Showing posts with label retire in Costa Rica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retire in Costa Rica. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Costa Rica Has Become a Top Retirement Destination

Costa Rica is now considered one of the best countries in Central America for both the elderly and retirees to live, according to a report released by HelpAge International.  The report ranked 90 different countries on their treatment of residents who are age 60 and older.  Costa Rica came in 28th on their list, ranking well on this list of the more developed countries, including some Asian nations, European countries, the United States, popular Central and South American destinations, and a few other locations around the world.

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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Monday, March 11, 2013

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

One of the most requested topics on this blog has been for articles about good places to retire overseas.  As a result, over the past decade I have researched a number of possible locations and written articles about ones that may interest my readers.  You'll find links to all of these articles below.

Every year thousands of Baby Boomers make the decision to retire overseas.  There are many issues they consider in making this decision.  One reason that is frequently mentioned is the low cost of living in a number of other countries.  Americans are often attracted by the idea that they can live in luxury, or at least in comfort, in an exotic location.  This is especially true if they are worried that they can just barely survive on their retirement income in the United States.

Other people decide to retire abroad because they want to try something different or live in an romantic, tropical location.  They want to experience new experiences during those first few years after they stop working, while they are still healthy and active.

You will find articles here about the best places to retire abroad, including in Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand, Ecuador and other countries.  There is also an article about some of the U.S. territories where Americans would like to retire.

No matter why Americans choose to retire overseas, there are also some general considerations people need to think about when they make that decision, including the risks and how to access travel warnings, and readers will find helpful articles below on those topics, too.  I ALWAYS recommend that people should talk to a Realtor, tax accountant and lawyer in the country where they are moving, so they learn as much as possible about the laws, taxes, healthcare situation, and rules they must follow if they want to work or buy property.

According to a friend of mine who lives in Switzerland, " I would suggest to go to talk to the local consulate, because Realtors in Spain or Italy are not really qualified to give you the necessary information you know and they would lie to sell you the property. In Italy I would go to talk with a "Commercialista" and a "Notary" those are the best placed to know exactly how much you have to pay on your property, income taxes and so on."


 If you are interested in retiring abroad, check out the article links below.

Index of Articles about Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

American Retirement Opportunities in Borneo Malaysia

Americans Retiring in Panama

Americans Retiring in Vietnam

Avoid International Problems When Retiring Overseas

Best Places to Retire Outside the US 

Best Places to Retire Overseas from Live and Invest Overseas

Cheapest Countries for Retirement 

Costa Rica Has Become a Top Retirement Destination

Five Places to Retire Overseas - What to Consider 

Risks of Retiring in Mexico and Other Countries

Step Program for Overseas Travelers

The Risks of Living Abroad

When Grandkids Live Far Away

Why Retire in Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands or Guam


You may also be interested in checking out these other index articles or use the tabs at the top of the page:

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

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As always, you can contact the author of this blog by leaving a comment at the end of any post. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Best Places to Retire Outside the US

I recently wrote a post about the advantages of retiring in the country of Panama, and I have also written posts about the most affordable places to retire and the sunniest places to retire in the United States.  Now it's time to broaden our horizons and consider some places where Americans are moving overseas in order to retire overseas.

While moving to another country is not to be taken lightly, it is not an unusual decision.  Currently, over 600,000 Americans are receiving their Social Security checks in another country.  This figure does not include those people who have their checks deposited into a bank in the U.S., and use ATMs to withdraw it in other countries.  This is especially popular for people who only live overseas part of the year ... a growing trend. has recently compiled a list of countries that are affordable, beautiful, have good health care and that welcome retiring Americans. 

Here is the AARP List of Best Places to Retire Abroad:

Argentina:  Buenos Aires is called the Paris of South America.  It is an elegant, European style city.  Rents in neighborhoods that are popular with ex-pats range from $800 - $2200 a month.  It is a sophisticated city for people who want to live in an affordable, upscale urban area.

Belize:  Formerly known as British Honduras, this Central American paradise is famous for its beaches and beauty.  The official language is English.  Retired persons can be put on the fast tract to residency.

Costa Rica:  The outlying towns in Costa Rica have temperate climates, exceptional beauty, lovely beaches and misty rain forests.  A friend of one of our daughters moved to Costa Rica from New York City three years ago to teach school, and has decided to stay permanently.  She constantly tells us how lucky she feels to live in Costa Rica.  She and her husband live comfortably on less than $2000 a month.

France:  The Mediterranean region of France is particularly popular with American retirees.  The Languedoc-Roussillon area in the Southwest is more affordable than many other regions, yet it is only three hours from Paris by high-speed rail.  In fact, living in Europe is very appealing because it is so easy to use the rail system and travel all over the continent and into Great Britain.

Italy:  In this country famous for its art, culture and beaches, Tuscany has long been popular with Americans.  However, Tuscany has become quite expensive, so now ex-pats are discovering LeMarche on the Adriatic.  Here you will find lovely vineyards, fabulous beaches, and snow-capped mountains, as well as amazing food. 

Mexico:  When my husband and I were young,we seriously considered moving to an American community in the Lake Chapala region of Mexico, in the mountains between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta.  Since then, however, we have been to Puerto Vallarta several times, and have heard that this beautiful city on the sea is drawing more retirees than ever.  Real estate is a bargain, compared to similar locations in the United States, and you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches and modern amenities.  Other areas of Mexico are also still popular with foreign retirees, including Lake Chapala, which still has a thriving American community, and San Miguel de Allende.  In fact, San Miguel has a bustling community of American ex-patriots and boasts retirement communities, assisted living facilities, hospitals and more.

Nicaragua:  The dollar goes particularly far in Nicaragua, making this one of the more affordable choices for American retirees.  While the capital city of Managua is rundown, the historic city of Granada or the resort town of San Juan del Sur are both lovely and affordable.

Panama:  I wrote a blog post specifically about retiring in Panama just a few weeks ago.  That article mentioned that many American retirees are moving to the affordable beach communities that are some distance away from the capital of Panama City.  This AARP article mentions the advantages of moving to the mountain village of Boquete as another possibility in Panama.  One aspect that Americans in Panama appreciate is that the U.S. dollar is the official currency in Panama, which makes it easy to handle your finances.

Portugal:  Retiring in Portugal can feel a bit like going back in time, with its castles and cobblestone streets.  However, you can also find plenty of golf courses, beaches and popular resorts, so you do not need to do without modern amenities.  Portugal is also less expensive than other areas of Western Europe.  The town of Cascais seems to be particularly popular with retiring Americans.

Spain:  Many American retirees are attracted to the quaint villages and spacious beaches in the Costa del Sol region of Spain.  There are currently some exceptional real estate deals in Spain, which makes it particularly affordable for relocating Americans.  There is no sales tax, and property taxes are very low.  There are golf course, hiking clubs, and a large ex-patriot community.

If there are other countries that you believe would appeal to retiring Americans, feel free to mention these places in the comments section below.

If you are interested in additional information about where to retire in the US or overseas, financial planning, medical issues that could arise, and changing family relationships, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional articles on these topics.

You may also be interested in reading one of the following articles:

Americans Retiring in Panama
Why Retire in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands or Guam
Live in Ecuador Comfortably on Social Security
Retiring in Luxury to Hua Hin, Thailand

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