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Retire or Relocate in Costa Rica

Retire or Relocate in Costa Rica

Looking for your slice of heaven? Costa Rica offers the unbeatable combination of warm weather and exceptional real estate. This exotic and adventure-filled country can be, in parts, extraordinarily affordable and peaceful.

Costa Rica’s stable democracy, low cost of living, and excellent healthcare are significant 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 is a list of reasons why hundreds have chosen Costa Rica retirement or relocation:

Peace and StabilityCosta Rica is renowned for its stability and peaceful nature, especially in an area where many governments are in turmoil. Crime, especially violent crime, is very low and the country has been enjoying a free Democratic lifestyle for over 150 years. The army was disbanded long ago as the country maintains a neutral international stance.

Low Cost of Living: The cost of living in Costa Rica is lower than in the United States or Canada. Honduras, Belize, and Nicaragua may provide an even lower cost of living, but the quality of life in Costa Rica is much higher. The infrastructure is better, the medical care more affordable, the society more peaceful and educated, and the government more stable. For $1,200 per month, a retired couple can live very well, and for around $2,000 per month can live affluently. Utilities are up to 30% cheaper in Costa Rica than the US and Europe, and a full-time gardener and housekeeper can be obtained for a few hundred dollars per month each. Numerous inexpensive local restaurants with fresh local fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood ingredients make eating out enjoyable.

Low Language Barrier: While Spanish is the official language, around half of the population speaks English as a second language.

Lifestyle: Next to an innate sense of equality and democracy, Costa Ricans are best known for their friendly nature and warm hospitality. The Happy Planet Index 2.0 reveals a surprising picture of the relative wealth and progress of nations. The second global ranking of Well-Being and Environmental Impact shows that Costa Rica is at the top of the Happy Planet Index 2.0. “Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world, have the second-highest average life expectancy of the Americas (second only to Canada) and have an ecological footprint that means that the country only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of ‘one-planet living’: consuming its fair share of the Earth’s natural resources.”

High-Quality Health Care: 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. The quality of medical and dental care is similar to that in the U.S. and is among the best in the world. Many Americans fly in for surgery and dental work.


Low infant mortality (1%) and long life expectancy (77 years) – longer than the average U.S. born citizen.


Social security provides universal insurance for medical, disability, maternity, old-age pensions, and death.


Great Weather: The year-round warm weather is another of the desirable reasons to call Costa Rica home. 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.

Technology: With a high level of education and rapidly developing telecommunications, Costa Rica has attracted foreign multinational investment by many high-tech companies. Intel Corporation, Laser Sight Technology, Siemens, Procter & Gamble and others all have operations in Costa Rica.

Nature at its best:  Costa Rica, despite accounting for only 0.25% of the World’s land mass, it is home to 5% of the World’s biodiversity. National Geographic has called the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula in the Southern Pacific Zone one of the most biodiverse places on the entire planet. The country is known for its natural beauty, and volcanoes, beaches, and rainforests are few hours’ drives away. Fill your day’s birding, wildlife watching, and gardening, or take up with a local theater company, Rotary Club, or another group. In Costa Rica, your golden years are full of activity.

Low Taxes: Property tax in Costa Rica is meager, around .25%, and there is no Capital Gains Tax, helping save you money every year.

Foreign Investment: The government’s positive attitude towards foreign investment, its infrastructure, access to international markets, labor quality and cost, make Costa Rica an ideal place to live or to establish commercial operations. There are numerous investment opportunities in Costa Rica with historically rising real estate values, ever-increasing international trade, and a large tourism sector.

Ownership Rights: 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.


Easy Residency Process: 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.

Comforts: You would expect you would have at home including great communications, entertainment, nightlife, and many shops your familiar and of course you can enjoy a leisurely round of golf or maybe a rain forest tour.


Healthy living:  Peace and tranquillity are the order of the day in a culture whose motto is Puuravida, which means “pure life” in English. Costa Ricans also like to say “tranquilidad ante todo,” which means, tranquility before everything. And, as if less stress were not enough, gyms, wellness centers, yoga studios, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nature are all within easy reach, making healthy living a snap.

You have worked hard all your life, and now it’s time to enjoy yourself, so retire to Costa Rica and do just that!!


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