The standard of living in Granada, Nicaragua
is subjective. It’s completely different for the native Nicaraguan, who makes $600 to $1,000 a month, as compared to the standard of living for the expat.
Even discussing the standard of living for the typical expat in Granada, Nicaragua is all over the board because there are expats who are living solely on Social Security, all the way to expats who are multi-millionaires who have homes in three different locations of the world and where their home in Granada is just one of their homes, and they spend a couple months here, a couple months, for example, in Ecuador, some time in Spain, etc.
Discussing the standard of living in Granada, Nicaragua is not like discussing the standard of living in the United States, for example, in Miami. In Granada, there is no average per se because of the interesting diversity of the people living here.
Relative to what you could buy in and what standard of living you would be able to attain in Granada as opposed to the United States, your money stretches a lot farther here in Granada, as a Third World country. In Granada, your basic supplies or basic “basket” (what they call in Spanish, your “canasta”) defines what it costs to live at the sustenance level. This includes things like eggs, milk, cheese, butter, rice and beans. The basic basket is much less expensive in Granada than in the US. But even above that, the cost for items such as rent, movies, dinners, all are much more affordable in Granada than in North America.
Here are some examples. The cost to build a luxury house in the US is about US $150 per square foot. You can build the same luxury house in Granada for $55 - $60 per square foot. You go out to dinner and a movie in the US for $125 and here in Granada, the same would cost you $40 - $60.
The cost for medical attention is much, much
less in Granada as compared with the US. Let’s consider, for example, elective cosmetic surgery, because its something your insurance wouldn’t pay for. In the US, it may cost you $2,500 to have your eyelids done. Here, it will cost you $450. A colonoscopy in the US would cost you $1,800 to $3,500. If your insurance covers it, it may cost $2,500, so with a deductible, you may pay $500 out of pocket. In Nicaragua, a colonoscopy is $350 total, without insurance. Here in Nicaragua I just pay for items like colonoscopies in cash (no insurance) for the same amount I would have to pay with insurance in the US. Then, I get to keep whatever my monthly insurance cost in the US would be—many, many thousands of dollars per year.
In Granada, we live very well. If you’re living on $3,000 a month in Granada, you can afford to have a maid and a gardener / driver. You would pay each of them $200 per month. So, if you want to go out at night and you don’t want to have to drive, you can have your driver take you. And, you can have a maid all day for 5 – 6 days a week who also cooks your meals for you.
Even though you may not need as much money to live in Granada as compared with the US, your standard of living is higher in Granada. You can afford the help, either because you need it, or you just want to have a more relaxed lifestyle.