Jonathon and his wife Camille Strathhorn added the “retirement abroad” strategy to their retirement plan in 1999 with a target date of being retired “somewhere in Latin America” by 2006 or 2007.
Camille reminisces on those retirement planning years during a Skype interview “Those were fun years – the planning years; we would take 1 of 2 vacations per year, go to a different Latin America country and explore the culture, speak with expats in the communities, talk with lawyers about advantages and procedures of moving, buying, and living in their country, we would also take real estate tours to different regions within the country and explore.
“Ultimately, after visiting Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, we decided to first settle in Costa Rica for a couple years and see how things went. Costa Rica has the longest standing democracy in Central America which eased our fears of an unstable government changes and Costa Rica just had the quality of life we were looking for. For us the Central Valley region has so many expat communities, we just felt we could ease right into life and living in Costa Rica”
“Well we have been here ever since; never left, except to go on vacation for couple weeks to another Latin country – we love our new life here” Camille finished.
Central American countries all have the pros and cons. Belize may have residency requirements that are better for you compared to Honduras or Nicaragua. Panama’s banking system and tax laws might be a better fit for your investment needs. But apart from necessity decisions it really comes down quality of life, and flavor of that quality.
Camille and Jonathon ultimately selected Costa Rica… and it’s easy to see why. Apart from extraordinary natural beauty, established infrastructures and real estate and property law benefits, it’s a wonderful place to live and retire with happy, friendly and welcoming people. It also has diverse lifestyles to choose from and health care is of the highest quality as well as one of the most affordable in the world.
So you’ve done your research and decided that Costa Rica is the right fit for you, now the question becomes where to live. Costa Rica has such an array of lifestyle choices it can be difficult deciding on which one.
How about the tranquillo rural lifestyle of the various mountain towns and villages or Guanacaste’s Gold Coast with its endless white and gold sand beaches and dry hot climate, or Central Valley’s metro flavor and numerous activities to choice from….or the rich tropical jungles and beaches of the OSA Peninsula…all offer unique, authentic Costa Rica lifestyle flavors.
Once your past the”what country do I choose?” stage, explore the options and discover exactly what your flavor and a specific location that matches your needs and requirements, find out what’s most important to you and jump into your new retirement lifestyle and live the good life.