There Are Many Reasons to Move to Costa Rica
Why would you want to move to Costa Rica? As thousands of expats will tell you, Costa Rica offers a fantastic lifestyle at a reasonable cost. Not to mention that Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with a modern capital city, long stretches of deserted tropical beaches, cool mountain getaways, and pristine lake regions.
Moving to Costa Rica
Moving to Costa Rica is particularly appealing because Costa Rica is a long-established democracy and politically stable, and, for the most part, it is safe. There is a low incidence of violent crime here; and outside the capital city of San Jose, there isn’t much crime of any kind. Costa Rica is known as one of Latin America’s most peaceful nations (and one of the most politically stable–it has enjoyed over 60 years of uninterrupted democratic rule). José Figueres Ferrer, who led an armed uprising that ended a 44-day Civil War, was glorified for abolishing the army and drafting a constitution that guaranteed free elections with universal suffrage. Unlike many of its neighbors, Costa Rica never had another civil war.
Because the country has no army to support, it is able to provide money for universal medical care and free and subsidized educational programs. The well-run national health care system means that the country’s people are strong and healthy. The average life expectancy is 76 years–one of the highest in the world. The country has an up-to-date medical system with hospitals, clinics, and complete medical services in all major cities and some towns. Costa Rica is considered to have one of the best low-cost medical care systems in the world. Dental care and cosmetic surgery is affordable, and Costa Rica’s plastic surgeons are considered among the world’s best.
You Don’t Have to Leave Much Behind When You Move to Costa Rica
You’ll find a wide variety of inexpensive housing in Costa Rica, and a wealth of every imaginable activity to keep you busy and happy. There are two excellent English-language newspapers, cable and DirectTV with all of the U.S. channels, and a myriad of exciting business opportunities for the enterprising entrepreneur. And consider this: If you move to Costa Rica, you can live comfortably on $1,000 to $2,000 per month, depending on your lifestyle. A full-time maid costs around $10 per day. Utilities, like telephone, electricity, and water, are much lower than in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Public transportation is excellent and inexpensive, so you don’t really need a car.
There are also many tax advantages you can enjoy after moving to Costa Rica. Investors pay no capital gains taxes on real estate, business taxes are minimal, and high-interest bank accounts are tax free. Property taxes are also reasonable compared with the U.S. and elsewhere.
Moving your household goods: No matter where you move to, transporting household goods and personal belongings can be challenging. For a move to Costa Rica, for example, you can choose an American moving company, but that firm will still have to deal with a local relocation company to deliver your goods in Costa Rica, a process that can entail tedious dealings with bureaucracy. To avoid this problem, experienced expats say the best strategy is to first select the Costa Rican company. This firm will then choose the American company that it wants to work with.
Moving with your pets: A rabies vaccination is required for pets that enter Costa Rica, and it must be administered between 30 days and one year before departure.You’ll also need to have your veterinarian fill out and sign the APHIS 7001 International Health Certificate from the United States Department of Agriculture stating that your pet is in good health. Birds require additional paperwork.
Firearms:The admission of firearms and ammunition into the territory of Costa Rica is subject to restrictions and import permits approved by Costa Rican authorities. Applications to import non-military weapons into the country may be filed by or through a licensed importer, authorized dealer or a particular person. You must register your weapon at the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Firearms and Ammunitions once you arrive in Costa Rica.
When you take into account all of these factors and the fact that in Costa Rica you will surely enjoy a more peaceful and laid back way of life, it’s hard to understand why everyone isn’t moving to Costa Rica.
*Prices as of 2013
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