When you retire, a comfortable and exotic life awaits in Costa Rica with affordable real estate, a low cost of living, and good healthcare. The ocean blue, the soft beaches, high mountains, and deep forests with vivid wildlife are what will make you call it home.
The first attraction that comes to mind about Costa Rica is the perfect holiday conditions. The abundant wildlife, amazing views, constant great climate, and the natural lifestyle are famous at a worldwide level. However, there is so much more to fall in love with the Costa Rican lifestyle.
The healthcare level in this country is amazing. It is a major factor for all retirees. The same top services are supplied for everybody, both natives and short-term and long-term residents. The health system in Costa Rica is comparable to that in the most developed countries of the world, however, it is more inexpensive. So you could call this a double win.
The Costa Rican health system is called CAJA and requires a monthly fee. You will benefit from top-level preventative medical services, routine consultations, and major procedures. You can also purchase prescription drugs and over-the-counter ones for no extra fees.
The downside of the CAJA system is that they do not have a lot of medical facilities and hospitals, so sometimes you will stay quite a while on the waiting list. But worry not. There are plenty of private alternatives, where you can go directly and receive great medical service at affordable prices. The private practice also accepts payments in cash or even medical insurance.
The high medical level is common for all medical niches, and also for dental care. Many clinics in Costa Rica work with doctors that have completed their studies in the US. Thus, even if going to a private clinic means a higher price than in the CAJA system, the total cost is nevertheless lower than what you might expect, when compared to the same services in the US.
Cost of Living
The great news is that the living cost in Costa Rica is lower than in the US. Your savings will provide for a fuller, more abundant life. The most expensive locations are right near the beaches. However, there are numerous places to live close to nature that does not have direct access to the ocean. Here, your overall living expenses are even lower.
The most expensive homes are in the capital, San Jose, or in the exclusive private beaches. The best news is that there are housing options for all budgets, and you can make a beautiful fresh living here no matter your financial level.
You could say the climate in Costa Rica is close to ideal. The temperature is mostly constant all year round, both during day and night. However, there are two main seasons. There is the dry season, the summer, from December till May, and the rainy season, the winter, from the end of May till November.
You will never really be cold in Costa Rica, not even during their winter season, which remains constantly warm. The only main difference is the rain. It may not rain often but when it does is pouring.
Flights from all over the world are accessible on two major Costa Rican airports, San Jose (the Costa Rican capital), and Liberia. There are incoming flights non-stop, so it is very easy to go visit your native home or to receive your relatives in Costa Rica at any time.
The majority of direct flights come from Miami, Houston, Atlanta, and take under 10 hours. The costs are affordable. If you purchase in advance a roundtrip, you could pay around $500. That’s why Costa Rica is a great retirement location, especially for American citizens.
This is one of the major touristic attractions in Costa Rica. With such great biodiversity, there’s no wonder that everybody coming here wants to experience nature and the beautiful landscapes.
For a retiree, this beauty becomes part of their daily life, and predisposes them to a more active life, hiking in the wilderness.
The wild attractions are numerous: waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, islands. Costa Rica holds numerous national parks, with an abundance of unique fauna and flora. Then there are lots of exotic outdoor activities for the more active people: snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, zip-lining above the forests. They are accessible from all points of view, all year round.
Costa Rica welcomes ex-pats with a large number of dishes and a great variation of cuisine styles. Many of their foods are not to be found elsewhere. Usually, their cuisine is light and based on a variety of green foods, exotic fruits, local herbs, and fresh fish. Local farmers’ markets are all over Costa Rica, and you can select your desired ones.
The typical Costa Rican meals include rice, plantains, beans of all sorts, which are also cheap. They are also renowned for the excellent local-grown coffee quality with a strong java taste.
Costa Rica’s native language is Spanish, and it is 2,000 miles from the US border. Yet you might find the life here quire familiar. Almost everybody speaks English. There are lots of tourists and American ex-pats living here permanently. So there are big chances that you might feel at home.
You have Walmart and Costco like stores, American food chains, bars, cinemas, and other typically American entertainment options.
Another strong point is the internet connection, which is very good, so the worldwide connectivity is ensured, with no lags.