If you’re looking for a place where you can begin the next phase of your life in peace with the glories of nature all around you, you can do no better than Costa Rica. It has all the things you could wish for—awe-inspiring views, tropical rainforests, rambling rivers, multitudes of multi-colored plants, scores of phenomenal animals, and a climate described by many as the best in the world.
But as a retiree, there are also other benefits to living here besides the beautiful landscape.
Costa Ricans place a high level of respect on those of us who are slightly longer in the tooth. As a result, you’ll find special lines just for us in almost every public or governmental site. Long lines at the bank? No problem. Bypass them all and go right to the teller waiting just for you. Taking advantage of the excellent public transportation system on a busy Friday afternoon? No worries, there is sure to be an empty seat with your name on it.
Another virtue of moving to Costa Rica that is often cited, is the lower cost of living. It allows anyone dependent on a fixed income the ability to stretch their dollars further. But the Costa Rican tax structure is another benefit that is often overlooked. U.S. citizens do not pay taxes on foreign income. And property taxes are amazingly low too. For example, we expect to pay $500 this year for our three-and-a-half acre piece of paradise. It wouldn’t be unusual to pay 20 times that much in the States.
As a resident, you also enjoy huge discounts at numerous in-demand recreational destinations. Even the most popular tourist spots offer these markdowns. An entire day at the famous La Paz Waterfall Gardens (which includes lunch) will only cost you $24, while the regular punter will have to hand over $42. Discounts of 40%- 60% are common. We just took friends to the lovely Lankester Botanical Gardens. The amazing value they got for only $10 almost seemed like highway robbery when compared to the $2.65 they ask of “preferred” guests.
Of course, healthcare, which can be found in Costa Rica at a U.S.-level of quality, can be had at much lower prices. But did you know that the cost to join the CAJA (the Costa Rican social medicine system) is lowest for pensioners who hold resident status?
And in just day-to-day living here, you’ll find a montón (a heap) of other benefits for residents. For example, our Costa Rican bank card allows us to get two-for-one movie tickets. We get the best seats for the national soccer games. And on days that the team plays we get 50% off all menu items at Hooters.
Costa Rica is a wonderland of tropical adventures where it seems Mother Nature herself vacations. These blessings are available to everyone. But for those of us in the know, there are additional benefits available that just put the cherry on top.