In 2006, my financial advisor told me I could never retire in the U.S. I had worked since I was 16, paid into Social Security all my life...yet I would have to work forever. What had happened to the American Dream? Just passed me by I guess.
In my 40s, I started thinking about retirement. Living in expensive San Diego, I never pictured a house with an ocean view because that was out of my financial reach. I had a technical writing business that gave me a good living, but I still had to put two daughters through college.
San Juan del Sur is one of the most vibrant beach towns you’ll ever see. In addition to the beautiful bay that the city sits on, there are 21 other bays in the San Juan vicinity that will delight you as much, or more.
Sitting at an outside table of El Sesteo restaurant at sunset with a watermelon mojito in hand, I watched the sky change into hues of purple and gold behind the domes of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Leon (the largest church in Central America). The central park square in front of me was bursting with life: families, groups of teenagers, elderly couples sitting on benches, and children playing games. The night was full of fireworks, music, and singing. A slight breeze took the edge off the heat and every now and then a tourist or two walked by.
"Our days are so different from how they were in the States," says Jennings Wright. "Everything is more relaxing here and work often just feels like fun." After many months of travel, searching for a new and exciting place to live, Jennings (51) and her husband Chuck (56) chose Nicaragua for its low cost-of-living, natural beauty, and welcoming people.
When Terry Leary decided to settle down, she called up her sister and organized a trip to the colonial city Granada, Nicaragua—a trip that changed their lives forever. "I was drawn to Granada by the people, culture, and lifestyle," says Terry. "Granada is brightly colored, vibrant, and alive and there is still the promise of more to come to this lovely city."
Bird-watching, hiking, swimming in natural pools under rocky waterfalls, exploring coffee and cacao farms... "Matagalpa is a nature lover's paradise," says Texas-native Rick Lester. "It's for people who love to see green year-round and appreciate a temperate climate like San Diego."
The best thing about your diet in Nicaragua is that you are eating healthier by default. GMO is not allowed and many farmers use homemade herbal pesticides because it’s much cheaper. It’s strange, because my friends and family in the U.S. and Australia go to great lengths to find “grass-fed and finished,” “free-range and uncaged,” and fruits and vegetables that haven’t been injected, painted, and waxed. No problem in Nicaragua. We don’t have that stuff. Everything here is how it used to be in the U.S.—fresh, unadulterated food.
San Diego native Robert Quartiano, 63, started his work life at 18 as a commercial fisherman in Oregon. At 40, he thought he was getting a little old for the job so he went to school and became a registered nurse. Nineteen years later, at 59, Robert decided to retire early.
Let’s face it…all of the correspondents from International Living live in Paradise. We all experience a better lifestyle for less money in a warm climate, no matter which country we’ve chosen. And we’re happy to tell you about it. Yes, each country is different, but the basics are the same and each place has all the elements for a fantastic life. We’ve found a better life abroad – and that’s the truth.