Affirmation Article on Costa Rica as #1 Place to Retire

Scarlet Macaw
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica
by Charlie Doggett

Christopher Howard is affirming International Living’s ranking of Costa Rica as the best place in the world to retire. You might like to read his take on it:

Costa Rica as the Best Place to Retire

It has been good to have so many people, organizations, blogs and magazines confirm my decision to retire in Costa Rica! Of course those of you who follow my blog know how much I like it here. The perfect place for a nature lover and peace lover.

Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica
by Charlie Doggett
¡Pura Vida!

See also my photo galleries:  Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

How & Where are MLB Baseballs Made?

Ever Wonder How and Where MLB Baseballs are made? Watch this fun video:

Or if that button doesn’t work, use this link:

Now those cheap minor league baseballs are made in China by machines, but the good ones for MLB games are made or sewn by hand in the Rawlings Factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Yep! That’s the

town south of San Jose I traveled to recently by bus to spend 5 days at Rancho Naturalista photographing birds. But I just recently learned that the best baseballs in the world are made there. Its also near the most active volcano in Costa Rica, also named Turrialba.

And What is the Irony of This for Costa Rica? Click and read this interesting article about how the best  baseballs in the world are made in a sports-minded country that does not include baseball as one of its major sports. Oh well. Life is full of ironies! As in most of the world, futbol (the real name for soccer) rules with debatable rankings after that for volleyball, surfing, basketball, and then maybe baseball. Interesting for the country where the best baseballs are made!  🙂

Or read this article about the factory in Turrialba and learn how dangerous sewing can be!

Workers on Lunch Break at Rawlings Baseball Factory
Turrialba, Costa Rica
A bigger irony is that in this NY Times article about The Poor Sewing for Millionaires. 
Or maybe even the biggest irony is that the poor man sewing baseballs a low wages is happier than most of the millionaire ballplayers!  🙂   ¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes, a fun aside for this former Tennessean is that the leather is tanned in Tennessee!  🙂


I am no longer encouraging people to retire in Costa Rica because I think there are already too many North Americans living here, many trying to “Americanize” or change the charming, slow, relaxed culture of this small, simple, peaceful nation. But since I know some of my readers are considering a move here for retirement or otherwise, I share another positive article from Christopher: 
12 Reasons it is Now Easier than ever to Relocate to Costa Rica.   And though I seriously don’t want many more Americans down here, I will gladly advise by friends and readers which starts with advising you to take one of the relocation tours and join the ARCR, Association of Residents of Costa Rica and attend their seminar, which is much better than what International Living offers. Christopher’s “Live in Costa Rica Tour” includes the seminar. 

The Missed Sunset

Photo I made on my 2010 tour from a Guanacaste beach south of Tamarindo. For more on the best tour of Costa Rica see

We would have seen something like this on our south beach tour had it not been raining each evening. And I’m also including the Caribbean (Atlantic) sunrise photo also made on that trip. Both beaches are quite appealing to me, but I will probably start out in the Central Valley while I check out the whole country then decide on a more permanent place to settle.

Pacific Sunset in 2010

Caribbean Sunrise in 2010

Wherever I live, I will get to see both of the above as I travel about the country. TODAY Alex Palma is showing me rentals in smaller towns 30 minutes + from San Jose. His favorite he has already told me is Santo Domingo de Heredia which looks good online and is home of the INBio Park. We are also going to Atenas and some other places and will eat lunch in a Soda. (If you don’t know, “Soda” is the Costa Rican name for a little Mom & Pop Cafe where you can eat lunch for $3 to $5 and is on my radar as my dining out choice.) Well, time to go. I’ll report back tonight!

Focusing Day

Hotel Autentico, My Home Base for Two Weeks

First thing after breakfast this morning was walking the 5 blocks to the ARCR office and meeting with my new Costa Rican lawyer, Jose Pablo Carter. He helped me put together the important items from the seminar and create a checklist of what I need to do to gain residency and get moved to Costa Rica. I will include it below. I walked back to my hotel (above) where they know me by name now and the waiters are trying to teach me Spanish. Fun! I did a review of it on TripAdvisor last night. Worked on list and had a sandwich.

In the afternoon I walked down the street again to two banks and only one of them had English as a choice on their ATM for the cash withdrawal I needed to make. Got to learn Spanish!  Then at 3:00 my two-day driver came to show me the city and learn of my housing interests for our all day trip tomorrow to look at apartments and rental houses. I’m not renting now, but I want to see what they look like in different areas and get a feel for what I will try to nail down in 4-6 months maybe. Howard’s tour only showed expensive houses and tourist condos which was my biggest disappointment with his tour. We stopped for afternoon tea at a little neighborhood Soda, a small Tico cafe. Before and after this I typed up my checklist of things to do and had a bowl of mushroom soup and Tres Leches for dinner. Here is timeline:
Step by Step Timeline for Costa Rica Residency
As I understand it from ARCR Seminar and personal conference with Jose Pablo Carter, Lawyer
At Association of Residents of Costa Rica, September 1, 2014
Send to Jose. I must then arrive within 6 months of earliest date on any of the following documents.
1. Authenticated Birth Certificate with Apostille from State of Arkansas
2. Apostille letter from Social Security proving lifetime pension over $1,000 a month
3. Police Report on me with Apostille and if possible fingerprints
4. U.S. Embassy/State Department Online: Do a Consular Registration for Costa Rica, then save as a PDF file. Print one for this packet of documents & email the file to Jose.
1. Provide Spanish translations of all the above documents as required
2. File my application with the Caja Office
1. Review my rental contract
2. Get my fingerprints and physical exam that can be turned in after the Caja application is filed
3. Help me open a local bank account
4. Prepare a Costa Rica Will and powers of attorney from copy of my U.S. Wills, etc.
1. Contact Juan C. Calero of Pricose to start INS insurance policy by day I arrive
2. Contact the young doctor from Metropolitano about my sleep apnea and meds
3. Get budget worked out
4. Contact mover, Charlie Zeller
5. Learn more Spanish
6. Get online business settled before the move and ask lots of questions about doing it from Costa Rica
7. See if X or X will let me establish a U.S. physical address with them for my TN Driver License, maybe mail forwarding, and maybe something else.
8. Renew TN Driver License which now expires in 2015
9. Rent PO Boxes from ARCR in San Jose & Miami before I move.
NOTE: I ended up not getting an address with ARCR but signed up for and got a Miami address directly with them and use it now for all shipping and internet orders. I use postal service for most letters but new credit cards can be sent to the Miami address.