Retire To Nicaragua: The Cost of Explained

Have you thought about retiring to Nicaragua but aren’t sure how much money you’ll need? Or would you like to learn more about how your money would be spent in Nicaragua? Look no further because we already have the answers.

What does it cost to retire to Nicaragua?

Rent for a 3 Bedroom House$365 USD / 12,848 C$
Rent for a 1 Bedroom Flat$185 USD / 6,512 C$
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$63 USD / 2,218 C$
Internet$70 USD / 2,464 C$
Maid Service$140 USD / 4,928 C$
Groceries$130 USD / 458 C$
Dining Out (2 people) For 4 times$40 USD / 1,408 C$
Healthcare$160 USD / 5,632 C$
Fitness or Social Club Membership$28 USD / 986 C$
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (1 bed)$816 USD / 29,317 C$
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (3 bed)$996 USD / 35,784 C$

NOTE: These are the average prices of costs in Nicaragua. The prices might differ depending on your personal lifestyle and where you live in Nicaragua.

Now that you know the average prices in Nicaragua, let’s take a closer look at them and see how you may save more during your retirement in Nicaragua.

What Is Nicaragua Like?

Population: 6.6 million
Language: Spanish

Nicaragua is a country in central america bordering the caribbean sea and the pacific with stunning scenery of lagoons, mountains, and beaches. The huge lake managua and also the prominent stratovolcano Momotombo are located north of the city of Managua. To the south, Granada is notable for its Spain’s colonial architecture and a navigable archipelago of islets rich with tropical birds.

Nicaragua’s climate is tropical with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The dry season or summer in Nicaragua and the wet season is in winter. Nicaragua’s climate is a result of its location between the atlantic and pacific oceans, which makes it very humid and tropical climate. The rainy season lasts from May to October and the dry season lasts from November to April. The dry season is the most popular time to visit Nicaragua because of more sunny days and the temperature for beach living. March, April, and May are the hottest months with temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s deg F (32°C to 34°C).

Spanish colonialism has been a major influence on the country.  Combine that with the native culture and there are heaps of places to visit and a rich culture to explore.. In Nicaragua catholicism plays an important role but it is mingled with the native culture so fiestas to honor the saints are common.

NOTE: Check where are the best places o cities to retire in Nicaragua in this article Retire To Nicaragua: The 5 Best Places To Retire In Nicaragua.

What Is Healthcare Like In Nicaragua?

Nicaragua has excellent healthcare particularly in the Managua region. People do not have to pay for routine visits to the doctor because the healthcare system is free to citizens. The healthcare situation in rural areas is not as good so it is always wise to pick a town with a good hospital

Nicaraguan healthcare is much less expensive than the United States. In fact in Nicaragua emergency care in public hospitals is free. Nicaraguan health care is so inexpensive that “medical tourists” visit the country solely for the purpose of receiving medical treatment. Many of the doctors who work in high-quality (by American standards) hospitals in Managua such as the Vivian Pellas Metropolitano Hospital, received their medical training in the United States.

Despite the lower overall costs, it’s a good idea to get health insurance so that you’re covered for more expensive treatments and/or hospital stays. There are many international health insurance companies that specialize in serving expats.

Private Insurance for expat in Nicaragua will start at for as little as $365 USD per year with a $1500 USD deductibles for any major surgery.  While this may seem like a lot for someone 65yo and including dental and repatriation to the USA if needed this is a great price.  This is a global plan and will cover you in any country.  If you are younger and you have different needs you can get this down to about 2 thirds of the price.  You can also get cover directly with a local hospital to where you are staying for less than half of this price in Nicaragua.  While this sounds unusual it is generally how insurance is provided in central and South America. 

Here are a few recommended private health insurance companies that service Nicaragua with global coverage:

Can A Foreign Resident Own A Property In Nicaragua?

Foreigners can buy property in Nicaragua either directly or through local or international companies. Their property rights are protected in the same way that any other citizen’s are. Foreigners are restricted from purchasing property in country border areas, coastal areas, and protected areas like protected forests.

If you are looking to live there full time it is always recommended to go there as a tourist and see what living there is like first. Property prices may vary depending on where you choose to live. Property in the capital and some beach cities may be more expensive than in other parts of the country.

It is always recommended to seek private legal advice prior to purchase in any country and know that local real estate agents will let you know of local rules and taxes.

A 2 bed 2 bath property on or close to the San Juan Del Sur beach will cost you under $120k USD.  Prices further out can be way cheaper and rural properties even less depending on what your lifestyle choice is.  Property prices can be in USD for foreign buyers or local Cordoba for buying when in the country.

NOTE: San Juan Del Sur is the most expensive city in Nicaragua. You can get much cheaper property outside of San Juan Del Sur.

Here are a few real estate you can check for pricing:

What Visas Are Available For Foreign Retirees In Nicaragua?

Tourist visas are not required for U.S. citizens visiting Nicaragua for short periods of time. If you intend to live in Nicaragua you will need to apply for a resident or retirement visa. Visas require good health and no criminal record and for the retirement visa being at least 45yo but this can be waived if you have proof of income.  They are very welcoming to people that have independent incomes.

Applicants must prove that they earn a monthly equivalent of $600 in permanent income to qualify for a retirement visa. This might be Social Security, a pension, or any other form of guaranteed income. Furthermore, the candidate must spend at least 180 days in the country each year.The visa holder can apply for citizenship after five years.

LINK: Nicaragua Visa Requirements

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua has a wide variety of inexpensive and fresh fruits and vegetables as well as beef, chicken and seafood which are available across the country. There are heaps of places you can eat cheaply but sometimes you will just want to cook a meal from home.  To do this you will have to know local supermarket prices.

Here is the overview of the average monthly groceries:

Milk1 Liter / 1 quart$4 USD
Bread1 Loaf$0.50 USD
Eggs1 Dozen$2 USD
Beef1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$3.5 USD
Chicken Breasts1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$3 USD
Beer12$3 USD

NOTE: These prices are based on the average grocery costs and popular brands in Nicaragua. Prices might be different depending on your personal taste or where you live in Nicaragua.

TIP: Use the keywords “Supermercado” or “Mercado” if you are trying to find a local market or supermarket in Nicaragua.

Here is a common local supermarket you can look at for current prices:

LINK: Maxipali Nicaragua

NOTE: The website mentioned above is in Spanish. Be sure to enable the auto translate feature if you are using google chrome to browse. 

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