Expatriate life, Panama vs. Nicaragua
Posted in the Panama Forum
Moving offshore “Panama vs. Nicaragua” No longer Costa Rica’s ugly stepsisters!
Panama or Nicaragua? Good question! With the unrelenting boom of expat communities and foreign real estate ownership in Panama and the swelling of interest in Nicaragua real estate over the last few years, there is an elevation in the significance of comparing them. Take a look at this concise breakdown of the pros and cons for these increasingly popular retirement, offshore living and expat relocation destinations.
The weather = big deal for old people!
So how do Panama and Nicaragua stack up head to head? In both places you have a beautiful tropical paradise by the beach to call home. Both countries also offer a central highland, which provides relief from the tropical heat. In Panama, the dry season is humid and the wet season often brings periods of overcast weather. In Nicaragua, it's common to have sunshine in the morning during the wet season and the dry season is consistently warm and sunny.
What time jeopardy is on = also a big deal for old people!
Both Panama and Nicaragua have first rate technology. You can get satellite TV and high-speed internet in either country.
In general health care in Panama beats out Nicaragua. However, many expatriate communities have their own private medical facilities which are often very good.
Nicaragua provides retirees a lower cost of living than Panama and the cost of beach properties “a major attraction in both countries” is significantly less in Nicaragua. Beachfront homes, land and condos in Nicaragua sometimes go for six times less than the same property would in Panama. In Panama, beachfront property is often included in a development that provides world class infrastructure and amenities while in Nicaragua great real estate can be remote and difficult to access.
Expats have been moving offshore and retiring to Panama for many years. The expatriate communities are more developed and English is widely spoken. In Nicaragua, most people do not speak English and there is not as much of a presence of American expats.
By Latin American standards, Nicaragua is relatively poor and Panama is a wealthy country. Driving through Panama City is similar to driving through a US city. On the other had, while in Managua, Nicaragua, your car will be surrounded by street vendos and others looking to earn a living.
Politics in the two countries are significantly different, but both promote expat relocation and retirement from the US. Both encourage retirees and pensioners with long term enticements via laws and financial arrangements.
If the draw is offshore living with access to world class health care, a large expat community where English is widely spoken and top notch country-wide infrastructure, then you are interesting in retiring to Panama. Here you will have an easy transition from US living.
If low cost living and affordable real estate are your hot buttons and you would embrace being a part of a new and foreign culture that's a different from your own and you can speak some Spanish, consider Nicaragua. If you enjoy the pristine nature and sparcely populated beaches and you don't mind being part of the Third World, Nicaragua may be the place for you.
Learn more from expatriates from the US and Canada who have already made to move to Nicaragua or Panama and http://www.sollifestyles.com .
This is very informative. Thanks.
Great Information! My wife and I are looking forward to making the move from the U.S. to either Panama or Nicaragua. We love pristine beaches, along with tropical environments. Thanks for posting. Any and all continued information will be appreciated.
Pueblo Nuevo, Panama
As one who presently lives in Panama and who lived in Nicaragua for four and a half years before moving here I would like to add my two cents. First forget Costa Rica...too expensive and more dangerous than Nicaragua and Panama.
Second the person who wrote this story does know something about Nicaragua but sounds to me like someone who sells real estate in Panama. Anyone who says that "English is widely spoken" is definately selling something in Latin America.
Panama has much better infrastructure...hands down. Nicaragua is the second behind Hati as being the poorest country this side of
Africa. Panama is one of the richest in Central America. Nicaragua does have better real estate prices and has world class surfing. Panama is way over priced and the surf here is pretty spotty.
Driving through Panama City is not like driving through a city in the U.S. They are Latins and they do not drive very well and the city has plenty of pot holes and missing many man hole covers. Managua is probabley the ulgiest capital city that you will ever visit, it really is the "mistake by the lake".
Although Panama has much better hospitals and medical services I wouldn't recommend either country if you have health issues.
Politically Panama more stable but corruptions is a problem in both countries.
You'll see more couples moving to Panama and more single guys moving to Nicaragua...I have many theories about this but I will not bore you with them.
This person didn't describe the weather very well. Both countries are in the Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ. Read more about it here http://geography.about.com/od/climate/a/itcz....
If you go to Nicaragua you will probably live closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic like 80% of the population does. Their "dry season" or summer is from December to May and it bone dry and windy with a lot of dust in the air. In the "rainy season" or winter it can rain all day and all nigh beleive me it will. Panama "dry season" is January to March/April. It does rain and stays green during "summer". In "winter" it rains and rains and then it rains some more. You'll have web feet by the end of rainy season.
Where ever you end up remember you can not change anything down here so you need to learn to adapt and have fun.
I just wanted to thank Bob for putting the difference so well done! I was born in Panama and I am thinking in going back to live. It is nice to see that other people can see the beautiful face of my country.
At the moment the probability of Nicaragua turning into a disaster for you is too high. I got out alive and intact but lost EVERYTHING. At least i'm not dead i suppose. Forget Nicaragua. sorry to be so negative but it had been getting worse on all levels for some years now and it's just simply NOT SAFE for gringos anymore. The reasons are many and not important... the reality on the ground is what you need to be concerned with and it's going down the drain in my beloved former country. I loved it more than most nicas but am not prepared to die down there in that novela called a country. If you go.. BE VERY CAREFUL!!!!
Thanks Tonto. At last an honest person.
Panama vs Nicaragua is an unfair comparason, as they have way too little in common. Panama vs Guatemala or Nicaragua vs Belize makes more sense.
Since: Jan 10
Steve Magaric involved in Security Fraud had to flee Australia, and came to Panama
04-231 ASIC continues investigation into unlicensed investment club
Thursday 15 July 2004
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today confirmed that its investigation into a number of unlicensed investment clubs operating out of Vanuatu is continuing.
ASIC has obtained court orders by consent against Messrs Philip Northam, Steve Magaric and Graham Laughlin, the directors of Biri International Limited, Biri Limited (the Biri companies) ClubInvest Limited (ClubInvest) and Gramax Investment Club Ltd (Gramax), all of which are incorporated in the Republic of Vanuatu.
ASIC has also obtained court orders by consent against Mr Allan Veivers and Mr Peter Kerin, who are involved with one or more of these companies.
The court orders restrain:
Gramax and ClubInvest from carrying on a financial services business;
Mr Laughlin and the Biri companies from providing a financial service in Australia on behalf of Gramax;
Messrs Northam, Magaric, Veivers and Kerin and the Biri companies from providing financial services in Australia on behalf of ClubInvest;
Gramax from operating an unregistered managed investment scheme
ClubInvest from offering securities to Australian investors and entities without disclosure documents;
Mr Laughlin, Gramax and the Biri companies from inducing Australians to invest, or accepting money to invest, in the Gramax Investment Club, and
Messrs Northam, Magaric, Veivers and Kerin, the Biri companies and ClubInvest from inducing Australian investors or entities to acquire shares in Club Invest, or accepting monies from Australians for shares in Club Invest.
Orders restraining Messrs Northam, Magaric and Laughlin from leaving Australia expired after the Federal Court accepted evidence from the directors that certain documents which would substantiate the existence of $15 million of investors’ money do not exist.
Orders restraining the parties from taking or sending money out of Australia still remain.
ASIC alleges that the respondents are involved in the operation of an unlicensed investment scheme based in Vanuatu, and are offering financial services to and raising funds from Australian investors, in contravention of the Corporations Act.
Australians who have had trouble redeeming their investment moneys, or have been told they may experience delays in redeeming their investment moneys, should contact ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630.
The matter returns to court on 20 August 2004.
I just read your comments and they concern me.
I am a Brazilian American and i speak fluent spanish………I was planning on moving to Nicaragua.. I was going to go as a Brazilian…….I have dual citizenship and 2 passports.
Do you feel i would be in danger down there?………Please tell me more………I would like to email you, if you will kindly give me an e-mail address or a phone number where i can reach you.
Daniel in Chicago
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