“San Diego to Puerto Rico? Why? Are you nuts? Are you going to give up your citizenship? What about medical insurance, international calls, social security and crime? Do they have power yet? Does anyone therespeak English? Can you drink the water?”
Yep, we got them all.
Yet, here we are dispelling myths daily and embracing the challenges.
We chose Puerto Rico. We were not forced to move here, running from the law or evading (but definitely avoiding) taxes. We are still US citizens and our friends and family from the States don’t need a passport to come visit us.
There are 2 reasons we moved here: personal and professional.
Let’s start with personal.
When we decided to relocate to Puerto Rico from San Diego to start Fusion Farms, our announcement was met with quite a few raised eyebrows. After all, San Diego is one of the greatest cities on earth, right?
Don’t get me wrong! We loved San Diego and enjoyed most of what it had to offer until the island of Puerto Rico pulled at our heartstrings compelling us to take the leap.
I believe pictures speak a thousand words so below is the view we wake up to every morning. And let me mention that beachfront real estate is a fraction of the price it would cost in San Diego.
Most of what we need is within 3 miles. There is no stoplight in our town and yet Home Depot and Walmart are only 30 minutes away. We have plenty of good restaurants and snorkeling is perfect without a wetsuit. We did not choose to live in a gated community in Dorado or San Juan. We chose the west side of the island where sunsets and surfing are the norm.
Yesterday, we went down the 115 affectionately called, “Mango Alley,” to collect some Ataulfo mangos (Champagne mangos) that ripened and fell to the ground like manna for the community to enjoy. Locals and tourists with their grocery bags line the road looking for the best specimens; it reminded me of Easter egg hunts and the excitement when you find the perfect one that someone else overlooked.
We have been residents for only 5 months and yet we feel a deep connection to the culture and the way of life. We have been embraced here in a way that is not common anywhere esle that we have experienced in the States. Puerto Ricans are warm, friendly, inviting, and patient – especially with our pathetic attempt at Spanish.
Island life provides a unique juxtaposition of being geographically disconnected from the States and yet still being a US citizen. Currently, the United States has sixteen territories, five of which are permanently inhabited: Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. They are classified as unincorporated territories so no passport is needed to travel from the States.
On March 2, 1917, the Jones–Shafroth Act was signed, collectively making Puerto Ricans United States citizens without rescinding their Puerto Rican citizenship.
So, how does that work with taxes, voting and all the other rights and responsibilities of US citizens?
Let’s be clear. We are not CPA’s, lawyers or politicians. We are Urban Farmers here to help the island obtain food sovereignty and give Puerto Ricans an advantage. In our research on Puerto Rico, we have learned of a great many “incentives” that helped to make our contribution and relocation more feasible. We are not hoping to educate people on all the tax advantages and if you are interested in why we pay ZERO US Federal Income tax, you can read about how that works through ACT 22. What I will say is that when we did the math comparing taxes in Puerto Rico vs. California, the results were astounding…and extremely motivating.
Article source: https://www.fusionfarmspr.com/some-call-us-crazy/