Discover Serenity

This could be your new backyard.

“Recession gardens” sprout in the U.S….why not buy a plantation?

CNN reports that "recession gardens" are sprouting across the U.S. as people try to reduce their food costs by planting fruits and vegetables in their own backyards. Why grow a "recession garden" when you can have a plantation? If you really want to reduce your living costs — not just food costs but your entire cost of living — it's much easier to do that here than in the U.S.

For one thing, land is generally cheaper down here. Also, in areas with perfect 'Goldilocks' climates and rich soil like Matagalpa and Jinotega, the land is incredibly fertile and varied in the fruits and vegetables it can produce, everything from oranges, mangoes and pineapples to avocados, onions and potatoes. The joke around here is, drop anything into the ground and it'll blossom. Also, labor — including caretakers and gardeners — is very affordable, to put it mildly.

Living down here, you get all that that along with many of the creature comforts you're used to back home, including high-speed internet, satellite TV, U.S.-style movie theaters and malls not that far away and, increasingly, well paved roads.

Discover a new way of life.
Discover Serenity.

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Update on Coastal Law

From the Facebook page of top development consultant Raul Calvet (also see Calvet Report):

This morning we met with the President of the President of the Legislative Municipal Commission to discuss the last issues of the long awaited Coastal Law of Nicaragua.

After a previous discussion the night before, we are still arguing about the benefits of keeping the actual setback in 30 meters from the high tide as it is now. Calvet has always defended the position that Nicaragua needs to reinforce its credibility and that passing a law that changes the rules at this point will not help the tourism and real estate industry.

Calvet’s position is also the firm opinion of all the developers and investors working in the country. Legislators opposing to the 30 meter setback are pushing for a 50 meters setback like in Costa Rica, expanding the public area of beach areas.
Calvet and the investors argue that there are too many projects being developed at this moment using the 30 meter setback as a starting point for their designs and changing the ruling will cause more problems than benefits.

It seems that advocates of the 50meters are more motivated by populist interests than any technical or even practical reason.
The fight for the Coastal Law has been going for the past four years; and it seems that now it is close to an end with the approval of the law in April or June.

Hopefully the law will be a good one. Calvet, ANID, Canatur and many other investors have been working together for all these years with the objective of passing a law that improve Nicaragua’s investment environment and that will help the coastal communities as well.

New 40MW wind farm to start operations in January

Latin America Herald Tribune reports:

[Nicaragua's] first wind farm — by US-Nicaraguan company — will produce 40 megawatts of electricity.

MANAGUA — The first wind farm for producing 40 megawatts of electricity, built at a cost of $95 million in southern Nicaragua, will start operations on Jan. 4, an executive of Amayo, the company that owns the project, announced Saturday.

The local press reported Saturday that 18 of the 19 wind turbines 100 meters (328 feet) tall of the facility are already completely installed in the province of Rivas, 128 kilometers (80 miles) south of Managua, according to Amayo manager Sean Porter.

[…]

Each of these wind turbines produces 2.1 megawatts, Porter said, adding that the 40 megawatts that they will produce together will be connected to the national grid on Jan. 4, and will provide service for 325,000 homes that consume an average of 150 kilowatts per month.

According to Porter, the cost of generating electricity with wind is 8.6 cents of a dollar per kilowatt, while with petroleum derivatives it is 18 cents.

This news is just the latest sign of things to come as Nicaragua, along with much of the rest of the world, expands its use of alternative energy and reduces its dependence on foreign oil.

More power to you, Nicaragua.

To North Americans and Europeans Seeking a More Affordable Retirement…

Our
hearts go out to retirees and near-retirees who, over the past year,
and especially over the past two weeks, have seen their retirement
plans devastated through no fault of their own.

These are unnerving times. Even putting aside the current chaos on
Wall Street, the global bailout is truly a case of the bankrupt bailing
out the near-broke: One of the
biggest financial threats facing all Americans is the U.S.
government itself….

The federal government is now more than an estimated $90 trillion short (and rising) in meeting its future
obligations for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other
entitlements (Dallas Federal Reserve: Storms on the Horizon, March 2008). That dwarfs Wall Street’s massive failings. Forget your broker or
your bank. It’s Uncle Sam you should be most worried about, and he’s not
alone. Many U.S. states are also staring at gaping shortfalls in their
pension plans. This is at a time when the U.S. faces multiple external
and internal security threats that could prove very costly to deal with
in the future, from Iran to North Korea, from terrorism to the
environment.

America’s financial black hole (or rather, red hole) is
the cumulative result of decades of short-term thinking and “me-first”
misgovernment in D.C. and state capitols across the country that has
left these “authorities” dangerously underprepared for what might lie
ahead.

Many Americans
instinctively know this and are turned off by politicians at all levels
of government in the U.S. — state, federal and local. And it isn’t
just the U.S. Many people worldwide, including Western Europeans, have
lost faith in the capacity of their own governments to meet basic
obligations and responsibilities, confront serious long-term financial,
social, environmental and security challenges and make the tough,
responsible choices we used to expect of adults.

They’ve grown tired of the unending parade of incompetents and
self-serving opportunists who spend more time looking out for their own
short-term interests or the interests of their families, their parties
and favored interest groups, than looking out for the long-term
well-being of the general public they pledged to serve.

Our message to all of you, whoever you are, wherever you are
and whatever your political leanings: Don’t look to someone else, much
less a politician from any party. Take matters into your own hands.
Empower yourself.

Do more to insulate your family, your life and your future retirement
from the nonsense of bad government and bad policy. Get educated about
other retirement options within and outside the U.S.

Consider Nicaragua where a couple can live comfortably on as little as $1500 a month in a country that blends the best of the Old World with the creature comforts of The New World.

The globe has become a smaller place. A massive virtual shopping mall
of new lifestyle options is now more accessible than at any time in
human history. New technologies have
become powerful tools that make relocation much easier than in the past.

Serenity can help you build greater security against the chaos of today and the many big unknowns and disasters to come.

To North Americans and Europeans Seeking a More Secure Retirement…

Our hearts go out to retirees and near-retirees who, over the past year, and especially over the past two weeks, have seen their retirement plans devastated through no fault of their own.

These are unnerving times. Even putting aside the current chaos on Wall Street, the global bailout is truly a case of the bankrupt bailing out the near-broke: One of the
biggest financial threats facing all Americans is the U.S.
government itself….

The federal government is now more than an estimated $90 trillion short (and rising) in meeting its future
obligations for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other
entitlements (Dallas Federal Reserve: Storms on the Horizon, March 2008). That dwarfs Wall Street’s massive failings. Forget your broker or
your bank. It’s Uncle Sam you should be most worried about, and he’s not
alone. Many U.S. states are also staring at gaping shortfalls in their
pension plans. This is at a time when the U.S. faces multiple external
and internal security threats that could prove very costly to deal with
in the future, from Iran to North Korea, from terrorism to the
environment.

America’s financial black hole (or rather, red hole) is
the cumulative result of decades of short-term thinking and "me-first"
misgovernment in D.C. and state capitols across the country that has
left these "authorities" dangerously underprepared for what might lie
ahead.

Many Americans
instinctively know this and are turned off by politicians at all levels
of government in the U.S. — state, federal and local. And it isn’t
just the U.S. Many people worldwide, including Western Europeans, have
lost faith in the capacity of their own governments to meet basic
obligations and responsibilities, confront serious long-term financial,
social, environmental and security challenges and make the tough,
responsible choices we used to expect of adults.

They’ve grown tired of the unending parade of incompetents and
self-serving opportunists who spend more time looking out for their own
short-term interests or the interests of their families, their parties
and favored interest groups, than looking out for the long-term
well-being of the general public they pledged to serve.

Our message to all of you, whoever you are, wherever you are
and whatever your political leanings: Don’t look to someone else, much
less a politician from any party. Take matters into your own hands.
Empower yourself.

Do more to insulate your family, your life and your future retirement
from the nonsense of bad government and bad policy. Get educated about
other retirement options within and outside the U.S.

Consider Nicaragua where a couple can live comfortably on as little as $1500 a month in a country that blends the best of the Old World with the creature comforts of The New World.

The globe has become a smaller place. A massive virtual shopping mall
of new lifestyle options is now more accessible than at any time in
human history. New technologies have
become powerful tools that make relocation much easier than in the past.

Serenity can help you build greater security against the chaos of today and the many big unknowns and disasters to come.

Nicaragua’s Window of Opportunity (2)

A staff member was recently asked a question on an international forum about Nicaragua's investment climate. This was the excellent answer:

———

According to a 2007 regression analysis of 150 countries using the
Index of Economic Freedom (Heritage Foundation) and per-capita income
(as a proxy for overall prices including real estate prices), Nicaragua
is 68% undervalued.
Basically, prices here are 32% of Nicaragua's
peer-group average and would have to triple to reach “fair value.”

Nicaragua was globally heralded as the “next Costa Rica” and the “next
Panama” before Daniel Ortega's presidential victory. It still gets
praise in tourism articles across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Ortega is a minority president (who won only 38% of the vote with current
approval ratings below 22%) who
has not made radical
economic policy moves. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund continue to maintain condition-based
financial support based on their rigid reform-minded policy criteria.
This is a virtual seal of approval. Nicaragua is more dependent than
ever on the U.S. and European Union — most Nicaraguans know this.

The
proximity and success of Costa Rica, Panama, Chile and Uruguay are,
long-term, powerful examples to Nicaragua about the right way to bolster growth and
job creation and reduce poverty. As real estate prices escalate in
Costa Rica and Panama (the “California” and “Florida” of Central
America); as baby boomers and entrepreneurs continue to seek more
cheaper, virgin markets outside North America and Western Europe; and
as Ortega approaches the end of his five-year presidential term (in
2011), Nicaragua will continue to attract investor attention.

Ortega
has created apprehension, but investment interest remains intense,
especially from Europeans and Canadians enjoying strong currencies, for
whom the region is a bargain. Ortega opened a window of opportunity for
smart, forward-looking investors with a five- to ten-year time horizon
to get in “before the herd”, before the end of his term unleashes
pent-up demand and a resumption of the boom that preceded him.

Nicaragua may now represent the kind of business opportunity Ireland
did when it was an economic basket case in the 1980's; that Argentina
did during its peso crisis in 2001; that Eastern Europe, reeling from
the end of Communism, represented in the early 1990's and that
Nicaragua itself represented in the early 1990's after the end of the
Sandinista's communist rule. Each of these periods eventually gave way
to fantastic booms.

Regarding the Atlantic coast: there are plans for a
new Atlantic-Pacific Highway, a deepwater port in Monkey Point,
expansion of the Bluefields airport to accommodate international
flights and for expanded oil exploration, all of which will encourage
infrastructure development. A note about a previous answer: Highway
quality between the capital, major cities and ports is excellent, in
many cases superior to Costa Rica and Panama. Major road-improvements
are underway to better connect smaller towns. The airport is new,
congestion-free and first-class (beats the heck out of Dulles, JFK or
LAX).

Nicaragua is one of the
most peaceful countries in Central America: moreso than the U.S.
according to The Economist (UK)-sponsored Peace Index. Another big
asset (amid global, current or pending resource shortages): its
massive, varied, untapped supply of alternative energy and freshwater.
The posted link provides more detail, original sources and independent
commentary from across the professional spectrum, from people who've
assessed the country thoroughly.

—–

'Nuff said. Discover Serenity.

Solar power: major breakthroughs up ahead

Major breakthroughs are underway and up ahead in the world of solar power…breakthroughs that could substantially reduce if not eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels within as early as a decade…breakthroughs that could make living in Nicaragua even more appealing than it already is now. Nicaragua enjoys an unusual abundance and variety of untapped alternative energy, including solar.



The Massachusetts Instituste of Technology reports on MIT Professor Marc Baldo’s and MIT Professor Daniel Nocera’s surprising work on new technologies to absorb and store solar power in a new way that could make solar power much more useful, much cheaper and a lot more practical.

Congratulations professors…is that a Nobel Prize we see up ahead?