Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Cost of Living and Safety Brings the Baby Boomers
Costa Rica and the Guanacaste region
have been recognized as a great retirement location in the tropics. Costa Rica
is expecting to attract many more retirees over the next decade, as the
majority of Baby Boomers will be hitting retirement age and will be looking for
a more affordable and warm place to retire to. I ask visitors and expats all
the time, what is it that brings you back and what do you love about Costa
Rica? Most times the answer is “the weather”. Costa Rica weather is known for
its warm coastal climates and abundance of sunshine.
While the cost to live in Costa Rica
is much less than most parts of North America, I have to be honest is not the
least expensive in Central America. While having said that, Costa Rica does
have a higher quality of lifestyle, better infrastructure and conveniences and
a much more socially and politically secure democracy than other Central
The #1 reason why, close to 144 million baby
boomers that are expected to retire within the next ten years, want to relocate
to another country, is that they want to make their money go further.
Your Money Goes Further
Rent in Guanacaste Costa Rica is
certainly cheaper than any beach community in North America. The average 3
bedroom, well-appointed condo in the Papagayo area is in the range of $850 to
$1200 USD per month and almost all of them feature the benefit of a gated,
secure community with amenities to offer.
Buying property is safe and easy in
Costa Rica, fee simple as most of North America and expats have the same rights
as a Costa Rica citizen. Many foreigners that are not quite ready to retire are
taking advantage of the lower property prices that seem to have hit bottom and many are seeing opportunity for great deals
and taking advantage of them now, as the carrying cost to own property in Costa
Rica is much less then may places in the world.
Property taxes are so much lower,
depending on the area, Costa Rica property taxes are often more than half of
that is USA. The average property tax for fully titled property is .25% of the assessed
value of the property. So as an example; a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in a
expat community costing approximately $250,000 USD, you annual property tax
would be $650.00 USD. Now that is cheap!
Another important cost savings is
utility costs. A typical three bedroom home with American amenities would cost
approximately $100-$250 monthly (depending on how much A/c you require). Water
is usually under $40 per month. Cellular phone service is very good throughout
the country and costs around $20-$60/month including international calling depending
on usage. Cable TV is available throughout most of the country with approx. 15 English
channels, as in the major US networks, HBO, CNBC, FOX, FOX NEWS, and a few
movie channels. This is all dependent on which service provider is available in
your area. The cost for cable and internet with basic service to your home is
about $70 per month. Some providers package cable, internet and a VOIP line for
approximately $100 per month.
Food costs: Local produce foods such
as vegetable, fruit, chick, fish, pork, rice, beans are inexpensive, but
imported products are very expensive. Costa Rica’s fruit and vegetables choices
are simply amazing. So you like to use Tide laundry detergent? Forget it, use
the local Arial for half the price and cheaper than it cost in the States The.
Local “cantinas” and “sodas” offer large full course meals from $3 to $8,
including beverages and you have many great choices for fine gourmet dining
from as low as $20 per person. You just have to know how to shop and where. Go
to the fancy North American style grocery store and expect to pay 30% more that
where the local Costa Rica resident shops.
I am not going to “Blow Smoke up
your Skirt” as the saying goes. Some items are much more expensive here in
Costa Rica, like electronics, cars and gasoline. This is due to that fact that
all of these products are imported, not manufactured here and the demand for
them is not as high as in North America. As more international companies invest in Costa
Rica and start manufacturing in Costa Rica, because of the high educational
facture and the low cost of doing business, prices will come down or be
equivalent. It is basic supply and demand. Personally it costs me close to 30%
less to live in Costa Rica than it did in the US when I take into consideration
everything that I spend money on I mean everything.
Costa Rica Healthcare is high
quality and offer tremendous savings.
Costa Rica has some of the best
health care in Latin America and the country’s public and private health
systems have dramatically improved over the past 2 decades and are continuously
being upgraded with new hospitals, improvements in training, advanced
technology and equipment. Private health care is very affordable and very high
quality. There are three main, private hospitals are: Clinica Biblica in San
José, CIMA hospital in Escazú and the new CIMA soon to be opened in Guanacaste,
and Hospital La Católica in San José-Guadalupe.
The average percent in saving on
procedures done in Costa Rica compared to USA medical costs are very
impressive. Due to this the surge in Medical tourism has been on the rise over
the past couple of years. As an example: Dental Implants 70-80% less than in
North America, a facelift costs 25-35% less, a *** lift 35-50% less, a more
complicated surgery as in heart bypass will be closer to 60-70% than up north and
orthopedic procedures like a hip replacement and orthoscopic knee surgery can
be as much 50-60% less and in some cases even greater savaing.
Safety and Security
Costa Rica is listed as one of the
safest places in Central America. More than 3,000 police officers have been
added to the country since President Laura Chinchilla took office in 2010,
raising the total to over 14,000. There are plans to add another 500 patrol
vehicles, with the help from free trade agreement with major economic power
houses, Like China and up to 2,000 more police officers by 2013.
Costa Rica is known as a very
politically stable country compared to other Central American counties. This
means that there is far less likelihood of arbitrary rule changes that effect
land ownership rights and investments.
For those who looking to retire,
invest, or re-invent themselves in Costa Rica, you will find a warm and
friendly culture, exotic and unique experiences, and a surprisingly affordable