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Why Retire in Costa Rica?

No matter what your reason for leaving the United States is, Central America can be an affordable place to have a second home or spend your retirement years abroad in. Even if you’re not ready to retire, more and more people are expatriating and living abroad among the numerous communities offered in Central America.

When looking for a place to retire, you want a place that is inexpensive while also offering a lifestyle that won’t bore you. You want the option to relax, but you don’t want that to be your only option. Costa Rica  is the perfect place for that. With rich biodiversity and a welcoming community, you will never be bored.

From the low cost of living to the friendly local community, there are numerous reasons to give up the fast-paced lifestyle of North America and indulge in the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.

Low Cost of Living

As a couple retiring abroad in Costa Rica, you can expect to spend around $2,000 to $3,000 a month to live comfortably. This includes housing, transportation, medical care, food, and entertainment.

Purchasing or renting a North American standard home in a good location can be reasonably priced compared to what is found back in the States.  

Grocery shopping like a local would be the most cost effective way to get your food. Weekly farmer’s markets can be found in almost all villages where you can find fresh produce, meat, fish, and poultry.

Just remember that areas Costa Rica that are popular with tourists tend to be more expensive to live in.

Another great perk of the tropical country is the affordable healthcare. The healthcare is also top of the line, drawing in a new type of tourism…medical tourism.

Medical facilities in San Jose are home to world-class dentistry, surgeries, and more – at a much less expensive price than found in the United States.

Citizens of Costa Rica receive free healthcare and residents have the opportunity to join the national healthcare program for a low fee. If residency isn’t in your plans, you can buy private healthcare plans for as low as $50 a month. Out of pocket medical expenses are still lower than what can be found back home.

Close to Home

The airport in San Jose is busy with direct flights to U.S. cities like Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, and New York. Flights home often cost less than flights across the country!

Due to how close Costa Rica is to the U.S., and the frequency of flights, visiting friends and family can be a breeze. You can even go home to pick up some certain products that can’t be found in Central America.

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Community of Expats

Costa Rica has been an international retirement destination for some time, so there is already an established community for expats. In most coastal cities and San Jose, there are excellent schools, stores, markets, cafes, restaurants, and health-oriented activity centers to exercise and practice yoga.

The communities are supportive and make entering the country easier, because there are people there that are going through the same things you are going through.

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Local Community

Not only is the expat community supportive and welcoming, the local culture is as well. Costa Rican natives are kind, hospitable, nature-loving, and peace-oriented. This makes for a safe and environmentally intact community,

In the ecological environment, you will be able to gain knowledge of plant medicine, wildlife, and other aspects of nature that you’d never come in contact with while back home in the States.

The country is highly educated and sports an impressive 95% literacy rate.

Expats retirees in Costa Rica and locals are peacefully and actively integrated. There are even high rates of multicultural families consisting of one Costa Rican and one foreign parent.

Costa Ricans are dedicated to the pura vida lifestyle. This is a dedication to let things go and enjoy what you have. This is not just a phrase, it’s a lifestyle.


Sure, many parts of the United States, especially on the coasts, experience a warm climate. Summer vacations in the U.S. can be full of boat rides, hikes through the park, and lying out in the sun – but imagine having that kind of summer vacation freedom all year long.

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with a wide range of climates to choose from. The temperature of the country averages around 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, due to its proximity to the equator. There is no real winter for this reason.

Some say that San Jose, the capital, and Central Valley have the best weather. It’s temperate year-round, and the temperature stays near the mid-80s during the day and goes to about the 60s and night. The higher the elevation, the cooler it’ll get.

There is a significant rainy season, however. From May to November, it can rain heavily. Costa Rica gets an average of 100 inches a year, but some regions can get a whopping 25 feet annually. The sun does usually make an appearance during some parts of the day, even during the rainy season.

The Natural Beauty

With natural wonders such as volcanoes, hot springs, mountains, and forests, Costa Rica really is one of the most scenic countries to retire abroad to in Central America.

There are hundreds of miles of shoreline that feature white, gold, pink, and even black sands.

You can integrate yourself into nature with activities like kayaking, white water rafting, surfing, hiking, zip lining, bungee jumping, and so much more.

Imagine lying on the beach, looking out to the water, and seeing dolphins and whales. Or seeing plants and animals in a rainforest that you’d never be able to see back home.

Costa Rica houses more than 500,000 species of animals, which is roughly 4% of the total species worldwide.

With something for everyone, retiring abroad in Costa Rica is an expat’s paradise!

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