Why I’m Considering a Move to Costa Rica

My photo of a Baird’s Trogon
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

I pretty quickly narrowed it down to Costa Rica as my first choice IF I live internationally. Reasons are many and here are just a few including some reasons for moving at all:

  1. Of all my nature travels, Costa Rica is still my favorite destination. I’ve been there three times thus far. There have been great experiences and photo-ops in Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico which I could more easily get to if I lived in Costa Rica and at a whole lot lower cost than from Tennessee.
  2. I can no longer afford to do the nature adventure travel I love while living in expensive USA, while it would be local and nearby trips from almost anywhere in Costa Rica.
  3. In addition to travel being more affordable from there, it will cost me less to live and thus more money for travel.
  4. My retirement village in a suburb of Nashville is the most affordable one now but still takes most of my money while outside entertainment is more expensive here than anywhere in the world.
  5. I walk into my “independent living” dining room and feel like I’m in a nursing home, stumbling over walkers and wheelchairs.
  6. Costa Rica has the most peaceful and stable government in the Americas with no army and every single person well-educated. I’m a pacifist and would love to live in a pacifist country.
  7. The happiness index is challenged only by another favorite country, Canada. (But I don’t like cold! And they are expensive like the U.S.) The “Pura Vida” slogan for Costa Rica is so appropriate as the place where I have experienced the most happy and friendly people anywhere in the world.
  8. It has the tropics, nature and loving people like The Gambia I loved living in so much, but also stable government and good healthcare which Gambia does not have and caused me to not retire there.
  9. My most and best bird photos are from Costa Rica – with so many more yet to photograph!
  10. The landscape photography is also unlimited in this “Switzerland of America” it is called, not only for its political neutrality and peacefulness but for beautiful mountains, volcanoes, rainforests and beaches.
  11. The climate is perfect with temps between 70 & 80 all year and only a little warmer on the beaches or cooler in the mountains. I’ve lived in tropical climes multiple times and it is my favorite. No more snow and ice ever!
  12. The cost of living is lower.
  13. There are more discounts and helps for retirees.
  14. There are some money-making opportunities I may take advantage of.
  15. There are large communities of expats from the U.S. and Canada as well as from around the world.
  16. One of the best healthcare systems in the world with world-class hospitals for a fraction of the cost in the U.S. I can have healthcare insurance for a little over $50 a month where I spend hundreds per month here and still have high out-of-pocket costs when I need care.

The above list is from me and my heart and not a promotional list I copied from someone. I’m sure there are many other reasons. And I’m aware of some of the challenges, like I will need to slow down and be more patient with a slower moving culture (like Gambia) and slower government bureaucracies (like Gambia). I have just started reading Chris Howard’s detailed book The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. Some have called Costa Rica a “Post Hippie Paradise,” but mostly it’s an exotic tropical paradise that is perfect for someone like me who is always seeking adventure in nature. So read along or join me in my decision-making process to see if this really is the thing for me to do. Your advice is sought and welcome.

As Tony Robbins said: 

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

Or maybe I like Mia Hamm’s even better:

“Follow your heart and make it your decision.”

And of course my life verse since teen years has been Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

Feel free to pray for me to make the right decision, comment with your advice, feelings, or hard facts. I’m truly open right now and thus making my decision-making a public activity.    -Charlie

See this Market Watch Report on living in Costa Rica

In summary I quote from an ad for an International Living product: 

Why Costa Rica?
The most stable democracy in Latin America. Top-quality health care. Excellent weather. Low, low taxes. The world’s happiest people. And that’s not all…in Costa Rica you’ll find sun-kissed beaches, lush rainforests, mountain vistas, pristine lakes, and sweet small-town plazas. No wonder it’s one of the hottest retirement destinations on the planet. See it to believe it.

¡Pura Vida!

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