The Cheapest Places to Retire: Five Towns Where You Can Live Better for Less – Granada Nicaragua.

The Cheapest Places to Retire: Five Towns Where You Can Live Better for Less.

Nicaragua—Granada: From $700 a month

retire in Nicaragua


Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living in Central America, and there may be no better place to retire here than Granada. Ancient pastel-painted, colonial-era buildings with terracotta tile roofs spill along the north shore of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. Views of the nearby Mombacho Volcano add to the postcard-ready image.

Granada is known, too, for its colorful horse-drawn carriages that clip-clop their way atop cobblestone streets, toting neck-craning tourists and locals alike. The latter go about their daily business with the languid, carefree aura that comes from living in the tropics.

In the enclosed courtyards of the city’s colonial homes—some of which have been converted to boutique hotels and cherished homes, Nicaragua’s famous rocking chairs—made of rich tropical hardwoods and wicker—beckon.

Many are occupied these days by North American retirees— but only for brief moments. They’ve not come to rock away their golden years, but for the active and adventuresome retirement that Nicaragua offers.

By some estimates, Granada is home to as many as 1,000 expats—a socially active group that enjoys cultural events, outdoor activities, and volunteer endeavors. All in a place where a couple can live quite comfortably on $18,000 a year. My friends are always asking me, after living here for nine years, when I am going to move back to the United States, “ says Janice Gallagher. “I just laugh. I could never afford to have the lifestyle in the U.S. as I do here…nor the peace of mind.

“I can get up in the morning, take a yoga class, get a manicure and pedicure, have a massage, meet my friends for happy hour, and do it all for less than $30! I have a housekeeper/nanny, a chauffeur, gardener, and someone to take care of the horses and other animals for me for less than $400 a month.”

Janice lives on a small farm just outside Granada. But she has plenty of friends who live in the city itself, where you can still buy historic homes in need of renovation for less than $50,000, and $150,000 buys you a large, already-renovated and fully-furnished home complete with swimming pool.


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