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Can you retire in Central America on your social security income?



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By : Jane Bakerson    99 or more times read
As baby boomers recover from the global financial meltdown, many are looking at their shrinking nest eggs and devastated pension plans and wondering whether they can afford a luxury retirement? A growing number are thinking that it’s time to get creative, to expand their horizons beyond US borders and seek out places where the cost of living is cheaper than back home.

The average social security check in the US is just under US$1,200 per month. So how far will that go in Central America? Well we've found four counties with dollar stretching economics where you can live for pennies on the dollar. Here are some highlights:

First, rents are cheap across the region. In Costa Rica for example you could live in a charming apartment decked out with modern fitting and fixtures in a cool hillside setting for less than $15,000 a year. And you'll be moments away from a golf course and the amenities and services of the capital city, San Jose.

Second, help is available at very low prices. In Panama and Nicaragua you can employ a maid or gardener for under $150 a month. A full time maid? Now that certainly is luxury!

Third, when it comes to buying real estate you’ll find a wide range of very affordable purchasing destinations. The cheapest real estate in the region can be found in Nicaragua, with Panama property following close behind. With $120,000 in hand you could choose between an ocean view in Nicaragua and a mountain casita in Boquete Panama. Boost your budget just a little bit and you can retire in Belize, just moments from the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere.

Fourth, day-to-day living costs are very low. Retire to Central America and you'll find beer costs around a dollar in most places, and a seafood meal with all the trimmings will put you back just US $5.

Fifth, medical expenses, transport, attractions? You name it, just slash the price you’re used to paying in North America.

And there is more good news. You'll find as a retiree in Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica or Belize you’re eligible for the country’s retirement program. They vary on the specifics but all offer a good range of tax benefits and incentives that you'll find useful for your overseas retirement.
For more information on international real estate and retirement overseas head on over to Reveal Real Estate.

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