Retiring in Latin America – Compare Countries

The “Live in Costa Rica” Blog and Tour website does a comparison article every year or two in different ways with today’s article summarizing each country in a couple of paragraphs or so . . . Latin America Countries Where You Can Retire on Less than $2,000 a Month.

Of course he pushes Costa Rica because his relocation tours here are his business, but it is a fair look at the popular retirement destinations in Latin America and the costs of living in each with many or most having a cheaper cost of living than Costa Rica. I hope it will be helpful for those considering retirement “South of the Border!” 🙂

My personal advice is to visit each of the countries that interest you first for a general comparison, then visit the country you zero in on at least 3 or 4 times before actually moving there, plus doing all the relocation detail studies concerning housing, healthcare, insurance, language, etc. And for Costa Rica the ARCR is probably your best help on details.

The Featured Photo is one of mine of a sunrise on the Caribbean or Atlantic Coast at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Hotel Banana Azul. That side of Costa Rica is probably the most affordable or lowest cost of living and rent because it is the least developed. For example, living on or near a Pacific Coast beach could cost you twice as much as on the Atlantic, while the Central Valley where I live costs somewhere in-between. And remember that both beaches are hotter and more humid than the hills in-between. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Tree Frog HAIKU

Haiku poem on photo made at Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
 by Charlie Doggett

Check out my Haiku Photo Gallery for more like this. Expect a book eventually!  🙂

Or if it is the frog you like, see my Amphibians Photo Gallery for many more.


Retire in Latin America?

And for those thinking about retiring somewhere in Latin America, I agree with Christopher Howard’s evaluation of the latest ranking from International Living magazine which I used at first but do not trust as they invest in property in places like Ecuador, then push it as the best place to retire. If you are even thinking about the possibility of retiring “south of the border,” you will find this article by Christopher Howard helpful:

I am thoroughly convinced that I made the right decision, not only with Costa Rica but also a small town in the Central Valley. But I am not pushing retirement here because I think there are already too many Americans here! Nor am I encouraging you do it like me, because we are all different with different goals. That said, I will be glad to answer questions or give my opinion about concerns you may have about retiring here or anywhere in Latin America. The economics depend on your lifestyle as do the specific location (beach, mountain, valley, city) and also the kind of services you require. I have visited Panama & Nicaragua twice each and like them both. Nicaragua wins on cost of living, while Panama is more developed and Americanized which is one thing I don’t like about it, though even it has a lower cost of living than Costa Rica. My best economic decision was to live without a car! Easy to do in Costa Rica! ¡Buena suerte! 

And oh yes, the question of do you have to learn to speak Spanish? The simple answer is “No.” But the many gringos who do not stand out like sore thumbs. You cannot fully enjoy the people and culture nor function effectively in the business, government and medical worlds here without speaking Spanish. I am a slow learner, but determined to learn and I get by in most situations, with fluency my long-term goal. And that is saying a lot for a 77 year-old! 🙂  Long term?  🙂

Art Exhibit Opening: Encuentro de Cultusas

One of my favorite paintings!
Sorry! I did not get the country names for any of photos.

Because of an artist from Atenas in the show, a group of Atenas expats got to attend the Grand Opening of an Art Exhibition titled Encuentro de Cultusas (The Meeting of Cultures) with art from 18 different Latin American countries and all their ambassadors there plus other ambassadors including the U.S. and Costa Rican government officials and the art leaders. We were able to crash this party of dignitaries because of the local artist/photographer who got us in. It was wonderful! One of the best art shows I have ever seen. And the Children’s Museum location in an old fort/prison is simply cool!

And the other cool thing was that each country had hors d’oeuvres and drinks typical of each of the 18 countries. Some were really delicious! And all photos made on my Samsung cell phone!  🙂

The Costa Rica Children’s Museum (was a prison in early years)
The Entrance Hall
Some of the photography of  John Dessarzin of Atenas who got us in the show.

Someone’s Political Cartoon that includes Donald Trump.

Some traditional & cultural photography.

Plus lots of traditional paintings of culture and local people.

And even some Dominican Voodoo art.
I was amused that all these pretty girls wanted their picture made with
this artist who seems uninterested or bored. Oh well!
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way 
— things I had no words for.” 
– Georgia O’Keeffe