For many, the dream of retirement in a warm paradise in the sun seems far out of reach. But Costa Rica offers countless Americans, Europeans, and Canadians (among others) the chance to retire in a beautiful, tropical climate; and unlike many other overseas destinations, this small, stable Central American country is both affordable and relatively crime-free. Here are some of the reasons why many Americans have retired to Costa Rica, and why future retirees should at least consider it.
Low cost of living
Costa Rica is one of the most affordable places to live in all of Latin America. First of all, the Colon (the local currency) is trading at the very favorable rate of 623 to 1. This means that when you exchange your dollars you will have a lot more to spend on everything ranging from housing to everyday living. Health care in the country is inexpensive but good: many of the doctors were trained in the United States, Canada or Europe. There is even a great educational system for those retirees who have children whom they are responsible for—and a number of excellent colleges as well. Many retirees live very comfortably on $1,500.00 a month. Without the cost of living challenges that so many stateside retirees face, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy all the scenic beauty that this tropical oasis has to offer.
Highest standard of living in Central America
Since 1948 Costa Rica has no army. The money that would have normally been invested in military equipment has been put to use into education and health care. This has resulted in the highest literacy rate in all of Central America. The country has two outstanding English newspapers. You can also get cable or Direct TV with all of the U.S. channels. With a national park system that takes up a quarter of the land for the protection of wildlife, Costa Rica has been called the Switzerland of Central America.
Friendly taxation policy
If you are age 45 or older, you can apply for the easy to relocate retirement system though the Costa Rican government. This offers many benefits including tax exemptions. One the best is that you do not have to pay any income tax on your retirement income. Also, the country also offers substantial tax breaks to purchase real estate. If you do so, you’ll bring down your cost of housing and will have more money available to spend on other things.
Low crime rate
By taking an especially hard line on illegal drug trafficking, Costa Rica has achieved the lowest crime rate in all of Latin America. As in any other country, there is some petty theft, but violent crime is virtually unheard-of. Retirees in Costa Rica can walk freely about without constantly fearing that they might become the next victim of a crime.
Lots of activities
Costa Rica sits between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its many geographical features include volcanoes, mountains, beaches, and rain forests. Social activities such as sports, nightlife, and dining abound. The country has two major international airports. It can easily be reached from any major U.S. airport by most airlines within a few hours.
Retiring in Costa Rica is inexpensive
For just $1,500.00 a month, you can enjoy a comfortable, worry free retirement in a stable, low crime and tax friendly country that many Americans, Europeans, and Canadians have already decided to call home.
You’ll still have access to world-class health care; and if you suffer from homesickness, you can be back in the U.S. within a few hours. These are just some of the many reasons why an ever-increasing number of retirees are flocking to this beautiful tropical paradise.
We recommend, however, that you “try before you buy.” Take a vacation in Costa Rica, but stay away from typical tourist traps and try to shop, eat, and stay where the locals do. Of course there’s nothing wrong with having fun. But remember that your main goal is to get a feel for everyday life. Then you will be able decide whether retiring in Costa Rica is for you.