Costa Rica: A Tropical Paradise You Can Call Home

They come to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies that go straight from the farm to market to your kitchen—for a half to a third of what you’d pay in the U.S.

And then there’s the climate—one of the best in the world. It’s cool in the mountains year-round. It warms up along the coast but there are sea breezes to cool things off and shady trees by the beach to enjoy a cold beer under.

There are a wide variety of landscapes, too. Beautiful, no-one-else-there beaches on both the Caribbean and the Pacific. Wildlife-filled jungles shrouded in mist. The forests of the mountainous interior where wild orchids polka dot the rugged highlands.

Welcome to my adopted country—Costa Rica.

It’s not hard to see why this is such a popular place for expat retirees. There are many retirees from the U.S. living here off pensions, Social Security, or investments. And why not? The cost of living here is so low that a couple can live comfortably on $1,500 a month with housing, food, entertainment, and all other expenses covered. Some get by on even less just by watching their money a bit more closely.

And for younger expats, and those retirement-age folks who aren’t quite ready to quit working, there’s also plenty of opportunity to make money here.

Here are some of the main ways these folks are already doing it:

Start a Business in Costa Rica

In tourist areas you’ll find bars and restaurants run by expats from around the world. Italian brick oven pizza in the middle of the jungle—you’ll find one such restaurant in Ojochal, on the southern Pacific coast. Or how about chicken wings? There’s a sports bar in Tamarindo that serves them up, alongside football on the big screen.

You’ll also find expats running bookstores, B&B’s, surf schools, transportation companies, real estate offices…in every corner of the country. The expat business owners I know all say the key is to find a niche that’s not being served. Scout the community, get to know people, figure out what they need…then provide it.

Work Online in Costa Rica

Writers…graphic designers…photographers…web developers. These are the guys who set their own schedule, leaving plenty of time for surfing, gardening, hiking, travel, or just enjoying the day.

Other “work anywhere” folks are employed remotely for companies back in the States as lawyers, engineers, marketing executives, virtual assistants, computer network administrators, and more. With high-speed Internet available just about everywhere, it’s as if they’re sitting in the next office over.

And then, you have Internet entrepreneurs. Again, they’re not tied to a physical location. Everything they do is online, whether it’s a retail operation or affiliate marketing.

The one thing that ties together all the expat “workers” I’ve talked to is that they’re all much happier here. They’re living the dream, living overseas and being able to fund their life doing something they love—with plenty of time for relaxing and recreation in this tropical paradise.

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