**Barron’s Magazine** has identified the Out Islands of The Bahamas as number 3 on its list of emerging retirement spots.
The publication says the Out Islands rank among the emerging hot spots for retirees because of relatively low property values, attractive taxes and lower costs of living. Barron’s points out that a home in the Out Islands of The Bahamas can be surprisingly affordable.
The popularity of the Out Islands of The Bahamas is evident in the growing number of resort and residential development projects such as Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay in Great Exuma. This property alone has a 183 room capacity, a Greg Norman 18-hole golf course, a marina, swimming pools and tennis courts.
To simplify residential development, the Government is expediting the processing of applications of those interested in the development of second homes, townhouses, condos and resort development.
It is easy for non-Bahamian investors and homeowners to obtain residency permits. Major international investors and owners of residences valued at $500,000 or more are given accelerated consideration for their annual or permanent residence applications.
All non-Bahamian residence owners can acquire a homeowner’s card. The card expedites the immigration process at all Bahamian ports of entry and entitles the homeowner, his/her spouse and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the validity of the card.
The **’World Map of Happiness’**, a new study of 178 countries conducted by the University of Leicester, also has ranked The Bahamas as the fifth happiest place in the world. Wealth, accessibility to education and population size were important criteria used in the study, but the most important factors in a nation’s well-being were rated foremost, including healthcare for family and children, and life expectancy.
The Bahamas’ democratic style of government was also cited as a factor for the relative happiness of its people.