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The Golden Door to
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica
Howard found at escapeartist.com
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nations are more dynamic than is Costa Rica. There are volcanos that
tourists go to watch erupt; each night creating a spectacle that is worthy
of an academy award. Pristine beaches, a cultured capital city, almost
every climatic zone one could ask for, from tropical beaches to mountain
ranches with refreshingly cool mountain breezes. Costa Rica has it all!
Despite having one of
the highest standards of living in Latin America, purchasing power is
greater in Costa Rica than in the United States or Canada. The country is
really a bargain compared to most places. In most areas housing costs less
than what it does in the U. S. and hired help is a steal. Utilities -
telephone service, electricity, and water - are cheaper than in North
America. You never need to heat your home or apartment because of Costa
Rica´s warm climate. You need not cook with gas, since most stoves are
electric. These services cost about 30% of what they do at home. Bills for
heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer can cost hundreds
of dollars in the States.
A recent study by the Miami Herald rated Costa Rica the 27th safest
country for investment of 140 countries surveyed. If you are not impressed
by Costa Rica´s ranking, consider that the U.S. was ranked only 22nd!
Another recent study found Costa Rica to be the least corrupt country in
In addition, U.S.
business magazine, Fortune ranked San José Latin America´s fifth best
city to do business and placed it within the 25 best cities in the world.
According to the report, Fortune considered the city´s ability to create
opportunity for its residents, its business climate and how well it can
satisfy the business needs of companies that invest there. San José
ranked tops in the quality of its labor force, its business environment
and the lifestyle it offers resident executives and investors.
you can´t afford to buy a house in the U.S. or Canada, prices of decent
homes in Costa Rica begin at around $50,000 with financing available for
new homes if you become a resident. (...)
You don't have to be a resident of Costa Rica to own property and you’re
entitled to the same ownership rights as citizens of Costa Rica. Ownership
of real estate in Costa Rica is fully guaranteed by the constitution to
all including foreigners. This means your purchase here can be fully
secured and safe.
In Costa Rica you
can build your retirement dream house, if you so desire, since land, labor
and materials are inexpensive. However, think twice about undertaking such
a project because you could be flirting with disaster. Many foreigners who
have built homes complain that it sounds easier than it really is. They
would not do it again because of costly delays, unreliable labor, fussy
building inspectors, different laws and building codes and many other
unforeseen problems. Be sure to talk with foreigners who have built homes
to see what obstacles they encountered. Costs depend on location,
materials and the size of the home you want to build. You generally pay
between $300 to $600 a square meter or $30 to $60 a square foot.
or just living in another country often presents new challenges for people
because perhaps for the first time they are confronted with having a
plethora of leisure time and the problem of what to do to with it. As you
will see throughout this chapter, Costa Rica is wonderful place to live.
In addition to being relatively inexpensive there are many interesting
activities to choose from. As one of our American friends referred to his
busy life in Costa Rica, " My days are so fulfilling, that each day
in Costa Rica seems like a whole lifetime."
In Costa Rica you
have no excuse for being bored or inactive, unless you are just plain
lazy. There is some hobby or pastime for everyone regardless of age or
interests. Even if you cannot pursue your favorite hobbies, you can get
involved in something new and exciting. Best of all, by participating in
some of the activities in this chapter, you will meet other people with
common interests and cultivate new friendships in the process. You can
even spend your time continuing your education or studying Spanish (...).
Most people you meet will also be expatriates, so you probably won´t need
that much Spanish to enjoy yourself. However, the happiest expats seem to
be those who speak Spanish. They are able to enjoy the culture more fully,
mix with the locals and make new friends in the process.
Whatever you do, don´t
make the mistake of being idle. The worst thing you can do is spend all
your time drinking in one of the many gringo hangouts in downtown San José.
Over the years we have seen many fellow Americans fail to use their time
constructively, and destroy their lives by becoming alcoholics while
living in Costa Rica - a few even died prematurely. So, use the
information we have provided in this chapter, and take advantage of the
many activities Costa Rica offers.
you are looking for someone for romance, Costa Rica might just be the
right place for you.
Ladies, regardless of age, you will find gentleman admirers in Costa Rica
if you so desire. Due to machismo, Costa Rican men are more flirtatious an
aggressive than North American men. Most Costa Rican men think foreign
women have looser morals and are easier conquests than ticas (Costa Rican
women). So, be careful to take time to develop a long-term, meaningful
relationship and don´t rush things.
Men of any age will
have no problem meeting Costa Rican women. The women in Costa Rica seem to
like older, more experienced men. It is not unusual to see a wife who is
ten to twenty years younger than her spouse. This practice may be frowned
on in some countries but is accepted in Costa Rica. Many retirees we know
claim to feel rejuvenated and to have a new lease on life after becoming
involved with younger women. Costa Rican women have an unparalleled
reputation as being the most beautiful, flirtatious, and accessible women
in Latin America - including Brazil. The ladies of Costa Rica are more
warm-hearted and devoted than their North American counterparts. They
consider you a joy. One retiree we know boasts, " The women here
really know how to treat you like a king!"
The final step in
deciding if you want to make Costa Rica your home, is to try living there
for at least a year. That´s sufficient time to get an idea of what living
in Costa Rica is really like and what problems may confront you while
trying to adapt to living in a new culture. It may also let you adjust to
the climate and new foods. You can learn all the dos and don´ts, ins and
outs and places to go or places to avoid before making your final
You may decide to
try seasonal living for a few months a year. Many people spend the summer
in the U.S. or Canada and the winter in Costa Rica (which is its summer),
so they can enjoy the best of both worlds - the endless summer.(...)
it´s easy to do, since you can legally stay in the country up to six
months as a tourist without having to get any type of permanent residency.
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