Why Am I Doing This?

As I biked this morning, the thought came to me that friends when they first hear about this, will think I am crazy and wonder WHY I’m doing this? I’ll give today’s answer to three whys and those answers could change in the future. This whole idea is very fluid, but making it public because I like input.

Why are you doing this decision process in a public blog?

Most of my research is online and there are a lot of blogs about retiring or moving to Central America, most not too good. So I think my process could be helpful to someone else doing the same thing now or in the future, even if I decide not to move. 
Why would you want to leave the U.S, and move to a third-world country?
  1. Less than two years ago I made the big decision to move from a downtown Nashville condo to a retirement village with emphasis on the “independent living” part and especially since McKendree Village has 40 “cottages” which are two and three bedroom house, some very nice. I now live in a very nice two bedroom house with utilities, maintenance, twice-a-month maid service, and a meal ticket good for one big meal per day. There’s an indoor salt-water pool which don’t use, more activities than anyone could participate in, etc. Many think “Charlie has it made.” And in some ways I do if I wasn’t so healthy, active, and adventurous. One night it hit when stumbling over walkers and wheel chairs in the dining room, that I am almost living in a nursing home. That could get depressing! No one here shares an interest in the kind of adventures I like to do, other than to hear my reports. Now get this straight! I love everyone here and have no problem with the residents! Management is not targeting Baby Boomers who are more like me and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. I don’t want to become old and invalid like so many here. I’m determined to stay active to death. 
  2. I have been continuing my adventure trips like the January tour and bird watching in Panama. The problem is I really can’t afford such trips now. The retirement village gets half my income. I tithe to my church, I eat out, go to movies, the symphony, musicals, etc. and have the expenses of a car. I have no money left for trips and have been doing them from savings – bad choice
  3. If I move to the middle of the region I love best for adventure, nature photography, and a place that brings me happiness, I won’t have to take from savings for my trips
  4. Now I will make some of my friends angry, but I don’t like the directions our American culture and government is going and I’ve been very displeased with my denomination (SBC) for many years and now think my own local church (which I dearly love) is also headed the wrong way as it continues to be a suburban church located downtown while ignoring the downtown residents which I used to be one of. And I know that it is up to me to try and make a difference and I think I have tried and failed. 
  5. I’m a pacifist and Costa Rica is a pacifist country with no army and better general education than many get in the U.S, with one of the highest literacy rates in the world. They are also ranked as one of the happiest people in the world! Pura Vida!
  6. Though property value is increasing because of the thousands moving in, one can still live cheaper in Costa Rica and get as good a medical service at a fraction of the U.S. cost. The rich run the U.S. and only they get the good life, good medical service, good retirement, etc.  (There’s more, but I’m stopping for now.)
Why did you choose Costa Rica over Panama or other country? 
Well, I could make the above list longer and make an equally long list here. For now I will just summarize that in my own mind after research, Costa Rica offers more nature, more rain-forests, more beaches, more stable government, and less-expensive living than Panama. Panama is trying to be the retirement haven that Costa Rica already is. They are not there yet and I’m not sure I want to be one of their pioneers, though I have not totally ruled it out! Some say Ecuador is a little cheaper and beautiful, but I don’t see it as a stable government. Nicaragua is new for retirees and is a lot cheaper, but I would feel trapped in an expat community there and not as free to roam the country. So for now, Costa Rica is my focus.  

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