What’s holding you back from considering retirement in places like Panama, Belize, or Nicaragua? Could it possibly be that you’ve heard too many of the common myths surrounding life in those countries? A lot of people have the completely wrong impression about what it’s actually like to live in Central America, so here are 5 myths…debunked!
- It’s not safe.
Of course, there are bad areas…just like there are in any other country. The United States has beautiful cities, but there are usually areas nearby that you wouldn’t venture out to. That doesn’t mean that city or that country is unsafe, so why should that rule apply to any of the countries in Central America?
Crime rates in expat communities tend to be pretty low. These countries want the expat communities to feel safe, because they are good for the economy, as are tourists. If you do your research and seek out a nice expat community in a beautiful country like Belize, you’ll get to enjoy your new home and feel safe doing so.
- The healthcare isn’t good.
Depending on your healthcare needs, you might have to narrow down your list of possible places to live in Central America based on hospital care. That’s okay! There is a hospital in Panama City called Hospital Punta Pacifica that is affiliated with Johns Hopkins. The school will attest to that hospital being a “state-of-the-art facility.” Not only does Panama City have this hospital, but there are also two others in the area that live up to U.S. healthcare standards.
Another great spot for healthcare is Managua, Nicaragua. Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas in Managua actually caters to the high-end medical care audience, targeting patients from North America.For any of these hospitals, medical care is only a fraction of what you’d pay in the United States, so it’s a win-win, really. Choose the country you’d best like to live in, and then find out where the best healthcare is if that’s your highest priority.
- You can’t live as well.
Many think that if you move to a country in Central America, you’re giving up your quality of life in the United States or Canada for good. Maybe they don’t expect the homes to be as nice, or the WiFi to be quick and available.
The truth is, life in Central America has come a long way in these developments. As a matter of fact, you can probably get a far better house than you’d imagine for much less than you’d have to pay in the States. The quality of living in Central America is like it would be anywhere else – what you make of it.
- You have to be fluent in Spanish.
If you’re unwilling to commit the time to learning a new language in your new home, you don’t have to choose a country in which Spanish (or any other foreign tongue) is the national language. Take Belize, for example. The national language there is English, so you wouldn’t have to learn a new language at all. Many of the tourist and/or expat communities in the Central American countries will also speak English widely. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to learn at least some Spanish, just for the sake of embracing a new culture, but you really don’t have to.
- It’s too hot.
So, maybe you see the possibilities of embracing a new culture and enjoying a lower cost of living, but you’re just not into the tropical or beach climates. Not everywhere in Central America is hot. Take, for example, the popular expat city of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. This city is known for its temperate climate. The homes don’t even need to have heat or air conditioning in them, because the weather is so mild. Places like this exist in Central America, away from the beaches. When you’re considering your options, just remember that beaches aren’t all that these countries have to offer.
With these five popular myths debunked, you can now free up some time to take a good, hard look into what living in Central America is all about. You might be surprised at the possibilities. You can potentially live a higher quality of life where your money goes a lot further and even gain a sense of community among a new circle of friends. Central America consists of a lot of different potential places to live, so don’t do yourself the disservice of lumping them into one generalized category. You’ll miss out!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/civilization-mayan-city-ruins-2472959/