way; not from weather pattern, to local architecture, to crime. As you suggested, there is more to waking up day in and out in the island away from the hotels and resorts. It's doable, as long as you're willing to re-culturalize. It's not for everybody and in my experience most folks up here do not cherish the idea of re-culturalizing..of course most aren't being offered six digit salaries either.

Don't get me wrong, there is intrinsic value in living south of the 25 degree latitude line, but there are opportunity costs to trading the CONUS. So do a gut check and figure out what your priorities are. Travel to the island is expensive since you'll pay a premium for flying to a cruise ship port destination all year round. There are deals of course, but visiting family will either be expensive or sparce depending on what''s important to you. Of course on 120K you'll have sufficient disposable income to commit a sizeable yearly amount to travel budget to and from the CONUS.

Private education is available and not expensive by CONUS private school standards. Private schools down there (I'm a product of one) are the equivalent to a decent public school up here in a well-funded metro/suburban district. These are also found in English as primary language types in the island, which is where most of the CONUS transplants put their kids in. Don't bother with public schools, it's not even a realistic choice for a native wanting out of the island, let alone a transplant.

Good luck on what you decide. It's hard to absorb the realities of living in PR when you can only visit for a week, hopefully this gives you some idea of what to expect from folks who have seen both sides of the pond. good luck.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:12 PM
Location: HillTop
91 posts, read 351,853 times
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The pay in Puerto Rico tends to be 70% of what it is stateside,but with a pay increase like that you will live like a king there...and have plenty for weekend trips to see the rest of the caribbean...good luck...
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:13 PM
2 posts, read 7,913 times
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Thanks to all who replied. And yes, it's contractual, no, it's not fuzzy math. I can also fly for free wherever I want. Those are your hints.

Thanks again, and safe travels.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:53 PM
Location: Ohio
43 posts, read 161,430 times
Reputation: 47
OMG! What are you waiting for??? Do you remember the (older) cartoons where a female character would take off running, and there would only be hairpins in the air from where she was standing? Yeah, that would be me!

Best of luck to you! Once you're there, chime back in and let everyone know how things are working out!
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:03 PM
Location: Miami
888 posts, read 686,092 times
Reputation: 658
He's in the airlines...
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:12 PM
79 posts, read 306,471 times
Reputation: 43
I was at a very similar crossroads very recently. I had a job offer for the same federal job in PR and Tampa, FL.

I love PR. My parents were born and raised there and I still have a lot of family there. My wife was born and raised in SJ. I went there all the time as a kid. I have a special affinity with the island. The women there are amazing! The natural beauty of the island is, well, magical.

When the oppty to work there came up I was super excited. My wife is a board certified bilingual physician. She started looking for a job in PR and found that the opptys there were abysmal. Then both our families, in the mainland and in PR, started practically pleading with us not to move there because there were sooo many problems with the island. As other posters indicated, living there and going for vacation are very, very different.

Making 120K a year will give you a nice lifestyle, but keep in mind SJ is getting more and more expensive every day. If you live outside of the metro area and commute to SJ, you can expect one of the most horrific - if not the most horrific - traffic jams of your entire life. Daily. No lie.

Homicides are thru the room. Turn on the evening news and open up the newspaper and you'll see. While the violence takes place mostly in the poorer areas and among drug dealers, I wouldn't wanna get caught in the crossfire by accident.

Services - public and private - are extremely slow and in some cases, virtually non-existent. I remember reading recently that the DMV was closed down for over 2 weeks because they couldn't solve a computer glich.

The local govt. in most municipalities is inept and spend their time on trivial issues. Corruption is rampant.

People there are wonderful but have a very lax attitute about almost everything. If you wanna see a doctor, be prepared to take the entire day off from work.

Now, the positives: the island is beautiful. The people in general are warm and freindly. They love to eat, dance, converse and for the young folks, flirt. Oh, and party. And drink! It's a fun, fun place when the sun goes down. And the beaches!! People are passionate and proud about being Puerto Rican and protect that identity fiercely. Most people at least understand lots of English, and you can always find someone that can carry at least a basic conversation. The weather is beautiful most of the time.

Alas, in the end we moved to Florida, and I think we made the right choice.. And when we feel like having a nice dose of Puerto Rico, we'll hop on a plane and visit.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:12 AM
59 posts, read 344,110 times
Reputation: 55
It would be great if we could read more comments on how people would feel IF you weren't going to have to live/work in the San Juan metro area. I'm thinking that would get rid of many of the negatives being associated with the island (e.g. theft, violence, insane traffic, high real estate prices, high insurance, etc.) For example, FLBOUND, if you weren't still working but were considering where to retire, and therefore could live anywhere else on the rest of the island, would you still pick Florida over Puerto Rico? Anyone who has experience with the rest of the island please feel free to post your comments also. I think it would be really helpful to get people's opinions once you factor out all the problems of the San Juan area.
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