“As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
― J.K. Rowling,
We initially moved to Nicaragua because we could retire early from our teaching positions with small pensions. Nicaragua is affordable and we could live easily and simply on a fixed income. I nicknamed us “Economic Refugees” because we could never afford to retire early on fixed incomes and stay in the U.S. Money mattered in our decision to retire in Nicaragua.
But, now that we collect social security, we have a lot more disposable income. We planned and saved carefully and responsibly for our retirement, paid off all debts, have a house in the U.S. mortgage free, and a house in Nicaragua. I ask myself why we stay in Nicaragua now that money is no longer an issue for us. Nicaragua isn’t for sissies and sometimes life is challenging here. It’s wickedly hot and dry in March and April. The infrastructure is getting better, but it remains unstable and irregular. The best and fastest internet speed we can get is 5 mbps.
We could live anywhere. We could return to the states and have all the conveniences we lack in Nicaragua. So, why are we still here?
I think the answer lies in how we were raised and our relationship with money. Our parents’ generation was raised during the Great Depression. They instilled in us a strong work ethic, planning and saving for a rainy day, and buying things according to our needs, not our wants.
Our lives changed very little about money when we moved to Nicaragua. If we didn’t have the money, we made the things we needed…like a fish trap or a weed wacker. We lived comfortably on $500 a month when we first moved to Nicaragua permanently in 2010.
Now, that we have more disposable income, our lives still remain pretty much the same. We continue to make our lives more comfortable, mainly because we are getting older. We hire our local friends to do our yard work and clean for us three times a week. It gives them monetary support and in return, we are freed up to do other things that interest us…like working in my elementary school library, writing my blog, or Ron working in his thriving garden and fishing.
Nicaragua is home to us. We are immersed in our small community and have a great network of friends throughout Nicaragua. I can’t imagine moving back to the United States. Been there…done that.
With extra income, we can fulfill our passions of traveling. We take at least two international trips a year, return to the states often to visit family and friends, and travel around Nicaragua often. With the availability of great house sitters, we can leave our home and our pets in good hands. Who doesn’t want to house sit on a tropical island where the world comes to us ?
We have a home on the beach in the middle of a huge lake, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America. The cost of living is generally about 1/4 of the cost of living in the states. Sure, there are inconveniences, but for us the lifestyle, the location, and the opportunities to volunteer and travel, are perfect matches for us.
Why would we leave?
We have as much money and life as we could want. I guess we are lucky because we chose precisely those things that are the best for us.
What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?