Cheap Retirement In Costa Rica

by D. Lee on May 26, 2011

Costa Rica is a small democratic country in Central America. Nicaragua sits on its northern border and Panama on its southern border.  Costa Rica is surrounded by water on its other two sides, the Pacific Ocean on its west coast and the Caribbean Sea on its east coast.  Miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, a stable democratic government, and a low cost of living made Costa Rica one of the very first cheap overseas retirement locations.

1) Climate.  Costa Rica is very close to the equator so it has a tropical climate with very little variation in temperature over the course of the year which is divided into a dry season and a rainy season.  High temperatures on the coastlines stay around 82° F and on the central plateau, where the capitol city of San Jose lies, high temperatures remain around 74° F year round.  It is slightly cooler in the mountains in the northeast of the country and the mountains get significantly more rainfall than the rest of the country.

2) Affordability.  Costa Rica has become more expensive in recent years but those not interested in a luxurious lifestyle should be able to easily get by for less than $1500 a month and can live that luxurious lifestyle for $2000 a month.  The average Costa Rican makes less than $450 a month and anyone making $2000 dollars a month would be considered upper class.  A very comfortable lifestyle is possible in Costa Rica on a pension.

3) Safety.  Costa Rica is the safest country is Central America.  Visitors can feel safe while exploring any part of the country.  Costa Rica does not have an army or a drug trafficking problem like many of its neighbors.  The crime rates in Costa Rica are lower than those of the United States.  Just use common sense and follow the precautions you would follow anywhere else and you should feel quite comfortable.

4) Other Americans.  Being the first country to actively pursue retiring Americans and get them to retire there, Costa Rica has a large population of Americans.  The latest government estimates indicate that over 20,000 Americans are currently living in Costa Rica.  One of the few complaints that retirees have about Costa Rica is that there are too many Americans.  It may feel like you never left the U.S.

5) Health Care.  Costa Rica’s private hospitals and clinics offer health care equivalent to the United States without the high costs.  You have three choices for health insurance coverage, private insurance, the government sponsored insurance, or a combination of the two.  Health insurance costs will be around $50 per month depending on the provider and the coverage options that you choose.

6) Transportation.   There are many ways that one can get around Costa Rica including taxis, public buses, rental cars, and even on horseback if you are really feeling adventurous.  Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport is located about 135 miles from San Jose and has flights to Canada and the U.S. as well as South America and Europe.

Many people would agree that Costa Rica, the original cheap overseas retirement option, is still the best option.  Perfect weather, gorgeous scenery, beaches that rival those anywhere else in the world, and a cost of living that allows most retirees to live in luxury make Costa Rica a good choice.

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