Imagine living a high-quality lifestyle with indulgences like a housekeeper, a private chef to prepare gourmet meals for $50 per week, and even top-quality healthcare where the cost of living is so affordable you can pay-out-of-pocket. Well, it’s possible.
For the last seven years, my husband Gary and I have been enjoying a snowbird lifestyle. For six months each year, we wave goodbye to family and friends in cold, snowy Canada and set out for our home in Panama’s Chiriquí province.
Part of the reason my wife and I chose to begin our Costa Rican adventure in the Central Valley town of Grecia was its proximity to San José and the airport, as well as the beautiful scenery and temperate climate.
By now it’s no secret that Ecuador is a very affordable place to live. In fact, my life in the little mountain town of Cotacachi is so inexpensive that I can support my family of four as a part-time freelancer.
As I drive east out of San Jose and its suburbs, the gridlock, gleaming shopping malls, and dense urban development of Costa Rica’s capital slowly melt away. Within 30 minutes I’ve found myself in the countryside, following a winding road that hugs a mountainside as it descends into the valley below.
Turquoise waters lap the white-sand beach fringed with casuarina trees. There are no jet skis or banana boats here; just a few stand-up paddle boarders and a kayak or two. There’s not a beach lounger in sight, just some mats and towels strewn in the shade.
"One of the best things about living in Spain is the simplicity," says Fiona Lennol. "Less is expected of you. You're not required to have a fancy car or a big house. You can be yourself and just enjoy life. When you wake in the morning to blue skies and sunshine the day is already good.
Bright beams of sunshine stream in the window... The sounds of a gurgling creek can be heard coming from just over the hill... Woodpeckers drum rhythmically, and the air is full of birdsong... This is what I wake up to every morning.
When Fred and Linda Gruenert took off their military uniforms for the last time and decided to retire, they soon realized that their California lifestyle was too pricey. Linda served over 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist, half active duty and half as a reservist.
Five years ago, Diana and her husband, Lance Turlock, moved to picturesque Atenas—a serene farming village surrounded by mountains in Costa Rica's Central Valley. At about 3,200 feet above sea level, temperatures generally stay in the 70s F year-round.