Top 10 Reasons to Retire in Costa Rica
Posted by Emma on: Mar 08, 2011
Costa Rica’s stable democracy, low cost of living, and excellent healthcare are major draws for retirees living on a fixed income. In a country known for its hospitable locals, natural beauty and temperate climate, you’ll soon find that the attraction extends far beyond the practical. Here are the top ten reasons why hundreds have chosen Costa Rica retirement:
Retiree, or pensionado residency requires a monthly income of $1000 or more from a pension or retirement fund and is valid for five years. After three years, you will be eligible to upgrade to permanent residency – a simple change that will afford you almost all the rights of a Costa Rican citizen.
Low Cost of Living
Housing, services and health care in Costa Rica are considerably less expensive than in the United States. It is possible to live frugally on $750 per month, and $1500 equates to a very comfortable standard of living. Your exact budget will depend on your lifestyle, but with a bit of adjustment, you can live better for less in Costa Rica.
Retired residents are eligible for private and public healthcare. Both options are economical and offer modern facilities and highly trained medical personnel. As a resident, you’ll be required to buy into the public healthcare system, which costs as little as $30 per month. Private insurance runs about $50-$100 monthly, and will provide you access to a range of top-notch doctors and hospitals throughout the country.
By law, foreigners have full real estate ownership rights in Costa Rica. When you purchase a home or lot, the sale is registered in the National Registry of Costa Rica, further guaranteeing your investment.
Property tax in Costa Rica is very low, around .25%, and there is no Capital Gains Tax, helping save you money every year.
Your neighborhood farmers’ market is a great way to stock up on fresh produce at very reasonable prices. Tropical fruits are available year-round and $20 will buy you a week’s worth of delicious and healthy food.
Say goodbye to the wintertime blues. Weather in Costa Rica’s Central Valley promises perennial spring-like temperatures. You’ll enjoy 75-80º F days and 65-70º F evenings – no heat or air conditioning needed! In coastal areas, temperatures reach the mid-90s by day and 80s at night.
Proximity to the United States and Canada
If you have friends and family in the United States and Canada, they’re just a few hours away. Nonstop flights from San Jose to most North American destinations clock in at less than six hours, and southern cities such as Miami are less than three hours away.
The country is known for its natural beauty, and volcanoes, beaches and rainforests are few hours drive away. Fill your days birding, wildlife watching and gardening, or take up with a local theater company, Rotary Club, or other group. In Costa Rica, your golden years are full of activity.
Local Expat Community
Costa Rica’s expat community grows by the year, and you’ll find pockets of retirees living throughout the country. If you choose to live in an expat neighborhood, you’ll enjoy the benefits of like-minded individuals and a built-in network of potential friends. A local community offers its own rewards, including friendly Costa Rican neighbors and opportunities to explore the traditions and customs of your new home.