Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crazy Parents writes a Postcard for International Living Magazine

A short while ago we were contacted by Erica Mills, Managing Editor for IL Postcards, and asked if we would be interested in writing a "Postcard" about our life in Nicaragua. As part of our "research" for moving abroad we had subscribed to International Living's magazine as well as their daily postcards so we were thrilled by the opportunity to share what life in Nicaragua can be like - at the very least, what it is like for us. On Friday, August 30, 2013 our postcard was emailed out to people who are interested in information about Nicaragua. Here is what we wrote:
We’re Happier than Ever in NicaraguaBy Debbie Polden
Eight years ago, my husband, Pat, and I had what most would term good, comfortable lives. Our jobs were stable...and there was no danger of losing them before we retired at 65. But with the kids all gone and making lives of their own, we realized that we had no desire to be working until retirement age.
We had seen many friends who put off retirement, unable to pursue their dreams due to health concerns. We didn't want that to happen to us...so we started to explore ways that would enable us to live a happy, more fulfilling life overseas...
After a tremendous amount of research and a few exploratory vacations to potential countries we saw the possibilities that Nicaragua offered for a new way of life. It met all our criteria: low cost of living, beautiful coast lines (we wanted to live near water), cooler mountain towns if we couldn't adjust to the heat and, specifically for us, a great need for volunteers.
A big question for us was how much money would we need each month to live on? In order to determine this figure we looked at what the financial requirements were for people to gain residence in Nicaragua as a pensioner. We found out that a couple would only need to prove an income of $750 ($600 for Pat and $150 for me) from a pension in order to obtain residence. This gave us an idea of how much money we would need to live in Nicaragua.
We began to save and in 2011 we realized that, because of our diligent savings plan, we were in a position to start our retirement a year earlier than planned.
Though we originally settled in the city of Leon, we were intrigued by the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. After a visit to Pearl Lagoon, and feeling the fresh ocean breezes on our skin, we felt right at home.
Living in Pearl Lagoon is like taking a step back in time to a simpler, slower way of life. It’s far more rustic and isolated than Leon, and, though living here sometimes has its challenges, that only adds to its charm.
Pearl Lagoon has so much to offer us: English-speaking friendly neighbors (this area is predominantly English-speaking)...the beach right on our doorstep...a nice breeze off the Atlantic...and a cost of living that fits our budget. And the people are incredibly friendly.
Our costs are extremely low, too. We pay less than $700 to live well. Rent for our comfortable three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is only $250. Dinner at a nice restaurant with a view over the water is less than $20 and the beach is a short, 50-cent taxi ride away.
You can fill your fruit and veggie tray for $10 and eat well for a week, and buy fresh crab for just over 40 cents a pound or fresh fish for less than $1.
Now, after over a year of retirement living here in Nicaragua we've never been happier. We no longer wake to a shrill alarm clock telling us it’s time to get up for work. Instead, we wake to the hungry chirping of our little adopted chocoyo(parakeet) Pancho, telling us it’s time to get up and enjoy our day.