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Guatemala City, Guatemala

Retire in Guatemala

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Guatemala? Retirees share their experiences living in Guatemala.

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William Russell Health Insurance

How do I meet people in Guatemala?

When we asked people living in Guatemala about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There are group of people biking, playing pokers, theatre. Saturday mid day at the center of town big bbq where lots of expats goes. Lots of NGO offering volunteering plans," said a retiree who moved to Panajachel, Guatemala.

"The best thing a new-comer should do is take a 10-15 ride to Antigua there you can meet all the expats you want," said another retiree in Cuidad Vieja.

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What is life like in Guatemala?

When we asked people living in Guatemala what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"People are pretty much having a great time having a good life. Not too many expat with families," explained a retiree in Panajachel.

"Lives revolve around families and work. In the case of retired expats, we spend our time doing what we want," explained one retiree living in Esquipulas.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do I need to know before retiring in Guatemala?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Guatemala, they said:

"Be prepared to travel by boat as it is only accessible by boat, Understand that it is not a city that offers a great social life but a great community of expats," added another person in Santa Cruz La Laguna.

"Be prepared to live a different life style. Life is affordable, help is affordable. Slower pace," remarked another retiree in Panajachel.

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What type of recreational activities are there in Guatemala?

"This is rustic living. There is incredible hiking around the lake and up the sides of volcanoes. Swimming in the beautiful lake. Walking to do your shopping. There are no golf courses or tennis clubs," remarked another retiree in Lake Atitlan.

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Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Guatemala?

"Most of the staples are purchased in each villages fresh market. The Mayans are farmers and it is a joy to have access to fresh picked veggies and fruits. Panajachel has the widest selection from "stores". There is a Dispensa Familiar (Walmart owned) which is a decent all-things a basic grocery store would have. Chalo's and Sandra's both carry imported goods so you can always get that back home fix (bring money)," said another person who retired in Lake Atitlan.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Guatemala City, Guatemala

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