Why Would Anyone Want to Live and Retire in Costa Rica?
Have you been thinking about taking that big plunge into a true learning adventure? Move to a tropical country, learn a new language, and meet new and interesting people? Well, I’ve got just the place for you. Costa Rica!
Top Ten Reasons to Work, Live, or Retire in Costa Rica:
Many people are coming from the US, Canada, and Europe to live and retire in Costa Rica, last count was over 30,000. They come for different reasons. Adventure is one of the reasons, and there is plenty of it in Costa Rica! Another big reasons : to live a simpler and more relaxed life integrated in a tropical sunny setting. Get out of the hustle and bustle of a stress filled life. Learn a new culture and a new language. Another reason: the cost of living. The over all cost here is less expensive than North America or Europe.
Climate: one of the best in the world. The weather is great with lots of sunshine year round! Average daily temperature in the central valley where most people settle is 72 degrees year round. With a rainy season of sunny mornings and warm afternoon rains from May thru November. Everything is always 1000 shades of green! The dry season December thru April when all the colorful flowers burst into bloom and the sun shines all day. Unless you live on the beach, air conditioning is not needed so imagine how much money that will save. Neither is heating which again saves you money.
2. The warmth of the Costa Rican people who welcome you to their country. They are helpful and genuine. Also the large expat community gives you the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, who do interesting things, so you learn from one another.
3. Cost of Living..over all- taking everything into consideration, it is less expensive to live in Costa Rica. The big things: real estate taxes are much much lower. On my house valued at $180,000, I paid $400 annually. The house was concrete block so I don’t buy property insurance- I figured it would not catch fire. Nor liability insurance since here everyone isn’t always suing everyone else. Utility bills and phone bills-all much lower . I paid $50 month for utilities – did not use a clothes dryer. house phone $10 monthly and cell phone $10 monthly. I bought a prepaid internet card to go onto the internet, although you do want high speed internet if it is offered in your area. Around $35 and up per month.
Household help is around $2 per hour because you have to pay a lot of social benefits as well has her salary. Gardeners and drivers about the same.
Food, You can shop weekend local farmers markets and save on fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat is pricey, about same price as the US. Automobiles are very expensive due to the import tax the government puts on them. 20%-50% higher than in the US. Also gasoline is around $3.50 a gallon. Also if you wish you can open a business and make money; the government of Costa Rica has a very positive attitude and encourages new businesses. You just have to meet the requirements which only a very good attorney can instruct you.
4. Health Care- costs much less than in the US and the quality is very good. Many doctors trained in the US and Europe and speak English. They don’t run in and out of your room, they sit down and talk and listen to you. They are 2 excellent hospitals in the metropolitan area of San Jose and Escazu. Clinica Biblica in San Jose and Cema Hospital in Escazu. They are to North America standards with modern facilities and equipment, and most of the doctors speak English.
5. Dental– excellent and much much cheaper
6. Stay connected all around the world- cell phones, home phone lines, all less expensive. High speed Internet is available in the populated areas-also inexpensive. Although high speed is not available in some areas.
7. Democratic Government– Costa Rica has a presidential election every four years. The Costa Rican people are passionate about politics, just be around when the presidential campaign is on. This stability draws many business down to Costa Rica. Such as Intel, Proctor and Gamble, even Google.
8. Two international airports with several flights a day(with connections) to almost anywhere in the world. So it is easy to come and go and you do not have to deal with big changes in time zones. So you arrive rested.
9. Live in a Country where you can truly experience new and exciting things: Abundant natural beauty-the rain forest, home to hundreds of colorful tropical birds and wildlife, beaches on both sides of the country, mountains and volcanoes..all in this tiny area!
10. Lastly, and this one is the best. Live a simple life. Unhurried, time to spend with friends and family. Costa Ricans do not get in a hurry for much of anything. They take time to sit down to eat lunch, spend Sundays with their family, have time for a cup of coffee with friends.
So, in summary what do I save money on if I live in Costa Rica? 1. Heating and cooling bills 2. basic phone bills 3. Electrical bill 4. Real Estate taxes if you own a home 5. domestic help 6. Gardner 7. You spend less on clothing because of the casual lifestyle and no change of seasons. And no fancy silk dresses for the ladies.
9. Medical care and dental is much cheaper.
What may cost me the same? Housing cost is similar to USA and Canada
What may cost me more? 1. Automobiles are very expensive due to tax the gov puts on them. Maintenance on a car is high. Tires wear out sooner due to poor road conditions 2. food cost are similar to North America, however if you shop weekends at the local farmer’s market you can really save on fruits and vegetables. 3. Gasoline is more expensive than in USA, around $3.50 a gallon.
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