Looking into moving to Central America

Jan 28, 2013
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That's rad to hear Nica's healthcare system is that good.

Part of the answer was about political stability, as well. It sounds like the current administration is trending toward authoritarianism. I doubt that's something you feel out on the coasts, but is it something to worry about for the future?
 

SurfFuerteventura

Phil Edwards status
Sep 20, 2014
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hulling, mostly...
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.
Communist heathens!

Free medicine and health care? Why do you like starving your doctors of caviar and merc benz's?

:cursing::shameonyou::cursing:


NOT!!!!!

:roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:

:monkey::monkey::monkey::monkey:
 

potato-nator

Phil Edwards status
Nov 10, 2015
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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.
moving sux. we bought the house next door and it took us the better part of
the year to move 100ft....:violin:
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
That's rad to hear Nica's healthcare system is that good.

Part of the answer was about political stability, as well. It sounds like the current administration is trending toward authoritarianism. I doubt that's something you feel out on the coasts, but is it something to worry about for the future?
The political climate is already there as far as authoritarianism and nepotism .... but outside of the civil unrest in 2018 - for better or worse it has been stable. One additional note on healthcare ... with the cost being so low ... we have opted to not buy health insurance .... cheaper to just pay as needed up to this point.
 

Truth

Miki Dora status
Jul 18, 2002
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The political climate is already there as far as authoritarianism and nepotism .... but outside of the civil unrest in 2018 - for better or worse it has been stable. One additional note on healthcare ... with the cost being so low ... we have opted to not buy health insurance .... cheaper to just pay as needed up to this point.
I am in the same boat with Indo health are - but what do you do if God forbid, a catastrophic injury happens?
 
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flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
I am in the same boat with Indo health are - but what do you do if God forbid, a catastrophic injury happens?
At this point it is the risk you take .... I know that there are some options out there to cover catastrophic events but haven't fully researched it yet. Of late we've been busy with building a house but now that it's finished ... we're going to look at things we've had on the back burner .... the Vivian Pellas Hospital ... i mentioned earlier is a private hospital and apparently they have some long term health programs for ex-pat/gringos that friends have told us our really good and not very expensive. Some people opt to fly back to the US for major surgeries .... typically those that still have some sort of medical coverage. But .. really one of the points i was trying to make is with regards to the quality of medical service. We know a couple that have live in San Juan Del Sur .... a few months back the wife got bit in the face by a dog - almost took her nose completely off .... the husband made one call to the hospital ... by the time he got his wife there (2 hour drive) a top-notch plastic surgery team was prepped and waiting for her arrival .... she was in surgery 30 minutes after arriving. i ran into her the other day - she still has some surgeries to go but considering the circumstances looks really good .... off the top of my head ... i think the husband told me the total cost was somewhere between $10k-$15k - including multiple surgeries, hospital stay, etc., etc. I can't imagine what the bill for something like that would be in the US.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
@flyinraptr You see many young families move to that zone or just the retirees?
It's interesting ... i actually see more young people than retirees. Before the civil unrest in 2018 .... there was a ton of young people and young families .... with tourism booming at that point ... lot's of ways to make an income and still live the lifestyle they were looking for. As tourism tanked and jobs dried up ... the majority left .... people that had been here for a while and well established were able to weather the storm ... tourism was starting to come back in earnest and then the global pandemic hit and that killed tourism all together forcing even some of the well established to pack up and leave. The real estate market is still pretty healthy but from what my real estate friends tell me .... a lot of it is investors or buyers wanting to set up a vacation rental versus for retirement purposes. One of the other trends i see ... is people wanting to leave the US and work remote ... a lot of the rental places here now try to market that aspect ... WiFi services, etc. People looking to retire seems to be on the uptick but definitely not the majority.
 
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Oct 26, 2021
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I'd go to CR if I was in your shoes. It's a stable democracy, with no army, so the risk of a civil uprising is very low. Unlike it's neighbour, Nicaragua. Sure, it's more expensive than other countries in the region, but you pay that premium because as a country it runs very efficiently. Here's a pretty cool guide on the place: https://www.beginnersurfgear.com/surfing-in-costa-rica/
 

rowjimmytour

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Feb 7, 2009
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Dominican Republic would be my choice right now but if I did/do central america I would go Panama. Truth wife is from CR and her attitude is CR or nothing but once in CR easy travel other Latino places. I would stay away from expats real estate etc and try to stay local specially if you do not mind a house a bike ride or more from beach still can find deals just make 100% certain total is legit regardless real estate or citizenship papers etc.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
I'd go to CR if I was in your shoes. It's a stable democracy, with no army, so the risk of a civil uprising is very low. Unlike it's neighbour, Nicaragua. Sure, it's more expensive than other countries in the region, but you pay that premium because as a country it runs very efficiently. Here's a pretty cool guide on the place: https://www.beginnersurfgear.com/surfing-in-costa-rica/
I've met a few ex-pats who have moved from CR to Nicaragua ... two biggest reasons have been cost of living and crime.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Buddy of mine just bought a place there, and we were just talking about the election coming up.
you see last weeks 60 minutes piece on Ortega, gonna be interesting.
No i didn't see it. Been a non-event so far .... i surfed this afternoon didn't see any policia coming or going ... pretty quiet. Weird thing is ... according to Nica law ... no alcohol can be sold during the election from Saturday afternoon til Tuesday i believe ... includes restaurants and bars. Fortunately .. we heard about it in advance and have properly stocked up!
 
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flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
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How else is a man supposed to stay in positions of power since 1979?
That is actually inaccurate ... in the 1990 elections Ortega lost and Violet Chamorro became president... he lost again in 1996 and 2001 and finally regained power in the 2006 elections. There is a lot of history between Ortega and the Chamorro family that exists to this day. Members of the Chamorro family are currently political prisoners. The Nicaraguan history is actually very interesting with a lot of ties with the US ... most people don't know the US Marines actually invaded Nicaragua in the early 1900's .. and the airport in Managua is named after the Nicaraguan General (according to Nicaraguan history) that kicked them out. A US man named William Walker ... as the story goes sailed to Nicaragua with 50 men and took the city of Granada by force. He was later hanged in Honduras. There is also a rich history with pirates ... the Bluefields on the Caribbean side is named after a pirate. I believe it was the pirate Black Beard that sailed up river from the Caribbean side and took Granada as well.
But to your point ... yes ...after losing an election ... lessons were learned and subsequently all of the power and control within the various government institutions has been consolidated since the 2006 elections.
 
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sussle

Miki Dora status
Oct 11, 2009
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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.
i get this. we go to Brazil pretty regularly and it only takes me a few weeks to get a hankering to hear some English.

the other point that has only been lightly touched on here is finding a place where personal safety is not a real live daily ongoing concern. have lived that way in the US as a younger man and would not wish to live that way in my twilight. CR, Nica, DR, Panama et al - can I go to the store at 10 pm in these countries without taking my life in my hands? In Brazil, the answer is no.
 
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