Why We Moved to Puerto Rico and Many Other Questions Answered

Three days ago we gave you a tour of the new Fstoppers studio in Puerto Rico but we didn't answer your biggest question: why in the world did we move to Puerto Rico? 

We compiled a list of everyone's questions and tried to answer them all in this hour-long video. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about Puerto Rico and we give you our honest take on moving, living, and working here. It's not all great, but so far, most of it has been much better than we expected and some things, like Internet and cell service, are surprisingly much better here than the states. 

Once you watch the video, feel free to write any additional questions below and Patrick or I will answer all of them. 

Stay tuned to our YouTube channel to see all of the new content we film in PR as we turn this incredible house into our new studio.

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28 Comments

Mikkel Beiter's picture

I really enjoyed listening to this one!

Rob Mitchell's picture

Great to listen to this in the background in the office, thanks for sharing guys.

I did laugh out loud at the 11% sales tax. Poor you. It's 21% here ;)

.. I think he's in Belgium...

Same here in the Netherlands - 21% - we pay it gladly because we get a great social system, and see the benefits from it.

Samten Norbù's picture

You slightly forgot to mention that in Belgium, you pay higher taxes ... but you do have social system, free access to healthcare and education .. stop complaining about taxes when they are fundamental to contribute in a better society !
Just take a moment to look at the prices of healthcare in US and in Belgium ;)

Rob Mitchell's picture

Not sure where I actually complained in my comment. But yes, we have a good life here.

Bibi Haribi's picture

...actually, you did complain. ...'I did laugh out loud at the 11% sales tax. Poor you. It's 21% here'

Rob Mitchell's picture

If that’s a complaint where you come from, poor you too 😉

Jonas Gunnarsson's picture

In Sweden it´s 25, except for food and services like hotel room rental fees (12%) :-)

Burt Johnson's picture

"interesting people here" -- We moved to Ecuador 5+ years ago. Your Puerto Rico talk could almost be identical, just changing the name of the country.

I also noticed people here tend to be "more interesting" than those we left in California. I think I figured out why a few years ago.

If I walk down the streets of Berkeley, Calif (where we moved from) and saw a random person on the street speaking English, what are the odds we have anything in common? Pretty low, actually.

However, when I walk down the street in Cuenca (where we now live) and hear English, the odds are very high we have common interests. We are both "risk takers," having moved to a new country. We are both "open to new experiences" (well, not all, but those who are not usually "return home" after a year or less). We are both facing similar challenges (learning a new language, learning how to deal with a different legal system, learning how to obtain residency, etc).

We also find many more friends here in Ecuador who are highly world travelers. My wife and I have been to 75 countries (and will be adding Sri Lanka, Iran, Jordan and Egypt on a 3 month trip starting in a couple weeks). Yet, we often meet people who have been to far more places, and in more interesting ways. (Example is a friend we had for dinner last night - he worked as head of IT for the Olympic committee, living 4 years in each country where the Olympics were going to be held, until retiring a few years ago).

We literally have more friends in Ecuador after 5 years, than we had in California after living there 62 years.

Rent is a whole lot cheaper here than you quote -- $500/mo will get you a nice house. Yours would go for maybe $1200/mo here, and be considered absolute top of the market. We bought a 4 Bedroom, 4 bath penthouse with sweeping views of the city for $140K. No Walmart, Costco or Amazon down here though! :)

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

The best part, to me, was when you discussed the successful people you're interacting with. It was an inspiring glimpse into the kinds of behaviors and activities that success-minded engage in.

I've been trying to form a group like that for years, but it is damn hard to find people with the right mindset.

I have no doubt that what you gain from that group will have made your time in PR worth it, even if none of the tax incentives existed. Act 20 may well end up being the loose change that led you to a pot of gold in PR.

Rob Mitchell's picture

I think that the key is that the people are all outside the insular community, living amongst like people, that aren't there to profit from them or compete against them. As mentioned, the whole community spirit is there. Socialising and not just working. We forget how important that is when we're caught up in the aggressive and competitive working environment. Back to basics, work hard but also play hard. I wish the guys all the best in their choice, I think it's outstanding that people can up-root and take a massive plunge like this.
I did it 25 years ago too, moved to a different country where culture, mentality and language was all alien to me. Problem is, I'm so integrated now, it's getting back to be a monotony.

Jose Miguel Stelluti's picture

Lee and Patrick, A great decision here. Good luck and good vibes in this new adventure. I moved to Madrid...

With Spanish, the first thing you should learn to say is: Una cerveza por favor... Salud!

Scheduling your power management....look at SmartThings. Invest a little time getting familiar with the platform and I think it could help (i.e. can schedule things to power on/off or trigger that via motion, etc, etc.). There are other platforms too, I'm just a big fan and have been using ST for many years and feel it's the most extensible and customizable. Just a thought :-) . Great video......jealous.

Bill Wells's picture

Should be titled "The New Adventures of Fstoppers", Ya'll should be experts in low voltage and wireless networking.

I do take exception just one thing and it was the blanket statement that Amazon sells fake equipment like SD cards. I did some extensive research on this claim that proved this statement to be false unless qualified.

Based on cards purchased from "Sold by Shipped by Amazon" they were no fakes. Plus the "Sold by and Shipped by Amazon" do not fall into the shipping methods in the article. Since the cards considered were purchase by different people over a period of a year, statically the "Sold by Shipped by Amazon" insures no fakes.

If you qualify that statement with "cards purchased from 3rd party sellers" then you would be correct.

Even B&H has sold what appears to be fake cards. Proving that no one is immune from occasional errors. However, if we say Amazon or B&H, B&H has no qualifiers.

I’ve purchased both fake cards and fake Ethernet cables from amazon. They probably weren’t “sold by amazon” but most people have no idea about looking out for that.

Bill Wells's picture

You are correct. 3rd party sellers just may be what brings amazon down. I've seen fake Windows 10 and purchased fake Windows software from 3rd party sellers.

With that said, I've seen reviews on B&H with complaints that described exact issues found with fake cards. Did B&H get fake cards by mistake. There is no way to tell.

Richard Hart's picture

I have heard about upmarket fashion designers cutting out labels and selling their wares as fake to cut down on over stock.

Bill Wells's picture

That puts a different twist on things.

Simon Patterson's picture

Very well presented video. I hope you guys don't start to want to kill each other living under the same roof, because you have a good business going on.

Hi guys! Welcome to the island! Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I know the island has tons of challenges but it has some really amazing things, including the people and the food. In terms of fresh produce, we're very limited on that part. Most of the crop has to be imported because we don't have big fields to sow. But restaurants are pretty amazing, just not in your area. If you want to experience some nice fish, I recommend going to restautant "El Makito" in Naguabo. As for the rest, ask the locals. I know I'm biased but try the local cuisine. Don't go looking for Mexican food or any other foreign cuisine outside of the metro area. What you need to try is a homemade stuffed "mofongo" or "arroz con gandules y pernil". Or you could just wait till Christmas. I would argue there's no better seasonal food in the world!

Al Seveni's picture

Welcome!, I live in Vega Alta, PR

You should talk with Maximo Solar. IF you are using a lot of electric power the solar gets pays quickly.

For bbq go to isabela they have a place that serves mofongo filled with brisket :)

Richard Hart's picture

Great to see you so excited about your move!

You mentioned that you are mixing with some very successful people. Some people are successful because they will do things that others are afraid to do. I have always loved old San Juan.

Maybe you could look at Ireland as a location for creative industries? Future tutorial on where to start a business?

Q1. Can I come?!
Q2. If yes, do I have to bring the kids?

As I understand it, if you want to take advantage of the Irish tax incentives, you'll have to give up your
US citizenship. Big corporations are doing it but the money can't ever come back to the states.

Oscar Nonis's picture

Inspired by Despacito