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  #1  
Old 12-12-2001, 09:23 PM
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Default Re-insurance in Bermuda

Does anybody here work in re-insurance in bermuda?

What is the quality of life? Who are employers to seek and avoid? Is the compensation worth the geographic isolation? How is bermuda for younger people?

Also, how would you describe you work? I'm in consulting now and tired of just billing a lot of hours. I'm not averse to working long hours, but more interested in being measured by my results than billable hours.
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Old 12-13-2001, 11:43 AM
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are u passing exams and getting your letters?

They don't like hire no-letter rookies, especially not at that level of compensation you are talking about and the moving cost to go with it. Think about it, if someone couldn't finish the exams in the states, how could he/she pass exam in sunny Bermuda with beaches and all that distrations.

if you are seriously about working in Bermuda, you better start thinking about working for an insurance company, getting your letters, get some relevent expereince and paying your dues. If you not ready to do that, then get off that pryor website and stop looking at the salary numbers.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2001, 04:57 PM
Grits N Gravy Grits N Gravy is offline
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Does anyone have any non-flame responses to this question? I'm interested as well. (and I do have letters and insurance experience).
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2001, 02:36 AM
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I know somebody who moved to Bermuda, and I thought about it myself. Not sure if not having a designation counts you out, it's possible. I've been told compensation levels are relatively higher due to (1) high cost of living and (2) not many actuaries are willing to relocate. The advice I got is to make sure to negotiate a generous housing allowance. For life in Bermuda, there are a few websites you can go to. If you have school-age kids, you might want to make sure they can get into schools there, I think they have a quota for expats' children. Seems the work is more slow-paced, which allows you to enjoy the island's 7 or 8 golf courses (I think Bermuda is at most 20 miles across). I seem to remember that Bermuda has some 77 SOA-qualified actuaries.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2001, 04:44 PM
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snafu snafu is offline
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Recently looking into several non-US areas including Bermuda. Here are some of the resources that I've bookmarked.
State Department Background Notes
U.S. Expatriate Handbook Guide to Living & Working Abroad
Global Assignments Americans Abroad - The Adams Report
The Expat Forum
The CIA World Factbook 2001
World Travel Guide
A Nice Page of Bermuda Links Including Some on Working There
Everything You Need to Know About Living and Working in Bermuda

Concerning Bermuda specifically, here are a couple of tidbits that I have found through my research.
  • Expatriation with more than two children requires special permission.
  • There is no income tax. You will still be subject to US tax but with a huge (+70K) income exemption.
  • There are tons of hidden (sales, fees, etc) taxes.
  • Plenty of private schools but they are expensive. Good public schools. Current movement to limit expatriate usage of public schools but no such limit yet.
  • Housing is outrageous. Housing allowance is crucial. But on the plus side, every house I looked at on line could see the ocean. Although the cheapest was 2 bedroom for 4K plus a month.
  • Expats cannot purchase real estate with a sales price of under $1M, so renting is pretty much a must. But on the plus side, with the large income exemption you don't need the home interest deduction as much.
  • Can't speak for the life side, but apparently credentials are almost a must on the P&C side.

Like I said, these are from my research and not from personal experience. If someone who has done it contradicts my information, you probably want to listen to them.

Good Luck and hope these help,
Peace,
snafu


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: snafu on 2001-12-14 16:17 ]</font>
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2001, 06:08 PM
The Mister The Mister is offline
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Quote:
On 2001-12-14 15:44, snafu wrote:
Housing is outrageous. Housing allowance is crucial. But on the plus side, every house I looked at on line could see the ocean. Although the cheapest was 2 bedroom for 4K plus a month.
HOLY SH**!
Quote:
Expats cannot purchase real estate with a sales price of under $1M, so renting is pretty much a must.
HOLY SH**!<font size=2> Why not? Can the natives?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Mister on 2001-12-14 17:08 ]</font>
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:20 PM
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from The James Partnership - Recruitment & Executive Search and Selection - Working and Living in Bermuda FAQ
Quote:
Housing

A limited number of houses with a minimum value of approximately $1,000,000 are available for purchase by non-Bermudians. A tax of 22% is levied on the buyer. Certain condominiums above $350,000 are likewise available to non-Bermudians and these attract a purchase tax of 15%. Non-Bermudian executives normally rent furnished houses or condominiums during the term of their contracts.
I am inferring that the limitations are to maintain real estate availability for natives.
______
Peace,
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remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: snafu on 2001-12-14 17:21 ]</font>
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2001, 05:17 PM
Fletch Fletch is offline
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Quote:
HOLY SH**!
Yeah, but the two actuaries I know who made the move to Bermuda picked up a housing allowance of around $50k per year.

Most of what has been said agrees with their experience. Both were recent FSAs when they moved. Bermuda is very expensive (housing is just the beginning), everything is taxed, but the salary level and lack of income tax make up for it.

There are a lot of things to consider, so be sure to do your research if you are considering it. Based on the experiences of the people I know, they have been very happy with the decision.
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Old 01-14-2002, 06:45 PM
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Gatsby is Back
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2002, 09:14 PM
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I am an actuary working in Bermuda in reinsurance.

You should first consider anything else you would consider when moving to a new job. Just pretend the job is in Florida or something. Will you prefer reinsurance to consulting? Does the boss seem OK? Do you think you can get along with the coworkers? What is the office / work environment like?

If you still think you would like to take the job after all that, you need to consider the "Bermuda factor".

Living in Bermuda is very different from living in the U.S. and whether you will be happy here depends on a lot of different things. Let me at least give you the facts:

Taxes: No state, social security, or medicare taxes but you still have to pay Uncle Sam. You get a deduction which changes year-to-year (2002 is $78,000 I think). You will also be able to deduct your rent and some other expenses. There used to be no income tax here but now there is a "payroll tax" that most companies pay so discuss it with them. No sales tax either. The government makes its money on import duties which is one reason everything here is expensive.

Housing: Expensive. Your company should give you a substantial housing allowance. Somebody mentioned $50K per year and that's probably a good start. You cannot buy a house as a non-Bermudian unless it costs about $1.7 million or more (with an extra 20% tax to the government). This is to make sure that foreigners don't buy up all the houses but it also drives rents up. And up. And up.

Work Permit: After you and the company reach an agreement, you will have to submit a work permit to the government. Unless you have been in jail or have some horrible disease, this is basically a formality but it can take up to 3-4 months to get approved. Be ready to wait.

Children: You cannot come to Bermuda with more than 2 children. Period. You can have more after you get here but they give you a hard time about it. Also you only get one car per family so how many can you realistically have?

Car: One car per family. You will need to take a new driver's test and get a new license. Yes, they drive on the wrong side.

CoL: It is extremely expensive to live here. Think twice NYC prices. The most extreme example is milk - $7.50 a gallon. Most things aren't that bad. $5.00 a gallon for gas but the island is small so you don't go very far. As far as shopping in general goes, the basic rule is: don't. Bermudians do all their Christmas shopping in the US because it's worth it even after paying for the plane ticket and paying the import duties. There is a limited selection of most goods and the prices are very high.

Airplanes: While on the subject, take a look at air travel to and from Bermuda. There are about 8 or 10 flights in and out every day. Direct flights to Atlanta, Boston, JFK, Newark, Philly, Toronto, London, and Charlotte (seasonal only). That's it. If you want to get anywhere else, you have to connect. Also, the flights are timed to be convenient for tourists coming here, not convenient for people trying to get to the US for a vacation. It will be late in the evening by the time you reach your destination and you will have to leave very early in the morning to catch a flight back to Bermuda. For example, to go to Orlando you don't get there until after 8:00 PM and you have to leave before 8:00 AM to connect in Atlanta, Newark, or Philly. You always waste 2 days travelling.

Weather: Don't be fooled - this isn't Jamaica. In the winter the highs are in the 60's and the lows in the 50's and it feels much cooler due to the high humidity. It isn't NYC but it can be pretty nippy in the winter evenings when the wind blows. Beach weather lasts March-December for people from colder climates or May-September for Bermudians who don't go in unless the water temperature is over 80. In the summer the highs are in the high 80's and lows in the low 80's (it hardly ever gets about 90). But the humidity is high all year round.

Humidity: You will need dehumidifiers. Lots of them. They will run day and night. Even then you will have mold. On everything. Walls, furniture, my nice leather jacket - everything. Anyplace without frequent air circulation AND a dehumidifier running will get mold instantly.

Food: Forget about Chinese or Mexican. Forget about McDonalds or Olive Garden. There are no chains here (excepte a KFC - go figure) and there is pretty good Italian, seafood, and sushi. Don't count on great steaks here either and just try to find good ribs.

You asked about quality of life especially for younger people. If you are single, I wouldn't recommend moving here. The population is 60,000 and the pool of available young singles is extremely limited - think a small college. In addition, everybody is into everybody else's business because of the size of the island so dating may be uncomfortable. I wouldn't know - I'm married.

You should enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, tennis, golf, and other sports. When the weather is nice, that's what most people are doing (it's a very social island). When it rains, you have to enjoy your book and DVD collection because there is NOTHING else to do. If you like going to malls and museums and shows this is not the place for you. Even movies are pretty weak - we get first run movies but there are only 4 theaters (1 movie each - no multiplex) and the screens are small and the sound is lousy and the seats are uncomfortable. The prices are OK though.

The moral is: the company should make it worth your while financially for you to come. After factoring in the housing allowance, reduced income taxes, increased CoL, and the cost of frequent trips back to the US (to regain your sanity), you should still count on saving a good chunk of change every month. Otherwise it's probably not worth it. Unless you are REALLY into golf, that is. 7 golf courses and 20 square miles - you do the math.

I meant to keep this short but I obviously failed. If you want more info, leave an email and I will be happy to contact you by email or phone. Or just post more questions here - I'll get to them eventually.
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