... Costa Rica General Information ...
... Retiring in Costa Rica ...
by Infocostarica Staff
"Paradise. The climate and nature are beautiful.
It's also cheaper living and the people are friendly."
Ray and Margaret Aberle
"I came down here partly because of the economic aspect. In the
United States utility bills are unbelievable; in Florida air conditioning
is necessary but expensive. Nature is nice and I prefer the
weather because I'm a hot weather person. C.R. is centrally located
so you can travel to other countries in the region."
These comments by United States citizens living in Costa Rica illustrate the common reasons for retiring in this country. Pension money goes a much longer way than back home, the climate and nature of the country is very appealing, the American and foreign community is large and the country may prove to be an exotic adventure and an exciting change of lifestyle.
Whatever the reasons are for retiring in Costa Rica, the tourist must consider some social implications of their move. Culture shock is almost certain. Lack of efficiency and of punctuality are the two main complaints about Costa Rican lifestyle. If a person is moving to another country he/she must realize that customs are going to be completely different, and that's actually part of the reason for moving there. With time, a foreigner will be able to decide if these differences are bearable or if they justify leaving the country.
Legal considerations must be analyzed well when retiring in Costa Rica or in any other country There are different legal statuses that you may consider while living here. In order to qualify for the "pensionado" (retired) status you must receive a minimum of $600 a month; the "rentista" status requires you to earn a minimum of $1000 a month for at least five years. In both cases, cards have to be renewed every two years at an expense of $100. Also both can own work at their business but in order to work some place else, they must acquire a permit. Finally, foreign residents, regardless of their status, will not be taxed on income that's earned outside of the country.
There are plenty of investment opportunities in Costa Rica, all of which are backed up by the economical and political stability of the country. The main sources for investment are: agriculture and ornamental plants and flowers, livestock, tourism, real estate and the stock market. Small businesses may be extremely succesful if they offer a unique and unexplored product for which there's a lot of demand.
Apart from investing, the retired foreigner can enjoy several cultural and entertainment activities. Costa Rica offers a great amount of ecological tours (cheaper for residents including retired foreigners) and trips to national parks as well as beaches and volcanoes. There are also special interest activities like bird-watching, scuba-diving and horse-back riding tours. For the not so sporty retired person, there are plenty of cultural events like concerts, plays and art exhibits. Last but not least, movie theaters and excellent restaurants abound, especially in San José.
Whether you come to Costa Rica to invest, play or rest, there's plenty of opportunities for you to do what you want to do. However, before making that important decision, you should live in the country for at least a six-month trial period. Don't make any final arrangements back home before testing the waters in Costa Rica and being certain that the negative aspects are insignificant when compared to the positive ones