With beautiful beaches and good weather, it is easy to see why Cayman is regarded as an ideal place to retire, grow old and ultimately pass away.
We have assembled the most comprehensive retirement guide with everything you need to consider when deciding if Cayman is the best place for you to spend your final years.
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Aside from the climate, however, what draws retirees to Cayman is that you can get the ease of island life whilst still having access to world-class healthcare and remaining in close proximity to the US.
The retirement community in Cayman is thriving; over 65s account for over 8.3% of the population and, as a result, activities, clubs and services for seniors are increasing.
Whether you intend to get involved in the community or simply relax on the beach, the lifestyle in Cayman suits any retirement model.
Health insurance by an approved Cayman Islands health insurer is required by law for all residents of the Cayman Islands. However, there are very few options available to retirees arriving in Cayman. All the insurance companies offer the Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC plan). A few insurers have set monthly premiums regardless of age or health status, but many will rate for age and/or health risks at installation and upon each annual renewal. The SHIC plans have fairly standard rates, which have remained steady for over 10 years, but each health insurer may charge up to double their standard rates for high-risk members and may also apply to the Health Insurance Commission to allow charging higher than twice the standard rates for higher-risk applicants.
If you are a current Cayman resident reaching retirement age, you are encouraged to check your options for retiree coverage, either through your own or your spouse’s prior jobs and what individual coverage you may be able to transfer to. A few insurers offer more comprehensive individual plans, but those will all utilize risk-and-age-based premiums. Some retirees own companies, and they may be able to enrol themselves on their group plan, while some other retirees continue to work a part-time job to help maintain health insurance coverage.
Another option for retirees moving to Cayman is to keep their existing health insurance from overseas (for example, Medicare or BUPA) and obtain a basic plan in Cayman to cover the legal requirements. Medicare will not cover Cayman services but can cover major expenses in the US. If on private insurance, be sure your overseas insurer is aware of your place of residence to avoid possibly denied claims due to eligibility requirements not being met.
Married couple retirees who are enrolling on individual plans may wish to consider enrolling separately versus as a ‘primary insured with a spouse’ for a few reasons. Firstly, the age and/or health conditions of one spouse in the couple could attract higher rates for the couple overall. By enrolling separately, the healthier and/or younger spouse may attract more affordable rates than when the couple is enrolled together. Secondly, whilst not a pleasant thought, if the primary insured passes away, the surviving spouse is spared a lot of hassle (and also the possibility of having a gap in coverage) if he or she already has the policy in their own name. If you do still decide to enrol as a couple, versus as two individuals, then consider having the younger person as the primary insured person to try and obtain a lower premium rate.
For a list of local health insurance providers and brokers see the Health & Wellness page.
Retirement health insurance possible resources:
- Plan ahead to place possible retiree coverage when you are healthy
- Review all jobs held in past - including Cayman Islands Government jobs – for possible retiree medical benefits
- Check country of origin for eligible benefits e.g. USA Medicare doesn’t cover in Cayman but could be used for major medical needs in the USA
- Check if former spouse (widowed or divorced) has benefits you’re entitled to
- Use a basic SHIC plan and set up savings plan to self-pay during years which exceed benefits available
- Dual residents may be able to find a high- deductible plan overseas to use along with their SHIC plan in Cayman
- Business ownership interests may keep you eligible to stay on a group plan
- Review is any Veteran’s benefits including survivor benefits
- Working part-time for insurance benefits is not unusual!
- Let the Members of Cayman's Legislative Assembly (MLAs) know your concerns to help address this situation now and for future retirees
Grand Cayman has three fully-equipped hospitals, nearly 4.5 doctors and 6.3 nurses for every 1,000 people, 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, 3D 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 to receive first rate medical care, you can be assured that Cayman ticks the box.
Cayman’s sophisticated medical healthcare is quickly becoming known as the third pillar of our economy after finance and tourism.. For more information on our healthcare system and what the Cayman Islands have to offer, see the Healthcare page.
The Cayman Islands welcomes wealthy retirees with open arms 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 section 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 Director of Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC). The surviving spouse may, within three months, apply for the Grant of Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means upon satisfying the requirements.
Poor Relief Payments
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$750. 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.
Senior & Retirement Homes
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 The Golden Age Residential Home in West Bay.
There are a few dedicated companies that can provide you with an in-home carer and any other assistance that you may need.Read More
Now that you have more free time on your hands, it’s a good idea to get out of the house, get involved in the community and meet new people or even explore the islands.
Cayman Physiotherapy offers a Senior Exercise and Well-being class three times a week. It’s a great way to keep active, meet new people and have fun. Led by their Occupational Therapist Lizzie, the sessions focus on a range of low impact exercises and movements, aimed at improving balance, strength and posture, and most importantly, having fun!
Men’s Shed is a non-profit organisation open to men dealing with mental health, retirement, isolation, unemployment, disability and separation. Their aim is to bring them together in a collaborative community setting and help build social connections and improve their quality of life. They meet on Wednesday 6pm-9pm and Saturday 9am-noon at the Cayman Catboat Club, North Church Street.
The National Gallery offers a Senior’s Tea & Tour programme that creates opportunities for social interaction and the sharing of stories promptly by artwork from the National Art Collection. These are available at no cost, on-demand and can be scheduled through the Education Department. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Community Life page for a list of other social clubs, service clubs, counselling and support groups and voluntary organisations.
Many retired individuals also create a ‘bucket list’ which is a checklist of things they want to do before entering a retirement home or passing away. See our Activities for Adults information for activities that may suit your interest and hobbies. Also visit the Travel pages for great and easily accessible vacation destinations.
For many years, residents have been in the very fortunate position to have free hospice and palliative care. Jasmine, formerly known as Cayman Hospice Care, provides professional nursing and comfort care to those living with a life limiting or end of life illness.
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.
The Health Care Decisions Act (2019) addresses the problem that healthcare providers and families face when a patient is too ill to communicate their treatment preferences. The introduction of ‘Advance Health Care Directives’ by this law, commonly known as ‘living wills’, provides a legal framework to express your wishes regarding medical treatment while you are mentally competent, which should be followed by your physician.Read More
There is no inheritance tax in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Islands law allows for complete freedom of disposition, meaning that you can dispose of your Cayman
assets on your death as you please, subject only to the law of your domicile. It is extremely difficult to contest an otherwise valid Cayman Islands will, and so it is recommended that you have an understanding of the probate process and an up-to-date will.