The “Retire for Less” Newsletter RETIRES!

Today I received the final edition of the “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” Newsletter. This wonderful couple, Paul & Gloria, are really retiring themselves now and it is about time! I have recommended them many times and they are keeping their website up for awhile, so check it out now if you haven’t before. They give the most practical advice of anyone on retiring in Costa Rica and they will be greatly missed, though maybe I will get to see them again for other reasons or socially. I hope so. They will be dividing their time between Costa Rica and Mexico which is an unusual way to retire, but very interesting.

In their last newsletter they included a summary of their philosophy over these 12 years that has not changed. I will try to copy it here:

What is the Retire for Less Philosophy?

Sometimes we tell people that we live the “retire for less lifestyle,” or perhaps we notice that others are also living in a similar way. So what exactly is it?

Conserve, simplify, enjoy. These three words sum up the Retire for Less Philosophy or lifestyle. We believe one can:

  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Discard some old beliefs regarding retirement
  • Count your cash, get your Social Security, and go where it’s cheaper
  • Reinvent yourself and begin a whole new, adventurous phase of your life
  • Look at your life differently, embrace the new culture, and try not to be ethnocentric
  • Scale down, live within your means, and learn to have fun, fun, fun!
  • Conserve energy, go green, and live without air-conditioners, heaters, dehumidifiers, and cars, as much as possible
  • Live without debt, reduce expenses, and reduce expectations
  • Save money, spend less, use less, and be satisfied with less – less is more

Conserve, Simplify, and Enjoy! Read our entire Retire for Less Philosophy here.

They will be missed and have certainly helped a lot of people retire here and elsewhere. Now I will just continue my very simple life in Costa Rica, not owning anything including a car. Zero debt. Walking almost daily. Enjoying the simple things of life in a simple country that puts people and nature above industry and money. Where nature is king and we will be carbon neutral in a year or so! (99% of electricity now.)

¡Pura Vida!

One Person’s Healthcare Plan in Retirement

My “Carne” or government
Healthcare Services Card

One of the newsletters I receive electronically is called Retire for Less in Costa Rica and this month’s edition has an article by Rob Evans titled My 2017 Healthcare Plan for his retirement in Costa Rica. If you click it goes to top of newsletter, so scroll way down past their budget stuff to the article. His plan is very similar to mine though I do not have the gym membership or the private travel insurance plan. And I am keeping my Medicare active “just in case” I’m back in the states and have a problem needing care there.  And like him I have no car, walking several miles every day which is part of my healthcare. I’m probably not as careful as he sounds on food choices as I consider retirement a time to enjoy life, including food! And I do! I eat pizza and ice cream unashamedly!  🙂

Discount card for a private hospital.

If Republicans get their way on healthcare, it will cost middle class retirees like me a third to half our meager incomes in the future. The sad condition of health care costs in the states (read the above linked article) was one of the reasons I chose to move to Costa Rica. There are many options here, but I am doing like Rob and taking the public healthcare program with a discount card (at left) at a private hospital to use if I am not satisfied with the service of CAJA for something like long delays or poor service. But so far I have been happy with the public healthcare even if a little slower.

Is Costa Rica Really the Most Expensive Country in Central America?

The one bad rap we have been receiving by some writers is that  Cost Rica: The Most Expensive Country in the Americas.  This linked article explains that and why it is not always true and depends on your total picture and lifestyle chosen, almost like living anywhere.

Import taxes are very high here, especially on big-ticket items like automobiles. But I chose to not have a car and get around on foot, taxis, and buses with some of the lowest public transportation costs in the world. When I add the low cost of medical care, being some of the lowest and yet best in the world, I save money. Eat local, natural food from the farmers’ market and food is cheaper as well as healthier. Eat imported U.S. products and you pay a lot more than you would in the states. There are Americans here who actually live on their Social Security Checks and some have made it an art to live on less here such as Paul & Gloria at Retire for Less in Costa Rica.  Or check out George Lundquist’s “Retire in Costa Rica on Social Security”  Tour.  It is not the most expensive place for these folks!

So it really depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend. I splurge on some birding trips and some foods I enjoy, while living very easily without owning a car. I find Costa Rica to be a very Easy Place to Retire. And so far costing me less than the multi-level retirement center I last lived in while in the states. And I think I live in luxury! Just read my blog and decide!  🙂

Our Healthcare Tour Group

Our group of 8 who have traveled together for two full days visiting many hospitals & similar facilities.
I’m the smiling guy behind the two ladies on the right, in white cap and blue sunglasses, under the toucan.
Thanks to Victor, our van driver, for making the photo!
Paul Yeatman, tour leader, is in blue cap and from Maryland.
Others from Canada, South Africa, Columbia, Minnesota, Florida, Oklahoma & me from Tennessee.
Paul and I are the only ones already living here. Others are preparing to move here.

The internet connection is very slow at my little La Posada Hotel in San Ramon, taking a long time to upload the one photo above. So I will save the several other photos I want to share for after I get home tomorrow, telling what we did. It was another good day with a lot seen and done. Tune in tomorrow for a report! And I have now seen San Ramon for the first time. Opinions tomorrow.