An estimated 50,000 or so North American expatriates and retirees now call Costa Rica home–at least part of the year. We’ve still got a few years to go before retirement, but we’ve bought and sold houses, dealt with a range of Costa Rican lawyers, and counseled scores of people thinking of making the big move.
Home prices are far below those found in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, while public services and health care are pretty darn comparable.
Many folks dream of retiring on or near the beach, or in some quiet mountain town, where they can tend a garden and entertain friends and family year round. In Costa Rica, that dream can come true.
Still, this type of move is not for everyone. There are some serious aspects of such a big move to take into consideration. We’ve lived here for more than 20 years. We understand the challenges and difficulties of adapting and living here. We’ve seen hundreds of others pack up and go home, either because they were unprepared for the full spectrum of the reality of living in Costa Rica, or worse, because they got burned in the process of moving down here.
Language and cultural difficulties, unscrupulous lawyers and real estate brokers and a host of other minefields await most future expatriates and retirees contemplating Costa Rica.
For some a Guanacaste beach town or the more rustic Caribbean coast is perfect. Others would feel most at home in the Central Valley, close to the nightlife, restaurants and shopping offered up by San Jose and the surrounding metropolitan area. While others, will want the peace and quiet and cooler temperatures offered up in such towns as Grecia, Sarchi and San Ramon.