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New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Costa Rica.
Subforums: Property for Sale/Rent

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Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:45 am


Wow, that was quick! You are obviously motivated, and that's good. I've replied to several forums and sadly have not received many replies. I happened to meet an American couple here in St. Paul (mid 30s) who spent a year or so there, and "met" another American couple by email (mid 50s) who have been living there for about a year, and with all the research I've done have garnered a lot of info. I've also been to CR twice, the first time I backpacked around the country by myself, and the second time with my husband John, who fell in love with it as I had.

We met with the CR Consulate in St. Paul and sadly he wasn't up to snuff with the current CR laws. He told us that we only needed to prove an income of $700 or so per month (from an IRA, annuity, etc.) when we already knew from our research that for a rentista you are required to prove income of at least $2,500 per month. He was wrong, and we were pretty disgusted. The way to prove it is to take that much for a 2-year period and deposit it in a bank in CR - in other words, $60,000 cash for a 2 year period. Now, you don't have to spend that much per month, you only need to prove that you have it to spend, as a rentista. We decided to forego that for now until we are sure we want to stay there, and if and when that time comes we will sell our house. This means that we have to leave CR at least every 90 days for 72 hours, which is a no-brainer, as there are many places in Panama that cater to those who have to renew their visas; maybe in Nicaragua too, but I haven't heard of any yet.

You are very, very wise to spend some time there before you commit yourselves. The culture is very different from what we are used to (I'm assuming you are either American or Canadian), yet it's do-able. I've traveled to about 28 different countries and am accustomed to different cultures as a tourist, but living someplace very different is a whole new box of cheerios. I strongly recommend "Culture Shock! A Guide to Customs and Etiquette in Costa Rica" by Claire Wallerstien. I found it on Amazon. From my experiences in CR it's true to form.

You need to decide what type of lifestyle you want there. It runs the gamut from living in a priveliged gated community with razor wire fences and armed guards, or living alongside the Ticos with a dog and/or a good alarm system. Make no mistake: property crimes are frequent there, and unless you have some sort of security system (which could be an alarm system, a well-trained dog, or even a full time maid), your may be subject to a break-in. While the quality of life in CR is actually much better than many of the factors in the US (see the WHO rankings), there are still many poor people, and let's be honest - they are not going to target their neighbor Ticos - they are going to target "rich" gringos.

Better than getting a dog or a security system is to get to know your Tico neighbors. The Ticos are a very warm and welcoming people, and once you become friends (it takes a bit longer there than it does here), they will watch your back. Treat them with respect as you would want any foriegner to treat you in your country, and you will have a life-long friend. While paying someone to watch your house while you are on an extended venture works in the short run, money has a way of separating people, especially with their common perception that all gringos are rich. You would be better off getting to know them, then after a while inviting them out for dinner. Or just offer to share coffee and cake on the veranda. This is true regardless of which country you decide to settle in.

Moving to a different country involves far much more than just the weather and the costs, which are the primary reasons most gringos retire to Central America. It involves waiting in a long line just to pay your electricity bill, then waiting in another long line to pay for your phone, and other long lines. But if you are retired, who cares? Just bring a good book. Adapt to their ways and you will do well.

Moving to CR is like moving to a different planet, just as it would be moving to any other country except maybe Canada. Be prepared for that. If you are laid back, are willing to laugh at yourself and are open to new experiences, Costa Rica is the place for you.

We are leaving in 1 1/2 months and we can't wait!


Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:15 pm

Hi Lynn,

Thankyou for such a comprehensive response! Good luck with your move to CR you must be really excited now and counting the days. Please keep in touch and let us know when you arrive!

Kind regards,



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Forum Legend
Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:34 am


We would be happy to help with any questions regarding renting properties in Costa Rica. That's what we do.

- For Rent Costa Rica Team


Learn more about rentals in Costa Rica at: For Rent Costa Rica - We are happy to answer your questions!


Thinking of relocating to Costa Rica

Post Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:30 am

I am Michele McCombs and my husband, Gordon, and I live in Buckeye, AZ. We are both retired and have been thinking of relocating to CR for about a year. We were thinking that mid-May we would take a two week trip to scout out the area. We are leaning toward the Pacific coast side, as I would love to be near or on the beach. We would appreciate any helpful advice or suggestions as to what would be the best way to get started on our adventure. We don't want to spend a lot of money on lodging while there, but have no idea what a two week stay might entail. I have been told that the Pacific coast side is less apt to get the hurricanes and bad weather. Gordon is 69 yrs. old and I am 65, so we have to consider medical things, as well. Gordon is a medically-retired Captain (Army Special Forces), and also a retired contract manager from Motorolla. I am retired from Safeway, Inc. where I worked in the Human Resources dept. For the last 10 years, I started my own jewelry making company and have been activly involved in or little town, sitting on several boards, and volunteering. Again, thank you for allowing me to participate in this formum. If you wish to contact me, you can do so through this board, or my email>michelemccombs48@gmail.com


Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:28 am

Hi Everyone,

My name is Joanna and my husband and I are on a 5-yr plan to early retirement abroad. We are a couple that dreams of living abroad and all the things that come with it: learning Spanish, experiencing new things, and extra time to do the things we love.

We are also bloggers. We started a blog that documents our retirement process: www.abroaddreams.com. We write about our experiences of selecting the right country.
We are currently considering Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and Ecuador.

We hope to meet other like-minded individuals here and learn from your experiences.




Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:09 pm

Hi all,

My name is Greg Seymour and I moved to Grecia, Costa Rica from Dallas, Tx with my wife in June 2013. We decided to exit the rat race and just enjoy life so we planned and saved and quit our jobs and moved. We are in our early 40's and are very much enjoying the experience of living here. I blog about it here costaricacurious.com.

Greg and Jen Seymour


Re: New to the forum? - Please introduce yourself here...

Post Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:12 pm

Good Morning-
My name is Scot Cave (hence the handle caveman). I am moving to Uvita in the next two months and just wanted to say hello. I am from Michigan and have spent the last 5 months in Belize. I thought that was where I was going to stay. CR just has so much more to offer for an active 47 year old that wants to run a business and NOT drink his life away.

Looking for any and all advice.


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