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Do you want more expert hints & tips on finding work offshore? Whether or not you are an accountant, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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Cost of living in Bermuda

Overview

If you are fortunate enough to get a job in Bermuda, you'll notice that the cost of living can be more expensive than people from the USA & Canada are used to. That said, it tis notout of line for those coming from major cities in Europe such as London.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

The reasons for this are two-fold: first, since Bermuda's main sources of income are tourism and the offshore financial services industry, very little is actually made on the Island so most goods are especially imported; and second, there is no direct income tax which means that levies on imports are a key source of revenue for the government.

However, if you have a professional job in Bermuda and are working as an expat, savings made due to the tax-free nature of earnings on the Island mean that, financially-speaking, you will definitely still be ahead of the game.

In fact, new residents from the UK or continental Europe are often pleasantly surprised to find that the fear of high cost of living is inaccurately portrayed on some misleadingly out-of-date websites.

It’s true that rent is not cheap and that groceries are pricey (they have import duties and shipping costs built into them) but this is more than offset by the fact that you are earning a tax-free expat package, and that there is a booming market in pre-owned vehicles, furniture, sports equipment and so on. This means, for example, you can pick up a decent set of golf clubs, scuba gear or a scooter at a good price, use it for your time on the Island, and then re-sell it when you eventually decide to leave.

Areas of expense

All prices below are in US dollars which is fixed at parity with the Bermuda dollar.

Accommodation

As part of the relocation package that comes with almost any Bermuda job, your employer is likely to pay for you to stay at a hotel or guest house for a few weeks on arrival to give you time to look for your own place. If so, you should use the time sensibly.

The majority of properties are leased on a monthly basis with rent payable one month in advance and, usually, a month's deposit due at the start of the lease to cover against breakages or other damage.

Cost will vary considerably depending on whether you choose to share a house or move into your own apartment. We would generally recommend that (unless you are arriving as part of a couple) the former is the better alternative. 

Moving into a shared house is popular since it allows you to share overheads (thereby bringing down costs or allowing you to live somewhere even better than you could afford on your own) as well as giving you access immediately to an additional social circle.  The closer to Hamilton and the more facilities a house has, the more expensive it will tend to be. 

As a rough guide, for a shared house with four bedrooms, a garden including barbecue patio, a pool and ten minutes from Hamilton, you should budget say $1,500-1,800 per person (excluding variables such as telephone/electricity etc). 

If you go for shared accommodation further from town, this could cost as low as $1,400 each. In comparison, an apartment for a single person or a couple will likely cost around $2,500 a month in total.

The key point, however, is to make the effort to shop around and you can find very good deals.  How much you end up paying is very much a case of personal preference. Click here for more

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Transport

One of the pleasures of living in Bermuda is that it doesn't take too long to get anywhere. Nearly everyone, regardless of their professional level, travels by moped or scooter. This is ostensibly because there are restrictions on the numbers of cars allowed (to prevent undue congestion). However, the truth of the matter is that getting around by scooter is the more convenient, cheaper method. 

When you arrive, the choice will be between scooters starting at 50cc and larger bikes up to 100cc. Prices for new bikes on the road will be around $3,000.  Many firms offer a start-up loan of around this amount, repayable over six months, specifically to assist new employees arriving on the Island. If you choose to buy a used bike, you will be able to pick one up for as low as $500, depending on age and condition. It's personal preference, of course, but buying a pre-owned scooter in this way often makes great sense and many people do this.

Annual insurance (fully comprehensive) is typically around US$300 per annum. And gasoline is $1.26 a litre so your weekly fuel will be unlikely to exceed $10-15. You will also have to pass a simple driving test, which for a bike costs around $35. Note that for safety reasons, helmets are compulsory.

Household 

Bermuda is not inexpensive but, compared to some other locations, you can buy just about anything you could possibly want and the quality of merchandise is very good.

Description Price
Food & Drink

 

Fresh milk (1/2 gallon)

$3.65
Bread, sliced wholewheat  $3.20
Butter (1 lb) $2.16
Cheese, Double Gloucester (1 lb) $7.99
Eggs, one dozen large $2.99
Tea bags, 25 Lipton Yellow label $1.73
Coffee, ground Maxwell House (12 oz) $4.92
Orange juice, Minute Maid premium (64 oz) $3.70
Sirloin steak (1 lb) $6.99
Chicken, frozen (2 lb) $5.99
Hamburger meat, top rop round ground (1 lb) $2.99
Corn Flakes cereal (12 oz) $3.19
Beer, Heineken six-pack $7.50
Table wine, inexpensive/drinkable $7-12
Personal & Household
Toothpaste, Crest (6.4 oz) $4.51
Soap, Ivory three-pack $1.49
Razors, BIC five-pack $1.20
Dishwashing liquid, Palmolive (14.7 oz) $2.27
Lavatory paper, four rolls  $2.39
Tissues, Kleenex $2.99
Reading Material
Local newspapers $0.70
New York Times $2.25
Financial Times $2.00

 
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