Retiring in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the new Costa Rica for retiring boomers. If you’re just now considering Nicaragua as a possible retirement location, you’re not the first, but time and prices are definitely still on your side.

Investing in real estate out-of-country is one of the latest trends in retirement planning. Why does it make sense to retire abroad? Depending on the country you choose, it can be very savvy to retire abroad because of the initial investment savings of the real estate and the ongoing living expenses of a developing country. That is why Nicaragua is a growing retirement market, much like Costa Rica was in the 1980s and 90s.

Most Popular Destinations
The most popular retirement spots in Nicaragua are currently San Juan del Sur, Leon, and Granada. While there are better deals to be found farther inland, most retirees are still choosing these locations, based on ease of finding real estate and the expat communities that are currently in place.

Entry/Exit Requirements
US citizens need a passport and proof of departure (or sufficient funds) to enter Nicaragua. You must purchase a $10 tourist card (purchased upon arrival) to enter the country, which grants you permission to stay for up to 90 days.

If you need to stay for longer than 90 days, you need to apply for an extension from Nicaragua Immigrations. During your initial scouting visits, the tourist “visa” will cover you, but at the point you either buy real estate or choose to stay in Nicaragua, most retirees will be covered by Nicaragua’s retirement laws.

Nicaragua Retirement Incentives
The country recently made changes to their retirement laws to encourage retirees to choose Nicaragua. The full law to research is Decree No. 628 (Law of Resident Pensioners and Retirees), but it essentially states that if you are over 45 years of age and have a monthly income of $400+, then you are allowed to buy property and live in Nicaragua full-time. You also don’t have to pay taxes on out-of-country earnings, can import up to $10,000 worth of household goods for your home, import a vehicle tax exempt.

Establishing Residency in Nicaragua
The second part of No. 628, is establishing yourself as a resident of Nicaragua. You must prove that you have a monthly income of $500+ in your country of origin, or make a real estate investment of at least $40,000.

photo from eric molina

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