Take Advantage of Nicaragua’s Pensionado Program

Posted by Mike Cobb on Feb 11, 2016 8:32:50 AM


Even if you have the budget and desire to live overseas in retirement, not every country welcomes full-time residents of a certain age. Thankfully, many destinations in Latin America embrace foreign retirees who want to escape the cold and enjoy life in a warm, beachfront destination. Nicaragua is a prime destination for retirees thanks to the affordable cost of living, the welcoming atmosphere and the gorgeous scenery.

To make Nicaragua your home during retirement, the easiest option is to participate in the Pensionado program. Discover what it takes to qualify and why participating can be the best choice you can make from a personal and financial perspective.

Benefits of Becoming an Official Retiree in Nicaragua

There are countless advantages to participating in the Pensionado program in Nicaragua, but one of the biggest is simply knowing that you are legally residing in the country.

You'll be an official resident, which means you can move freely and stay for as long as you desire without needing to go on a visa run every few months, something required by those staying as visitors rather than full-time residents.

There are also plenty of other tangible benefits to retiring in Nicaragua. You won't have to pay any taxes on your earnings made outside of the country, you can import a vehicle worth up to $25,000 every four years without paying taxes and you can import up to $20,000 worth of goods for your home without paying taxes on their value.

Should you decide to start a local business, you may also be exempt from sales taxes on any amount up to $50,000 worth of purchases to help that company grow.

How to Qualify for the Pensionado Package

As you might expect, the biggest determining factor in whether or not you qualify for the Pensionado program is your age. To become a foreign retired resident in Nicaragua, you need to be at least 45 years old. However, if you are married to someone over 45 who will be moving with you, then you can come under that age limit.

You will also be required to prove that you have a source of income. This could be from monthly Social Security checks, a pension or a private income that you make from a business outside of the country. This financial prerequisite has to total at least $600 monthly.

For every dependent you want to bring with you, whether that is a child or a spouse, you need to add an additional $150 to that monthly total.

Understanding the Application Process

One of the best things about the Pensionado program is the straightforward application process. If you meet the age and income requirements, you'll be ready to get started. First, collect your identification, birth certificates, criminal background checks and marriage licenses, all of which you'll need to provide.

You will then need to fill out an official application to retire in Nicaragua, which can be processed in as little as two weeks. The fee for this program is just under $200, and that grants you permanent residency for up to five years. After that expires, you merely need to repay the fee for an additional five years and beyond.

By understanding the process, the benefits of participation and what to expect, you'll be ready to become a happy Pensionado and retire in Nicaragua. 

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Mike Cobb

Written by Mike Cobb

In 1996, Michael K. Cobb and his business partner formed a company, Exotic Caye International, to provide loans to North Americans purchasing properties in Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, and throughout the region. With a strong focus on consumer need, Mr. Cobb accurately predicted the growing demand for high quality, residential product for North American "baby boomer" retirees in the region. He led the group into real estate development and created a holding company called ECI Development for several properties, including a resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Michael speaks at dozens of international conferences annually about offshore real estate finance, development, and ownership. He was a consultant to The Oxford Club, hosted a weekly radio program, contributes regularly to overseas publications, sits on the board of several international companies, gives counsel to various real estate projects throughout Central America, and serves on the Board of Directors and the President’s Advisory Group for the National Association of Realtors, NAR.

Topics: Retiring in Nicaragua