Is My U.S. Health Insurance Valid Abroad?

Is My U.S. Health Insurance Valid Abroad?

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September 27, 2019

Readers often write in to International Living to ask whether U.S. health insurance companies cover treatment abroad. For any U.S. resident considering a move abroad, this is an important consideration. The short answer is: probably not. Most U.S. health insurers don’t cover treatment outside the U.S. Neither, of course, does Medicare.

The Reluctant Spouse: What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Move Overseas

The Reluctant Spouse: What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Move Overseas

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September 3, 2019

We first met Laura and Joel (not their real names) a decade ago on the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala, where they were vacationing. He was retired and she was happily working as a network television sales executive. He wanted her to quit her job and move to Mexico with him and she was having none of it.

Visiting the Hot Springs of Arenal, Costa Rica

Visiting the Hot Springs of Arenal, Costa Rica

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April 9, 2019

If you’re ever in the Arenal region of Costa Rica there is one activity you have to make time for: a dip in one of the natural hot springs. Known locally as “aguas termales,” the 90 to 110 degree Fahrenheit waters are naturally heated by volcanic activity. In fact, most of the hot springs have a great view of the Arenal volcano from the pools.

Tips for Getting Your Residency in Costa Rica

Tips for Getting Your Residency in Costa Rica

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April 9, 2019

There are several categories of residency for those seeking to live and/or retire in Costa Rica. Although it can be quite bureaucratic, the process to obtain your cedula (the Costa Rican “green card”) is actually pretty straightforward. Most expats who retire to Costa Rica and live here full time choose pensionado status.

Bringing Your Car to Costa Rica

Bringing Your Car to Costa Rica

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April 8, 2019

Before you leave, work with the shipping company to make sure your car meets emissions standards. The test is done in the U.S. You should also consider whether your car will make a good match for Costa Rica. Although auto shops are common and labor inexpensive, the most common parts available are for Asian vehicles and every mechanic can fix them. It can be more difficult to repair an American or European vehicle.

Buying a Car in Costa Rica: 8 Tips

Buying a Car in Costa Rica: 8 Tips

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April 8, 2019

When moving to Costa Rica, many expats wonder whether they should bring their car from home or buy something when they get down there. Well… it depends. As covered in this article, “Bringing a Car to Costa Rica,” importing a car from the U.S., while relatively easy, can be quite expensive. In fact, you could pay close to the value of the car in import duties and fees.

Traveling by Bus in Costa Rica

Traveling by Bus in Costa Rica

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April 4, 2019

When moving to Costa Rica, many newly-arrived expats decide to forgo having their own car. In retirement on a limited budget they want to eliminate the added expense of maintenance and fuel for a vehicle. Cars can be expensive to purchase in country and import from North America too, so that's another reason to go car-less.

A Wonderful Lifestyle in Berlin, Germany

A Wonderful Lifestyle in Berlin, Germany

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February 25, 2019

John Sklute, a retired English professor from California, has lived just about everywhere—from sunny Spain to spacious Sweden. So when he says that Berlin has a special something, you know he's done the legwork. John's love for Berlin started when he spent a summer there in 1994 and fell in love with a local. The relationship didn't work out, but John's passion for Berlin never waned.

An Expat Secret Revealed: The “Other” South of France

An Expat Secret Revealed: The “Other” South of France

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February 19, 2019

"Gascony's the real France," Jean-Jacques said. "Everywhere else—it's another country." Jean-Jacques, a local farmer, was leaning from his tractor—behind him, a bright field of sunflowers and the 18th century farmhouse my parents call home. His sun-beaten face squinted down at me. "Gascony is the hidden jewel of France—it's our best kept secret."