Yes Folks, we are #1...."The world's top retirement havens for 2011".

Now, it's very clear that Don Key West or Granada Sherif did not write this blurb on Nicaragua:

Nicaragua—specifically Leon, Granada, and San Juan del Sur. Nicaragua is more attractive than ever for one important reason: It's a super cheap place to live. I've been a fan of this misunderstood country since my first visit nearly 20 years ago. Property values, especially for beachfront property along the Pacific, reached bubble status last decade. Today prices are more realistic and more negotiable. In the meantime, the cost-of-living has remained seriously low. And last year Nicaragua inaugurated a new and improved foreign retiree residency program. For all these reasons, 2011 is the time to put this country at the top of your super-cheap overseas retirement list.

This line was bit odd: "Property values, especially for beachfront property along the Pacific, reached bubble status last decade"

Does she mean maxed out, burst, topped out? If so, she's a little wrong. Maybe its real estate speak for something else.

She if course being Kathleen Peddicord of "Live and Invest Overseas" and before that Publisher of International Living.

Of course, despite saying this; "Today prices are more realistic and more negotiable", she would not have told you that they were unrealistic back when they "Bubbled"....

Nicaragua is cheap, that's the Oh, and "misunderstood".

So what defines a 'Retirement Haven'?

I would say its not what people have read and will read over the next year...Mind you, we all have a different wish list for retirement. Cheap is likely on all of them.

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And yet

I still live here more than anywhere else!

I'm A Fan

of Nicaragua, find the people engaging, the country unexplored, beautiful, and full of adventure waiting for the right retirees. I've bought a small farm and I have some big plans . .

However, I am a realist and realize that I don't want to "Live Like A Nica" and that means a substantial investment that could be taken overnight by a false accusation a lá Jason Puracal. I've traveled throughout CA and corruption in some form seems endemic everywhere in LA. There are also a lot of honest people. I've had a lot of good experiences. I've never been robbed, assaulted, and I've been in a lot of the wrong places at the wrong times.

I dislike being stopped at every checkpoint by traffic police looking desperately for a "revenue opportunity", but I can live with that. It's the biggest problem I've had in Nicaragua. The problem seems to diminish the further one gets away from major population centers. There also seems to be a blind eye turned to Nica on Gringo crime, especially all the unfortunate incidents reported around SJDS beaches. One can only assume some official complicity.

Precautions DO have to be taken, and anyone building should incorporate as much security into their home as possible. Wealthy Nicaraguans do likewise.

Speaking of security:

If my posts have been unfairly negative, I apologize to all offended, especially to the Nicaraguans who post on the site.

Security ...

... is the biggest growth industry in Nicaragua, and in the States (Homeland Security), I believe.

Certainly some precautions need to be taken. But by building a perimeter of high walls with razor wire & hiring armed guards, you may as well be living in a prison. There's no substitute for knowing & relating well with your neighbors, especially for a foreigner among natives. The true wealth of Nicaragua is its people. Why carve out a little island of foreign comforts when those high walls serve mostly to diminish the sunshine and shut out the joy of life there?

However, the very richest Nicas live like that, perpetuating the feudal system of patrones y peones. It's a class thing. So I guess it depends on who you want your chums to be.


Me and my brother are looking to buy a house in SJDS and my Dad which has retired would maybe be interested....after reading this thread i assume it would be beneficial to have my Dad buy the property under the Retiree plan? is there a big difference if my Dad buys the property instead of my and my brother?


by having your dad purchase.... you eventually get the experience of going through nica probate......

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

It depends

If your dad is going to retire in Nicaragua, sure. He can bring in a bunch of his stuff tax free. I believe he needs to live in Nicaragua seven months a year to maintain his status.

Beyond that, there is no difference. That is, no discounts because a house is retiree-owned or anything.

Retirement age

For usanos in retirement age that can afford to fly to the US (as often as needed) for emergency or ongoing specialized medical care, León, with its primitive medical structure, may be a place to retire, otherwise, i suggest to look for a retirement place with better medical services.


Yes, León Is Trendy

restaurants, university, close to very nice beaches. My feel was much less expensive and over run than Granada (although I liked Granada too).

Like Granada you have to like it hot to live in Leon.

On the other hand, if you are up in the mountains you miss all the action, excitement and energy of the people.

A guy really needs a farm in the mountains (cool nights and mornings) and a pied-á-tierre in León. I believe that some of our community here already have something like this :)

Best of both worlds

That is likely what I am thinking of doing. I first and foremost thought of Leon, for the culture, schools, Beach, etc. But to live there all the time....well. So why not have a mountain home( I'm thinking near Esteli) and a city ( or beach ) getaway. You can spend a little time in each. With the cost, why not!

If You Get

high enough it's very pleasant, cool nights and warm days, but drier and a lot less bugs. It's more NICA too.

Unfortunately, most of the property around Estelí that is higher is expensive. Of course, you don't need that much. You could grow everything you could possibly eat on 2 Mz.

Go north and east, and the price drops dramatically.

There's a trade-off: most people don't enjoy the hermit life, and crave the company of their "set".

If the Government Changes!

Then a little bit of corruption adjustment, Nicaragua would offer a very good place for "Outsource" the very expensive Retirement homes/medicare etc. Needs a favorable Nica government/investment/Judicial system, and a good proposal to individual States. But it ill be years for nicaragua to get there, and even more years for some States to decide it is time to Outsource "Old folks homes"


Nicaragua as end all retirement-No way!

3 months and I want to get back to the states, then after one month in states I look forward to getting back to Nica. So plan should be to include Nicaragua for "retirement" in my view.

Full time in Nica is only for very few gringos-not easy adjustment. Have to be very disciplined person. I admire those who are not phased or outwardly affected.

I have seen more than a few gringos go nuts...

full time only for a few

"Full time in Nica is only for very few gringos-not easy adjustment. Have to be very disciplined person. I admire those who are not phased or outwardly affected. I have seen more than a few gringos go nuts..."

Since I'm planning to come full time, I have to know... Why? What's making gringos nuts?

Wherever you go, there you are. -- Carl Franz

ask tacomasteve....

he left after 5 years and made peanut butter? so he already was skewed toward nuts..... ; )

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

"Smart You Are"

Also, Peddicord now lives part time in Waterford Ireland, or so she says. Depending when she bought, she could have "caught a big cold". My buddy from Waterford sent me this a while back. The lady in the story may not have been too sophisticated as a buyer, but what a nightmare she faces. It would be nice to know how its worked out for the crystal ball of Peddicord.

I kinda agree on the renting. I will likely build a small place as my first real retirement project but more for the security of who I will leave behind, not really for me.

Haven (owned?)

This is perhaps the last of a series of articles she did over th year 2010. Like most such articles, there is rarely anything offered to back up the conclusions or rankings, etc. "Haven", it seems, is basically bang for the buck - which presupposes "cheap" being important. All of her analysis in various artricles, whether stated or not, seems ultimately tied to real estate prices. If land ownership went up, but rental costs remained the same as did all other basic expenses, a place would likely fall off of the top of lists like the one offered here. It can be hard to locate good information/rankings of places per a retiree who isn't interested in ownership because purchase prices cloud so many assessments. In many "havens", renting (compared to owning) is a bargain on a level unheard of in other areas of the world where high ownership costs almost always entail high rent.

Its a bit of an Andy Rooney type post, as in ...

"Have you ever wondered why they call them Retirement Havens?. A haven being: "a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary"...

Besides, we need something light to balance the RSJ discussions :)