An incredibly cheap option in Central America.
Location: Central America
Currency: Nicaraguan córdoba (1 USD = approx 34 Nicaraguan córdoba)
Time Zone: GMT -6 (Your 6 pm BJT classes start at 4 am in Nicaragua.)
Population: 6.2 Million
Internet Speed: Nicaragua’s internet capability leaves a lot of room for improvement. Speed Test’s Global Rankings has Nicaragua sitting in 153rd place (out of 190 countries) with fixed broadband speeds of 10 down and 6 up. Even in more populous tourist areas, like Granada, the internet is not always sufficient. Many travelers recommend getting a USB modem and purchasing a data plan from a cell phone provider. While not incredibly cheap if you’re using large amounts of data, the speed is adequate.
Visa: If you are American or EU citizen, you can stay in Nicaragua for 90 days without a visa. Nicaragua also has fantastic incentives for retirees. Those wishing to retire from abroad need to show only $600 per month in retirement income to qualify for the visa. This does not need to come from a pension, you just need to prove that it is stable. International Living has a great article on the tax benefits for retirees in Nicaragua. For those with a bit of extra cash who are willing to make an investment of between $30,000 to $35,000 in Nicaragua, you can apply for an investor visa. It’s advisable to contact an attorney to help with the process.
Healthcare: Healthcare in Nicaragua is improving. A 2011 report from PATH outlined some of the major challenges the country’s health system faced. It remains one of the poorest nations in Latin America. A more recent report from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs was titled Nicaraguan Health Care: A Post-Revolutionary Failure. A much brighter picture was painted by International Living, citing access to something akin to private insurance at a larger hospital in Managua. Check out World Nomads for travel insurance.
Cost of Living: If you want to live in Central America, it’s hard to beat Nicaragua. Numbeo estimates the cost of a one-bedroom apartment to be about $225 per month in Managua or just under $400 per month in the center of Granada (a popular expat destination). If you are interested in a place with a strong expat community, check out the International Living article on Granada.
The information provided in this article is provided purely as a matter of convenience and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney before making the decision to relocate.