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Carlos Roman Gutierrez Solis of Casa Granada Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Your standard of living depends on how easy it is for you to adapt in a different country. It is all about attitude and how open minded you are in accepting different cultures. Usually, when a person comes from another place, we try to bring in our way of living and we think this is the way we like it and this is how it should be. Then later on, you’ll have conflicts between you and the local people. My suggestion is to be open. Be flexible and adapt to the culture.
 
If as an expat, you learn to accept the Nicaraguan culture, you would have a great standard of living and a great lifestyle because things are very inexpensive and there are so many wonderful things to do as long as you don’t get aggravated by how things are done differently in Nicaragua compared to how they are done more efficiently in the US.
Barry Oliver of Surfing Nahua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Oceanfront house, Casa Blue in Aposentillo, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you’re smart and invest wisely, the standard of living in Nicaragua can be extremely high. A person can easily live on a decent budget in a nice home on the beach with a nice car, and have not only a maid, a gardener and a cook, but also a chauffeur who takes care of anything he needs. There are very good highways, phone systems and banking systems in Nicaragua, so you could live high on the hog in Nicaragua on a very low budget. 
 
Your money goes a lot further in Nicaragua. In San Diego, I used to live in a two-bedroom condo about two miles from the beach, and I was working 60-hour weeks, so I didn’t have much free time. Now, living in Nicaragua, I can afford to live very close to the beach or the ocean view. I can also afford travel, have more free time now than when I was staying in the corporate world, and I can afford to buy things that are a lot less expensive. The freedom of owning my own business as well helps tremendously.
 
(Oceanfront house, Casa Blue in Aposentillo, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Daniel Snider of Snider's Realty Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Nicaragua beach house – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua the standard of living compared to other places in Central America and Latin America is very good for the average retiree. Your dollar goes a long way down here. Right now especially there’s a lot of land being made available and there’s a lot of sales of beachfront properties that would be ideal for a retired person.
 
This would be a good time to invest in Nicaragua.  We are one of the top three countries in Latin America for standard of living for what you get for your money.  Also, the people here enjoy a very relaxed way of life, especially the retirees.
 
Here’s a comparison as an example.  On an average pension check of about $2,000, in Nicaragua compared to California, you could buy about 4 or 5 times as much food, probably rent would be a quarter or a fifth of what it would be in Santa Barbara or probably less (it depends on where you’re looking).
 
In addition, the crime rates are super low in Nicaragua so people feel very safe going about their daily lives and traveling around the country.
 
(Nicaragua beach house, Rancho Santana, Mexico, pictured.)
Marissa Gabrielle Lolk of Jireh Dental Care – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Marrisa Lolk's children enjoying playing outside, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe quality of life here in Nicaragua is very safe. There is nothing crazy like gangs here. Your kids could go out pretty safe. I think it is because the people here are behind so it is almost like you are going into another era, which I think is nice. People here are more traditional so they are more about getting to know their neighbor. I feel like they are not exposed to things like the ugly side of the American culture.
 
I know that expats come here and live here for a reason. Some of them do not like being in the States anymore. For me, that ugly side of the American culture that you don’t want your family to be exposed to in the US, like racism, class division, etc., is not here. You can get to know a lot of people here from different places and different realms of life and everybody is just okay with that.
 
I also think that it is nice to have a little bit of struggle. As an expat, we’ve had everything that we ever needed and wanted in the US; even things that you don’t know you needed or wanted, you had. We have so much luxury and so much comfort. When you go out of the US and you don’t have that anymore, you get a little thrown back by it but the honest truth is that you learn that you don’t need all those layers of comfort. You just need to be you and then figure out what you need here in Nicaragua and you will be comfortable.
 
It is nice because you will realize and appreciate things a lot more this way. It makes me feel really good that my kids are growing up pretty sheltered. If you talk to my kids about brands and the materialistic side of the US, they don’t know what that means because that doesn’t exist here. My kids don’t play on tablets; they go outside and play. I like that people here are not focused on the material things. They are not focused on what you’re wearing. There are other things that they value here.
 
(Marissa Lolk's children enjoying playing outside, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Zachary Lunin of Aurora Beachfront Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dinner at the Beach Barn, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe standard of living here in Nicaragua varies depending on your status in life. Just like in the US, some people live well, and others not so well.
 
Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and there are lots of people here who live on very little, but they live very happily. When you get into the happiness factor, I would say that Nicaragua is easily the happiest country in Central America and the happiest country in this part of the world. Some people here do not live having the latest gadgets or a brand new car and perhaps, are even without power in their house, yet they live with a smile on their face and they are living very well. So in that sense, the standard of living is highest in this part of the world. People here in Nicaragua are happier than the average person in the US.
 
People here in Nicaragua are very happy and they enjoy their life whether they are doing very well financially or not. One of the things that you find in Nicaragua is that you have more of is time, and time is very valuable. People enjoy their time here. This Nicaraguan culture rubs off on the Americans who come to live here.
 
One of the main reasons why I decided to live here in Nicaragua is the quality of life. I made a decision as a young man that time is more valuable to me than money and by living here in Nicaragua, I have a lot more time in my day than I would have living in Boston. This is a hard thing to explain to someone who has not been here. They say, “How can you have more time in your day when there is only 24 hours in a day everywhere in the world?” I have found that to be untrue because here in Nicaragua, you just have a lot more time in your day. You have a lot of time to do the things that you really enjoy doing and to do the things that are most valuable, which is spending time with your family and the people you love.   
 
(Dinner in the beach community of Chinandega, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Julie Speier of San Juan del Sur Day School – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Pool in an enclosed patio, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe standard of living in Nicaragua has huge variations. There are Nicaraguans who live in dirt floor shacks with plastic roofing on the side of the road, and then there are beautiful high-end mansions owned by Nicaraguans as well.
 
I find my standard of living higher than it would be in the US. I have a beautiful swimming pool and a three-bedroom house that in the US would cost quite a bit more than it does h ere in Nicaragua.  I have a lot of friends, who moved down here for a simpler life. They wanted to downsize and they are happy and content in a more Nicaraguan-style home. Your standard of living here in Nicaragua would depend on what you are looking for.
 
There is a great price range here in Nicaragua. For example, you can find a basic one or two-bedroom apartment for US $250 a month to rent, or you can also find a beautiful house with a swimming pool and an ocean view for $2,000 a month. Purchase prices vary as well.
 
A lot of people from North America move down to Nicaragua and think they are going to save a lot of money, but the reality is that if you are moving down here to Nicaragua and you want the same quality of life that you had in the States with the same products, then you are going to pay more for it here than you would in the States because these products have to be imported. If you like going out to nice dinners and if you want to eat filet mignon, you are going to be paying the same amount, if not more than you would be paying in the States.
 
However, if you are willing to live a basic, middle-class lifestyle by US standards, you could pay less here in Nicaragua, but this would also depend on where you are from. I am from Cincinnati, which is an affordable city and where the rent is very comparable to the rent here in San Juan del Sur. In contrast, my dad is retired and he’s spent the past 3 months here and he gave himself a budget of $1,500 a month including food and rent and he is able to do it with problem!
 
(Pool in an enclosed patio, Nicaragua, pictured. )
Mario Robleto of SAENICSA Accounting and Tax Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Pool overlooking the Pacific ocean in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is a lot of poverty in Nicaragua. Nonetheless, the middle class is growing and the upper class also exists. Almost anywhere you go you could find poverty, middle class people, and upper class people. 
 
You could have the same standard of living here that you would have at home. For example, if you would like to have a house built just as your house was built back in the US, you could do it. The materials are here, and we have people who can build it here.
 
In order to give an example for expats, let’s compare how a couple would live in Indianapolis (which is where I’m from), with Nicaragua, on US$2,500 per month.  In Indianapolis $2,500 a month be a very tight budget, but here in Nicaragua that’s actually a very reasonable, a very good salary. On $2,500 a month in Nicaragua, you would have money left over to be able to freely travel, live on the beach or stay where you wanted to and you would have the amenities that you would have in your home country.
 
Your life in Nicaragua would be easier.  For example, food cost less and housing cost less. If you want somebody to work for you, to be a maid – to cook and clean for you – that would definitely cost a whole lot less in Nicaragua than what it would in the US. Also, certain utilities cost less. Electricity is expensive, gas is expensive, but everything else is very reasonable.  
 
(Pool overlooking the Pacific ocean in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Jewel Hoff of Tierra de los Suenos – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
fritanga, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPut it this way: a couple can survive pretty well for Americans on US $1,200 a month.
 
Here are some prices and comparisons.  Here, an hour and a half massage costs $10 and they come to your home. A taxi costs 50 cents anywhere I want to go in the city. You can do whatever you want here. So anybody who’s retired and wants to do something they can do it whereas in the US for you to have a good meal it’s going to cost you $30 to $40 with a glass of wine. But here, it’s all about how you eat—you can go where the Nicaraguans go for $5 and have a beer. It’s really good food, all home-cooked. You go buy organic cheese here as opposed to what you would buy in a US supermarket, which is not healthy.
 
When I fill up the trunk of my car with fruits and vegetables for $18, I’m not stressed.  When you pay your rent for a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, brand new home, with hot water for $200 a month, you’re not stressed.  I pay $200 a month for diesel / gas on my jeep.
 
When people move in to Nicaragua their eating habits change for the better, because they’re not stressed, you don’t have the fast food restaurants everywhere, and the food is more simple.  I have a fantastic cook so I can’t say that I eat simple food but most people do. It’s down to the basics. People tend to lose weight, which will make them happier, and they’re stress-free.
 
The only thing that is a deterrent is if you leave your friends and family. There’s one couple here who go back home every 2 or 3 years and visits family.  
 
(Carne Asada, grilled meat, served at a street stall, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Linda Carlson – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Nicarguan coins – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua, just like any other country, it is the rich versus the poor, with a few people in the middle class thrown in. Matagalpa had a higher quantity of middle class than other communities in Nicaragua, but there still was a lot of poverty. Some people lived in shacks while there was a lot of wealth in Matagalpa. The wealth came from families who own some parts of Matagalpa. There is the family that owns the hospital. There is a family that owns a coffee farm that goes back generations.  It’s the same way with the pharmacy. These families live well, as opposed to the typical Nicaraguans who rely on gallo pinto for food. 
 
It is a mixed bag, and, from our perspective, some odd traditions dealing for money.  For example, if you are a poor Nicaraguan, and somebody hands you your change for something you purchased in cordobas, well, a lot of Nicaraguans do not like change or small coins, so they just throw it in the street and keep on walking. It’s incredibly strange. They hate coins. They don’t want to carry it around. Even when I shared my excess of coins that I collected for the poor, they were not happy to get it. They don’t want coins; they just want cordobas. 
 
The standard of living amongst the expats is as good as you can make it. Everybody has a different budget and is willing to pay a different price for their living accommodations, whether purchased or rented. You get what you pay for and you get what you put in as far as effort in looking for a place. A lot of the places up for rent are long standing family properties that they decided to rent out to make income. The structures are either well taken care of and the people are gracious or they’re not well taken care of. But if you really did your homework and you really worked at trying to find a place, your standard of living can be really excellent compared to the US as far as comfort and size of the space that you want.  Overall, it’s just different. It’s a simpler life.  How do you compare apples and oranges, except they’re both fruits?
 
For example, in Nicaragua, you don’t have screened in windows and air-conditioning, but on the other hand, the home your in is pleasant, it’s well painted, it’s decorated nicely, or it isn’t.  What you get, whether you decide to rent or buy, depends on what you put in looking for it. If you are in hurry to rent something, you might not be as careful and might end up at something where you will only stay for three months and then move on to something else. That will change your standard of living because you will have to accept what you just found. 
 
The US is expensive compared to Nicaragua, so you can get a lot more for you money in Nicaragua, but it is different. There is no comparison since it is a completely different living structure. Here in Nicaragua, you will have a completely different style of furniture. Some items are less available; even the kitchen equipment. Living in Nicaragua is a simpler way of living that is significantly cheaper than the US, but you make compromises. You let go of one thing to have another. Living in Matagalpa is letting go of screened windows in order to let in open air and fresh mountain breezes. You let go of hefty, stuffed furniture for handcrafted, wooden ones that may or may not be as comfortable as what you are used to in your home in the States. It is a tradeoff. The US and Nicaragua are two different worlds.  
 
( The coins of Nicaragua, pictured.)
Daniel Bolanos of Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan´s Rock – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
restaurant in Managua, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIt is much cheaper to live in Nicaragua than in Florida, where I come from. Food is cheaper here. The way of life and probably everything else is cheaper here in Nicaragua, with the largest possible exception of buying a car, which is probably more expensive in Nicaragua than in Florida.
 
Food, restaurants, service, etc. is much cheaper in Nicaragua than the States, so it means you could live better in Nicaragua.
 
Nicaragua has its quirks and its pros and cons. If you want to go shopping for clothes, it is cheaper in the States and in the States they have better brands and better quality. But if you consider the cost of food, groceries, houses, and even taxes, it is cheaper here in Nicaragua than in the US.
 
In my personal opinion, in the US, you are just a number, while here in Nicaragua, you are somebody. At least here in Nicaragua, you are a name because Nicaragua is a small country with a smaller population. The population of Nicaragua right now is about 6 million.
John-Marc Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Cattle Standard of Living Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere - second only to Haiti. So the country in itself is very poor and with a very agrarian economy. So it’s not unusual for us to see a traffic jam caused by cattle moving across the highway or having to slow down to 20 miles per hour behind a horse cart, oxen cart or a small herd of sheep or pigs. Nicaragua is very agrarian.
 
I think Nicaraguans in general have a high standard of living. When you see young children or adults coming out of a brick house with a tin roof, a dirt floor, and windows without any sort of glass or enclosure, you will see that their white clothes are whiter than ours are and the uniforms of the kids are pressed. They cook on an open stove but they are healthy, their teeth are white and they smile.
 
Some people may view this scenario as depressing, horrible and say that Nicaragua has a low standard of living. We have to realize that just because someone is poor does not mean their standards are low; it just means that they do not have enough disposable income to own cars and have a 6,000 square foot house. Do you really need that? We have learned as expats that we do not need that.
 
I am not saying that our houses do not have glass in the windows, that our floors are not tiled, that we wash our clothes in the stream or in a basin by hand. We do have washers and we have dryers but we have come to the realization that not everything we have which improves our standard of living always improves our lives. These things just give us more free time.
 
So I don’t pity the poor here anymore. There are people who are in abject poverty who are begging on the street of course but simply to be poor and simply to have a low standard of living does not mean that your standards are low. It just means that you have to wash your clothes by hand and you have to put some elbow grease in order to get them white.
 
People here in Nicaragua eat well, they take care of their body, they are clean, their teeth are clean and white, and most importantly, they are happy. Therefore, it is a matter of perspective and it is a matter of adjustment into what standard of living means to you. The standard of living in Nicaragua is what some people would consider as low but their quality of life is not.

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