So you are thinking about retiring in Costa Rica…
Before you do I’d like you to read through this document so I may assist you in making the right, educated decision about retiring in Costa Rica.
Retiring in Costa Rica is a clean start
Costa Rica is a small Latin American country (Spanish speaking) located in Central America between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.
The country has remained without a military since 1948 when President José Figueres Ferrer agreed to disband the military and invest that money in to education and healthcare. Since then the country has been a peaceful example for the rest of the world to follow.
[highlight]Voted happiest place to live on the planet[/highlight] by the HPI, Costa Rica is a peaceful nation where the people are pleasant and inviting to foreigners coming to their country.
More commonly known as “ticos”, the Costa Rican people have a rich history of not only external beauty, but also and internal beauty stemming from years of peace and happiness.
In 1987, then President Dr. Oscar Arias, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to bringing stability and peace to the then tumultuous nations of Latin America.
Retiring in Costa Rica can become a rebirth of sorts – many expats retiring in Costa Rica tell stories of how liberating and refreshing their lives have become as a result.
Is Retiring in Costa Rica for You?
Did you know that Costa Rica is one of only 5 “Blue Zones” in the world? What is a “Blue Zone”? They are pockets of the planet that are conducive to longer lifespans exceeding 100 years.
So not only is Costa Rica the happiest place on Earth but it’s also one of the highest in longevity.
Here are some of the benefits to retiring in Costa Rica:
- Climate - average yearly temperatures are between 63°F and 81°F
- Food - fresh fruit and vegetables are available all year round
- Population - scarcely populated with Guanacaste province being the least populated
- Eco-Friendly – 27.27% of the country is either protected park or reserves; ranking Costa Rica as the leader in protected land mass
- Healthcare - top quality healthcare is readily available in Costa Rica through either the public healthcare system (available to expats) or with the incredibly qualified private healthcare sector
- Security - in Latin America, Costa Rica has been ranked #2 most safest place to live
- Stable - the political democracy of Costa Rica has remained stable for longer than any other Latin American country
There are many reasons to consider retiring in Costa Rica — we all have our own.
With tourism numbers increasing annually, Costa Rica vacations have been the catalyst for many people making the decision on retiring in Costa Rica.
Although there are retirees residing all over the country, there are trending locations that appear more preferable.
The province of Guanacaste in the north of the country is one of these retirement hot spots. Over the past few years we have seen a spike in interest for Costa Rica medical tourism and it is here in Guanacaste where it’s most prominent. Additionally, another promising industry for Costa Rica is the dental care. Costa Rica in known world-wide as having one of the most advanced and affordable dental physicians. Most of which are trained in the USA or Europe. This area has plenty of Costa Rica resorts which act as great “foot in the water” scenarios before making the leap.
The Central Valley is another hotspot for those retiring in Costa Rica. Temperate climate, accessibility, and all the amenities one would have back home, the valley is host to the largest population of expat retirees in Costa Rica.
There are two main international Costa Rica airports – the airport in San Jose, Juan Santamaria and in Liberia, Guanacaste called the Daniel Oduber. The international airport in Liberia recently completed a new terminal building capable of processing 3x the arriving passengers as previously. This attests to the theory that tourism numbers are on the rise and the country is doing it’s best to accommodate this.
The Affordability of Retiring in Costa Rica
The one subject that repeatedly comes up with regards to retiring in Costa Rica is the cost of living. Living on a fixed budget requires you to be aware of your expenses. Here the cost of living is considerably less than the USA. In fact, the cost of living in Costa Rica can be 1/3 of what you’d expect anyone in metro America. A variable worth mentioning is that, depending if you live in San Jose or along the coast in the southern zone of the country, the prices for food and entertainment will vary.
Whatever the reasons are for retiring in Costa Rica real estate for sale, the tourist must consider some social implications of their decision. Culture shock is almost certain and can be accredited as the #1 reason why many foreigners return home. Lack of efficiency and of punctuality are the two main complaints from expats about the Costa Rican lifestyle. If a person is moving to another country he/she must realize that customs are going to be completely different and that’s actually part of the reason for moving here…a slower pace. In time, a foreigner will be able to decide if these differences are bearable or if they justify leaving the country. The best route to take is to plan well in advance by visiting the country for extended periods to ensure retiring in Costa Rica is suitable for them.
The retired foreigner can enjoy several cultural and entertainment activities. Costa Rica offers a great amount of ecological tours and excursions to national parks as well as a variety of beautiful beaches and any number of the countries active volcanoes. There are also special interest activities like bird-watching, scuba-diving and horse-back riding tours. For the less adventurous retiree, there are plenty of cultural events like concerts, plays and art exhibits. Something to consider might be a visit to one of the many luxurious Manuel Antonio hotels including the famous Si Como No.
Adjustment to a new way of life can take many months. However, an open mind, positive attitude and a willingness to seek out new experiences can make the transition relatively painless. It is important to not give up so easily – you might come around should you become frustrated.
Lawyers in Costa Rica are in abundance and therefore choosing the right one is critical to the successful transition of life in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has come a long way in the last decade. Satellite and DirectTV, private mail service and the Internet make it easier to stay in touch with family and friends in the United States or where ever you may be from, and keep up with what is going on all over the world.
If you don’t own a computer, you can go to any number of the Internet cafés throughout the country’s cities.
Costa Rica’s modern technology has made life easy for foreign residents. In most areas of the country you can get cash at a local ATM, manage your investments online and read almost any major newspaper in the world the day it comes out. The makes the transition to retiring in Costa Rica a little easier.