|San Jose, Costa Rica (capital)
According to Travel Market Report, roughly 3.3 million American baby boomers claim that they intend to retire abroad.
As prices continue to rise in the US and health care costs remain a huge concern for many retirees looking to retire on the cheap, there has been an increasing number of expats relocating to countries in Central America.
Costa Rica is still a first choice destination for many of those seeking a better life abroad.
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica boasts 27 hurricane free micro climates, abundant and inexpensive highlands real estate up out of the tropical heat, humidity and bugs of the coastal areas, and a welcoming attitude by the Tico people.
It's not as inexpensive as it used to be but a typical Social Security income of $2,000/month for a couple will provide enough money to live in a good house, have a part-time maid or gardener, and still have enough left over at the end of the month for a little fun.
- Jobs are not easy to find although starting a business is feasible.
- Retirement visas can be obtained (you can file papers yourself although the process can become a bit problematic). For a more seamless process it is recommended that you seek the help of a lawyer. BEWARE - Lawyers are lawyers everywhere (some good and some not so good). Be sure to do your research before hiring one and NEVER pay their entire fee upfront.
- English is spoken more and more in Costa Rica, and you can probably get away with not speaking Spanish. However, it is recommended that you learn at least some basic Spanish. It will also help you feel more like you are a part of the community. Being able to speak some Spanish is a must outside of the capital
- Anyone in the country can legally buy and own real estate (it is advisable to rent for at least a year BEFORE buying any real estate). Do not be lured in by the hype of the many ads hawking cheap real estate. Although real estate is very affordable (beware of scams) and be sure that you know that you really want to live in Costa Rica first. Investigate the areas and get to know the culture before buying. Make 'rent before you buy' your mantra!
- Cars and other 'luxury' items are heavily tariffed
- Electricity rates are on the rise so keep that in mind when choosing a location to live. (if you want to live at the beach where it is HOT you will be spending more on electricity to run that air conditioner
Costa Rica boasts top notch medical facilities (with English speaking doctors trained in the U.S affordable health care costs for a fraction of US costs and inexpensive medication costs
- Once again the topic of CRIME comes up. Once again, I will say, what you classify as high crime is relative. Always stay vigilant and don't make yourself a target.
Costa Rica Travelog