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Old 04-17-2017, 02:40 PM
 
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Anyone have the experience living in Northern Marinas Islands or American Samoa? Are those place great for escaping the rat race and the current political climate. I haven't been there myself though from what I read these places are laid back and traditional and have some nice scenery. There are also outer islands to allow one to feel like a castaway. Though it has Asian goods as its close to Asia and receive lots of tourism from China, Korea, and Japan.

I would like to ask what it is like to live there. Maybe as a telecommuter or a travel writer/photographer or someone who works in the travel industry.

I read that taxation is unique in that people pay federal income tax on income outside the territory but local income tax on income from within the territory. Though taxes one pay would be lower than most states in the US as there is no extra state tax on top of either federal tax or local tax.

I also read its very easy to get a local drivers license if one have any license from any state. Which is a good thing as unlike in the 50 states they require even non residents to obtain a license if staying longer than 30 days.
Just show up at the DMV or BMV whatever they call it and get it right away. The license would be as good as any other license issued in the US for driving. Though one advantage is as the license is just a simple paper card there(like a high school id) is no way for anyone to scan the license nor is it computerized, eliminating the risk of electronic ID theft. It also appears the Real ID act as well as AAMVA's drivers license unification schemes will not likely be successfully implemented on those terrorizes for at least decades there as they are just not up to date to be able to implement it and have a long road ahead of them. Its a non issue for US travel as I and I believe most people there will have a US passport which can suffice for all these purposes that requires Real ID.

Though what should we beware of if we decide to move to a territory either permanently or temporarily for extended periods of time? Aside from not been able to own real estate as real estate ownership is restricted to indigenous population. If anyone have experience please shed some light on it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:36 AM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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I believe American Samoa is the only US territory where landownership is restricted to natives. This is part of the reason why Congress has not granted US citizenship, nor is there even an Organic Act.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:32 PM
 
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Good information I read Saipan in North Marinas islands are the same thing. Real property ownership is limited to natives there. Though others can have long leases on land. This kinds of leaves the rat race behind as otherwise Chinese and other asians, due to the pacific territories being close and easy to get to and touristy would buy large amounts of land and drive land prices way up to astronomical rates.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:05 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Our son is there for an extended time - says it is like a low rent Hawaii. There was a recent documentary on Samoa and Am. Samoa showing that they are the fattest people on the earth. They have a very unhealthy diet (but probably don't HAVE to be that way). Overly processed food shipped from the States and elsewhere makes up lots of their diet.

Apparently they are very laid-back people, tho, and the scenery is lovely.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:56 PM
 
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I know someone who went there years back met a native Somian man and married him.
They live back in the states now.
But they loved it there. They said it was beautiful.

Sorry I can't help with any of your questions.

Good luck in your move if you decide to move.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:54 AM
 
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Why not just take a trip out there? CNMI is easily accessible from Guam.

I've only spent real time on Saipan. It reminded me of a slower paced Guam. The beaches were fantastic and tons of WWII history if that's your thing. There's quite a few daily flight from GUM to SPN.

If you're thinking really quiet, Tinain and Rota are less touristy than Saipan. But all 3 islands are far quieter than Guam.

One thing to think about is that you will be living in areas without malls (except Guam with GPO and the Micronesian Mall). Food prices are higher than Hawaii (except for fish from the coops), rents for stateside equivalent are much higher. Power prices are very high. Employees in my division at my company receive a $3000/mo foreign base allowance to be based in Guam. That $3000 doesn't cover all of the additional cost for a family of 4.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:24 PM
 
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I have lived on Saipan many years. My utility bill runs around $50 a month. I do not use aircon. I use fans. It is very relaxed here. No one bothers you, there are no traffic jams, you can hear birds and the ocean waves. Yearly income tax is 9% on high earners and less than that if you don't make much. One tank of gas lasts me about 3 weeks so i really don't care if it goes up to $5 a galloon. It is $3.98 right now. Most people order online to get stuff they want since the stores here either don't have it or it's over priced. You need to be NMD decent to own land but lots of people buy on lease basis. Salaries are low but you don't need much to live here. A few pair of shorts and some t-shirts. Temp is always the same all year long. Around 90. Breezy and cooler in Jan and Feb, maybe 80.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:23 PM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Our family experience is that each and every island in the Marianas and Samoa has its own different character. Some have a lot of unemployment and therefore some crime, some are laid-back, some quite different. You can google the newspapers of each place and get some idea of what's going on in a particular island that you are interested in.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:56 AM
 
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I am also very interested in learning about the Northern Marianas! Specifically Rota and/or Saipan..my boyfriend and I are potentially planning a move there. If anyone could give me some information on what it's like living there, that would be most helpful as info online is not plentiful!
How to find somewhere to rent, what the possibility of renting or caretaking/fixing up one of the many empty or abandoned buildings (on Rota) for free/discounted rent would be, best cell phone and internet service options (specifically data for cell) and how getting things shipped from somewhere like Amazon.com or EBay works. Thank you!!

Last edited by SileIndigo; 06-27-2018 at 01:21 AM..
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