I was convinced I would retire in Colombia, but their taxes on worldwide income even SSN or pension income, and mandatory 12.5% for their government EPS health makes that look difficult if I keep paying for Medicare . In Latin America I can only find Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua that do not tax worldwide income. I am a single, 62 year old guy, and was hoping for thoughts on retiring there. Thanks so much in advance!
Martin, Panama hands down. Not as inexpensive as Nicaragua but the pensionado discounts are tremendous. I mean 15% at subway for cryin out loud. As much as 25% on airline tickets, medical insurance I don't know about personally but I've read that it's inexpensive too. But the best part is it's not too far culturally from being in the US. I have a Nica passport, my Mom was from there. Lived there 8 months but visited every year since 2001. Moved to Panama a year ago and am now applying for residency. I can't draw SSN yet so I can't use the pensionado program but I really love it here. Depends mostly on what you're comfortable with. If you haven't visited either country you can't even begin to make a decision. Hope that helps.
Thanks. I have been there twice to Boca Del Toros and Panama City and liked it very much. Boca del Toros is incredible but not for living full time, and Panama City is an expensive Metropolitan area, that is good for a city weekend getaway, but not to live. What areas do you like there? Thanks.
I'm a Chicago boy, after 8 months in rural Nicaragua I'd had my fill and knew I'd never be a country boy, full time anyway. So I live in the city, needless to say. Coronado was nice, stayed there for a bit, much nicer was el Valle de Anton. Because I'm still working I haven't bummed around as much as I'd like to but that will come.
I retired to Nicaragua after my wife fired me in 2012. Found a Ocean Front lot ?? for 30k and started building. Everything is inexpensive. Vehicle laws suck ?? People are really great but you have to learn Spanish ??
Please be very, very careful in considering the Dominican Republic--I have two separate sets of friends spend time there (months, not weeks) and both independently determined that it was neither a safe, nor a friendly place to settle in as an expat/retiree. They cited many people being rude to them, incidences of violence, gringo pricing, iffy healthcare, and, of course, recent cases of people dying or getting seriously ill because of tampered-with alcohol. One of these couples is now happily settled in Mexico.
"...Thank you for the good information and I am happy for you, how is it with the healthcare, and how is it with single women for a 62-year-old gringo?" If you want a woman who does not speak your language, may at best have a 6th grade education, a shopping cart full of hungry dishonest family members, and if you are a gringo who likes to flash cash and offer visas/green cards/etc, and is willing to support her three illegitimate kids, mother, grandparents, sisters and their kids....the answer is 'no problem',buddy! Best to bring your own.
There seems to be lots of educated working over 45 year old women there, and that is more my type and no way I would bring a USA women if Non USA women are available to date. Just my preference, but I get your point.
First, as far as Nic. is concerned, the Americans here are living in a Fools Paradise. The economy is at the beginning of a semi-permanent depression, the political situation is dangerous with no positive resolution in sight, and the country is particularly prone to natural disasters. Ever hear of the Perfect Storm? We delude ourselves on a daily basis, but that gives no long term immunity to disaster.
You come, know it or not or like it or not, from the world of the Enlightenment, the rule of Science and Reason. That ends at the border or the airport. In many ways, you are not just moving to a different country, you are moving to a different century.
As far as meeting a sophisticated, employed professional woman your chance is right about 0%. This is part because they are few and part because you are not qualified for success.
In your search for a retirement home you may want to ponder this: https://www.worlddata.info/iq-by-country.php
I've been here 11 years now,, and because I live way north,, I've missed out on much of the recent fun.
I drive back and forth to Tucson, every six months. My wife is not yet retired, but it's more about hauling all my stuff down.
I believe too, that the country is going to look like Venezuela in a couple of years. Will that affect me and my neighbors? Not that much. They will miss the electricity, but I have my own, most days more than I can use.
This year, thanks to the dry wet cycle, and the "situation", the price of beans is sky high. Normally the Sandinistas would import beans and sell them at a discounted price to their friends,, but they don't have money this year. Who suffers? Not my neighbors,, they are awash in Guaro with their new found wealth.
The unemployed day laborer in Managua, with the hungry family, is who you have to watch out for. If it's a choice between your wallet and his kids going to bed hungry,, your wallet is going to lose.
The hard times have just started. Next year the banks will not be lending,, this year they funded previously committed loans. The remittances that expat Nicas send back home have been keeping the central bank flush with dollars. It all trickles there eventually, even though dollars are in high demand.
You are only going to find an educated, intelligent, person in Leon, Granada or Managua. Typical of the campo where my farm is, is the little girl who feeds my chickens and pigs on the weekend. She's fourteen,, quit school recently because the C$ 600 I pay her every two weeks meets all her needs.
Life can be good here,, many expats are very content. My farm at 4000 feet has the eternal springtime thing going for it. The north is beautiful,, with views that go forever. But, I have to drive 20 miles to the nearest restaurant,, and even then I have a selection of a handful.
But, it's very peaceful, and I keep myself busy on the farm.
If I were to do it again,, I would retire in Mexico. Nicaragua seems cheap,, but it's not. Nothing is manufactured here. Everything is imported.
My hit list if we get chased out of here is CDMX, Puebla, or Alajuela CR. Merida has potential but I do not like the hot tropical low lands. I have a friend in Panama. Modern and he tells me of some mountains near CD. P that are nice but he is not a masochist with a desire for inconvenience so he stays in his condo on the causeway..
Of course, anyone medicair age should just get his butt back to the states and use the bennies you earned.
You are aware that medicare does not pay out of the US with a few exceptions? Look before you leap. being forced into a national plan may not be as bad as you think.
I applied for Nic medical insurance when I was 59 and got turned down, too close to the 60 cutoff. Also, the p0licy would have self cancelled at age 70. anothe rpolicy did not include terminal conditions. When you get into your 60s in Nic you are supposed to die peacefully without being a burden on society.
Well you know they have been taking out about a hundred dollars month for Medicare B ever since I was 65 years old and I am now 78. I never once used Medicare because I have lived in Panama for the past 20 years. I have thought about cancelling it. I haven't even been to see a doctor in the last ten years. I suppose here in Panama they would take me in a public hospital since I am now a citizen or I could fly back to the States. In any case I don't worry about it. I just figure some day I am going to die so I may as well live where and how I feel like it as long as I am alive. I know some expats here worry a lot about being close to good medical facilities but you are still going to die one day so what is the point? One of the Koch brothers just died of prostate cancer and he was one of the richest persons in the world. Goes to show you that the best medical care in the world isn't going to save you when it is your time to go. My advice would be to live how and where you please and enjoy life as much as you can before the lights go out permanently.
Hope for the best, etc. but if you have ever seen somebody die a lingering death in an un-air conditioned hospital room with 3 other patients and a buttload of flies and zancudos it is a sobering experience.
Your part B is covered by your US reisdency if your income falls below a certain amount. I register my US address in DC where the income rate is wel above my SS pension thus I get free part B. I have made sure my only declared income I have my SS pension. Simple but you got to be smart.
mattinnorfolk. If you get residency in Panama you can spend 6 months a year in Colombia as a tourist and not be part of their tax system. Flights between Panama and Medellin are very cheap and it is less than one hour flight time.
I find it odd that an expat thinks they can come with thir baggage, dreams had been working for me in my CR B&B 20 yrs ago. Their babies were born with me and I became family. I put the kids in private schools, make sure the families have their basic needs and encourage what is their natural strong working ethics. I live here now with a large extended family and I am well integrated and happy. But I know when I go out alone I am always seen as 'the gringo'. I sadly see so many on this site and others dreaming of their 'get-away' Knowing they have no clue of the hardships they will face in isloation
One thing that prevents you from feeling isolated anywhere in Latin America is becoming fluent in Spanish. Due to a ten year marriage to a Panamanian women who never once spoke English to me nor any of her family I have become very fluent. The only place I use English is on forums like this one. None of my friends can speak English and I don't even notice it. I have been to the Dominican Republic a number of times and everybody there is very friendly to me. I have never met a single person in the Dominican Republic who spoke English but that might be related to where I go. My current wife is Dominicana and she of course speaks no English. I find Latin Americans in general to be very friendly much like people in the southern USA. I am originally from Pennsylvania but I lived in the mountains in southeastern Tennessee for 25 years. To me the Panamanians near where I live are Spanish speaking hillbillies. They both like to keep old junk cars in their yards and the both love to gossip about each other (chismos). I really feel part of Latin American culture and would never consider moving back to the USA. For one thing I don't like winter. Of course everybody needs friends. If you can't speak the language that can make you feel isolated. Actually I do have one Panamanian friend who is quite fluent in English. When we talk we go back and forth between the two languages. Once in the Dominican Republic I had my wallet stolen by two guys on a motorcycle. I went to the police and they drove me all over town in an old beat up police car trying to find the guys who stole it. We never found them but eventually my wallet turned up minus the cash I had but I was glad to get my credit cards and cedula and driver's licence. Anyhow i have thought about moving to Nicaragua because Panama doesn't want to give her a visa. However I have discovered that the Tico taxi drivers are pretty adept smuggling people across borders. So I think I will have her fly to Managua and go to Peñas Blancas and find somebody to help me get her to Panama. She is Latina and doesn't look any different than a Tica or Panamanian girl. I am the one that looks different but I have a Panamanian passport. I have passed through Nicaragua a number of times but I have never spent much time in Nicaragua. I would like to do so. I am sure it would be interesting. I live near the Costa Rican border so it wouldn't be that far.
I have never been to Nicaragua but to other latino countries yes. Recently i got interested in moving to Nic because I am tired of doing 9-5 and make politicians richers and get poorer each month. I have been reading and researching a lot about Nic. The more i read about it the more it seems that the downs are heavier than ups. It's a shame though. I speak spanish thanks to my colombian gf :). but i will go to Leon and Granada to see it in person.
Remember,, much of the political turmoil is water off the expats' back. To this point, no one I know has been bothered. Traffic is down, making travel easier.
Residencies are being processed quickly. I got mine done in less than 6 months, and a friend's is looking like it will happen even quicker An important caveat here is,, choose someone knowledgeable to help you, and who who package your paperwork to INTUR's satisfaction. Any Nicaraguan lawyer will eagerly take your money, and do little or nothing.
Nicaragua HAS become more expensive,, food and fuel,, except rents are very soft. Without some external correction to the economy in the form of a bailout, things will continue to spiral downward.
Come and visit. Hotels are very inexpensive now,, deals abound.
I agree with KeyWestPirate that life is back to normal. Super La Colonia finished building their Diriamba store. MaxiPali is building in Dolores. Traffic stops are almost unknown - maybe the cops are busy protecting themselves?? But I still await Dan's succession with anticipation. It might not affect us...but it might??? H2O 212F
The economic slow death will affect everyone, but of course some more than others. Everything has changed, but nothing has changed. If you have foreign money you are golden for the time being but if you have Nic relatives who have to work you get sucked down into the pit.
To Elduendegrande, what do you mean exactly by "if you have foreign money, you are golden for the time being..."? Do you expect home to be taken, life threatening situations arising, a general malaise.. And how long is the time being? a few months, a few years, now? We all appreciate your insights as you are writing advice a long time and live in Nicaragua a long times you are on the ground so to say. Thank you for your time and consideration.
My advice to anyone considering retiring in c4 is to seek opportunities elsewhere. Each of these countries is unique and uniquely doomed for their own internal reasons. Those here can stay, lay low, travel less incountry, avoid politics, limit your commitments and hope for the best. You will hear things you do not want to replete. Live with it.
Visitors and snow birds can relish in the empty tourist resorts and cheap restaurants. There is no immediate problem if you are are discreet. We are looking at a family outing to Montelimar for mental health reasons!
Not to speak for anyone else, but my opinion is...with US dollar income, we are a valuable industry......Only the oligarcy lives better.....The time factor is..Dan's exit. That might be an interesting month....H2O 212F
Regarding the reference to "if you have foreign money, you are golden" - I believe this is referring to people with Social Security income in the USA or other substantial income from outside of Nicaragua. If you are not taking a job away from a local and you want to spend your US dollars in Nicaragua, you should be a desirable candidate for residency.
I recently found that those who apply for residency as Pensionado or Rentista (i.e., with "foreign money") do not apply for residency directly with Migracion but rather apply thru INTUR - the Nicaraguan tourist agency. INTUR works with Migracion, to process your residency, but it seems that the intent is to expedite such residencies?
shermannwc: Thank you that is most interesting. We will be living off foreign money from the USA and can contribute to the economy locally nicely which is what we intend to do. Since eI had lived in Italy at an early age for almost a quarter of a century , I leaned not to be an Ugly American and certainly will not be one in Nicaragua. We will apply as Pensionado and I hope they will accept me as I am very old already... We also read ,it is easy to apply for citizenship as well..might behoove us also. Thank you again for the information shared.
elduendegrande, Thank you for your detailed response. we plan to be very discreet, enjoy our home and the ocean..For now we come and go..Montelimar is where we have good friends and no far from our place..the sea air is essential for my well-being. From 15 on, I learned not to be a typical North American tourist. I have family in Europe, lived in Italy and we have many Nicaraguan friends..we are very fortunate...so yes, lay low, no big plans to travel in country , we always avoid politics and will certainly limit commitments.. Let's hope we can continue on and live out our life as we have planned.. Thank you again for the insight.
I am sorry that you choose to insult me that way...In Europe the North American(USA) was not so quiet and polite.. I have always been honest to a fault, generous beyond measure and polite...But you are entitled to jusdge me as you want:0
When I went to Europe for the first time at 15, I was astonished at turists'behaviour...that was all I was saying...and I made certain never to be loud, complain, and always be generous...in any country...people from the USA,in the 60s had money and thought that money talked!...that was all I was saying..the Germans were very similar as well...and the Swiss quiet but arrogant... So if I offended you, I apologize ...I have stayed away from. this group a long time, but thought this post very interesting... I will not post again... Have a good evening and thank you for the hard lesson.
feliceb: We do not all take our meds on schedule.....I suggest you not let one bad experience turn you off.....You & I have shared some good exchanges.....I do not want to lose you from the group.....H2O 212F
You are an amazing insightful person... Again my most sincere apologies for having insulted you and a whole continent... I am now withdrawing from this totally.. I hope you can continue to educate the ignoramus similar to me as you have evaluated me... Thank you profoundly for the lesson...
The topic here is retiring to Nicaragua. I have lived in Panama for the past 20 years and have spent quite a bit of time in Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic where I am right now. I think what would be the greatest interest to anyone considering a move to Nicaragua would be how the situation with the government which started with the protests in April of last year might affect their life. Of course no one can predict the future. The situation could get worst in Nicaragua or it could get better. However people actually living in Nicaragua can at least describe the present situation. I am interested in Nicaragua because my wife who is Dominican can enter Nicaragua without a visa. Panama has denied her visa several times saying it is a marriage of convenience. I could move to the Dominican Republic but that would be more difficult. I am much closer to Nicaragua. Of course Costa Rica is not an option because it is too expensive. I live very close to the border with Costa Rica. right now I am trying to sell my property in Panama. Anyhow people criticise each other on these forums which is not a good thing. The idea is to share information. One thing that would be interesting is a comparison of prices or the cost of living.
volcan357: We find the present living situation to be normal,....As always, the presidential succession is unknown & potentially chaotic. Our water bill is $15, elec & cel, $50 each., gated-rent $425.... Send me a personal message, & I can e-mail you my Welcome Wagon which might be helpful...H2O 212F
Feliceb, missed you. but when you come back, you come back with a bang! Good for you! This guy is a idiot. ""The typical North American tourist is polite, honest and generous" ? Where is he coming from? Most "tourists" are self-centered, nasty, homophobic, xenophobic, uni-ligual, clueless, and cheap. We are not tourists. We are invested in our lives here. Keep commanding respect from these outlanders who have no clue. I'll back you up with my internet machete, papaya and mangos!
JustSomeGuy. do you know what a fool you just made of yourself? You cannot come onto our forum and potificate to residents how they must respond or act as 'tourists:. We are not tourists, we are mpstly legal residents invested in our lives here, unlike you vagabond 'tourists'. Stay out of the business of expats until you become one.
Gee John, I’ve always had good experiences with tourists. There was one British guy who got a little rough when he drank too much, but he was still a basically good guy. I don’t know where you guys find all there awful tourist.
I know I get more negative when I run into negative people, it’s hard to stay positive when good people are being criticized. Maybe the ones who meet you guys pick up on your guarded attitude and react to that? Or maybe you guys are just unlucky.
Having never had a single bad experience with tourists it is easy for me to be open around tourists. I hope things get better for you.
Those Mexicans really went above and beyond. We were all going up the same mountain. I was solo and they asked me to join them. The next day when we got off the mountain they gave me a ride into town. What a great crowd. Really boils my blood when people trash them.
The book THE UGLY AMERICAN pointed the finger at Gringos, in particular, who acted like they owned the world when they traveled - maybe because they did own so much of it. Hopefully the average Gringo tourist is better-mannered these days. With that background, maybe we old-timers are still suffering the sins of our fathers???H2O 212F
She doesn’t just trash Americans, she goes after Mexicans, Canadians, Germans and the Swiss. And this has been going on since the 1960’s. What kind of life is that? Maybe you could help her to see this is not normal.
I’ve met a lot of Germans, they’re really nice and I know a Swiss guy, not well, but he is very likable. I’ll let him know he is quiet but arrogant, I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know the Americans are thinking of him. I’m not used to this open prejudice.
My advice feliceb is to print this thread, show it to a professional therapist and ask how you might improve your outlook. In the mean time consider dropping all the negative comments. Stop painting with so broad a brush. I would bet the Swiss and the Germans think you are an Ugly American, when you look down on people they often figure it out.
Hola! I recently completed the process to receive my residency via INTUR. I am retired and living with income from USA social security and minthly deposits from an IRA. The process included a pap smear, police report, home interview and a pile of legitimized documents. Birth certificate had to he apostilized in USA. It took about 3 months in all including 4 trips to Managua to immigration and INTUR offices. Happy that's over and I have my official CEDULA!
Well,, I didn't need a pap smear but my residency went quickly too,, probably 5 months.
This seems a good time to be applying, despite the political situation. I found INTUR very welcoming.
I used a young lady in Estelí to package my residency and interface with INTUR. My package was perfect, and they began to process it that day. You need three trips, one to present your package, one to pick up your collila (get out of jail free card), one to pick up the INTUR paperwork, which you can immediately take to Migracion for your cedula. The cedula takes about an hour or two, depending on the line, and costs C$5000.
I paid Arielka $350,, she accompanied me on all the trips,, and I paid Arielka's lawyer $200. Arielka's English is flawless, and she handled the lawyer as well. A thoroughly pleasant experience
Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and friendly people.
Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and fr...
An expat who moved to Leon, Nicaragua talks about how she chose Leon, finding her first place to live with the help of a local real estate agency, getting advice from other expats before she moved and much more. She advises others to bring more sheets and towels, more pots and pans and to leave fancy, warm clothing and shoes at home.
An expat who moved to Leon, Nicaragua talks about how she chose Leon, finding her first place to live with the help of a local real estate agency, getting advice from other expats before she moved and...