How Costa Rica Scored
The rankings were based on four categories including health status, income security, employment and education, and an enabling environment (integrating the elderly into the rest of society.)
Costa Rica ranked especially high in health status. It was listed in 11th place for healthcare, which is interesting when you consider that the United States only ranked 24th out of the countries studied. In fact, Costa Rica has become a popular destination for medical tourism. There are a number of high quality medical facilities in the country, including the Hospital Alajuela, pictured above.
On the other hand, Costa Rica's score was hurt because it ranked only 48th for employment and education. Of course, these are not issues that concern most retirees as much as healthcare does. Consequently, for retirees who are looking for a beautiful, tropical and affordable place to live, Costa Rica should certainly be high on their list.
In addition to high quality healthcare, medical attention in the country in also very affordable, which contributes to its medical tourism. It also has recently begun to improve its accessibility for people who are physically disabled, which is an important consideration for people who are planning to live there for the long term, possibility the rest of their lives.
An American Living in Costa Rica
A friend of one of our daughters moved to Costa Rica to teach school about four years ago. A few months ago she married a Costa Rican businessman and plans to remain in the country for the rest of her life. She has been very happy with her lifestyle in Costa Rica. Her original teaching position was at an elementary school located in the mountains and she is now working at a school along the coast. Her original salary was only $500 a month, but she was able to rent a tiny cottage and live comfortably in the mountains on that amount. Now living near the coast, her income has increased to $1000 a month. Her husband earns a bit less. The two of them are able to lease a large, comfortable duplex apartment only a short drive to the beach. They have two cars and a pleasant lifestyle, living well on about $1800 a month income for the two of them.
The fact that this young woman enjoys living there so much brings up another advantage for those of you who have family in the United States. Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination for many Americans of all ages, so no doubt your family members will enjoy visiting you in your new location. In the case of this young woman, she returns to the United States about once a year, and her family members also take frequent trips to see her.
Precautions to Take When Moving Overseas
As always, when you are considering moving overseas I suggest that you check with the State Department website for up-to-date alerts about crime and areas which you may want to avoid. Our daughter's friend has experienced a home burglary, so I advise retirees to be as cautious in Costa Rica as they would be in any American city.
If you are planning to retire in Costa Rica, be sure to read more articles from this blog, using the tabs at the top of the page. I have written a number of helpful articles about collecting Social Security when living overseas, things to consider when living abroad, and other countries that you also may want to consider.
More Helpful Information
You may want to check out the full article from the Tico Times using the link below. You can use their interactive map to see how other South and Central American countries did in their analysis of the various countries.
If you are planning to retire either overseas or in the United States, you will want to use the tabs at the top if this page where you will find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, financial issues, medical issues and possible family problems after retirement.
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Photo credit: wikipedia.org/commons/Hospital-Alajuela