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Why should we choose Nicaragua over Ecuador, Costa Rica or Uruaguay for retirement

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1/12/2012 14:10 EST

We are trying to choose between the above listed countries for retirement.

Would like to hear comments on why you choose Nicaragua over these other countries.

Are residency requirements any easier in one country over another.

Which country has more expats and lowest crime.

Look forward to your comments.

Thanks, John

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1/12/2012 15:18 EST

Interesting choice of countries. Speaking from the point of view of climate, Costa Rica would be very similar to Nicaragua. Ecuador is closer to the equator but you move up in elevation very rapidly as you leave the coast ao you can find more temperate regions. Uruaguay is about equivalent to Mississippi, possibly a little cooler in the summer due mostly to a breeze. This would give you the broadest range of temperatures between summer and winter generally ranging from the low 60s (upper teens Celsius) to the upper 80s (low 30s C). According to this site ( living in Costa Rica would cost about twice as much as living in Nicaragua, or more exactly your money would go twice as far in Nicaragua, and that has been my impression as well. I can't address living in Ecuador or Uruaguay from personal experience, but my impression is that Ecuador would be similar to Nicaragua and Uruaguay would be similar to Costa Rica. Do you have specific locations in mind for each country?

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1/12/2012 17:23 EST

We live in Nicaragua so are biased to Nicaragua. More info at

We have several thousand expats which is much fewer than Ecuador or Costa Rica but probably more than Uruguay.

We like it here due to the friendly people and the low cost of living. You will need to stay a while in each country to form a true opinion. Different strokes for different folks.

Violent crime is the lowest in Uruguay and Nicaragua. Petty theft is a problem in every poor country.


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1/12/2012 17:53 EST

Hi Mapper55,
thanks for the reply.

By the way, were did you live before Nicaragua also what city do you live in, how long have you been there ?

We live in Arizona, have been here for 30 + years. Retired and want out of the US to enjoy life.

Would enjoy hearing your comments on the cities below.

The cities we are considering are as follows:

San Juan Del Sur


Costa Rica

Your suggestions on other cities in Nicaragua would be helpful.

We really appreciate your comments.
Thanks, John

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1/12/2012 21:43 EST

I am still in the planning stages for my retirement in Nicaragua. I have family and friends in and around Managua and my wife was born and raised there. All of my trips to Nicaragua have been to Managua, but I have traveled to both Leon and San Juan Del Sur several times. Of the two, I prefer Leon but that is because I'm not the beach or boating type. Do you have friends or relatives in any of the places you mention? I highly recommend Darrell's web site mentioned above. If you are unfamiliar with Nicaragua make sure you consider Grenada too. I would take a vacation in Nicaragua. If it is your first trip and you don't know anyone hire a guide with a car. You can probably set it up through a travel agency. Make sure the guide can translate for you if you don't speak Spanish.

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1/15/2012 08:51 EST

I spent 3 years living in Costa Rica as an Expat and I think it is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited in Central America. HOWEVER, the cost of living in Costa Rica is akin to living in The United States. I now live in Nicaragua and despite the fact that it is considered to be a "poor"" country it is a comfortable and more importantly SAFE place to retire. I live in Leon and violent crime is almost non existent here. (However petty crime does exist) There are dozens of outdoor markets where you can find the freshest fruits and vegetables and unbelievably low costs. I would say half of what I paid for similar items in Costa Rica. The advantage of living in a country like Nicaragua is that because there are so many poor people, prices on goods and services must remain low to keep the economy and commerce stable. I recently went to an Opthamologist here in Leon for a thorough eye exam including test for Glaucoma and his fee was $20.00 (For a 1 hour exam). A blood test for Glucose at a lab will set me back around $2.50. My monthly gym membership costs $15. The climate in Leon can be quite hot during the summer months and if you are not accoustomed to warm weather you may find it a bit uncomfortable. I have a blog you can check out with info about Leon I highly recommend you visit Nicaragua and spend a few days or so checking out different areas to see where you feel the most comfortable. I wish you lots of luck in your travels and hope you find the perfect spot. Hopefully Nicaragua will be your next home.

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3/14/2012 10:42 EST

Have you visited any of the countries listed? Uruguay would be my choice form that list. We loved it which surprised us. It is very European in feeling, very safe (way safer to me than the other countries listed) and the food was good. We will be however moving to Pucon, Chile in July.

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