Health and happiness rely on some key factors and retirement in Costa Rica might be what you’ve been dreaming about your whole life

Books and websites are filled with lists and quizzes to help you choose a destination for your ideal retirement. But when it comes to making your own decisions, things get personal. The wrong choice could tarnish your golden years. The right choice can bring you great satisfaction.

If the following factors describe your dream destination, Costa Rica might be the right place to retire for you.

1. It has affordable real estate

Affordability is a concept that has different meanings for different people. Some take it to mean being able to get by. Others, like us, look at it as a comparison between similar things and one option comes out on top. 

Housing is the biggest factor in most peoples’ budgets. A property in Costa Rica is not only less expensive to buy than a similar one in California or Florida. Property taxes in Costa Rica are far less than either of those well-known retirement destinations. And the bonus of living somewhere with popular vacation rentals means that many retirees in Costa Rica can earn a good income from having a rental cabin on their land or renting their home when they return home to visit family.

2. Entertainment is plentiful


“Best-of” lists of places to retire typically focus on college towns with an abundance of cultural opportunities, including cheap and free concerts, plays, lectures and visual arts.

That’s great. But what if you care more about experiencing the abundance of nature in good company? Morning walk groups, tai chi, buddhism talks, art classes, breakfast clubs, soccer matches, and so much more keep retirees in South Pacific Costa Rica as entertained as they want to be.

3. Work is available

Many retirees find that they cycle into and out of retirement. Some grow bored and want the stimulation they used to get from work. Others learn that their retirement income doesn’t stretch as far as they’d hoped.

Although you may not want to work as you used to, retirement years can become the time when you pursue your hobbies with more vigor. Many retirees in Costa Rica have taken up handcrafting artisan goods made from amazing local materials, or selling baked goods at the market, or using their trade skills to help out neighbors while earning extra income. 

For those who are able to work online, South Pacific Costa Rica is now home to 5g high speed internet with fiber-optic cable reaching into many communities for up to 200mbps and transmitters sending up to 30mbps to more remote areas.

Costa Rica has plenty of living-wage jobs for their population that create a healthy, strong economy where the majority of people — locals and expats included — find it easy and enjoyable to live.

4. Excellent medical care is easy to find

It’s self-evident that on average, by virtue of age, retirees consume more medical care. And retirees often require care from specialists and facilities specializing in orthopedics and geriatric care.

Costa Rica is known around the world as an exceptional destination for medical tourism for Americans and others without socialized healthcare. Prices here are up to ⅓ of the cost of what you would pay in the US with many world class private facilities. 

On top of that, residents of Costa Rica are automatically enrolled in Costa Rica’s universal healthcare program called CAJA which has a small monthly fee that covers all medical expenses. 

5. You can remain close to family

Living outside of the country you lived in for most of your life can make it difficult to see your loved ones on a whim — but so can living in a different state or even city. You will want to see grandkids as often as you can and Costa Rica is less than a 5 hour flight from most big cities in North America. 

Great distances make caregiving stressful and often agonizingly difficult for adult children who are also raising families and working. This is one of the top reasons for retirees to return home, although oftentimes it is after a number of years enjoying a slice of paradise.

6. Social life is thriving

Talk with people you meet in Costa Rica and on expat forums and you are likely to gather a sense of how friendly the local and expat communities are — very! People in Costa Rica love to share helpful tips that they’ve learned through their own experiences or from those who came before them.

If you are asking yourself where and how you will make friends, rest assured that in Costa Rica it will be everywhere. By virtue of the low population, shopping at the grocery stores or stopping into the pharmacy is often a social hour where people bump into each other running everyday errands and reconnect. People are warm and open to newcomers, who are easily recognized in our small communities where most people know each other by face, if not by name.

7. Cafes, restaurants and gathering places are excellent

Where do people gather in South Pacific Costa Rica (when not at the pharmacy)? Costa Ballena has a multitude of cafes, restaurants, bars, and community centers where various regular events and activities take place. Not to mention, there are beaches, hiking trails, river swimming holes, and waterfalls that people regularly visit. 

Expats from all over the world have created innumerable meet-up groups to share in the activities that they enjoy. And with a vast majority of the expats in Costa Ballena being of retirement age, retirees in Costa Rica will not find a shortage of gathering opportunities that suit their interests.

8. Learning opportunities are easy to find

One of the joys of retirement is having the time to learn simply for the fun of it, and Costa Rica is no learning desert. If you have dreamed of attending classes and lectures and picking up new skills or honing old ones, there is plenty available.

There is so much here to learn about nature, with almost 5% of all of the biodiversity of the world located in this tiny nation. Gardening is a treat when the weather is warm and moist throughout the year. Learning Spanish and the intricacies of the gentle Costa Rican culture are a delight for the mind. And information about classes and events of all sorts are shared on our online community pages.

9. In-home care is affordable

If you plan on staying in Costa Rica for the rest of your life, it’s smart to look at resources you may need down the road. Ask your Costa Rica real estate agent and others you meet about the availability of home health care aides, which can be much more affordable in Costa Rica than you can find back home.

Another things to note is that Costa Rica on the whole is accessible for people with disabilities. Many tropical destinations are lacking in this type of infrastructure whereas new public and private developments in Costa Rica view accessibility as a preliminary focus.

Reach your retirement lifestyle goals with an expert realtor

Whether it’s making smart investments or securing a comfortable retirement, the right Costa Rica realtor can assist you in creating a strategy for your best move to Costa Rica. A great place to start is by signing up to our weekly newsletter below, which connects you with up to date information about new listings, price changes, and what’s selling in our area that includes Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal, Tres Rios and Chontales. 

If you’d like to be matched with an expert adviser who can help you reach your retirement lifestyle goals, sign up below.

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