why people are moving to costa rica

I’m a member of International Living, an organization that focuses on providing information to people who may wish to retire in a different country. They’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to Costa Rica in their literature, so I’m happy to share a few of the insights as to why their experts feel Costa Rica is a desirable place to live and retire.

Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries you will find–in its natural flora as well as its political policies.
  1. Costa Rica offers a clean pristine environment with a solid green policy. 99.6% of the country’s energy comes from renewable resources. It has a plan in motion that is moving this Central American country toward carbon neutrality faster than any other country in the world. You can drink the tap water pretty much everywhere in the country. The air is clean and fresh and the weather is favourable year-round. Costa Rica is not in the hurricane belt and deadly storms you may find in many other tropical locations are rare if unheard of.
  2. Costa Rica has a stable political environment. The country’s democratic government and peaceful history are such that Costa Rica doesn’t even feel the need to have an army.
  3. Costa Rica has excellent healthcare that is available to all. If you have a minimum income of $1,000 per month, you will qualify for a Costa Rican retirement visa, which will give you the opportunity to join the public CAJA national health program for as little as $50 per month.
  4. Costa Rica puts a great emphasis on literacy and public education. The country boasts a 97.8% literacy rate, and all schools in Costa Rica teach English. This leads to a higher employment rate and happier people, which is probably why it is a safe country with less crime than neighbouring countries.
  5. The cost of living in Costa Rica is affordable and satisfying. Access to low-cost fresh and healthy locally grown food is a big plus. And I have read that rent can be as low as $300 a month for a simple apartment. Plus there is no income tax on foreign-earned income. A great plus for people like me who have clients in several countries. These attributes coupled with affordable public healthcare and a stable, safe, and clean environment make Costa Rica a very interesting country to get to know, and possibly retire to.
Imagine having this view from your veranda. in Costa Rica.

I hope this information entices you to visit Costa Rica. From the capital city of San Jose, to the highlands of Monteverde, and the lush nature-lovers paradise in the Arenal Region, you’ll find much to learn, enjoy, and discover.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

39 Responses

  1. Officekeys.ca says:

    Hey Doreen,
    Thanks for providing your insight about this amazing country Costa Rica.
    Really it is a green country to live and have a more healthier environment than many others in the world. I read your post and it creates a keen interest in this country.

  2. Sydney says:

    This sounds like a wonderful place which can be pretty amazing for retirement. I hope I will be able to join the bliss in January

  3. Andi says:

    I have friends that bought property and are planning to retire in Belize, I believe for many of the same reasons.

    • Hi, Andi. Yes, I, too, have ex-pat friends in Belize. It is a great country to visit. But unfortunately, falls far short of Costa Rica when it comes to green policies and a respect for the environment.

  4. Linda Strange says:

    Wow ! That’s pretty appealing ! Beauty – stability, possible health care, outside the usual storm areas. I can almost feel the atmosphereright now.

    • Hi Linda and thanks for your comment. Yes, I think you would be enveloped in a love and respect for Costa Rica. It is quite an incredible country. Happy World Chocolate Day! 🙂

  5. cindy ladage says:

    I’ve heard wonderful things about retiring in Costa Rica over the years. Thank you for offering this information about income tax and health care. Very interesting!

  6. I’ve been to Costa Rica and can back up everything you said. I also spoke in length with an expat in Tamarindo. It’s easy to understand why so many Americans find it a desirable place to move to.

    • Right on, Patti! Costa Rica is a destination I will look forward to getting to know at a much deeper level on our upcoming small group tour. It is a country with many positive attributes.

  7. Lori says:

    We are frequent visitors to Costa Rica and have even entertained moving there, at least for a time. We have always found people there warm and friendly. Agree with all you’ve written here. Makes us want to return soon. Pura Vida.

  8. Phoenicia says:

    Costa Rica looks beautiful. A family member recently visited and I stalked their Instagram photographs whilst they were there. The sea looked turquoise and the sand white.

    Recently I have been discussing retirement with my husband. I have another 18+ years to go. I have realised I would like to live in sunny climates, ie not the UK.

    Thank you for sharing Doreen.

    • You’re very welcome, Phoenicia. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I, too, would love to spend my “golden years” in a warmer climate and Costa Rica looks like a really excellent choice. 🙂

  9. The wonderful things you teach me, Doreen. I didn’t know all this about Costa Rica. I knew it was good for Americans to retire there, but only in a vague way. I keep sharing your trip post! Hope you fill all the slots asap!
    RoseMary Griffith recently posted…Alex Kershaw’s, The First Wave, The D-Day Warriors and remembrance events on June 5-6, 2019My Profile

  10. Ben says:

    Interesting and well written. Great photos of a beautiful looking country.

  11. Kemkem says:

    Costa Rica sounds like a wonderful destination, one we had thought about when we were making our move. Health care sounds so affordable too which is great.

  12. Janet says:

    Sounds like a fantastic place to live!
    Very impressive!

  13. That healthcare program is surely an incentive! US$50 a month would be good for those who want to retire early while waiting for Medicare to kick in or even not at all!

  14. Johanna says:

    Very enticing – I’d be interested in looking into it more. Costa Rica is somewhere I’d love to go for a visit … or to live in retirement.
    Johanna recently posted…13 Things You’ll Love about a Barge Cruise in FranceMy Profile

  15. Laurel Sarginson says:

    Costa Rica is a fabulous destination! Ecologically rich and “tourist-ready”, it is also a safe and welcoming environment. We have been several times and look forward to returning . I encourage your readers to consider going with you , Doreen , as their knowledgeable guide and chocolate as the theme!

  16. We have talked about moving to Costa Rica for a long time — it may still be in our future!
    Crysta Parkinson recently posted…Bleu GartenMy Profile

  17. Beverly says:

    Anyone joining your tour is very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable guide such as yourself. I hope all tour participants have a wonderful time.

  18. Pat says:

    We have never made it there but my niece and her other half were there last December and loved it! It was sunny every day – they loved the people and the food! Sent many pictures doing yoga on the beach. Wish we were able to join you on this trip! All the best!

  19. susan gill says:

    Very interesting Article Doreen. Sounds like a great place.

  20. This sounds so enticing, Doreen. Wish I had the means to make the move, or at least take the tour. I’m sure it will be a wonderful adventure.

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