Better Than Southern California

Pauline Beauchamp wasn’t unhappy with her life in Southern California. She held a good job as a district manager in a lighting and home décor company for 28 years…and she and her husband, Bruce, enjoyed a very nice lifestyle.

But Pauline knew if she wanted to maintain the kind of lifestyle she had become used to, she would struggle to afford it as she got older.

“I knew I was either going to work until I was 90 years old or I was going to have to leave the country. And I wanted to have some fun and enjoy life while I was still young.”

So she and her husband began to research everything they could on a new life overseas. A long-time International Living reader, she attended IL’s Fast Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference held in Las Vegas last year.

The information she gained at the conference was invaluable, she says.

“It just really put together a plan of what I needed to think about and do.”

Though the conference shed light on many destinations worldwide, there was one particular retirement haven that held a special place in the couple’s heart. Having vacationed in Costa Rica 17 years earlier, they knew that it had a lot to offer… and, despite researching all other options available, they felt sure it was the right place for them.

Further investigation brought them to a small community in Tarcoles, which ticked all the boxes for them, Pauline says. It was away from the hubbub of more popular tourist towns…but had all the amenities on its doorstep.

The capital city, San José, with its top-class hospitals, international airport, and shopping malls is just an hour away. Closer to home (a 25-minute drive), the couple has plenty of options for dining out.

Decision made, they turned to what they had learned at the conference—and Pauline says it made the transition much easier…and opened her eyes to potential issues along the way.

“I got a fabulous checklist [at the conference] that I used for relocating. If I didn’t have that checklist, I would have made a lot of mistakes. That really walked me through and saved me a lot of money—including transporting our little dog down here, too.”

Today, the couple lives just the kind of lifestyle that Pauline dreamed about… and have managed to slash their costs to a fraction of what they were in California.

Before the move, they were paying $2,300 a month for a 1,000-square-foot apartment in Pasadena. Now, Pauline tells me, they pay less than half that price… for a superior home.

“We pay $900 a month for 2,500-square-foot house, fully furnished, with a pool, on over an acre of land. And I’m literally sitting in the middle of the jungle and rain forest.”

The couple can afford to employ a cleaning lady who comes daily to clean the house, do laundry and cook lunch and dinner. The resulting free time allows the Beauchamps time to enjoy hobbies and interests like never before. Bruce gets to enjoy fishing for red snapper on the nearby river…while Pauline volunteers with a local organization that provides free ultrasounds and prenatal care to local women.

Pauline says she’s never once regretted the move…and no longer has to be roused for a long day at work by a shrill alarm clock.

“I wake up every morning and there are birds and butterflies and all kinds of creatures stirring right by my window… just like a taste of heaven.”

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