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Costa Rica - Retirement

Many foreigners retire to Costa Rica because of the tropical climate, lower cost of living and good health care. There is a well established community of expatriates, at least 50,000 Europeans and North Americans live in Costa Rica. That makes it easy to find suitable housing in communities that are magnets for expatriates and where many of the services you take for granted back home will be available.

You can buy a home on the beach or in the mountains for much lower prices than a comparable home in Florida or California, or most urban areas in the U.S. and Europe. Land too is inexpensive in many areas. Some developing areas have condos on or near the beach for as little as $40,000. More established areas commonly offer ocean view or beach front condos for $150,000. Prices for homes and condos in beach areas commonly run to as much as $450,000, depending on their fixtures, living area, lot size and other extras.

In other areas of the country a home's price will depend on the location and amenities. Costa Ricans have very different priorities and values than expatriates, so not all homes you see advertised will be suitable for you. A good quality home, close to an area favored by expats, with many amenities you expect, will run from $80,000 to $120,000. Better homes in better locations will run from $140,000 to $250,000. Homes over $250,000 are commonly available, but these are real luxury homes in prime locations.

Many retirees prefer living in the new gated communities that are being developed in most areas of the country. These offer common areas such as pools, play areas and tennis courts. Access is limited and the building codes are commonly more restrictive than in areas outside these communities, which can lead to increased property values.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.