Looking into moving to Central America

Swallow Tail

Nep status
Oct 6, 2017
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Your Mom’s House
Greetings, going take a hard look at moving down within next couple years and wanted to see if theres some knowledgable folks that might be able to share insight into what might be some good possible zones.

im 50, wife 47 & kids will Be finishing up HS here in CA. looking for somewhere that’s not politically or otherwise volatile, looking for “country-style/rural” area with decent hospital/healthcare within reasonable distance etc; not urban.

Also- if there are zones people would recommend staying Away from that’d be helpful as well.

Wife is an educator & I have my own small manufacture business that id do there.

Neither of us speak Spanish, but would definitely be up for learning it.

If folks prefer to DM info that’d be cool too.
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
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Petak Island
Moving to a country in my later years where I don't speak the language seems like it would be incredibly isolating, restrictive, and at times very stressful.

Unless, of course, you want to live in a compound of expats or restrict yourself to situations where everyone around you speaks English.

Personally that's not really my style, others seem to like it.
 

Swallow Tail

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Oct 6, 2017
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Moving to a country in my later years where I don't speak the language seems like it would be incredibly isolating, restrictive, and at times very stressful.

Unless, of course, you want to live in a compound of expats or restrict yourself to situations where everyone around you speaks English.

Personally that's not really my style, others seem to like it.
What we each find appealing and stressful are likely quite different.

I rather enjoy being a foreigner, learning & embracing different/local culture- warts/new stress and all. looking to trade current stress for that kind.
 
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mundus

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Feb 26, 2018
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What we each find appealing and stressful are likely quite different.

I rather enjoy being a foreigner, learning & embracing different/local culture- warts/new stress and all. looking to trade current stress for that kind.
Wish I was like this, the older I get the less hassles I can tolerate.
 
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Swallow Tail

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Wish I was like this, the older I get the less hassles I can tolerate.
You’re in NJ yes?

Grew up on LI; HATED the “rat race mentality.” Couldn’t get away from there fast enough. Spent a bunch of time in PR; considered doing winters in Caribbean and summers in C America but saw that I would have turned into a glazed eye burn out ex Pat like so many others so “reversed course.” Moved to CA Central Coast about 25 yrs ago. Love it but continues to get more expensive and crowded.
Older I get the less I personally need/want.
 

mundus

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Feb 26, 2018
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Yep, it sucks surfing wise, did sort of same thing when younger Aus. 6 months, CR 3 months along with quite a few 2-3 week trips. Somehow my life ended up in NJ and I like it besides weather and surf. Plus it does not look like I will be able to afford a move anywhere else on the Ocean(condo paid off, beach and river access). Plus to be honest, I guess I am afraid of inevitable hassles of moving.
 
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flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
There are lots of places down here ....depends on what you're looking for. Do your research - take a few vacations to check the areas out. Facebook is unfortunately the best tool for doing research .... primary method of communication for ex-pats, etc down here outside of WhatsApp. Some of the FB groups you have to actually live down here but others like "Expats in Nicaragua" you can join .... guessing similar groups exist for other countries. People post asking questions about moving to various areas on a regular basis. Mrs. Flyinraptr and i just passed the 4.5 year mark of moving to Nicaragua permanently and haven't looked back. We knew very little Spanish when we moved here .... trying to learn the language has been one of the best experiences ... with regards to creating relationships with locals etc.
 

Swallow Tail

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Oct 6, 2017
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That CR article in New Yorker is about “public health” - about how healthy they are - not about what is typically thought of as “health care“ ie what‘s available to people that get sick from from shitty lifestyles- sounds like they’re doin it right

All living places are unique and there are ALWAYS compromises. Always smart to make a wish list of desires, must haves, must nots/hell-no’s and then when you start to actually view n review places - reshape n whittle down that list-where the rubber meets the road.


FAK, maybe we’ll just sell the house, buy a chunk a land w a sweet double-wide, well n squirrel manure powered electricity.
 
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Swallow Tail

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Oct 6, 2017
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Your Mom’s House
Yep, it sucks surfing wise, did sort of same thing when younger Aus. 6 months, CR 3 months along with quite a few 2-3 week trips. Somehow my life ended up in NJ and I like it besides weather and surf. Plus it does not look like I will be able to afford a move anywhere else on the Ocean(condo paid off, beach and river access). Plus to be honest, I guess I am afraid of inevitable hassles of moving.
fck it - do it anyway; we‘re only here a short while; might as well go for it.

We moved out here w nothing but camping gear, a rottie-shepherd mix & a Great Dane mix (200 lbs of dog) Pre cellphone & internet. No job prospects, no place to live. bought a cheapo station wagon here, put a bubble on top n pounded the pavement and the pay phone using the included phone book. ... sweat, persistence and some luck/taking full advantage of opportunities when they arise - good things CAN happen.
 
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Ranga

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 31, 2008
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If political stability and healthcare are top priorities, I'd guess Costa Rica is your answer.

My last trip to CR I noticed sh!t was as expensive as the US. I'm sure you could figure out how to do it on the cheap, but that ship may have sailed in terms of affordability. Seems like relative safety and security is at a premium in Centro.

Still, CR seems like a wonderful place to retire if you can swing it.
 

SurfFuerteventura

Phil Edwards status
Sep 20, 2014
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hulling, mostly...
My last trip to CR I noticed sh!t was as expensive as the US. I'm sure you could figure out how to do it on the cheap, but that ship may have sailed in terms of affordability. Seems like relative safety and security is at a premium in Centro.

Still, CR seems like a wonderful place to retire if you can swing it.
Nicaragua stylie
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
2,585
991
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
That CR article in New Yorker is about “public health” - about how healthy they are - not about what is typically thought of as “health care“ ie what‘s available to people that get sick from from shitty lifestyles- sounds like they’re doin it right

All living places are unique and there are ALWAYS compromises. Always smart to make a wish list of desires, must haves, must nots/hell-no’s and then when you start to actually view n review places - reshape n whittle down that list-where the rubber meets the road.


FAK, maybe we’ll just sell the house, buy a chunk a land w a sweet double-wide, well n squirrel manure powered electricity.
People in the USA sometimes tend to think of every country south of the border as the same .... couldn't be further than the truth. Yes - CR is probably the most expensive in Central America and also one of the most developed. Nicaragua is less expensive and less developed than CR and is also the second poorest country in Central America. But healthcare here is pretty amazing ... so far here I've had pneumonia, dengue fever and both Mrs. Flyinraptr and I had Covid, i had a fall breaking my elbow, hand and requiring stitches ... all requiring a trip to the hospital and so far we've had to pay $0. Medicine is less than a third of what it costs in the US and there are very few that require a doctor's prescription. The compromise is the convenience ... we had a local hospital which is ok for minor injuries etc .... anything serious ... then Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua is the place to go - equivalent to what you would find in a typical US city. The local hospital is less than 5 minutes away ... Vivian Pellas is a 2 hour drive. We've had friends who have needed major and emergency surgery at Vivian Pellas and in each case nothing but rave reviews. It does cost money to go to Vivian Pellas but the costs are a fraction of what it would cost in the US.
 

Swallow Tail

Nep status
Oct 6, 2017
742
1,219
93
Your Mom’s House
People in the USA sometimes tend to think of every country south of the border as the same .... couldn't be further than the truth. Yes - CR is probably the most expensive in Central America and also one of the most developed. Nicaragua is less expensive and less developed than CR and is also the second poorest country in Central America. But healthcare here is pretty amazing ... so far here I've had pneumonia, dengue fever and both Mrs. Flyinraptr and I had Covid, i had a fall breaking my elbow, hand and requiring stitches ... all requiring a trip to the hospital and so far we've had to pay $0. Medicine is less than a third of what it costs in the US and there are very few that require a doctor's prescription. The compromise is the convenience ... we had a local hospital which is ok for minor injuries etc .... anything serious ... then Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua is the place to go - equivalent to what you would find in a typical US city. The local hospital is less than 5 minutes away ... Vivian Pellas is a 2 hour drive. We've had friends who have needed major and emergency surgery at Vivian Pellas and in each case nothing but rave reviews. It does cost money to go to Vivian Pellas but the costs are a fraction of what it would cost in the US.
not dissimilar here (except fcking expensive-even with insuranc). Any major or complicated surgery or specialist needed- we drive the 2 or more hrs to Stanford. Daughter just had major wrist surgery there.