There’s a terrific, new eight minute HD video about expats in Costa Rica from AARP about: “A reality check on the work and rewards in relocating.”

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You can see the new AARP Video. Costa Rica: Living on Less here.

It’s not a secret or big surprise that Costa Rica has become a major retirement destination for expats from around the globe, especially those north of our border in the Untied States and Canada.

The sun drenched beaches of Guanacaste and the Central Valley pueblos such as Atenas, have become top destinations for retirees in this tranquil Central American country.

What is it that attracts people to Costa Rica?

  • Is it the counties natural beauty?
  • The Central Valley’s mild climate?
  • Do people come to Costa Rica for financial reasons?
  • Are they looking for a change in lifestyle?
  • Quality health care?
  • Furthermore, is the country only suited for retirees?
  • Can younger individuals and couples find their own piece of paradise in Costa Rica, being able to live here now while enjoying a more relaxed, stress free and fulfilled life?

When I first came to Costa Rica over 8 years ago, I fell in love. The natural beauty of the lush countryside in this dynamic paradise captivated me from the moment I stepped off the airplane.

The AARP Ranks Atenas as…
One of “The Best Places to Retire Abroad.”

From the vibrant green mountains, rugged volcanic peaks, beautiful coastline filled with stunning beaches, Costa Rica was paradise found. Along with the natural beauty, I could not get enough of the spring like climate of Atenas and Central Valley with warm sunny days and cool, crisp nights.

The abundance of fresh, affordable produce, quality meats, and homemade cheeses, breads and preserves are amazing and were a nice “bonus”. Even the “fast food” at the local central market is always homemade and fresh!

Have Questions About Buying or Renting A Home in Atenas?
Telephone Dennis Easters in Costa Rica now on
(800) 434-2089 or (506) 8571-7183

By the end of my first trip, I knew I had found my new home. I was 31 years old and had been self employed all my life. During my short stay in the country, I knew I could not only survive in Costa Rica, I could thrive.

For me, I was ready for a lifestyle change, burnt out from the rat race. What about other expats? With an estimated 50,000 Americans now calling Costa Rica home, what were they looking for? What are their stories and experiences?

One such story featured in the AARP video is that of Michael and Alejandra Linderman who made the move to Costa Rica from Illinois, leaving the cold winters and snow behind. Like many others, the couple had good lives back home but were looking for something more.

They wanted to be close to family and follow their passions. Michael worked as a language program developer and Alejandra as a structural engineer. Michael says “As long as we stayed in Champagne-Urbana (Illinois) it was just easy to do the status quo. We had very comfortable jobs.”

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Alejandra jumps in saying “Sometimes you feel like you have the golden handcuffs in a way. It’s so easy. You have this wonderful job, they pay you so good. We had a new house, 3 cars.” Michael adds “We had a BMW.” He continues by saying “When we moved here we wanted to follow our passions if you will; cooking, food.”

Life in Costa Rica is different. But how different? Alejandra puts it simply “We are on our own schedule here. We’re in charge.” In Costa Rica the family lives a much simpler lifestyle, keeping bees and collecting fresh eggs. Michael still works part time for a university in Illinois developing educational programs.

One major difference in their lifestyle in Costa Rica unlike that of most of their peers back home in the United States is financial freedom. Michael says “We don’t have any car payment. We don’t have any credit card payments, house payments. We don’t have any debt.”

The Linderman’s are not alone in their quest for a more fulfilling life. Others are making successful transitions and are living their dreams in Costa Rica. Matt and Erica Hogan left the corporate world in New York City to purchase 62 acres of Costa Rican rain forest.

In the canopy of the forest they have created a community of tree houses that is off the grid, complete with an organic community vegetable garden. Matt says “There isn’t a single day that when I am walking through the forest that I don’t see something that stops me in my tracks. It could be a tiny little technicolored caterpillar. It could be a group of monkeys. It could be a three toed sloth in a tree. Every single day I see something that stops me and I say WOW, yes, this is why we’re here.”

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But is living your dream always easy?

Matt’s wife Erica says “I remember the first six months we were living here in the tent, bathing in the river, boiling water to drink. It was miserable.”

Naturally there are many people who fall in love with Costa Rica, move here and then just can’t survive. But why can’t everyone survive paradise?

Dave Martin, a retired Sea Captain from Washington state, who now owns his own hillside paradise in Costa Rica, puts it this way “Some people move here thinking its going to be kind of a little bit like in the States but cheaper, or something like that. You know, they have a misconception. This is Costa Rica, it is a country of Costa Ricans and you need to respect that and conduct yourself as a guest.”

Another expat, John McCuen who started a book store in San Jose, Costa Rica after leaving his lucrative software sales job in the United States, says something similar “You know there are people who come here simply because of superficial aspects of life in Costa Rica.

Because of the weather, who aren’t really interested in learning about the country. They view it as a series of amenities that the country can offer. They come here with the unrealistic expectations.”

It is those unrealistic expectations that are often the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Gerardo and I have seen this time and time again.

We always express to our clients that if you are expecting things in Costa Rica to be like they are in your home country, and to happen in the same time frame, you will begin creating unnecessary stress for yourself and have a difficult time adjusting to your new life in Costa Rica.

However, a big percentage of expats are able to thrive in Costa Rica.

So what sets them apart from those who
Can’t make it and throw in the towel?

Retirement living in Atenas, Costa Rica.

Adrianne Pelizzari, co-owner of Cafe Milagro, speaks from personal experience and says “We were able to shift with the times, make adjustments in our own lives and our attitudes, and I think when I look at other people who are really, truly happy with Costa Rica, it’s because of that.”

John McCuen says “In general there’s a sense of contentment here that’s rarely found in other countries. I love my work existence. I can’t say that really about much of anything I ever did back in the States.”

Have Questions About Buying or Renting A Home in Atenas?
Telephone Dennis Easters in Costa Rica now on
(800) 434-2089 or (506) 8571-7183

Having worked closely with and creating lasting friendships with our clients over the past 6 years, we have seen first hand that those who are flexible, easy going, who get involved with the local and expat communities, learn the language and have a definitive purpose in their daily lives, thrive here in Costa Rica.

For some, these stories may seem out of reach and only pipe dreams. After all, it costs money to live in paradise.

  • But how much does it really cost?
  • Do we only give value to things in our life in monetary terms?
  • What about life experience gained and quality of life?

Dave Martin says “I find that I have a much happier life here than I did in the States. Also, I think the quality of education I am able to afford for our son is much better here. We live a nice lifestyle.” A lifestyle that he says he would be in “hock” for until he was 90 if he were living it in the United States.

The Famous Atenas Chilli Cook-Off Attracts All The Local Gringos and Thousands of Locals.

What if living in paradise could actually save you money?

  1. A couple can live very comfortably on $2,000 per month, however we know people who are happy and living on much less.
  2. Depending on your lifestyle, living in Costa Rica can be far more economical than the United States, Canada or Europe. It’s the big expenses where you can save the most money.
  3. You can buy quality homes in the Central Valley starting in the high $100,000’s and the low $200,000’s. The average property taxes are often less than $200 per year.
  4. First class medical services will costs about 1/3 of what you would pay in the United States and private medical insurance starts at around $2,000 per year.

How about daily living expenses like groceries and eating out?

If you buy LOCAL, then you will save a bundle. Shop at your local “feria”, or farmers market, where fresh produce, cheeses and meats can be purchased for 1/3 or less of what you will pay in the typical supermarket state side.

However be warned, if you want to purchase the same products (brand names) you buy at home, more often than not you can, but they are imported products and you will pay a premium.

Find a local alternative and save big time! There are many options for eating out, but a couple can have a nice meal, with a glass of wine for around $25, but of course the sky is the limit.

A typical Atenas view.

As you can see, you don’t have to be retired to enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer.

Thousands of people from around the world now call Costa Rica home. They have found their place in the sun, soaking it up and thriving.

People come for many reasons, be it to retire, looking for a lifestyle change, economical reasons, to start a new business or those just looking for a new adventure. No matter what the reason, Costa Rica has something for everyone.

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Today is all we have. Now is the time to start living a more relaxed, stress free, fulfilled life. Don’t just come to Costa Rica to discover the untamed, natural beauty of the country.

Come to Costa Rica and live your dreams and along the way you will discover a new way of life.

New AARP Video About Living on Less in Costa Rica.

Article/Property ID Number 3811

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