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Where to move? Nicaragua from India?

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8/9/2013 04:18 EST

We have lived in South India for the last six years. We are happy here, living in a small city, Tiruvannamalai, where there is much spiritual influence, and a good community of expats. Very much not an equivalent US lifestyle, but that is fine, mostly. Who needs all that stuff that we surround ourselves with?

We are thinking, though, as we approach our 70s, of moving closer to USA. To fly to California from here is a 4 hour taxi ride, 2 hours in the airport, then 24 hours on planes and waiting at airports, another couple of hours clearing customs and getting a rental car. This is too long, and expensive (round trip about $1300 each for my wife an I). This makes it hard for us to travel to visit kids and grandkids.

We have only Social Security, and some savings, so income is low.

My wife has some Spanish, so we are thinking about heading south of USA. We read that places like Costa Rico have gotten expensive. Mexico seems not too safe. Belize maybe too expensive. Good places in mountain in Panama, but again getting expensive now. (I think anything over about $1200 is too expensive for us. We can spend up to about $1600 per month, but this leaves little reserve. Flights from Ecuador seem longer than we want.

So we have been thinking about Nicaragua. They have long term residency for retired old people who can prove income about $800/month for a couple and good health. There is a good hospital in Managua. Granada has a good expat community of about 1000 we hear. There are also mountain cities where it is cool year round. People who visit Nicaragua also say that they like the people there better than any where else in Central America. It is poor, so prices are low, and we can surely live just fine on our budget. Living fine means to me: OK residence, good internet connection, good fresh food available in shops, some selection of western eating places, welcoming people, access to needed health care.

Does anyone have experiences to offer? Or their own thinking about these subjects? Because of our India experience we are, I think, much more tolerant about 3rd world living, and a bit more knowledgeable about what is needed for us to be happy (Like inverter and battery so we can have electricity when the power goes out).

What do you think?

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8/9/2013 07:40 EST

I would avoid Nicaragua or Panama like a plague, there are much better choices; Ecuador, Cost Rica to name a couple. I have visitied many Central and South Americna countries and I live in Ecuador. With your stated income, Cost Rica is probably not an option. Miami is but a 4 hour flight from either Quito or Guayaquil Ecuador.

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8/9/2013 09:40 EST

You guys are great planners! I can only offer what I know. You could probably get along in Uruguay, which has super welcoming people, but no mountains--it is very Kansas-like. And it is a little further from the US. Ecuador is cheap and beautiful in many areas and does use the US$ with many geographic features. For us the flight was not bad in terms of time or $$ but we were headed for the west coast US. You could also look at Bolivia which is further south but very inexpensive.

We are in Chile which is further south still and has what you need outside of the major cities. It would be a bit pricey in Santiago and further from the US.

All have some expats. with Chile and Ecuador having the most.

Best of luck!


Suzie Hammond is the author of; I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be -But it's Not Here (A Comprehensive System for Finding a New Home You'll Love )

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8/9/2013 15:35 EST

La Ceiba Honduras has a lot to offer and looks to fit your needs.
Check out "La Ceiba Beach Club". Or just type in La Ceiba Honduras on Google earth and it will zoom directly to LCBC.

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8/10/2013 20:52 EST

I am glad to talk to you this way. I also lived in S India for 4 years, also mainly in Arunachala, Adyyar and Pondicherry in the seventies, then Hawaii for 34 years. I have traveled the world and am in my sixties. Here is what I have to say.

I recommend you take a good look at your values, requisites and deal breakers..For me there were 3 columns to write about on a big board: VALUES, REQUISITES AND DEAL BREAKERS.

VALUES: Being from Hawaii and valuing health, CLEAN ENVIRONMENT, organic food, great climate year round, low costs for high quality life, intelligent aware expat community, slow pace of life, non toxic environment, and a vibrant Indigenous culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, beaches and mountains

Then I looked at DEAL BREAKERS: Chem trails were top of list, radiation in Northern Hemisphere and food chain second, GMO infestation of food chain, matrix fascist controlled puppet governments, loss of freedoms, and police states ( In other words places that felt like Gotham city) and no Nuclear plants anywhere for more than a thousand miles eliminated many many otherwise wonderful places, as a matter of fact narrowed it to a tiny handfull OF PLACES TO CONSIDER.

REQUISITES were very close to VALUES, abundant water, BEAUTIFULL NATIONAL PARKS FOR TO SEE while nature is still intact (global climate change is taking a toll) no forced vaccinations for kids, home schooling allowed, cheap power, vast varieties of all foods, organic fresh and pure, direct from farms, no supermarket chains needed to eat well., low cost of living really well, a community of like minded people, families, singles, interesting people from all over the world...good infrastructure, good communications, and a really big one was clear skies untainted by the weaponized aerosol sprays that blanket 95% of the world.

So after knowing myself and my values very well, it was simple, my intuition and research led me directly to my place. I came for 4 months by grace and unexpected miracles lining up, I knew this was not the perfect place for everyone, but it was the best I found in this crazy world, of unbridled corporate controll, crumbling systems, natural upheavels, and the killing of our earth. I knew I could carve a life that at the very least would not make make the planet worse off, and at best would awake in me new channels of expression, contribution, service and vibrance.

I have been here now almost 2 years, traveled a bit in the Andes of Peru and Ecuador , and figured this way: since the end game of musical chairs is playing out, there may come a time when where you are is where you sit ( for many reasons), just grab a seat and carve a good life in a sane environment.

Ecuador has a low low cost of living, $1600 a month is a lot here, goes a long long way. Pensionada visas come easy if you have $800 per month in income and cost about $1000 to get, it is close to fly to Florida or LA or Houston, though I fail to see why that is such an attraction. It is far far far more upscale and clean than India, medical is excellent and cheap, seniors with residency get many great benefits, there are extremely spiritual magical people here, the Andes are juicy awake alive indegenous spirit lives! Even the Dalai Lama came to Isla Del Sol Peru and acknowledged the spiritual importance of the Andes for the next cycle. I have lived in juicy places most of my life and this is as exciting to me as discovering India, yoga, meditation, in the seventies. Maui and Mt Shasta and Arunachala are hard acts to follow, and the Sacred Valley of Longevity and Synchronicity Vilcabamba Ecuador is way up there with the top in my book.

In just the first few few short months I have more new friends than I have ever made... I sleep long and deeply in the Pachamama’s arms. I eat the best nutritious organic food, wide varieties of organic vegetables , fresh goats cheeses and raw grass fed goats and cows milk warm from the udder, with all the luscious fruits from coast to Amazon to AndesNothing culinary is lacking here. I have met fabulous and interesting people and had conversations that matter, I have seen the Andes blessings and power, I have seen light/ matter from beyond time in the sky, I have seen the beauty of four Andean National Parks and drink the best water in the world....filled with colloidal gold, magnesium and prana....straight from pristine water sheds of tropical mountains.

There is a new family that just moved here after 8 years in Auroville, really nice people. Ecuador. ....a land that outlawed Chem trails, gave asylum to Assange, passed constitutional Rights for Pachamama, has no GMO crops (yet) and is NOT a police state. Moreover, it is a gorgeous vital land ( comprising Coast, Andean Cordilleros, and Amazon Oriente) and a melting pot culture with amazing DIVERSE expats from all over the and activated, the Indigenous have power and that power often decides elections.

So I would say evaluate your core values, deal breakers and requisites....look at the big picture, make wise choices. Sorry about any misspellings, I am not checking spelling, but was inspired to write you Blessings from the magical Andes of Southern Ecuador

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1/13/2020 11:17 EST

Did you move to Nicaragua? I am from Madras and am moving from the USA to Nicaragua in a few months. Let me know if you have moved. If you have lived in Tiruvannamalai you must be a Tamil speaking person..which I am!


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2/22/2020 21:13 EST

Sorry to say the Retired Residence minimum income per person in Nicaragua has just been raised to $1000 USD per person from $600 USD per person - best join a good small Ex Pat group there in Nica, All very active, - though not anonymous - for really good advice.....

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