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Retiring in Nicaragua

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mattinnorfolk
9/7/2019 20:14 EST

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!

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paddyoperry
9/7/2019 20:23 EST

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.

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mattinnorfolk
9/7/2019 20:28 EST

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.

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paddyoperry
9/7/2019 21:12 EST

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.

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elduendegrande
9/8/2019 09:32 EST

Mexico outside of the drug corridors should get some scrutiny, especially because you can get an easy 6 month visa to try it out. How are they as far as taxes?

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mattinnorfolk
9/8/2019 09:56 EST

I will do a serious look at Mexico, I think you are right, and also the Dominican republic I know do not tax outside sources of income.

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calsrf
9/8/2019 10:07 EST

I drove my truck home in 2015 also passing through Mexico (during the day) , crossed the border at Matamoros (the worst city) and had no problems. I heard a few bad ?? reports on Alcapulco.

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calsrf
9/8/2019 10:12 EST

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 ??

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cedelune
9/8/2019 10:15 EST

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.

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mattinnorfolk
9/8/2019 10:17 EST

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?

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johnchip
9/8/2019 11:51 EST

"...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.

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mattinnorfolk
9/8/2019 13:39 EST

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.

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elduendegrande
9/9/2019 08:23 EST

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

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paddyoperry
9/9/2019 09:09 EST

Well written.

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KeyWestPirate
9/9/2019 13:04 EST

Yes,, a lot of good points.

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.

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mattinnorfolk
9/9/2019 14:03 EST

Mexico it is then!!

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elduendegrande
9/10/2019 09:51 EST

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.

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volcan357
9/10/2019 11:06 EST

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.

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elduendegrande
9/10/2019 11:16 EST

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.

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johnchip
9/10/2019 11:21 EST

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.

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volcan357
9/10/2019 11:23 EST

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.

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johnchip
9/10/2019 12:03 EST

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

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mattinnorfolk
9/10/2019 12:54 EST

Do you presume you know everyone situation? That’s very impressive, How do you know everything about everyone on here? Just curious.

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mattinnorfolk
9/10/2019 13:38 EST

That’s a great idea, as it’s only about A 45 minute flight to mde.

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mattinnorfolk
9/10/2019 13:53 EST

John, It is easy to just get an address in Washington D.C. or whatever to get this ?

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volcan357
9/10/2019 21:13 EST

Thanks for the tip. I didn't know that I suppose I could change my address to my brother's address in Philadelphia. I might not ever use Medicare in any case because I never plan to return to the US.

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volcan357
9/10/2019 21:57 EST

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.

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