Your Personal Bailout Plan, Part 2 |
Jan. 13, 2009
Panama City, Panama
- Walk Away From The Worry, The Stress, The Uncertainty, And The
- Retire To The Best Of Nicaragua On As Little As US$944 A Month...
- Roatan: Diver's Paradise...
- Vodka Cures...
- "It's Good To See Somebody Who Puts Her Body Where Her Mouth Is"...
-------- Important Notice --------
- What's A Retiree To Do In This First-Ever Balance-Sheet Recession?
Retirement Planning Expert Paul Terhorst Has The Answer...
Only 3 Days Remaining Before The Panama Circle Platinum Payment
Plan Invitation Expires
You have until Jan. 15, 2009, to become a member of the Panama Circle and
pay only one-third the membership fee now.
This is the answer to how to make your live, retire, and invest in Panama
dreams come true in 2009. We'll even give you US$3,000 to help launch your
new life in the world's top retirement, investment, tax, and offshore haven.
Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
Forget the government bailout program. The secret to how you're going to be
able to afford to retire, worldwide financial meltdown notwithstanding?
A bailout plan of your own.
Make a plan, now, to restart your life somewhere new, beautiful, safe,
exciting, welcoming, fun...and really cheap. Your standard of living could
be dramatically improved, the quality of your life greatly enriched.
You could walk away from the worry, the stress, the uncertainty, and the
You could launch the greatest adventure of your lifetime.
And, bottom line, you could discover that this new-and-improved life? It
costs a whole lot less than your old-and-troubled one.
In this "Personal Bailout Plan" series, I intend to show you just how much
In Part 1,
I introduced you to Cuenca, Ecuador, the city that our man
Christian MacDonald says is "the best place for an expat to retire...not the
cheapest, but the best quality of life for the money."
Retire to Cuenca today and live comfortably in this welcoming colonial city
for as little as US$651 a month, I explained last week.
Not interested in Ecuador?
How about Nicaragua?
We asked Christian to take out his sharpest pencil again to detail the best
options for retirement on a budget in this beautiful and romantic country
with such a colorful history.
"Most will be surprised at my first choice when it comes to retiring to
Nicaragua on a budget," writes Christian. "But I'd say that the place to
look is the colonial city of León.
"Sure, I love the Pacific coast," Christian continues, "and the relaxing,
luxurious lifestyle that you can enjoy in one of the planned communities on
the water. I'm also particularly fond of Granada, with its old colonial
center, markets, restaurants, and thriving expat community.
"But León is different. It's Nicaragua in its natural state. If you want to
experience Nicaragua without the expats--and the false economy that follows
them around--then León is worth your attention.
"Filled with original colonial architecture and charm, León sits about an
hour north of the capital of Managua astride the Pan American highway. The
climate is hot, but humidity is generally low and evenings are usually
comfortable. Founded in 1524, León is home to about 110,000 people.
"Always a center for Nicaragua's liberal and progressive thinkers, León is
home to bookstores, coffee shops, museums, and a generous cadre of
university students. It was the heart of the Sandinista movement during the
civil war and of the Liberal Party during the 1800s.
"Today it's a friendly, non-hurried place with more than its share of old
colonial architecture plus an impressive cathedral.
"And, even though it's an 'inland' colonial city,
León is close to the Pacific coast. Las Peñitas is less than 15 miles to
the west, when you're in the mood for swimming, seaside sunbathing, or fresh
seafood in an open-air restaurant. Frequent bus service runs between León
and Las Peñitas, making the trip easy and inexpensive."
What cost to call this city home?
"All things considered," Christian explains, "a budget of US$1,480 per
month should keep you nicely in León, including full-time household help
and rental of a high-end property.
"León has most of what you'd need right in town, so you can get along nicely
without a car. If you've got more than walking distance to cover, local
buses or taxis should do the job.
"And, of course, as in most countries, you could live like a local for
But "local" living isn't for everyone. So how much to live like a
non-local...that is, very comfortably?
Here's how Christian's budget (for two...Christian's assuming for the
purposes of these budgets that you're retiring with a significant other)
Note that in Nicaragua, unlike in Ecuador, as a renter, you'd have no HOA or
- Rent (for a new and modern apartment of about 2,600 square feet): US$500
- Food: US$360
- Transportation: US$50
- Electricity: US$70
- Gas (for hot water and cooking): US$20
- Telephone: US$20
- Internet and Cable: US$30
- Entertainment: US$250
- Full-time, live-in maid: US$180
Also note that, if you don't require full-time household help, your budget
falls to US$1,300 a month.
And, finally, remember that this budget is for the renter. Invest in your
own home in or around León, and you can subtract the US$500 a month in
rent...then add US$40 for HOA fees, US$50 for property taxes, and US$54 for
Bringing your total costs (again, for two) to: US$944 a month.
P.S. Where else might your Personal Bailout Plan lead you? In the Americas,
I'd also propose Argentina and Uruguay. If
you're up for something more exotic and more distant, you should be thinking
about Asia. Intrepid Correspondent Paul Terhorst is
scouting in that part of the world for you. Watch for more from him as our
Personal Bailout Plan series continues.
P.P.S. What if cost of living isn't your biggest concern? Say you've got
US$3,000 a month or more to live on in retirement. Where should you
think about? Again, keep reading...
101 Things You Should Know Before You Even Think About Living, Retiring,
Or Investing Overseas
Shipping your belongings across international borders...moving with your
children...or a pet...obtaining residency...getting a visa...opening a bank
account...getting the best international phone rates...learning a new
language...using VOIP...obtaining an international driver's
license...working with an overseas real estate agent...shopping for
international health insurance...
This is everything we wish someone had told us before we set off on our own
live and invest overseas adventures. And it's available to you right now
"We're in our first-ever balance-sheet recession," writes Retirement
Planning Expert Paul Terhorst in his column for the Jan. 15 issue of the
Overseas Retirement Letter, "as opposed to a more typical
"In a balance sheet recession," Paul continues, "firms and individuals pay
down debt and sell off bad assets. It's called deleveraging, and, when
everyone does it, the financial system stops working properly.
Unfortunately, economists have little experience with balance-sheet
recessions and few ideas about how to get us out. What's a retired investor
Paul, himself a retired investor for more 20 years, has the most solid and
sensible response to that question I've heard anywhere...and he details it
in full, as I mentioned, in the next issue of the
Retirement Letter, out Thursday. Subscribers, watch your
e-mailboxes. Non-subscribers, get onboard
"Kathleen, when I perused the recent
Laos article," writes Correspondent Michael Paladin from Guatemala, "I
remembered meeting a girl photographer who passed through Antigua a few
months ago. She mentioned that she'd picked up a tapeworm from eating street
food in that country. The cure? Three days of no food, only vodka, to drown
it...so she said..."
"I am a new subscriber to Live and Invest Overseas, and I'm interested in
your thoughts on relocating to the Bay Islands of
"Some other newsletters I subscribe to are giving the area good reviews. Any
information you can provide, good or bad, would help."
-- Ken S., United States
The Bay Islands are a diver's paradise with almost everywhere access to the
longest living barrier reef in the world and plenty of diving
infrastructure. Americans have been moving to this Caribbean island chain
off the coast of mainland Honduras for 15 years, and there's an established
expat community on Roatan, the biggest of the three islands in the group.
The last 10 years, especially, have seen a lot of development on the Bay
Islands. Still, even Roatan isn't overrun compared with most Caribbean
destinations. Prices spiked but remained below those of the more developed
Caribbean, and I'd say that, given the current climate, right now would be
the time to begin sniffing around for a good deal.
The drawback to island living is that you can find yourself looking for ways
to fill your time. Many retirees to the Bay Islands, for example, have
dipped a toe in the real estate business in some way...maybe developing on a
small scale or maybe trying to make a go of it as a sales agent. Certainly,
real estate has been the boom industry in this part of the world over the
past decade or so, and migrating expats, I guess, saw it as an easy trade to
try to learn.
Others have started businesses, everything from restaurants to computer
repair shops, bars, movie theaters, and clothing boutiques.
Hurricanes are a concern, so the Bay Islands can make most sense as a place
to spend part of your year. When the winds start blowing, maybe you move on
to your Overseas Retirement Paradise #2.
Pay attention to construction quality when shopping for real estate and
comparing prices. Wood construction costs much less than concrete...for a
"It is good to see someone who puts her body where her mouth is. About eight
years ago, I researched retirement in the south of Spain and
France. Those countries did not seem to be very friendly to foreign
retirees. I have just decided that I need again to study a retirement
location. This has led me to researching Panama for the
past two months...and to find that you have moved there.
"I just received the 'Overseas Opportunity Letter' showing a Panama
Conference May 14-16. Could you please let me know where the
conference is to be held?"
-- Elmore S., United States
Our premier Live & Invest in Panama Conference will be held
at the Bristol Hotel in downtown Panama City. We're finalizing the list of
speakers, the topics to be covered, the special meetings, and the related
events this week and will be in touch before the end of this month with full
Meantime, you still have time to get your name on the list for special
pre-registration discounts. Write to
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