Why Darrell And Amy Bushnel Retired To Granada, Nicaragua

Why This Couple Of "Normal People" Retired To Nicaragua (And Wish They'd Made The Move Sooner)

Nov. 26, 2014, Granada, Nicaragua: Darrell and Amy Bushnel retired from North Carolina to Granada, Nicaragua, to enjoy a reduced cost of living and a rich, full, and active life.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We're just a couple of normal people. I used to be an operational manager for a large finance firm. My wife Amy was a rep in real estate. Like many people our age, we've traveled overseas quite a bit. However, unlike many people any age, in 2006, we moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Managua, Nicaragua.

Now, about nine years later, we are permanent residents of Nicaragua and are considering becoming citizens. We like the idea of having two passports, plus that'd mean we wouldn't have to renew our residency every five years.

Why Nicaragua? Like everybody, we checked in on all the usual suspects. We looked at Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama, but we kept coming back to Nicaragua. Over a five-year period, we stayed in Nicaragua several weeks at a time, and we liked it. I don't know what else to tell you. We just liked it here. Beautiful country, diverse, low cost of living, which is a big factor. Plus we felt there were opportunities here for us. We knew we weren't interested in a sunset-and-drinks-on-the-patio retirement. We knew we wanted to stay busy. 


“Survivor: San Juan Del Sur” Is Fueling Renewed Interest In...

Nicaragua Versus Costa Rica

Nov. 25, 2014, Managua, Nicaragua: “Survivor: San Juan Del Sur” is bringing attention to opportunities for living, retiring, traveling, and investing in Nicaragua.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Daniel Ortega was re-elected president of Nicaragua in 2006. He's since been elected for a second consecutive term, in 2011, and sits as Nicaragua's president today.

Those facts worry some folks. Daniel Ortega was the leader of the Sandinistas, the group that ousted the dictator Samoza back in 1979, and the same guy who, then, once in power, confiscated land and redistributed it to the poor. Investors have had concerns about what 21st-century Ortega might get up to.

I don't see today's Ortega as a worry. It's a different world from 1979, and Ortega is a different guy who, in the intervening decades, has come to appreciate what capitalism brings to the party.

Nicaragua has suffered through a century of troubles, including, most recently, both the re-election of the Sandinista icon Ortega and the global downturn that started in 2008. In the wake of these back-to-back events, both investors and tourists became thin on the ground in this country.

Given the volume of traffic today in Granada, Nicaragua's crown jewel colonial city, I think it's safe to say that the tourists have returned full force. The pedestrian street lined with restaurants that extends from Granada's main square toward Lake Nicaragua is crowded with shoppers and diners every afternoon and evening. In fact, I don't think this little colonial city has seen as much activity as it is seeing right now at any other time during its almost 500-year history. 

It's not only tourists who are feeling comfortable enough to give Nicaragua another chance but investors, too. The property market is returning. Sales are being made at greater rates than at any time since 2008. After eight years in office this time, Ortega hasn't made a move against anybody's property. To make the point again, today's Ortega is not 1970s Ortega. Ortega today is the capitalist version of a Sandinista, with an understanding of the importance of personal property rights.

My in-country team and I made this point for all those in attendance at last week's Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference in Managua, then we identified for the group the many reasons we're as bullish on Nicaragua as we are right now. 


Expat Life In Managua, Nicaragua

Why Carol And Mike Chose To Reinvent
Their Lives In Nicaragua

Nov. 24, 2014, Managua, Nicaragua: Here’s why Carol and Mike Cobb have chosen to live, raise a family, and run a business in Managua, Nicaragua.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Carol Cobb and her husband Mike moved from West Virginia to Managua, Nicaragua, 12 years ago, with their young daughter. Their second daughter was born in Nicaragua a couple of years later, and Carol has spent the past dozen years building a life and raising her children in her family's adopted country.

Why did this couple of Americans choose Nicaragua as the place to reinvent their lives? Mike perceived business opportunity, and he and Carol both liked the opportunity Nicaragua seemed to present for a more back-to-basics lifestyle. Many of us yearn nostalgically for simpler times and the way of life we remember from our own childhoods. In Nicaragua, Carol and Mike have found this for their children...along with the investment opportunity that got Mike's attention a dozen years ago. They're enjoying a family-focused life while Mike is building a legacy business.

Sounds great, doesn't it? And it has been. It has not, however, always been easy...as Carol explained to the group assembled for last week's Live and Invest in Nicaragua event in Managua...


Live From The Live And Invest In Nicaragua Conference

Nicaragua Pros And Cons

Nov. 23, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland: Lief Simon addresses the attendees at the Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"We Americans bring considerable baggage to the table when the topic of conversation is Nicaragua," began Master of Ceremonies Lief Simon for those assembled for our Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference in Managua last week. "The Sandinista Revolution...the Contra War...Ollie North...

"And that's a shame," Lief continued, "because this country has a great deal to offer that is often overshadowed by the Sandinista specter. 

"Kathleen began hosting conferences and tours in Nicaragua almost 20 years ago. However, this is our first event here since 2006. We pulled back in 2006 and 2007, when interest in this country's property market was at full boil. Then came 2008, when the bubble burst. Kathleen and I didn't pull out. We continued and continue now to hold investments in this country, but we understood others' reluctance to invest time or money here post-2008.

"When we sat down a year ago to finalize our conference calendar for 2014, we agreed that this would be the year to put Nicaragua back on our—and your—radar.

"So...welcome to Nicaragua. 

"First, where are we? 

"Years ago we got an email from a reader in response to a report from Latin America Correspondent Lee Harrison on Ecuador. The reader wrote to ask where in Central America Ecuador was located. He'd been looking but couldn't find it on a map. Ecuador, as I'm sure you realize, is not in Central America.

"Nicaragua, however, is, meaning it, like other Central American countries, has the advantage of being just a few hours from most U.S. exit points. Accessibility is one of Nicaragua's big advantages. If you're looking to relocate overseas but don't want to be too far from the grandkids, Nicaragua is a good option. The major airlines offer daily flights. 


Progress With Mango Plantation In Panama

Implementation Is The Key To Realizing Agricultural Investment Profits

Nov. 21, 2014, Panama City, Panama: This mango plantation investment in Panama is implementing well and projecting an IRR of 17.5% per year.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Lots of investment deals look great on paper. But sizing up potential profits on paper and realizing those returns are two different things.

What's the key to projections playing out? Implementation. And implementing is what the developers behind the mango plantation I've been recommending since the start of this year have been doing in an impressive way.

I visited the plantation recently to check on progress since my previous visit over the summer. On that visit about four months ago, the team on the ground was moving a lot of dirt and surveying the property with a drone to make sure they get the drainage right. This visit I saw that they've completed the clearing and earthwork for several hundred hectares of the plantation and have planted mango trees on more than 150 hectares. The planting teams move in right behind the clearing team and get the trees in the ground as soon as the land has been prepared.

Each tree is planted with a fertilizer mix to help it establish itself in the ground more quickly. You can see the benefit of the fertilization in the difference just a couple months in the ground makes. When each mango tree goes into the ground, it's little more than a stick. However, already, the first trees planted look like trees.

The fertilizer is a proprietary blend of organic materials mixed on the property. The head of the farming side of the operation tried to explain the biology behind each aspect of the fertilizer mix to me, but, frankly, my eyes began to gloss over. More important to me, I could see the results for myself.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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