What Makes Costa Rica A Paradise for American Retirees

Costa Rica A Paradise for American Retirees
Paradise Awaits…

Costa Rica ranks as the second-best country to live on the International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. Known for its fabulous climate and top-notch, affordable medical care leads the pack for countries thousands of US citizens heading to spend their retirement lives amid peace and serenity every year. With a high standard of living at a lower cost and a well-developed service sector, Costa Rica has become the adopted home of over 50,000 American retirees and millions from other nationalities.

Many expat communities have come to dot the scenic landscape of the country fondly called the “Switzerland of Central America,” as a large number of Americans have bought vacation homes to take advantage of the booming real estate in the country and pay off the property prior to retiring in the country.

Let’s find out what makes Costa Rica a chosen destination for American retirees.

The Pura Vida Lifestyle

Widely viewed as a country espousing green living, Costa Rica is the place to enjoy a “pure life.” The country is among the happiest principalities on earth and often cited as a synonymous relaxed, simple yet cherished lifestyle. Living amid unaltered natural heritage, off crystal clear sea, and close to the beautiful tropical forest through mild and friendly climate, Costa Rica is the place to live without worries, fuss, or stress. Easy living at a fraction of what one spends in the United States or Europe entices expats to adopt the country when they retire.

Green and Clean Ambiance

Costa Rica is the world’s leading example of sustainable living and it was conferred 2019 UN Champions of the Earth award for efforts to decarbonize the economy. The government has been steadfast in its efforts to promote eco-friendly living and tourism and able to jealously guarded its enchanting flora, fauna, and natural heritage that extend from pristine beaches to national parks.

Costa Rica is the first country to put the development plan, economy, and urban growth in sync with its natural heritage – 5% of global biodiversity in just 0.03% of the world’s landmass. It produces 98% of its energy from renewable sources. Thus, the enticement of green and sustainable living is a key consideration alongside a clean and natural environment for American retirees selecting Costa Rica.

Growing Expat Communities

The number of Americans receiving their social security in Costa Rica has gone up by 67% since 2002. About 10% of the country’s population are foreign legal migrants, who are invited by its green living, real estate boom, and rising hospitality sector. The beach townships of Montezuma, Santa Teresa, and Mal País, San Jose and nearby hot spring town of La Fortuna, ecotourism center Monteverde, the Caribbean beach community of Puerto Viejo, lake town of Nuevo Arenal, and the unique beach of Costa Ballena host many expat communities, where Americans, Europeans, and retirees of other nationalities live. Low cost of living coupled with affordable medical care allows expat retirees a comfortable life in the most livable ambiance.

Visas, Incentives for Retirees

A dedicated and convenient visa system, which allows permanent residency and a host of benefits, such as tax breaks and permission to work, is another reason why American retirees prefer Costa Rica. Any retiree with a monthly minimum income of $1,000 in pension or social security is eligible to get the Pensionado Visa, which offers renewable residency in the country.

The Rentista Visa is there for those without a regular retirement benefit but with at least $2,500 monthly guaranteed income over the next 24 months or be able to deposit of $60,000 in a bank in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica also offers incentives to expat retirees living in the country. This includes access to public health care in lieu of a monthly payment. The Ciudadano de Oro (Gold Citizen) benefits are extended to retirees above 65 years and this allows discounts on payments for a number of services, including grocery, medicines, and hospital charges.

High-Quality Living at Low Cost

An income of $2,500 to $3,000 is enough for a retired couple to lead life comfortably in Costa Rica. It can conveniently cover all expenses, including housing, transport, healthcare, grocery, and movies. To rent a standard home or condo, one needs to pay between $400 and $800 every month depending on the location and the place.

Those looking to buy a home have the option to select from a variety of homes, condos, and apartments spread across beachfront, expat communities, townships, lakefront, and eco-tourism centers. The prices start as low as $60,000. Utility bills add an extra of about $100. You can have unlimited internet at home for a monthly fee of $50.

While stores have sprung up across communities catering to grocery needs, weekly farmer markets continue to be the foremost and the cheapest place to buy fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry. On average, food and grocery cost less than $500 for a couple per month. Eating at swanky restaurants or cafes even costs less compared to their counterparts anywhere in the United States. 

Costa Rica is known for its affordable and quality healthcare, a key factor in growing medical tourism in the country. Expat retirees can join the national healthcare program for a nominal fee or even buy private plans that cost $50 a month and provide access to world-class healthcare.

For American retirees, Costa Rica is just a few hours by air. The country is connected to major US cities and the fare is less than what you pay for many cross-country flights in the United States. Political stability and a largely peaceful society assure protection to expats and their properties. The country also has a good banking system, a key concern in many central and Latin American countries.

Costa Rican society is progressive and LGBT people too are welcome. Organic products are widely available at cheaper rates and its outdoor-loving culture offers a perfect healthy sojourn.

Get in touch with us to know more about Costa Rica and retirement and investment opportunities in the country.

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