Author Topic: Retiring in Costa Rica?  (Read 1494 times)

Lauran75

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Retiring in Costa Rica?
« on: April 05, 2018, 11:52:33 AM »
I read an article today talking about the pros of retiring in Costa Rica. My DH and I are DINKS, so no issues with needing to be near children/grandchildren ... so this sounds interesting to me.

I'm wondering what, if any, drawbacks there may be?

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/retire-costa-rica-140007053.html

shelbyautumn

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 12:24:18 PM »
Not a lot of access to peanut butter? That's really the only downside I can think of.

My mom and step-dad moved to Costa Rica in August of 2015. Their dream was always to retire in CR, but they found themselves in remote/travel positions at work and couldn't come up with a reason to wait. They have a number of friends in CR - both ex-pats and Ticos - and they truly love living there. Neither one are residents, so they have to leave and come back every three months. For my mom, that's easy, since she travels for work. My step-dad just makes a couple hour drive to Nicaragua and turns around every few months. Since my mom comes back and forth so much, she is able to bring back a lot of the American comfort items that they like, but they still do a majority of their spending in CR.

The COL for them is a lot higher than $1700 a month. Probably more than double that. But my step-dad LOVES gadgets, they have 2 cars, and they have a pretty fancy life. They also have a 7 figure net-worth and make over $400k combined, so I'm not judging them. I will say the internet and electricity numbers in that article are way off. Those two items are EXPENSIVE.

They live on 3/4 of an acre in a 2bd/2ba house. In the past year they've built a guest house on their property (with the hopes that my grandpa would come live with them). My mom has 6 chickens and a BEAUTIFUL organic garden. Before the guest house, garden, and chicken coop they bought the property for $182k (they paid cash). I would guess they've put another $40-60k into it (at least). Your COL will depend on how you want to live. If you want to live like an American it will be expensive. If you want to live like a Tico it will be cheap. I would personally find an in-between.

My mom and step-dad visited like 11 times in the years before they moved to CR and it really helped them learn the country. I'd suggest visiting a number of times, meeting with a realtor (they can show you places to buy and rent), figuring out if you want to live near the beach or in the mountains, etc.

If it turns out to be terrible, you can always leave.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 12:26:02 PM by shelbyautumn »

honeybbq

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 12:27:39 PM »
That property sounds beautiful! I'd love so see pictures!

Easye418

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 01:15:21 PM »
I would love to do this BUT I don't think I could survive away from a Costco.  :P

shelbyautumn

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 01:25:08 PM »
I would love to do this BUT I don't think I could survive away from a Costco.  :P
PriceSmart! Itís pretty close to Costco!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 01:33:18 PM by shelbyautumn »

Lauran75

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 01:36:04 PM »
Not a lot of access to peanut butter? That's really the only downside I can think of.

My mom and step-dad moved to Costa Rica in August of 2015. Their dream was always to retire in CR, but they found themselves in remote/travel positions at work and couldn't come up with a reason to wait. They have a number of friends in CR - both ex-pats and Ticos - and they truly love living there. Neither one are residents, so they have to leave and come back every three months. For my mom, that's easy, since she travels for work. My step-dad just makes a couple hour drive to Nicaragua and turns around every few months. Since my mom comes back and forth so much, she is able to bring back a lot of the American comfort items that they like, but they still do a majority of their spending in CR.

The COL for them is a lot higher than $1700 a month. Probably more than double that. But my step-dad LOVES gadgets, they have 2 cars, and they have a pretty fancy life. They also have a 7 figure net-worth and make over $400k combined, so I'm not judging them. I will say the internet and electricity numbers in that article are way off. Those two items are EXPENSIVE.

They live on 3/4 of an acre in a 2bd/2ba house. In the past year they've built a guest house on their property (with the hopes that my grandpa would come live with them). My mom has 6 chickens and a BEAUTIFUL organic garden. Before the guest house, garden, and chicken coop they bought the property for $182k (they paid cash). I would guess they've put another $40-60k into it (at least). Your COL will depend on how you want to live. If you want to live like an American it will be expensive. If you want to live like a Tico it will be cheap. I would personally find an in-between.

My mom and step-dad visited like 11 times in the years before they moved to CR and it really helped them learn the country. I'd suggest visiting a number of times, meeting with a realtor (they can show you places to buy and rent), figuring out if you want to live near the beach or in the mountains, etc.

If it turns out to be terrible, you can always leave.

Thank you! There's always Amazon for peanut butter (or at least peanuts to grind into it), right? :)

I was thinking that the costs seemed pretty low (though my DH and I right now spend approximately $2700/mo - definitely have some areas we could cut back on.)

I will have to talk to my DH about maybe taking a trip out there sometime in the next few years to check it out. (We're at least ten years out, although if we didn't have to worry too much about the healthcare aspect, we might be able to do it sooner.)

Easye418

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 01:41:08 PM »
I would love to do this BUT I don't think I could survive away from a Costco.  :P
PriceSmart! Itís pretty close to Costco!

Well... I'll be darned... guess there is always substitutes.  Thanks!

shelbyautumn

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 01:50:26 PM »
Amazon doesn't deliver to Costa Rica as of now, hopefully in the next 10 years they'll make it happen! However, my mom's friends will have whatever they need delivered to her wherever she's traveling and she brings it back. People did take major advantage of her for a while though, so she's cut back on that. A 5'2" woman should not have to lug 3 giant suitcases through an airport alone!

CR does have really good socialized healthcare and my understanding is that if you become a resident, you are eligible. Even if you're paying cash it's cheap.

Flights are usually around $400-600 depending on where you're coming from and there are a ton of AirBnB places you can stay. It definitely makes for a nice vacation!

shelbyautumn

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 01:56:10 PM »
That property sounds beautiful! I'd love so see pictures!

This doesn't include a whole lot of her house, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the property!

Lauran75

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Re: Retiring in Costa Rica?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 03:00:10 PM »
Amazon doesn't deliver to Costa Rica as of now, hopefully in the next 10 years they'll make it happen! However, my mom's friends will have whatever they need delivered to her wherever she's traveling and she brings it back. People did take major advantage of her for a while though, so she's cut back on that. A 5'2" woman should not have to lug 3 giant suitcases through an airport alone!

CR does have really good socialized healthcare and my understanding is that if you become a resident, you are eligible. Even if you're paying cash it's cheap.

Flights are usually around $400-600 depending on where you're coming from and there are a ton of AirBnB places you can stay. It definitely makes for a nice vacation!

No Amazon? How would I live? :) Just kidding. :)

Will definitely be talking to DH about taking a vacation there. Maybe we can save enough for it by next year (we have to save for the vacation itself, plus whatever income we lose from DH during that time - so vacations take awhile to save up for.)