Excerpted from the Guatemala Country Guide
Cost of Living
Guatemala is a beautiful country that is known as the ‘land of eternal spring.’ It has a low cost of living by North American and European standards, and foreign nationals are increasingly deciding to retire in Guatemala due to its warm climate and affordable health care.
Rental prices vary depending on the city and type of home. It is essential to engage in networking in person to find rental housing in Guatemala, and prices are almost certain to be less expensive than anything listed online.
Buses are a popular and inexpensive form of public transportation in Guatemala. ‘Chicken buses,’ as they are referred to in English (camionetas in Guatemalan Spanish), are repainted former US school buses now used as local transports for people, livestock and cargo.
Medical Care/Health Insurance
According to the World Health Organization, Guatemala’s health care system is compartmentalized and fragmented, with different types of health care options depending on the work and economic situation of citizens. There are both public and private health care facilities in Guatemala, which serve different sectors of the population.
Work Schedules and Holidays
Most businesses and shops are open from 8 am to 6 or 7 pm, sometimes with a break between 1 and 3 pm. Big shopping centers tend to stay open until 8 pm, including in Sundays.
Residents are taxed on Guatemala-sourced income at progressive rates ranging from 5 to 7 percent. Non-residents have taxes withheld at the source for Guatemala-sourced income at a flat rate of 15 percent.
Social Security and Pension
The social security system covers health care, workers’ benefits and pensions. Some of the schemes and benefits provided by Guatemala’s social security system are Sickness benefits, Maternity benefits, Workers' medical benefits and more.