Costa Rica is truly an amazing country, well deserving of its reputation as a prime retirement haven. The climate is excellent. Healthcare is inexpensive and of high quality.
Foreign owners of real estate enjoy all the rights of a Costa Rican citizen and real estate is still very affordable. The people of Costa Rica enjoy and take great pride in their
stable democracy. The cost of living is low; $2000 a month will give you a comfortable life style. Today more than 20,000 Americans have retirement homes and many more own investment
property in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a very small country but it is extremely diverse. The 32,000 square miles that make up this small country have approximately 6% of the world's biodiversity and a total population of only 3.9 million. Costa Rica which is surrounded by both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has something for everyone. From beautiful white sandy beaches, mountains and mountain valleys, rolling hills of the countryside, beautiful lakes with towering volcanoes looming overhead, the natural beauty is unequaled. If you like the warmth of the beach with average highs in the 80s to low 90s F, you can enjoy that kind of climate year-round. If you like a more temperate climate, you can enjoy the "Eternal Spring" of the Central Valley and San José, with the average year round temperatures in the low to mid 80s in the daytime and in the high 60s to low 70s at night. Many leave their windows open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year...never needing heat or air-conditioning. The dry season is usually from the end of November until past Easter. The amount of rain in rainy season depends on the climate zone, with heaviest rains usually in October. Rainfall is usually in the afternoon, if it is going to rain.
You can find small, basic homes from $100,000 to multi-million-dollar luxury mansions and estates. You can live simply or as extravagantly as you desire. Costa Rican laws and its constitution protect private ownership of land and foreigners enjoy the same rights as citizens. There are almost no restrictions to ownership of private land. You don’t have to be a citizen, resident, or even be in the country to own land.
Costa Rica has a long history of stable, democratic government. There has been no military since 1948 when it was banned constitutionally Contrast this with other so called retirement havens such as Nicaragua.
Obtaining the status of legal resident in Costa Rica is easy and advantageous. See our Costa Rica information area for more information on various types of residencies
The cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively inexpensive; you can comfortably live on $2000 a month. In most areas housing costs much less than what it does in the U.S. Hired help is very inexpensive; a live in maid will cost about $350 a month. Many apartments, condos and houses include a maids living quarters with a small bath and bedroom. Groceries cost about 70-75% less than what you spend in the U.S and utilities (telephone service, electricity, and water) are cheaper than in North America .There are thousands of restaurants in the central valley offering cuisine from most countries of the world. Large American supermarkets offer most familiar items. Items imported from North America are more expensive usually, however many familiar name brands are manufactured in Central America and the prices are reasonable. Costa Rica has 110-115 Volt electricity and the NTSA television system both the same as in North America
With Costa Rican Life expectancy higher and the infant mortality rates lower than that in the United States it is no wonder the United Nations consistently ranks Costa Rica’s public health system in the top 20 worldwide and the best in Latin America. Costa Rica’s health care system is readily available to retirees and other foreign residents. Most foreigners and retirees opt for the medical insurance offered by the government’s insurance company at amazing low rates such as $1000 per year for a man between 45 and 50 which and covers 80% of medical costs. Medical care costs are very low compared to North America. Hospitals are renoned for their plastic surgury skils and low costs. They also regularly do high tech operations such as heart and organ transplants and there are many talented specialists in Costa Rica. In almost every town in the country you will find ambulance service, operated by the Red Cross. There is also a wide choice in dental care. No special shots are required to come to Costa Rica. Water can be drunk from the tap throughout Costa Rica. Sanitary standards are very high throughout the country. Pasteurized milk and dairy products are normal everywhere.
Costa Rica is only 3 hours flying from many places in the southern U.S. Many non-stop flights are available to South America and Europe from Costa Rica. This makes business and vacation travel easy for those who work and retire in Costa Rica. In addition Costa Rica operates on the Central time zone so it is within 2 hours of most North American cities time. There is no daylight saving time, so it does vary seasonally.
Costa Rica's 93% literacy rate is among the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Costa Ricans place a very high value on education. There is a free education system for all, through high school. There are excellent privite bilingual and trilingual schools available with a principal language of English, French or German. There are many qualified professionals and technical personnel. Many young professionals have received a bilingual education from grade school and through high school in English, German or French. You will find many English speaking Costa Ricans to help you in many common situations.
Cell Phones, telephones, Cable TV and Internet are widely available in Costa Rica.
According to a survey in the Robb Report of potential foreign investment/retirement areas, Costa Rica surpasses all countries, including Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Australia, and Greece. It is not surprising that there are more Americans, Canadians, and Europeans living in Costa Rica than any other country in Latin America.