We lived in St Croix for 3 years, on our sailboat, loved every minute...
The USVI...St Thomas, St Croix and St John, is a US territory
Short version you are in the US but cannot vote for President.
This way you can always blame someone else.
They used to belong to Denmark, the US bought them for $25 million in 1917...the US did not want Germany to have a naval base so close to the US.
They also drive on the wrong side of the road...I would not want to be there if they change to the right side of the road.
St Croix is the largest land wise, St Thomas has the most people and St John is the most beautiful...it is over 60% National Park...thank you Mr. Rockefeller.
St Croix is the most industrialized with the HOVENSA (Venezuela Oil Co) refinery the largest in the the Northern Hemisphere.
St Thomas, with up to 10 cruise ships visiting at any given day; is obviously the most congested.
St John, due to the National Park has the lowest population and the most expensive real estate.
Retire to the USVI conjures up a tropical paradise...that it is...but it also requires a lot of adjustment. For instance, there is a nursing shortage and they heavily recruit nurses to come on down, bonuses and a work contract for a year.
Sounds good...most nurses count the days until they can leave. The culture is different and the natives do it their way and that is that.
For retirees, it is somewhat different but you have to get used to things being done in a different manner in the islands.
You need the same mindset for retiring to any foreign country...do not think because it is part of the US that the USVI is any different...you have to expect things not to be done like they are at "home".
It is about the same or slightly more as the US. We did it the frugal way on our sailboat...no charge for anchoring in the harbor. There is a warehouse type store on St Croix, so you can get the basics but realize all goods are shipped in, you cannot put rum on your morning cereal, and most items are higher than in the US. With the internet, UPS and FEd Ex, you can get what you need however.
One big expense you have when you retire to the USVI is insurance for hurricanes. You can buy a nice condo for $75,000 on St Croix...but your HOA dues, which includes the hurricane insurance will be $500 a month.
For some folks that is what it costs to live in paradise...for others it is a bit much.
Retire to the USVI...For those that being in the US, although a territory, is important retiring to the USVI is worth checking out...we loved our time there. Here we are, highly stressed out, at our favorite St Croix watering hole...Stixx on the Waterfront