Costa Rica Retirement. Why do people leave Costa Rica?

After 10+ years of guiding people who become interested in investigating the possibility of living full or part time in Costa Rica I have a lot of experience in seeing why some do not make it here.

One major moving company claims that 50 to 60 percent of the people they move to Costa Rica move back within the first year. These are all people who did not take my tour. The experience of the moving company that I recommend on the tour is that less than 10% move back within 5 years.

I only know the reasons for a few of the failures that did not take my tour but, the common theme of the ones I do know is this:

  • They were unable or unwilling to get over their intense self interest.
  • Their impatience and sense of urgency to have what they want, when they want it irritated them and led to huge frustration.
  • They blame Costa Rica for their inability to control how they deal with the differences in culture and values here.

Hopefully, when they return to wherever they came from, they will find pure bliss… Most of us who remain are betting they will never quit blaming external causes for their internal torments.

The reasons for the ones who did take my tour and failed are varied.

  • Two couples from Arizona found that they could not adjust to the higher humidity.
  • There are a couple more that had other family issues that required they return.
  • Then there were a few who did take to heart my emphasis on learning to adapt to the Zen of this culture.

I have also been pleasantly surprised with some people who have made it here that I felt would probably fail…

The only two ladies who are confined to wheel chairs (All during the retirement tour we saw how difficult our infrastructure could be for them ..,) who took the tour are both living very happily here after more than three years.

There are many single ladies (single ladies have much less chance for romance than single men) who are incredibly happy with their new lives here.

The common theme among the most happy who stay is that they find a whole new life. They become completely involved in doing things that were hobbies, or find a business that is not only fun but, they make some extra money at it.

They discover that, like me, their life is not one of survival and worry about how to eek by until they die. Instead, our health improves due to more physical activity, better, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a sense of exhilaration at having so much fun things to do when we get up before dawn each day.

One could argue that those of us who “get it” here in Costa Rica would probably “get it” anywhere.

Written by our friend George Lundquist, who is the founder of Costa Rica Retire on Social Security. If you are thinking of retiring in Costa Rica, you might want to consider the tour that George offers, his goal is to share his experiences here with you to save you time and money!

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