Costa Rica Retirement Real Estate
Retirement in Costa Rica - Retirement Homes
Costa Rica is one of the most desirable retirement destinations in the world.
They must be doing something right in Costa Rica!
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Retirement in Costa Rica - A Paradise For Snowbirds
Costa Rica - Retirement in Paradise
Have you ever dreamed of a Costa Rica Retirement Home and retiring to Paradise; where both the climate and nature are beautiful? And where the cost of living is lower and the people are friendly? Some people come to Costa Rica strictly for economic reasons: pensions or other retirement funds go a much longer way than back home. The country is home to more Americans per capita than any other country outside of the U.S., thanks to its tropical climate, low cost of living, and natural beauty.
Some folks come for the near-perfect climate. With over 25 distinct sub-climates, and topography that transitions from mountain cloud forest to white-sand beach, and from active volcano to turquoise waterfall within 50 miles, Costa Rica is one of the most climate-diverse countries in the world. And there is an affordable Costa Rica Retirement Home for everyone in every one of these climates. There are over 400 "micro" climates in Costa Rica, so the weather varies wildly, often from one town to the next, and often from one hour to the next as systems move through. There are twelve distinct climatic zones with temperatures that vary according to elevation, assuring a climate to fill everyone's preference.
Due to its spring-like climate, many retirees choose to live in the Central Valley, which boasts close proximity to the capital city of San Jose and the international airport, as well as access to modern shopping and excellent medical facilities. Beach lovers have no shortage of gorgeous Pacific and Caribbean coastline. And there are plenty of reasonably priced retirement homes throughout the country.
Beauty & Diversity
Still other retirees come to Costa Rica for the beauty and diversity of the country's natural habitats. This ecological haven has become extremely popular and is very appealing. The American and foreign community is large and growing; Every week more and more expatriates are settling into their dream Costa Rica Retirement Home. And the country continues to prove that it is an exotic adventure and an exciting change of lifestyle.
Additionally, there are those who come because of Costa Rica's safe investment climate.There are plenty of investment opportunities in Costa Rica, all of which are backed up by the economical and political stability of the country. One of the main sources for investment is real estate, and there are many expatriates who have successfully purchased a Costa Rica Retirement Home.
Here are some facts about retirement in Costa Rica that could make your dream of purchasing your Costa Rica Retirement Home very real:
- Similar to the US and Canada, real estate ownership is fee simple with few restrictions
- The government's futuristic medical health approach
- Property taxes are significantly lower than in the US (around ¼% of the registered value)
- Peaceful and stable government with annual economic expansion
- Modern communications infrastructure
- Steady growth in tourism
- Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in the world (95%)
- It also has one of the longest life-expectancy rates on earth, 77 years
- Costa Rica is considered the “greenest, happiest country in the world” and tops the Happy Planet Index (HPI)
- The country boasts one of the highest standards of living in Latin America
- Easy accessibility by most major airlines
There are more Americans (per capita) who have invested in a Costa Rica Retirement Home than any other country outside of the U.S. A few other reasons:
- Low violent-crime rate
- Many types of outdoor activities to participate in year round
Living in a Costa Rica Retirement Home among the country's friendly peaceful people, known as “Ticos,” you will find that they are just waiting to welcome you into their unique homeland.
Lake Arenal 2 Bedroom 2 Bath
Retirement & Residency Status
Before buying a Costa Rica Retirement Home there are certain legal considerations must be analyzed. Two of the more popular ways of achieving residency status are the retiree ("Pensionado"), or the legal resident ("Rentista"). The Pensionado must receive a minimum of $1,000 a month from a qualified pension system (like U.S. Social Security). To be a qualified plan, the pension must be payable to the resident applicant for life. One person allows both husband and wife to apply for residency. The new "Rentista" monthly income requirement is $2,500. The exact same amount applies to all applicants, whether or not the applicant is single, or married, or married with children.
Retirement Living Conditions & Activities
After a successful search for a Costa Rica Retirement Home, and achieving the desired resident status, the retired foreigner will experience relaxed living conditions, yet enjoy modern comforts of civilized society, as well as plenty of cultural diversity within the well-educated population. Entertainment activities are abundant and Costa Rica offers a great amount of ecological tours (cheaper for residents including retired foreigners) and trips to national parks as well as beaches and volcanoes. There are also special interest activities like bird-watching, scuba-diving and horse-back riding tours. For the less active retired person, there are plenty of cultural events like concerts, plays and art exhibits. Last but not least, movie theaters and excellent restaurants abound, especially in the San José area.
All Kinds of Costa Rica Retirement Real Estate
Whether you settle into your Costa Rica Retirement Home to leisurely enjoy life, or come to Costa Rica for non-stop action, there's plenty of opportunities, whatever you desire. In fact, with over 800 miles of Caribbean and Pacific coastline, four mountain ranges, 200 volcanic formations, and 26% of its lands devoted to protecting rainforests, national parks and private reserves, Costa Rica can be for everyone.
Real estate is booming in Costa Rica, one of the world's most popular vacation destinations. Splendid and affordable properties in Costa Rica are hotter than ever. Not only are thousands of people coming to purchase their Costa Rica Retirement Home, there are many who are not yet ready to retire, but are investing in the country's rapidly growing real estate industry. Whether you want a modern beachfront villa, a secluded mountain getaway, or a fabulous deal on an investment property, it's all here. Some are buying for rental income, others for a second and/or vacation home, and others just getting a foot in the country, so they can someday have their dream Costa Rica Retirement Home.
Due Diligence When Pursuing Your Retirement Home
Costa Rica's constitution provides foreigners equal treatment under the law. This means that, even as a non-resident, you will enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded to land and homeowners in Costa Rica.
Like back home, there are many ins and outs to buying a Costa Rica Retirement Home, especially if you are not fluent in Real Estate Spanish. To facilitate a smooth and successful transaction, you will need patience, time and a good real estate team – a lawyer, realtor and various property experts – will be indispensable.
As noted above, Costa Rica can be gorgeous, a verdant Garden of Eden, and this is not the United States or Canada, or Europe. But just like these countries, Real Estate Law has loopholes and regulations that you must navigate before securing your Costa Rican Retirement Home. Make sure you do plenty of due diligence during the buying process, talk to lots of people, particularly the ones who have gone through it, exercise common sense and don't try and save a few dollars by taking shortcuts. A good honest lawyer and realtor will prevent a lot of headaches. Get references on both!
What Does It Cost to Retire in Costa Rica?
depending on your lifestyle, you can get easily get by in Costa Rica on $1,000 to $2,000 per month. Spend more, and you will have a lifestyle that would never be possible back in the United States. Before buying that dream Costa Rica retirement home, you need to know that Costa Rica is not necessarily the place for living cheaply. It has become the most expensive country in Central America; but if you retire in Costa Rica, you will find a high standard of living that is still far below the cost of living in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. You might hear or read about the cost of living being lower in neighbouring countries like Honduras, Belize or Nicaragua. And it is true; you can live less expensively in these countries but the quality of life isn't anywhere near with what you will enjoy in Costa Rica. Nicaragua has infrastructure issues, , , Honduras is plagued with poverty and violence and Belize , while being an English speaking country, continues to have higher than normal increases in the cost of living. You shouldn't be convinced that a lower cost of living will equate with higher quality of life.
How much it will cost to live in Costa Rica, of course, depends on your lifestyle. For instance, you can easily get by in Costa Rica on $1,000 to $2,000 per month. Spend more, and you will have a lifestyle that is incomparable to what you would have back in the United States. But Bbbb
You won’t need to give up anything if you retire to Costa Rica…except cold winters. Need modern appliances? A high-speed Internet connection? Cellular phone service? Costa Rica has all the infrastructure in place to meet all your needs. And because the cost of labor is low, you may be able to employ household help that will enable you to vastly improve your quality of life.
Costa Rica Real Estate is similar to any area when costs are concerned... it's always based on location, location, location. Rents range from $500 to $3,000 per month for a large house with a large yard, depending on the property's proximity to the ocean (ocean views, beach vistas as the most expensive), or closeness to urban areas with superb hospitals. Following that logic, rural areas are often cheaper, even when they have exceptional mountain views!
International Living, InfoCostaRica.com, and Baby Boomer Magazine all agree: a couple lives well on $1200 a month and in luxury for $2,000. International Living says, “…spend more and have a lifestyle that would never be possible back in the United States.” A full-time maid runs about $200 per month.
10 Reasons to retire in Costa Rica
10), Climate, Climate, Climate. For your retirement, you can almost pick your preferred temperature in Costa Rica and we selected 72 degrees year round at our home in the Central Valley Mountains. But what about the Rainy/Green Season? Sure, we have about 2 hours of rain during our “winter” months each day, but most mornings are beautiful and sunny. That sure beats Fargo in Winter and Phoenix in Summer! We also happen to delight in that expected afternoon rain in green season for a few hours. In fact if you haven’t experienced the sound of rain falling on a tin roof, with a good book, frankly, you haven’t lived.
9) Nature Lover’s Paradise: From rain forest to crisp mountains to experiencing the “Gifts from the Sea’, Costa Rica is a Nature Lover’s Paradise. Each morning of our retirement, Barry and I hike out our front door to the countryside where following a cow on the road is as common and much more delightful than interstate traffic.
8) Health Care: As Business Owners in the United States faced with staggering insurance costs, we sought out a location for retirement that would provide, quality, affordable health care. Costa Rica has U.S. Trained Dr’s with state of the Art Hospitals and Medical Facilities. It also has a thriving medical tourism industry. When we first moved to Costa Rica, private insurance cost $1400 annually for the two of us covering most of our medical costs and prescriptions. What this meant was state of the art care when hospitalized. Third World? I don’t know about that. In my private hospital room, I had a flat screen TV. dining menu options and a companion bed for my husband to stay with me. While our insurance has increased slightly as we have aged, I believe the care in Costa Rica unbeatable.
7) Adventure: We probably saw too many Raiders of the Lost Ark movies, but we wanted the next chapter in our life after the rat race to be a True Learning Adventure! Flying through the Forest Canopy, White Water Rafting are just two examples of retirement activities and we have a long list of adventures still on the list. Every day, daily living in Costa Rica is an adventure from exploring exotic fruits to rescuing a sloth. I have to say it beats going to Wal*Mart.
6) Social Community: We could keep ourselves entertained 7 days and nights a week with Costa Rica’s busy and diverse ex pat community. There’s a club for every interest (Birding, Hiking, Bridge, Gourmet Food and Wine, Volunteer Opportunities) just name it and it’s here. Foreign residents find each other at social centers and hubs and groups like the Newcomers Organization that help with the transition of moving to a foreign country.
5) Safety: While we now look back to the good old days when there was virtually little crime when we came to Costa Rica. Sadly we are not immune to the increasing crime rates that you find almost everywhere in the world, much linked to the growing drug problem. Still crime tends to be more property related than violent and so we have added precautions like a home security system. What should be noted is there is more violent crime in most major U.S. Cities in one day, yet the media will spotlight any violent crime against U.S. Citizens that occurs outside of her borders. Costa Rica, it should be noted, is also a peace-loving and stable country with no Army, often referred to as the Switzerland of the Americas.
4) Cost of Living: Indeed there are financial benefits of being a U.S. citizen living in Costa Rica. One of the attractions for us in selecting and moving to Costa Rica was the benefit of the first $75,000 of foreign earned income being tax free; Another? Property taxes on our new contemporary home in Escazu, Costa Rica were a whopping $100 a year. That sure beat $6,000 a year property taxes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. . There was also no heating or air-conditioning expenses to contend with and the real kicker indulgence for me was massages were $10.00 an hour. I remember saying “I’m so there” There is no doubt, that we could not afford our current lifestyle in the United States and while Costa Rica is unfortunately being increasingly discovered and developed, there are still affordable options for creating a quality lifestyle at a fraction of U.S. prices.
3) Warm and Hospitable Costa Rican People. Pura Vida! “That’s a Costa Rican expression that means “pure life”. Sunday morning is our favorite day for walking in the barrio…Mothers and Fathers walking hand in hand with their children to church reminding us of our own childhood. “It’s like the United States in the 1950’s”. There is tranquility and a commitment to family.
2) Connected: Today’s Ability to Work and Live Anywhere. Yes, we have wireless Internet and low-cost phone service in Costa Rica that enables us to work from home on the deck with parrots flying overhead. It’s not everywhere in the country and certainly not deep in the rain forest, but technology has enabled us to work and stay connected with our offices and families and friends. Just 2.5 hour flight from Miami and 3 1/2 hour flight from Houston, we are closer to many relatives and clients than they are with others living within U.S. borders.
1) The Mangos, The Monkeys, The Magic: I love to watch visitors in our learning retreats discover their own magic here while staying amidst the jewels of the Costa Rican rain forest. Forever changed from their journey to paradise, their discovery is almost child-like. I developed the brand for my speaking and retreat business from the voices of those who have discovered their own passion here. On seeing lava flow from an active volcano, a child-like WOW would be uttered competing only slightly with the volcanic rumble.”
Costa Rica Retirement article - Complements of Rosemary Rein
Retirement in Costa Rica among friendly locals allows that peaceful, easy feeling to overwhelm you. No more worries about cold weather; there is always warm sunshine to look forward to, even in the rainy season.
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For Your Costa Rica Retirement Home
Here's The Letter I Wrote To My Wife!
By George Ernst -
"You know, I have been looking at Costa Rica for quite a while now. We went there before as tourists in the '90s.
Right now I see it as an alternative plan that should be in place. If we end up there, the kids and our friends can fly there pretty cheap, if they wish to visit. There would be new friends to make as well. Most of our money is in the house and going down fast.
In one more year (or less) the credit line will be exhausted. The house has probably lost $300K in equity to this point and it is unsellable. It may be rentable. We are going broke fast and it is time to face facts. We still look OK on paper, but that's about it. My side business after retirement made up for most everything with about $4K/month extra income. I could almost keep our lifestyle afloat. That is now down to $400/month.
Just like no one is buying collectible cars, no one is restoring them right now either. Stock market is down again today as unemployment tops 10%. There are no jobs out there. Not even in my professional field. Besides, I don't want to work anymore every day.
You know I plan for the worst scenario and it could soon be upon us. Remember you are only 60. Your job is in danger. Your real boss (boss' wife) is erratic and you could go home tomorrow. Even boss doesn't know when your days there are over.
You can't collect Social Security for two more years. The worst part is you can't get Medicare for five more years. Right now your employer pays your medical insurance. If you lost that, and had to buy your own, it would break us in a matter of months. Add to that $7,000/year in property taxes and we are thoroughly screwed. Your income doesn't help much. What little you make goes to your vehicle lease and your hobby.
You have worked for 10 years now and fortunately have a good sized 401K. You have put double max into that for many years and your boss matches a good part of it. That's why he's sending all his long term employees like you home. New employees don't get benefits for years, so a $X/hr. employee is really just that. For you with higher pay, health plus dental plus 401K, you cost him more like $3X/hr.
I get a decent pension check and virtually free health care from Medicare. If you lose your job, you do not get anything and so no reasonable lifestyle could be maintained.
If we become Costa Rica residents, medical and dental are virtually free and very good quality. There are also two for pay US quality big hospitals in San Jose. We can live well on our pensions which will become $3,000/month in less than two years.
I am also tired of being alone every day. If your job ends and we move south, life could be very good and we are protected from the worst case scenario. If your job ends and we are still here in our little castle with no alternatives, we are destroyed for the rest of our lives.
The costs here are very large. Electric and other utilities are large, no less lawn service, food, fuel, car insurance, house insurance in a hurricane zone, property taxes, satellite TV, etc. Loss of health insurance would finish us off and everything we worked for will be gone. We would go bankrupt quickly.
I see it coming and I fear I have once again waited too long to take action. Our acreage is expensive to maintain in both labor and dollars. I just don't want to do it anymore. We need our own insurance against failure, before it arrives. It will probably take at least 10 months to make the move. I dread the bureaucracy at the consulate.
I speak enough Spanish, so, no problem there. You can learn. It would be an adventure. Everyone speaks some English there anyhow. I have always felt responsible for our financial affairs and we have lived a good life for many years. I am still trying to keep us living well. I think the goal should be to try to stretch it out here until you reach 62, meanwhile going ahead and getting approved for residency, not really moving there yet unless you get sent home early.
If your job ends before two years, we can go to Costa Rica until you turn 65 and have Medicare. Then we can return to the US if we want to. I have looked at every alternative and there is none. Even a $100k condo in the US does not solve health cost and other financial issues. I suspect most of those American people in Costa Rica aren't there just for the weather. Most are really there because there were no good financial alternatives. We are in the same situation."
Retiring To Costa Rica - "Well Here We Are!"
"Well, here we are. We took another trip to Costa Rica and took Lundquist's tour (I know, a shameless plug). We saw a different view of Costa Rica. Real places and real people. We decided the pain and sacrifice would be tolerable.
We went back twice more and looked at other parts of Costa Rica. All of a sudden my wife didn't like her job too much anymore. She quit and we put the items we really treasured with friends temporarily. Then an auctioneer sold everything else off on the front lawn. It was only stuff, mostly old stuff and it brought $25K. I was floored.
We rented the big house, stayed with friends for a month and on August 6, 2010 we and the dogs were off to our new country on one-way tickets. We had pre-purchased a nice used car and rented a furnished house for a year based on pictures. All went perfect. We learned more Spanish, became part of both the gringo and Tico communities. We had more things to do, people as friends etc. than we ever did in the US.
When that lease was up we moved to the beach in June where we are happy for now. Next stop is unknown. Maybe back to Central Valley, maybe Manuel Antonio, maybe stay here. So many choices. What we know is we are happy.
Costs are not as low as advertised. If you want American brand foods you will pay more than the US. You learn to think a bit differently. Our medical has no deductibles, no co pay, no charge for prescription drugs, no place to even give money to anyone. It's called CAJA and to get our medical cards and keep payments up to date costs us $20.10/month.
They have just finished a beautiful new airport here in Liberia near the beach and big new state-of-the-art CIMA hospital looks complete and is set to open in December 2011.
We couldn't be happier. We now have pensions coming in totaling $3K/month, expenses about $2,100. We have a few bucks in the bank and for absolute emergencies, a 401K that the US government won't require withdrawals from for another 8 years.
We have a nice rented home, satellite and cable TV with US football and baseball packages, good internet, and most importantly, a great network of friends. We are busy non-stop having fun and sitting on the beach watching amazing sunsets. There are no guns, no shootings, no political squabbles (that we care about).
At this time we have no desire to go back to US other than to visit family and friends. Is it perfect? No! Is it a great way to live? Yes! As I read the US news on-line in the morning, it seems like the Americans are the ones that are living in a third world country, not us expats. Pura Vida!"
Compliments of George Ernst -
When you retire in Costa Rica you will continue to enjoy a high standard of living.
All information presented here and in these sites is proposed and is subject to change or elimination by the Owner or Developer at any time without notice. The questions and answers on this website are for informational purposes only. All questions and answers proposed are subject to any change without any notice.
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