Moving to Nicaragua...maybe

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by Surfh2o, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    My wife and I just recently visited Nica, I've been before. We are kicking around the idea of moving there. After our last visit, we've met people from the US that are living there and it seems to we working out for them. You definitely need a game plan doing something like that and I think that I may have one. Here's the rundown, We're in our mid 30's have 2 kids 7 and 1.5 years old. We have good jobs and have been able to accumulate a decent amount of savings and have a lot of equity in our home. Our goal is to acquire maybe 3-4 townhouses in our area and rent them out. I would need to make at least $400/month off each. I have a local friend that could act as maintenance/property manager. With $1200-$1400/month coming in I should be able to live off of that in Nica. In Nica we would home school our kids. I think my son needs this anyways because he has ADHD and has a real hard time in his sheeple breeding school, and he tested above average. If I built a house there I could also build a few little cabinas to rent out to tourists. It's a far-flung, crazy idea I know but I'm just looking for something different. I would like to be able to spend more time with my family, surf more, read more, and just take life a little slower. The biggest drawbacks for me is I won't be able to see the rest of my family very often. The language barrier, I can speak Spanish at a beginner level. The country ranks high on corruption lists, although there are about 50 other countries that are worse. One corruption index lists it at 133 out of 175 countries, it shows the US at number 17. They say Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, only behind Haiti. The cost of living near the ocean is considered cheap by any means, even compared with Costa Rica. However, if I live here I'll still have a lot invested in a house. My worry would be that one day when renewing my visa they tell me I couldn't come back, but something like this would ruin the reputation they're trying to build. In comparing my last visit with the time before (3 years) the country seems to be on the up and up. New restaurants, roads, houses, surf camps, resorts. They're building a new airport. Everything I saw seems hopeful and it could be a good investment. It very well in fact could be the next Costa Rica. Any thoughts?
  2. Speed Bump

    Speed Bump Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    On the no side:
    I wouldn't do it. The only foreign country I'd move an entire family to is one where I've got real connections--many close friends or family, and it would have to be first-world-adjacent, at the very least. Down there you're just going to be another isolated gringo, and your kids are going to be the kids of that gringo. You're not going for vacation, you're going to stay, and you need to be a part of the community--yet you seem like the only one in the family who even barely speaks the language!

    What are your kids going to do growing up homeschooled in a 3rd world country? Are they going to get American GED's and eventually try to get back into the US higher education system? Are they going to get degrees from Nicaraguan universities and stay in country? Are they going to be tradesmen and make bupkis in country, because I doubt they'll be able to apprentice/establish themselves back in the USA. Are they just going to be surf bums and "take over" the "family business" of living off your investment properties? Seems like you're limiting their future and their contact with their family just so you can chase your retire-in-paradise dream early.

    Pakistan has some awesome mountains, and a low cost of living. If you were a mountain climber, you might want to move your whole family there so you could climb more, and do more reading. Would you?

    On the go side:
    If you can find a tight expat community (Ha, how's it feel to be on the other side of the "why do foreigners hang out in their own little enclaves" question?), that has already solved the family questions, spend a few trips getting to know them and finding out the real advantages and drawbacks, then think more about moving.

    Let us know how it goes, whatever you decide.

  3. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Great idea if you were single, or just married even.
    I would never even consider moving a family with kids to a third world country.
    If you do decide to leave one of the wealthiest countries in the world for one of the poorest, just make sure the property you buy is no where near the proposed new Nicaraguan Canal they plan to build. It will destroy everything in it's path, and nearby. San Juan Del Sur is completed ****ED. It's going to be the biggest environmental catastrophe in the past 100 years. Be warned...
  4. im way better than you

    im way better than you Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2008
  5. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
  6. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Friend has a house there. It's robbed and emptied on at least an annual basis
  7. SkegLegs

    SkegLegs Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    2 huge problems. 1. Depending on rentals for income is a situation for disaster. 2. Nica has some of the worst property problems in the world. Large plots of land were seized by the government during the revolution, and property records destroyed. I don't know the exact specifics, but the people who once owned the land can show up and file a petition with the state and fairly easily wrangle back ownership....especially easy when said land is held by a gringo.
  8. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    what's the status of the great china canal?
  9. LazyE

    LazyE Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2014
    Same with my bud in Miami.

    Man you got some serious homework to do. If you didn't have kids I'd tell you to go for it but they are a game changer. Try to talk or meet as many expats as possible for the low down.Good luck.
  10. Scobeyville

    Scobeyville Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2009
    Speed bump is on point. You're an adult with responsibilities. I think if you were alone (no wife/kids) it would sound like a good idea.

    Not positive of the education system there, but im sure it's crap. Like the medical services.. More realistically - look into Baja. You can find affordable places and be close to the states in case anything bad were to happen
  11. JohnnyCornstarch

    JohnnyCornstarch Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2015
    I'd go, this country is going down the toilet and the el nino we have now is just going to get worse for years to come. your kids, your wife, they'll learn to surf, and love it, and that's really all that matters.
  12. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    All good answers and things to consider no doubt. Speed Bump, yes I would be giving them a home-schooled education as if they were living at home here in the states. What they would do when it's time to fly the coup? Well I guess that would be up to them. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to come to the US and find work. I think if my son wanted to move back and be a fireman he could do that. They will still be US citizens. I guess the biggest issue with that is they wouldn't have a college degree, which neither do I and I'm doing okay. Obviously I would want them to stay if everything is good and take over the "family business" :p If they want to go then they can. I also feel like here in the states that so many people are pushing children to be something they're not. Everyone wants their children to succeed sure but I feel we're taking it too far. My son was in first grade last year and they're pushing these kids into the ground. Don't get me wrong. I think it's good to be challenged but he was just learning to read and they were making him read words that were way above him. It crushed his self esteem. Again, I almost feel like he'll do better at being home-schooled. He needs to be more active and move around to get his energy out. In school he'll just get in trouble because they hardly even have recess nowadays. They want to put him on pills because he has energy and can't release it, he had just turned 6. There's plenty of home-schooled people here in the states, I'll have to see what they do about higher education and other nuances. They would also have other skills/privileges/advantages that other kids wouldn't get. They would be bilingual, if not know a lot of Spanish. I already mentioned they could be more active, look how sedentary/obese our society has become. If I could work with plants/animals for food they could learn about that. Learn surfing, fishing, swimming, possibly boating. A lot of these they can do now but they could get better/more exposure too. I want to teach them that it is okay to live a simple life and that they don't need a corvette to feel successful because a commercial/billboard says so. Our society has become so engulfed in consumerism it makes me sick. Billboards, commercials and celebrities that will tell my daughter that she is not beautiful because she doesn't look like this/that or have this/that. Obviously in the end it is our choice but there is always some corporation trying to sell us something. I want to get away from that.

    I understand the Pakistan comment but also Denmark is less corrupt and I just read about it and it sounds like a really awesome place. Should I move from the US to there just because of that? What I'm saying is there's better places to live than the US. Should I just move away because technically on paper it's better? I know there's a big difference in comparing US to Nica, but should that hold me back? Should I change it up to Costa? I guess at what point would you move or not move? If you like mountain climbing and your dream is to move to X country. Should you not because it's a worse place on paper. Should you only go to a better place than where you came from?...maybe..hmm I don't know. It is a good question.

    I have actually met and made friends with some locals already. My goal would be to not take advantage of the locals but work with them, help them and possibly provide work for them somehow. I don't want to be part of the expats because prices are higher there and that's kinda what I'm trying to get away from. It might be nice to live close to an expat community if I ever need things or services that only they could provide. What I mean is that I don't really want to live inside the gated community but maybe use some resources if they would let me.
  13. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013

    Stinkbug, where is your friends house and has he been home while it happened? There are people in the US who rob, rape and murder too. Other countries with a higher murder rate are Jamaica, Bahamas, South Africa, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Greenland (DENMARK)..hmm, Panama, Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, to name a few. Costa Rica is only slighly less. Per this.. US has a higher crime index. I've talked to people in Nica about crime and they say it's mostly the opportunistic thief that you have to worry about. If you leave something unattended it will most likely walk off. There really isn't too many places you could really do that anyway.
    This site shows crimes and the rate compared to US..
    The US has more crime in almost every aspect. If I go I'm gonna get a big ass rottweiler ;-)

    I appreciate the discussion guys, all valid points. What do you think?
  14. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    I would be basically relying on my rentals in the States, yes I know things can happen. I should have enough saved to get me through rough patches. Yeah I hear you about #2 That would be a worry, heck maybe I could just rent down there. Like I said though if that happened their tourist money would be gone and they know they need that. They're learning from Costa.
  15. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    I like your style! :cool:
  16. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    I've heard it's coming but I guess I'm not too concerned with it. I won't really be that close to it. I'm sure there will be environmental issues and other things. There could be some good that comes from it too. It should bring in cash and jobs. There's always pro/cons to stuff like this, like offshore drilling in the States. I'm not for it and wouldn't support it but I alone couldn't stop it.
  17. LazyE

    LazyE Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2014
    I had a buddy that moved and bought property in CR in the early 80's and everybody told him the same thing you're hearing about Nica now. Now he is mackin'. I'm not sayin' no but if it were me I'd have to research it for awhile.
    As for kids each one is different and therefore may need different approaches to reach their full potential. Nothing wrong with exploring the different educational opportunitys available. I'd be hestitant myself to give a 6 yr old ADHD drugs. One of the guys I went to school with that struggled all the way through became a brain surgeon. His struggle helped him become disciplined and determined in the long run.
    As for crime, there are few places worse than Chicago, Detroit and Miami from my experience for random acts of violence.

    Good Luck!
  18. Surfh2o

    Surfh2o Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    Thanks Bro! Yeah I know my boy is smart, they even tested him to figure out what his problem was. Guess what he tested higher than his peers. He's not a genius or anything but he is considered to be above average. They just don't know how to handle a kid like him and I know what his teacher have to deal with because he does the same crap with me. He just needs a different way of learning and sitting in classroom being told that he can't move isn't going to work for him. He has a big problem with trying to learn new things. He always says right away "I can't do that", his self esteem is really low and I give him a lot of praise when he does something. I'm so nervous about the upcoming school year. Hopefully he will have a really good teacher.

    Also for the crime. I'll be on the coast about an hour or 2 down a dirt road away from the city so I believe the crime would be less out there. That however means less cops, which is good or bad depending how you look at it. I felt safer being away from the city. In the city I feel like the people are trying to scam and get money more, but in the country the people are just simple farmers. They don't need for much. I think the country life doesn't really support gangs either. You can't really be a gangster 2 hours down a dirt road, cut away from all the real action.

    From the little time I've spent there it seems like most people are nice and happy. Like I said the biggest issue is the opportunistic thief. With the number 1 issue being don't leave your flip-flops while you're in the water. That's a pretty minor issue and think about it. If you're a kid walking down the beach and you don't own a pair of shoes and suddenly you just stumbled upon some that appear to be abandon, you would take them too.
  19. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Popoyo. No it happens when he leaves for US visits.
    Seriously wherever you try to settle make sure it is not near the canal they are proposing.
  20. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    sounds great and u have an excellent plan.i was going to ask,what do u do for money when u move down there.rents good but don't know if that's going to keep the kids fed.its great u got doe saved up,i thought about moving to one of those surf rich 3rd world countries,but didn't know what to do for sure the guys there doing the same shyt I do get paid like 20 bucks a day and that's no bueno