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Cost of living in Guyana is 15% cheaper than in Jamaica

For many looking to compare Guyana versus Jamaica in terms of cost of living, we have pull together some basic information.

Guyana

Healthcare in Guyana

Guyana provides good healthcare in both the public and private sectors. The government-funded public healthcare system in Guyana is well distributed throughout the country, and is available for expatriates and nationals. The Guyanese Ministry of Health ensures that quality, reliable public health organizations and advice clinics are easily accessible for the majority of residents.

There are 30 hospitals and plenty more free health centers situated in this Caribbean country. Guyana’s private healthcare industry operates independently and is subject to a strict code of regulations. Private healthcare is cheaper in Guyana than in countries such as Australia, the UK and the USA. Non-governmental organizations play an integral role in the healthcare of poorer rural regions in Guyana, particularly pertaining to the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Education in Guyana

Guyana is believed to have the best educational facilities in the Caribbean. This former British colony follows the example of the British education system. State school is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of five and 16.There are also good choices for higher education in the country, with the University of Guyana providing prestigious professional education in a wide range of subjects. This is the major university of the country, and state-issued loans are available for students

.International schools are a great choice for expats with kids living in Guyana. Georgetown International Academy is the most popular choice. Attended by the children of NGO workers, diplomats, company executives as well as local people, this bilingual school provides an exemplary international education.

Transportation in Guyana

Road conditions vary greatly between different districts of Guyana. A modern network was introduced to Georgetown in 2007, providing the urban areas with an updated road system with greater safety for both drivers and vehicles. Traffic drives on the left in Guyana, and traffic laws such as seatbelts and speed limits are strictly adhered to, especially in the city. In more rural areas, driving can be dangerous and road conditions very poor.Caution should be exercised at all time when driving in towns and villages, as driving laws are rarely enforced in these regions. International or Guyanese driving permits are required to drive and can be obtained by the License Revenue of Guyana. Alternatively, minibuses are the primary mode of public transport and are a reliable, safe and cheap way to travel.

Jamaica

Jamaica attracts people from all over the globe. Its beaches and comfortable atmosphere make it a dream destination for everyone from tourists to expatriates to some retirees. Due to how quickly currencies can appreciate and depreciate, calculating exact figures for the cost of living in Jamaica is difficult.

Living Expenses

As of the time of writing, one USD is worth $128.85 Jamaican Dollars (JMD). As an upper middle-income country, the island’s government has made many efforts to invest in and improve the living conditions of its people. One result of this investment is that buying certain foods (excluding milk) locally instead of importing them is the more economically sound option. However, everyday items such as toothpaste are more expensive on the island.

How much one should expect to pay for rent depends on location and size of the space. According to Expatistan, a site dedicated to helping expatriates by providing indexes of the costs of living around the world, renting a furnished 900-square-foot apartment can cost either $104,114 JMD ($814 USD) in an expensive neighborhood or $59,998 JMD ($469 USD) in a more average neighborhood. These prices drop considerably with a reduction in the size of the dwelling.

Living in a furnished 480-square-foot studio apartment goes for about $82,673 JMD ($646 USD) in an expensive neighborhood or $42,091 JMD ($329 USD) in a more average area. Additional utilities and amenities increase these totals, especially considering that Jamaica’s national minimum wage increased last March to $6,200 JMD per 40-hour work week and $8,854 JMD per week for Industrial Security Guards.

Education

Primary school education in Jamaica is mandatory and free, although other schooling materials do add to the cost of living in Jamaica. Each September, a parent can expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $400 USD per child at the elementary-school level for books, uniforms and mandatory auxiliary fees. These fees allow schools to continue operating and making improvements. A child can be turned away if these charges are left unpaid.

Retirement

If one is looking to retire in Jamaica, there are many factors to consider. These factors include housing, food, utilities, transportation and healthcare. Some services and appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers are uncommon due to import costs and there is not enough power to run them. In that same vein, a backup generator is a recommended investment.

Public transportation in Jamaica is not known to be the most punctual or comfortable. To get around this, having a car of one’s own is also recommended.

As for healthcare, the island’s clinics and hospitals provide their services for free, but they are also frequently described as unreliable. Kingston and Montego Bay are home to the best facilities on the island, so living there and taking out a proper health insurance policy covers quite a few bases.

Overall, Investopedia concluded that, given the cost of living in Jamaica, one could retire comfortably with a savings of $200,000 USD (approximately $25,668,730 JMD).

For those living on the island, the cost of life in Jamaica seems to be somewhat of a struggle to maintain, especially if many obligations need attention (such as children). However, that is not to say it is impossible. Perhaps if the minimum wage increases again like it did last year it will be easier for people to meet their needs.

Cost of living in Guyana compared to Jamaica

  1. Entertainment- 34%
  2. Personal Care- 28%
  3. Transportation- 14%
  4. Clothes+ 12%
  5. Housing- 4%
  6. Food- 11%

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Written by Daily Caribbean

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