Costa Rica is a wonderful place for retirees for a number of different reasons. This is especially true for those that are looking to move to warmer weather with Spring/Summer temperatures year-round. Along with this excellent weather comes bargain bin real estate prices in comparison to the United States. Lastly, Costa Rica is known for having some of the nicest people in the entire world with a very stable Government. Below, we will be going over some of the reasons you might want to move to Costa Rica and where to retire in Costa Rica.
Where To Retire In Costa Rica – Reasons To Consider It:
1. Stable Government.
One of the biggest reasons you might be thinking to move to Costa Rica is due to its stable Government. In fact, it happens to have one of the most stable Governments throughout Latin America.
2. Great Health Care.
Along with having a stable Government, it has one of the best health care systems not only in Central America but in the world. In fact, a lot of health professionals in Costa Rica actually go through training in the United States. There are two different systems in which expats have access to healthcare. One, they can have access to the Government run universal healthcare system and the private system. Both of these healthcare systems are consistently being upgraded with various hospital infrastructure, new equipment, and even improvements in staff training and development.
Along with these advancements and high-end equipment upgrades, the costs are very affordable. In fact, they are downright low compared to equivalent health care options in the United States and even Europe. Relatively speaking, health care costs sit around a third to a fifth of what you might expect to pay in the United States depending on what your treatment requires. As noted previously, most doctors that are employed in Costa Rica get their training from either Europe, U.S, or Canada. Along with this, they typically have the ability to speak English as well.
Private healthcare is a great option for those that are looking for even more high-quality health care. There are three different large and private hospitals that you can choose from throughout the capital and each of them is conveniently located.
Now that we have gone over some of the main reasons you might want to choose to move to Costa Rica, we will be going over some of the main areas you are likely going to want to consider moving to.
Where To Retire in Costa Rica – Top Areas To Consider Moving To:
1. San Ramon, Central Valley.
This is one of the main areas that a lot of retirees choose to relocate to initially. In fact, it was actually named one of the top places in the world to retire a couple of years ago as rated by AARP. There are a variety of reasons it was rated so high. Not only does it happen to offer one of the best climates years round, but it is also a very safe place to live.
Because not a lot of tourists frequent this area, it is not going to be overly crowded at any point throughout the year. As a result, you will not have to worry about having to pay a ‘Gringo tax’ and you can typically get by with paying local prices. Also, because this area is close by to the capital, you will be able to have direct and main access to the main International airport which is going to provide you with easy traveling opportunities. At the same time, you will be able to enjoy the best shopping opportunities throughout the entire region and you will be close by to the best possible medical care with a choice of either public or private healthcare opportunities. To top it off, you will be a maximum of one hour away from the beach.
While there have been a lot of different hotspots popping up throughout Costa Rica, this one particular area has remained a mainstay for retirees because of it’s good reputation and it’s convenience that it offers. Not only does it have its own hospital, but it also features its own college campus – The University of Costa Rica and a very convenient city center. For shopping, you can always head over to the local farmer’s market to shop for various fruits and vegetables which can further save you money. Along with this, local restaurants serve up delicious food for under $5.
Because this area is not necessarily home to any significant number of expats, you can typically find a home for rent or to own for a relatively good bargain. You can even find homes available that come with the same North American amenities and everything you would want or expect from a home. Whereas, you should be able to find rentals for as little as $500 in some places with decent views.
If you are looking to move somewhere that is going to allow you to live a very simple life as cheap as possible, you will likely not be able to find a better place to move to than Cahuita. This is a small fishing village that is located around white sand beaches. It is the home of Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean culture. With that being said, the downside is that the Government never really invested too much into the development of this particular region.
As a result, there is a noticeable lack of development and a lack of infrastructure present. You will not find the same conveniences or amenities that you might be used to such as big chain restaurants, large hotels, or anything on a large scale basis. Instead, you will find different mom and pop shops and local businesses run by both expats and locals. This particular area will be ideal for those on shoe-string budgets as you can typically find rentals for very affordable prices. However, your quality of life and pace of life might not be what you expect unless you are looking for the most basic living.
This particular region is one of the most popular among tourists. A lot of tourists flock to this particular region to check out the Volcano present. Throughout this region, you will find a variety of places to enjoy nature and participate in outdoor activities like hiking and cam, because of ping. Along with this, you will find a lot of natural mineral hot springs heated by volcanic activity.
This region has become a very popular expat area particularly for retirees that are looking to move abroad. The main read that it comes with a very low cost of living and a quiet lifestyle. There are no high rises to speak of and you will not be bothered by a hectic pace or any sort of traffic. The lake is very quiet with rare boat traffic. The retiree community is very active and there are a variety of established clubs that you can participate in. There are also a lot of opportunities for renting or purchasing properties for relative bargains.
This is perhaps the closest beach area to the Central Valley and happens to be home to around 70% of the Costa Rican population. This particular area has been a very common destination for those retirees that are looking to enjoy a very good lifestyle with access to beaches, shopping, and medical care. Along with this, the suburbs of San Jose and the city are a short distance away (around 1 hour).
It features a beach resort town which has a lively beachfront full of condos and hotels along with a variety of restaurants that you can enjoy. There is a number of retail shops that you can visit and there is a variety of things that you can do to enjoy the nightlife.
Because there are so many housing options, you will be able to find a variety of living arrangements to choose from whether you are looking to rent or buy property. The budget for this area is going to be higher than other regions, but still reasonable. You should expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1,000 for rent for a two bedroom condo.
This is located in Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific Coast close to the border with Panama. The climate around this area is typically referred to as tropical. You will find a variety of beaches with little development. This particular area has a decent community of retirees with a variety of clubs available to choose from to integrate into the community and social life. Along with this, you will find a variety of restaurants to choose from. The development is not up to par with other regions of Costa Rica, but you will find that it is constantly improving. The budget for this region will likely run you $1,000 per month for a two bedroom condo that enjoys ocean views.
Overall, there are a number of areas that you can choose from if you are considering moving to Costa Rica. It is a very good country to consider moving to as a retiree due to its excellent health care and low cost of living. Also, because it offers such a good quality of life and slow pacing, it is a great option for those that are looking to unwind and really enjoy their lives.
Choosing where to retire in Costa Rica can be difficult due to the seemingly limitless amount of options. Costa Rica a common destination for a lot of retirees because it offers a particular convenience for traveling to and from the United States and because it happens to be one of the safest countries throughout the entire region. Each area within Costa Rica offers different pro’s and con’s and choosing between them is likely going to be determined by your budget, lifestyle wants and needs, and your willingness to assimilate to the local culture. If you are someone that is looking to really dive into the local culture, you might be more satisfied with moving to an area that is less infiltrated by expats. However, you can find areas that are full of expats if that is what suits you the most.
The good thing about Costa Rica is that you will be able to find all kinds of communities to choose from and you can really find something that meets the needs of everyone. Whether you value health care proximity and being close to the big city or a low cost of living as well as beach front views, you will be able to find the perfect place to move.