Has the idea of retiring in Costa Rica ever crossed your mind? While many dream of making the move to paradise many others look at moving to Costa Rica as an opportunity to not only live out their dream but to take advantage of all of the benefits that go along with retiring to one of the most green and expat friendly countries on earth.
After reading countless articles on the weather that has been plaguing the northern USA and Canada I decided to take a deeper look into the benefits of retiring in Costa Rica. While several of the benefits were obvious, several actually surprised me in how they related to the overall health (both physically and mentally) and longevity of the people living and retiring in Costa Rica.
So here it is, the top 5 of retiring in Costa Rica
1. No More Winter Blues
Now I know what you are thinking but the fact is that the “winters blues” are a scientifically proven form of depression. When someone is forced to spend extended periods of time isolated do to weather conditions it has a negative effect on them mentally and this is even more damaging the older we get. What is the cure? Getting outside in the sun and spending more time with other people. Costa Rica definitely does not have a shortage of sun which shines year around and with a close knit expat community finding people to spend time with is never a problem.
2. A Healthy diet
In North America many studies have shown that it is actually cheaper to eat unhealthy rather than to eat healthy. This is especially true in areas that have to import fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter. On the other hand in Costa Rica it is exactly the opposite. Fresh fruits and vegetables are extremely cheap and are available year around. If you are on a budget or looking for healthy food you will actually save money by shopping healthy!
3. Never Stop Learning
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well I guess it is good for us that we are not dogs. Studies have shown that one of the best ways to stave off the effects of dementia is to actually keep learning as we get older. The brain actually functions like a muscle, the more we use it the stronger it becomes. When moving to a new country whether you like it or not you will constantly be learning. No matter if it is learning a new language, the best way to get to the grocery store or just learning about the new people in town your brain will be effected in a positive way from all of this information it is trying to soak up.
4. Costa of Living
Now I will be honest, not everything in Costa Rica is dirt cheap but housing, HOA’s, healthcare and taxes are incredibly affordable. Can you say the same for your country? Depending on where you are looking to live in Costa Rica you can rent a condo for as little as $400 (USD) a month or buy a nice little place starting at around $75,000 and up depending on your taste. The healthcare system is available to anybody that needs it and prescriptions are pennies on the dollar. So while gourmet cheese may be a bit more expensive, the bigger picture shows a country that is very friendly for retirees.
5. Preferred Treatment
While not the case in some other countries, the saying “respect your elders” still goes a long way in Costa Rica. Some of the benefits include skipping ahead in line at the bank, DMV and medical facilities as well discounted (sometimes free) use of the public bus system. Because of this you will find many local retirees still performing the day to day task that many are forced to give up in North America.
Please leave a comment below if you have anything you would like to add to this list or if you have any thoughts on the topic.