Nicaragua – an Affordable Retirement Destination

Talk to any expat living in Nicaragua and you won’t find one who regrets their decision to move to Nica.  Rather you’ll find them leading very relaxed lifestyles, happy with the choice they’ve made for their life.  The reasons for moving are varied.  Ask some, they’ll answer they’ve worked hard all their lives, taxed to death, and they became fed up.  Their savings took a beating during the recession.  They grew tired of the politics.  Healthcare in America was eating into their savings and they thought if health insurance costs and medical care keeps rising, there will be nothing left of what they’ve worked and saved for. These are some of the more serious reasons for their decision to retire in Nicaragua.

They traveled to Central America.  Some went to Panama, some to Costa Rica, but many ended up in Nicaragua. It was Nicaragua’s low cost of living, the low crime rate, the warm climate and the low cost of healthcare as the chief reasons they eventually settled here. There’s one other reason too that these retirees settled here.  Ask anyone and they all praise the friendliness of the Nicaraguans.  Everyone says the same thing.  Nicas are friendly and polite.  You’ve got to come here to experience it.

Don’t let anyone kid you.  Although most things you need to live this life are less expensive, there are two things in Nicaragua that are currently more expensive.  Electricity and gasoline.  Need an air conditioner regularly?  You’ll find your bill will run about $230 – $300 during the hot months, depending on the size of your home.  Most retirees and expats get used to not using air conditioning and rely on a fan during the hot nights.  Don’t think it can be done? Well, it can, once your body has acclimatized to the different temperatures.

Gasoline is the same price as gas in Canada.  Americans pay less for gas so they may find the cost of running a car more expensive than they’re use to.  How often will you use a car?  Eventually, you’ll do what others do.  Buy a motorcycle, walk everywhere, hop on a bus, book a taxi.  There are lots of options and you won’t find that you use your car as much as you think you will.  You’ll also find yourself walking more because there’s much to see along the way and, you benefit by getting more exercise.


What’s cheaper in Nicaragua?  Food is cheaper, fresher and usually organic unless you buy imported food products.  Freshly caught fish, local tropical fruits, the best tasting beef you’ve likely ever had (it’s without the chemicals, the hormones and anti-biotitics they add to cattle in North America).  There’s a lot of advantages when you decide to pack up and retire in Nicaragua.

Housing, whether a rental property or something you own outright is less expensive.  Water is cheap.  Property taxes are unbelievably low.  Our dentist who lives in Managua owns a three bedroom house in a nice suburban neighborhood.  His property taxes per year?  $50.  Yes, you read that right.  A whole $50 a year.

Dining out?  You’ll find entertainment won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  You can enjoy a fish and lobster dinner, dessert, beer and wine – for two – a whole $47.  You can even dine for less than that.  Living in Nicaragua, you’ll eventually find your own restaurants with great food at even better prices.  Still, a beer is about a dollar, but a glass of wine will cost you $4.00 because – it’s imported.


Finally, healthcare costs in Nicaragua are one of the main reasons people decide to retire in Nicaragua.  Most expats and retirees sign up for the health club plan at the very modern Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas in Managua.  Hospital Metropolitano offers a plan with low rates in the $25 (approx.) a month which entitles you to have anything from a basic to a complex checkup, to surgeries for anything at an incredibly discounted price.  This is an accredited hospital and the doctors speak English and are trained in the US, South America and Europe. This is the main hospital in Managua used by expats and retirees.  But there are other hospital facilities in Managua as well.  You’ll also find that some expats don’t even sign up for the healthcare plan and pay a doctor when they need to see one because healthcare costs are that low and doctors here still make housecalls.  Don’t get me started about the low cost of prescription drugs in Nicaragua – they are unbelievably cheap and you don’t need a prescription for most medications.

Retirees and expats all say they love their chosen lifestyle.  They wouldn’t change it for anything.  Life is different they say, simpler, they need less things.  Stress has gone.  One lady I know who’s over 50 sees nothing wrong with hopping on the back her husband’s motorcycle, wrap her arms around his waist and off they’ll go on for a ride to a nearby beach, Nica-style, no helmut.  Another lady whispers to me, “all your aches and pains disappear when you retire in Nicaragua.”  That probably has a lot to do with the climate and the reduction of stress levels in your life, the healthier food and the laid back style of living.  People are happier here.  However, no matter whom you talk to about retiring in Nicaragua, they all say the same thing about life here:  “the people are so friendly.”