Tips for a Successfully Retiring in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been a major retirement destination for North Americans for over 25 years now. The majority of expats who have found happiness in their Costa Rica retirement dream have had to learn how to adjust and adapt to Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” lifestyle.

Those that have found happiness retiring in Costa Rica take advantage of everything the country has to offer – fantastic weather, incredible outdoor and eco adventures, excellent health services, low cost of living, cheap and organic fruits, vegetables, as well as a vibrant culture.

Not all expats have a successful retirement in Costa Rica, recently there were statistics published on the web that 50% to 60% of expats return to their home country to live within two years of moving to Costa Rica. Unquoted sources make this stat questionable, but with that said there is a large number of expats that leave Costa Rica within a couple years of arriving.

Retiring abroad in any “developing” country has its challenges and although Costa Rica is considered one of the most developed in terms of infrastructure, service industry and growing middle class, it too has its challenges.

Here are some pointers to help soon-to-be expats adapt better
1. Learn the Spanish language as best you can.
2. Get involved in some way with the locals.
3. Realize time is a different animal down here.
4. Make sure you understand labor laws with business and domestic help.
5. Enjoy local customs and the local culture.
6. Develop patience, you’ll need it.
7. Stay busy and participate in activities, both in the expat community and local.
8. Always seek legal representation in investment and business matters.

Relocating and settling permanently in a foreign country is a complicated decision and there will be challenges in the transition but keep in mind Costa Rica consistently ranks high on many surveys and reviews for and by expats. Costa Rica is safe, friendly and clean, with a healthy and well-educated population with a rich and vibrant culture. Costa Rica’s cost of living is low and healthcare is inexpensive (compared to the USA) and also scores high on many global indices.