It’s interesting to talk to people in the area and hear what motivated them to make the move to Costa Rica. They come from all over the world. Some of the countries represented are; United States, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, England, Germany, France and the Netherlands. No two people have the same story; but there are some recurring themes woven into most conversations.

People from cold climates like the fact they no longer have to endure cold and snowy winters. Costa Rica is 8 to 12 degrees north of the Equator, in the Tropic of Cancer; so, the climate is tropical year around. Making life a whole lot easier! “The fact that you can put shorts on, every day of the year is a treat for us northerners!”

The overall cost of living makes it possible to stretch your retirement dollars further. Studies report that it can be at least 50% less expensive than living in North America (depending on where you come from and your lifestyle choices).

However, just like anywhere your budget will depend upon personal choices. A delicious way to reap the benefits of the lower cost of living is to buy local fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. You can enjoy local cuisine where a full meal will cost between $4 and $6. Services such as gardeners and housekeepers are inexpensive – costing about $4.00 per hour in our area. Learn to shop where the “locals” shop, grow your own bananas, pineapples, herbs, etc.

Reputable health care is available at a reasonable cost. Private healthcare insurance is an option that works well for some. Rates vary based on age and general health status. While it is best to do your own research to determine your specific rate, a rule of thumb would be that a healthy retiree could expect to pay around $100 per month for private insurance. Those who become Costa Rica residents are covered under the public healthcare system (CAJA) which has a reasonable rate that is calculated on a sliding scale. And there is always the option of simply paying for services when needed – you may be surprised at how inexpensive basic care can be. A visit to a Dr. is $50, a complete blood analysis is $150.00

While we are on the subject of health care it is interesting to note that Costa Rica is often in the top of the World Health Organization’s list of countries in the world with long life expectancies. The tropical climate, slower paced lifestyle and access to healthy foods are cited as factors. Maybe just living in Costa Rica is a form of health care! Many of us have reduced health issues after living here a while!

What a good advertisement that is for people considering moving to Costa Rica!