Why Buy in Costa Rica?

8 of the most common reasons foreigners are deciding to retire, relocate or invest in Costa Rica real estate.

Retirement / Semi-Retirement

As that fateful retirement day approached, many start to look for places to settle down for the second half of their lives. Right now, baby boomers are retiring at an unprecedented rate, and many of them have Costa Rica on their radar for reasons I'll list below. And the question the must be answered for these retirees is "Do I want to retire completely, or continue to work hard, or continue to work a little?" Sometimes, a retiree will bite off more than they want to chew by purchasing a fixer-upper to save money, that ended being an exhaustive money pit. Other folks retire completely and soon after, yearn for the days of hustle and productivity. This is certainly a personal decision that's difficult for anyone to advise you on, so I recommend speaking to retirees that have come before you to learn of their personal experience and how it might relate to you and your plans

The Beach Lifestyle Beckons

There are miles of coast line and lots of beaches of many varieties here in Costa Rica. Some are strictly world-class surfing beaches with large rolling breaks you would not want be caught swimming in. Others are remote and hard to get to, suited more for the hiker and adventure seeker. Others are made up solely of black volcanic sand, while in Guanacaste, on "The Gold Coast", there are miles of pristine coastline with a plethora of gorgeous white and golden sandy beaches. Most of these beaches are tourist friendly with a quaint beach town attached, all of varying sizes, and none are over developed in any sense of the expression. Laid back, rustic, pura vida lifestyle is what rules the day here. Here you can find a place to live right on the beach, or within walking distance of the beach, or further back up into the coastal mountains where the elevation affords spectacular views of the ocean and daily sunsets that are world famous.

Escape From Politics

My experience is that who ever is running the show up north, there's a faction of people who want to get away from it. We see it every election cycle, but this one presently seems to be setting records. Personally speaking, I got very tired of the divisive nature of the United States and found it very refreshing that in Costa Rica, politics don't dominate conversation and news as much as our northern neighbors. Sure, it's there, but it's just no in your face. I like that.

Lots of Direct Flights

There was a time there was only 1 international airport in Costa Rica which is in Alajuela in the Central Valley, about a 20 minute drive from San Jose. But not long ago, they added another international airport up in the northern region, in Liberia, and that sparked a growth in population, tourism, commerce and infrastructure throughout Guanacaste and all the northern coast beach towns. With the added infrastructure and boost in popularity, carriers started adding more and more directly flights in and out of these 2 hubs. As of this writing, there are plans to relocate the Central Valley airport to Orotina, a small town closer to the Pacific coast. This airport will still serve the greater San Jose area as well as the entire western Pacific coast line and Nicola Peninsula. A big boon is expected for all the coast towns and regions along Puntarenas, the western most province the runs up the entire west coast. It's likely all these areas will have the same experience as Guanacaste when the airport was built there.

Proximity to North America

Flags of Costa Rica and USAThose looking to retire or relocate from North America look at a variety of places, and for good reason, it's where they are gong to spend the 2nd half of their lives, so it's a decision that cannot be taken lightly. Among the usual candidates are Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and even over seas. All of these places have their pluses and minuses, but Costa Rica offers a low cost of living, perfect weather and good healthcare while being only a 3 hour flight from Miami or 5-6 hours from New York, Houston or Los Angeles. This bodes well for those who are living loved one's behind as it's easier to return for a visit, or bring the family here for a vacation in your new home!

The Surging US Stock Market

I don't think it ground breaking thinking to suggest that when the market surges, there's extra cash floating around, and that always coincides with interest in Costa Rica real estate. Especially for those who are ready to retire, or soon to retire. And considering from where the market came back in 2008, any strengthening of the dollar spurs growth in Costa Rica's accommodations sector. We are seeing that now in Costa Rica.

Low Cost of Living

All things being equal, Costa Rica's cost of living is very reasonable. Yes, you will find other countries that are 'dirt cheap' comparatively, but signing on with them also means signing on to an oppressive government, or crowded cities or otherwise, or they're too far from home... things that are not "Pura Vida". Local labor here is very cheap and goods and services are cheap-ish. Where you'll see a massive difference is in property taxes which Costa Rica is but a fraction of what you're use to in North America. The down side is consumer items that are not manufacture here are leveed an unreasonable tariff that often makes cars and electronic goods 50% to 100% more than what you'll find in the states. But in my experience, this all evens out and at the end of the day. Yes, Costa Rica is affordable, it's just not the MOST affordable, but what you get here that you don't in other places is a heavy dose of Pura Vida, and to me, that's invaluable.

Low Cost of Healthcare

Costa Rica offers world class health care at very reasonable prices. There is the public insurance that legal residents can purchase, and there's also private insurance you can purchase as a supplement. The system is different and takes getting use to, and unless you have a pre-existing condition that requires you to be near the larger hospitals throughout the country, you can get quality care in clinics and even pharmacies in cities towns and villages across the country. Even without insurance, the average doctor's visit will cost you about $50 out of pocket depending on the doctor, and you won't be rushed out the door. The doctors here all mostly North American trained, speak English, and genuinely care about your health. They really do! Refreshing!



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