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Why Expats are Retiring in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is just as beautiful as it is affordable, which is why so many expats flock to it when it’s time to retire. Retiring in Nicaragua means establishing a cushy lifestyle for such an affordable price, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t relocate sooner. You may even be able to retire early and spend the following years exploring mountainous terrain, volcanoes, beaches, and islands.

About Nicaragua

This Central American country sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It’s known for having a lot of outdoor terrain for exploring, so if you’re looking for a retirement full of adventure, then retiring in Nicaragua is probably right for you.

The main cities to which people usually relocate are Granada, Managua, and Leon. Each city has its own set of perks, but no matter which one you choose, you won’t be far from volcanoes, mountains, beaches (many known for great surf) and islands to explore. Additionally, the cities themselves bring the hustle and bustle you might also be seeking. Granada’s population is 120,000, and Leon’s is almost double that number. Choose your city according to the culture you like best, whether it’s the history and gorgeous colonial architecture of Granada, or the fine art scene of Leon. The cost of living certainly won’t be too high in either city. In Managua, for example, monthly rent in a one-bedroom apartment within the city center averages just under $300 USD. A three-bedroom apartment averages around the $550 range. In Leon, these prices are said to be even lower.

Why Expats are Retiring in Nicaragua

Step aside from the very affordable cost of living (and the type of lifestyle you can gain for such a small amount) and consider a few other points that explain why retiring in Nicaragua makes so much sense.

  1. For those wishing to retire quietly on a laid-back beach where the time moves more slowly, Nicaragua is a hidden haven. With coastlines on both sides of the country, there is plenty of beach to choose from, and even better, many of them are not overpopulated like they are in more popular beach areas like Cancun.
  2. For those seeking a life of adventure and exploration, Nicaragua has the perfect package. The country is ripe with volcanoes (there are 19, to be exact), lakes and rainforest. You can easily find adventures by way of kayaking through the mangroves, exploring its uninhabited islands of Lake Nicaragua and hiking and boarding down volcanoes. You can even trek through the rainforest and get a brilliant view of the colorful tropical birds. Nicaragua is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
  3. This country is not overrun by tourists. In many retirement havens, mostly in areas in the United States like Florida, the crowds can simply become too much. If you’re someone who wishes to retire somewhere peaceful and still beautiful, with pristine beaches, your better option is retiring in Nicaragua. Places like Miami are vibrant and full of activities, but you can find that in cities in Nicaragua as well, without feeling overly crowded.
  4. Nicaragua has a favorable climate. Sure, it can be humid and hot in some areas. What country doesn’t see some of that? Especially since it is home to rainforests and beaches. However, in much of the country, you can find climates that average temperatures in the 70’s all year round. If you like cooler weather, you can settle into a more mountainous area. If you prefer the hot weather, settle near the coastline. This country can appeal to most anyone’s favorite options.
  5. Nicaragua offers great tax incentives for those wishing to relocate. Nicaragua wants to see more people coming into the country and helping to boost the economy, so it offers perks like no taxes on any out-of-country earnings, being able to bring your household goods (up to $20,000 worth) along with you to your new home there, duty-free, and more. Some visas are easier to get than others, and currently the popular favorite is the one that allows you residency via a teak investment. The pensionado visa is the next best option, allowing you to successfully retire to the country.

All in all, Nicaragua offers a viable list of pros and cons just like any other location on the map. However, for many, the pros far outweigh any negative aspects, as long as you can find the lifestyle that would suit you best while there.


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