We chose Granada because of its beauty and proximity to the highly regarded Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas, about 45 minutes away on the outskirts of Managua. Health care here is as good as, if not better than, anything we had in our native Tennessee—and a fraction of the cost […]We pay out of pocket for all services and medications. Fees are about 20% to 30% of what they would be in the U.S. For instance, an office visit to our doctor is $15, and we get his undivided attention for as long as it takes. (He even makes house calls for the same price.) Vivian Pellas hospital accepts several international insurance plans (but not Medicare) and offers two discount plans of its own that, depending on one’s age, offer considerable savings.
Like everything, retiring abroad has costs and benefits. The benefits aren’t restricted to cheap health care: the Lynches’ entire monthly budget is $1,800, and they’re able to do a lot on that amount that would be impossible in the US. The downsides are a very hot climate and a culture that is much more relaxed about timeliness than Americans are used to.The US can do one big thing to make it easier and even more affordable for people in situations like the Lynches to live abroad. When they moved, the Lynches intended to come back to the US when Medicare kicked in. If the US were to allow its citizens to take Medicare payments abroad, people like the Lynches would be more likely to stay abroad. This would save the US from paying the full cost of their care here, and it would allow them to continue to enjoy the lifestyle benefits that come from living abroad.[Image of Granada Cathedral from Shutterstock]