moving to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful alternative for anyone looking to move!

Given the current political environment in the US and abroad, many people are looking to relocate to another country. Costa Rica is a democratic republic and is a neutral nation with no standing army (although the country is protected by US). Whether its taxes, the war, or any of the various reasons people tend to feel overwhelmed at the slightest mention of the American government, moving to Costa Rica is an increasingly popular destination and is a stable, democratic, relatively cheap, and beautiful place to live!

Expatriates often blog their experiences when moving to Costa Rica, which can be a good source for some perspective (though they should be taken with a grain of salt). One blogger wrote that she and her friend wanted to move to another country and had a list of 10 things any country they moved to must have: “warm weather; a country with a stable democracy; a four-hour plane ride or less from the U.S.; adequate and affordable health care; American-friendly; located near or by an ocean; clean and abundant fresh water; affordable housing; a cost of living at least 50% lower than in the U.S.—and good coffee[1].” They found all of such things and are now happily living in Costa Rica!

It is important to visit and research the country before moving to Costa Rica. Roughly half of the people that move here leave within one year. Most of such people are completely oblivious to the daily ins and outs of living down here, expecting it to be a cheaper version of the US with better weather. There’s no way to guarantee whether or not Costa Rica is right for you, but testing it out for the 90 days permitted with a tourist visa can’t hurt! Find a general area that fits your desires and rent a place there for a few months (fully furnished homes can be rented cheaply!), so you can get a gist of what daily life consists of here.  Buying a decent home with an acre of land, depending on location, can be as cheap as $100,000. In hot-spot areas, a lot for a single home would likely cost more – but a nice home can be put on that expensive lot, bringing total expenses to $350,000 for the land and house together.

Moving to Costa Rica

A beautiful view of Costa Rica’s Central Valley.

For people ready for permanent relocation, purchasing goods to furnish your home may seem easier and cheaper here; however, that is often not the case. Finding quality items – such as furniture, mattresses, appliances, silverware, and nearly everything else! – can be difficult, with San Jose sometimes being the only place to get them. For the few things that actually match the quality that you’re used to in the US, the price will be astronomical. It is probably best to look into a reliable shipper and pay $10,000-$20,000 to bring all the things that make you feel at home with you. Taxes on used goods are way cheaper than new items, so keep that in mind if you prefer to fill your home with items from the US, or wherever home is (was)!

If you’re fed up with the country you live in, or if you simply want to move to a beautiful, tropical place, moving to Costa Rica may be the right option!


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