Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Retirement Bliss for Boomer Lefties: Nicaragua

Baby Boomers discovered Mexico as a retirement destination, and then they uncovered the rain forest paradise of Costa Rica. As retirement-related development took off in those two countries and real estate prices soared, Boomers stumbled onto the former U.S. protectorate, Panama. Now, those peripatetic seekers of tropical bliss are moving on to Nicaragua.

If the bloggers at Blog the Rockies can be believed, someone (it's not clear who) estimates that 8 million of the nation's 78 million Boomers plan to move abroad in the next five years. I find that number rather extraordinary, if for no other reason than it flies in the face of the stated intention of a large majority of Boomers to continue working in some capacity after they turn 65 -- and the prospect of mixing Margaritas or changing sheets at the local Club Med is probably not what they have in mind.

But let us concede that a large number of Boomers intend to head south of the border. Nicaragua apparently now ranks No. 5 among foreign retirement destinations. Blog the Rockies quotes Sam Stewart, a real estate broker in San Juan del Sur, on the country's Pacific coast: "The country now ranks as the safest and most affordable nation in Latin America, and apparently the word is out because business is booming."

Nicaragua should have tremendous appeal to lefty Boomers who marched against the Vietnam war, agitated over Watergate, and protested the Iran-Contra affair. Those whose memories extend as far back as the Reagan administration may recall that the "Contra" part of the Iran-Contra affair involved the smuggling of weapons to the Contras who opposed the dictatorial proclivities of the Sandinistas led by a certain Daniel Ortega. At the time, Nicaragua followed a close No. 2 to Cuba as a vacation destination for affluent lefties whose idea of fun consisted of showing revolutionary solidarity with Third World peasants and cutting sugar cane.

The Sandinistas lost their grip on power in 1990. Ortega, who abandoned his Marxist rhetoric in favor of a blander democratic socialism, was re-elected president in 2006. Under his presidency, Nicaragua is trolling more aggressively than ever before for U.S. tourists and real estate developers. Ortega still consorts, however, with anti-U.S. leaders like Ahmadinejad of Iran, Correa of Ecuador and Chavez of Venezuela, and Nicaragua was one of the few nations in the world to applaud the Russian invasion of Georgia.

In Nicaragua, old Boomer lefties can re-connect with the revolutionary fervor of the good ol' days --but without the discomfort of sleeping in hammocks and relieving themselves in outhouses. They can build comfortable places to live, using cheap Third World peasant labor, with no fear of having their property expropriated. What bliss.

(Image credit: Morgan's Rock.)

1 comment:

Groveton said...


Nicaragua is very real as a development and investment location. I have a long time friend who moved down there to develop some land. His experiences are fascinating. If you'd like to talk to him - send me a note at Groveton@GMail.Com.

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