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First of all I live here so I will tell you first hand. The cost of living has gone up. Here are some prieces on foods: 1.milk-quart $1.20 2.bread(sliced)$1.89 now Pan Pepin has the economy loaf at 99 cents 3.coffee the pound of Yaucono is $3.89 and depends on the brand. Some run from $3.45 on up which also depends if it is the first pick, second pick and so forth. Some items you can get on sale and cheap but the savings is not much because we pay state sales tax at 6.5% and each town has it's own sales tax at 1% so the total is 7.5% and in some towns can go up to 8.5%, I have been saving cash register slips. Gas, it is here sold by the liter. Each liter is ranging as I write from 63 cents to 67 cents for regular and from 70 to 76 cents premium gasoline. The rent can in some places be cheap. In Condado area it runs from $700 to $1,000. The Millenium Condos run from $1,500 to $3,000. Now some areas rent apartments from $300 up and many will include lights, water and cable. With this included you have to ask the land-lord if you can have a washer because some will rise the price of the rent if you do, not all will do this but it is nice to check. But generaly you do not have to pay extra. Many will come furnished and that will run in the $600 up. Some homes for rent can run from $500 up depending on the rooms and many will also include if not water the lights or both. Salary well, the fast foods do pay Federal Minimum wage. Governement jobs can start at $1,200 a month but this is before they take out income tax, social security tax, the union funds, your health plan, and if you are in the Association of Public Employees you pay their monthly fee and any loans you take from them will come out of your check. The same if you take a loan from your retirement which is also taken out their monthly dues. Some jobs in the government do pay but you will need BA, Childersburg and Doctorates degrees in Education if you want to be a teacher which right now many are out of jobs. There is a demand for those who know computers and can work in data entry in the agencies of the government. There are private companies that will pay nice but depends on the job you get. Security guard for example will give you the uniform, 1.5 in over time for each hour over the 40 hour work week. But you have to be prepared to stay an extra shift at any moment just incase your relief can not make it. The fast foods is as it says fast jobs. You have to be on the move non-stop. I know I worked McDonalds and I had to do 5 jobs at the same time. Many leave the fast foods. The big restaurants and the expensive ones pay under the Federal Minimun because your tips are to cover the rest. I had a friend who worked in an Italian restaurant makeing $3.75 an hour and the tips by many were no more than $3 to $5 per table. The banks are alright. Sales in life insurance is fine and pay you commision but you have to have a car in top conditon to sell insurance and collect door to door. Just check clasificadosonline.com for jobs. Also here you click on rentals and you can check for apartments or houses to rent. As for the language, English is spoken here, but many still want to speak Spanish. In San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, Rio Piedras, Hato Rey, Bayamon, Guaynabo, just to mention a few sectors and towns, English is spoken. For example in Guaynabo, they have the Guaynabo City Police and they speak English and their patrols cars and street signs are identified in English. Around the Island you will find many who do speak English and with good pronunciation. clasificadosonline.com is in both languages. Here there are newspapers in spanish such as the Vocer de Puerto Rico, and the one in English which is The San Juan Star. There are many American Stores here. Macy's opened up a few years ago in Plaza Las Americas which is the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean. Other stores here are as follows: JC Penneys Sears K-Marts Home Depot Office Max Comp USA Denny's Burger King Popey's Chuckee's Cheeses McDonalds Wendys Old Navy Champs Star Bucks Dunkin Donuts Baskin Robbins Carvel Pizza Hut Dominos Papa Johns Sizzler Ponderosa Western Bank Scotia Bank Borders Castle Books This is just a few, also the restaurants offer WIFI internet powered by Caribe.net which is a good company. Here there is Yahoo in any language, MSN, AOL, DMAX (from Puerto Rico telephone company), just to mention a few. There are highways, small roads, buses, a train that crosses through 5 towns with a total of 16 stops. Buses are 75 cents regular, 35 half fare for those under 74, dissabled persons, 65 cents for students, and free for those over 75 years of age. The train is $1.50 person one way and for those with half fare it is 75 cents. For entertainment all malls have theaters Caribbean Cinemas with the latest movies. There are bowling alleys, the newest is Galaxy Lanes in Plaza las Americas which opened up a year and a half ago. There are sports bars every where, and many nigh clubs. If you do need a car, there are many place to rent cars such as: Budget Hertz too expensive Target Lanes, I rent here their number is 1-787-268-6161 they will pick you up and drop you off. Enterprise just to mention a few. They are on the internet and you can verify by calling for prices. Many ask for from $300 to $500 base in the credit card. Lanes doesn't ask me but I you can call and ask because I think they don't. You can use your Florida drivers license for up to 3 months so you can get yours. Hope this helped out a bit. Welcome to Puerto Rico, Bienvenido a Puerto Rico
It sounds like you'll be living with relatives so you'll probably save in rent, but don't expect to have a lot of money. There are very few good paying jobs and everything in Puerto Rico is imported, including most of the groceries, most of which are manufactured in the US. The job situation there is terrible and the unemployment on the island is about 16%, that's 4 times the US unemployment rate. Private auto insurance is prohibitively expensive. I had a 2000 Ford Ranger, and could not get a quote for less than $1800 for a 6 month premium. You can get insurance with the government, actually it's mandatory and is included in the price of the license plates, but be forewarned, actually getting paid on a claim is a useless exercise, the government there is always broke. The crime rate in Puerto Rico is extremely high, so much so that the FBI stopped including the murder rates with the rest of the country because it skewed the averages. Puerto Rico's murder rate is twice as high. In the last 5 years, more Puerto Ricans have been murdered in PR, than US soldiers killed in Iraq..
I moved to Childersburg nine months ago from Ohio. I live in Utuado which is a small mountain town with a lower cost of living. In the San Juan area cost of living is pretty high but salaries are better and more English speaking people. I am fluent in Spanish so I didn't have that issue. Rent in my town is around 325.00 for a 2-3 bdrm. house but it is above $1000.00 in San Juan. typical spanish food is cheaper than where I came from but american food here is more expensive. Salaries are not real great and the job market is slow (like just about everywhere else now). Good Luck and welcome to PR. The people here are great!
It helps to know some Spanish - I wish I knew more, but a lot of people here know English (it will all depend on where you will be working) Cost of living is not cheap - think major city in the states (if you want to be around the San Juan Area) I did a post about relocating on my blog: luck
I would say cost of living is the same. You'll probably get paid less, depending on the experience that you have. The food is really good! and yes you would need to speak Spanish, unless you work at a hotel, or something like it.
YOu should reconsider. Monster . com has salary converstion tools. It's banaland. They they they it is Spanish and not a U.S. territory. You need to know Spanish. It' s a reallly bad choice. Many , Many other countries that would be better / more profitiable to live in. Groceries are high and the quality of the foood is cheap. Lots of crime / you can't distinquish the real police from the Puerto Rican fake police. not a good place to live.
Cost of life is high here, maybe not as in Florida.