Retiring In Cayman
Many have said that Cayman is a lovely place to retire, grow old and ultimately die, so we thought we would investigate that subject and give you everything you might need to know to help you decide if Cayman is the place you want to spend your final years.
Grand Cayman has three fully equipped hospitals, over 150 doctors, more than two dozen private healthcare practices, as well as specialists in cardiac surgery, chemotherapy and orthopaedics. We also have a 3.0 Tesla MRI machine, 3 and 4D ultrasounds, echocardiography, GI endoscopy and even an IV medical spa. If there was one place outside of the USA where you could be guaranteed that you would get first world medical care, you can be assured that Cayman can tick that box. For more information on our healthcare system and what the Cayman Islands have to offer, see the Healthcare page.
Health insurance is required by law for all residents of the Cayman Islands. For retirees arriving in Cayman over the age of 55 there are very few options available to you.
All the insurance companies offer the SHIC plan (Standard Health Insurance Contract) and it is a set fee regardless of your age and the annual premium does not go up each year. This is the good news. The cost for an individual is in the region of CI$150-$167 per month, for a couple it is CI$300-$372 and for a family it is CI$465-$508. If you would like to add dental and vision coverage then that costs approximately CI$30 more per month per individual, however, most insurance companies will not add this for you if you join the plan after age 55, and not all health insurance companies in Cayman offer additional dental and vision under the SHIC plan; the majority only offer the medical benefit portion of the plan.
If you are a current Cayman resident and are reaching retirement age, and you already have an individual or company plan, whether a basic or premium plan, then you can stay on that plan indefinitely, regardless of your age, as long as your employer is happy for you to continue on their plan after you retire. Group plan rates vary and depend on the number and age of employees; premiums should just continue to go up at the annual rate you are accustomed to.
Another option for a retiree is to keep their existing health insurance from overseas (for example BUPA) and get a basic plan in Cayman should they feel they need it.
To find more detailed information on insurance companies in Cayman, please visit our page on Health Insurance Providers.
Make sure to check your immigration status. Cayman welcomes with open arms wealthy retirees as long as they have enough money to buy a house and support themselves in old age. Without a regular tax base the Cayman Islands Government does not have the resources to support an aging population. Please see the Immigration page for more information on how to become a resident of the Cayman Islands.
If you are the dependent/spouse of a Permanent Resident and they die before you do, the right of the surviving spouse to reside in the Islands may be revoked at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer. The surviving spouse may within three months apply for the Grant of Residency Certificate upon satisfying the requirements.
For those too elderly to work, who are over the age of 60 and are in great need, the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) currently offer a monthly stipend of CI$550. This will increase to CI$650 in January 2019 and CI$750 per month in January 2020. A full assessment needs to be undertaken and then the level of assistance required is investigated. This is only open to Caymanians.
The NAU is located at 55 South Church Street, George Town. Tel: (345) 946 0024.
Cayman does not currently have any particularly sophisticated options for retirement homes. We do, however, have the Pines Retirement Home, which is open to all, and also a few residential care homes which are managed by the Department of Children and Family Services and are only open to Caymanians who are in dire need.
Inheritance Tax & Domicile
There is no inheritance tax in the Cayman Islands and you can have a Cayman will probated here. There are some fees payable but they are relatively nominal. Under the Succession Law, executors are entitled to a very small percentage of the estate unless the executor is an attorney-at-law. When an attorney-at-law is appointed, a clause is sometimes included in the will that entitles him or her to charge and be paid usual fees rather than the fixed percentages prescribed by the Succession Law.
When the probate is granted, it will record the person(s) or trust company appointed as executors. You will need to ask the Probate Department of the Grand Court to provide you with enough certified copies of the probate and the will so that the executor(s) can apply to have the ownership of property, bank accounts, securities accounts, etc. changed to either their names or the beneficiaries of the will.
If the deceased had a non-Caymanian/ foreign will, after it has gone through the process of being registered under the law of the relevant country, it can be re-sealed by the Cayman Probate Court. The process is the same, except if it is in a language other than English, in which case a certified translation is required.
If a person dies intestate (i.e. without making a will), the situation is significantly more complicated and advice from a duly qualified attorney-at-law should be obtained.
For foreign residents, inheritance tax may still be due in their country of domicile. Domicile is different from residence and therefore a person may, for example, be considered UK domiciled even if they have been living in Cayman for many years. Your lawyer will be able to determine whether or not you are domiciled in Cayman, or advise you on the steps you should take to change your domicile to Cayman. Purchasing a grave plot or vault in the Cayman Islands and purchasing insurance which pays for your mortal remains to be repatriated to Cayman are two ways to prove your domicile is in Cayman. For more information, please visit our page on Domicile.
When a person dies the next of kin are left with a number of decisions and arrangements to make. Fortunately, undertakers are there to help guide family and loved ones through the process, take care of the paperwork and ease the burden as much as possible.