Why do Expats Move to Costa Rica?
It is interesting to talk to expats who now live in the area, and hear what motivated them to make the move to Costa Rica. They come from all over the world. Some of the countries represented in Ojochal and area are: United States, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, England, Germany, France, Belgium, South Africa, Ireland and the Netherlands. No two people have the same story; but there are some recurring themes woven into most conversations.
People from cold climates like the fact they no longer have to endure cold and snowy winters. Costa Rica is 8 to 12 degrees north of the Equator, in the Tropic of Cancer; so the climate is tropical year around.
The overall cost of living makes it possible to stretch your retirement dollars further. Studies report that it can be up to 40% less expensive than living in North America (depending on where you come from and your lifestyle choices).
However, just like anywhere, your budget will depend upon your personal choices. A delicious way to reap the benefits of the lower cost of living is to buy local fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. You can enjoy local cuisine at many "sodas" - small
restaurants; where a full meal - "a casado"will cost between $3 and $6. Services such as gardeners and housekeepers are inexpensive. Learn to shop where the "locals" shop, grow your own bananas, pineapples, herbs, etc.
Reputable health care is available at a reasonable cost. Private healthcare insurance is an option that works well for some expats. Rates vary based on age and general health status. While it is best to do your own research to determine your specific rate, a rule of thumb would be that a healthy retiree could expect to pay around $100 per month for private insurance. Expats who become Costa Rica residents are covered under the public healthcare system (CAJA) which has a reasonable rate that is calculated on a sliding scale. And there is always the option of simply paying for services when needed - you may be surprised at how inexpensive basic care can be. A visit to a Dr. is around $45, a complete blood analysis is $120.00. Dental cleaning is around $50.00.
While we are on the subject of health care it is interesting to note that Costa Rica is often ranked in the top of the World Health Organization's list of countries in the world, with long life expectancies. The tropical climate, slower paced lifestyle and access to healthy foods are cited as factors. Maybe just living in Costa Rica is a form of health care! I know we are healthier since moving to Costa Rica!
Ojochal, The Ballena Coast and the surrounding area is popular because it is where the mountains meet the sea. Looking from a distance, the Talamanca Mountains appear to rise up out of the sea. However; there is property in between offering amazing home settings, where you look to the sea from one side of your house and at the ever-changing mountains from the other. It is also the gateway to the "Osa Peninsula", which is reputed to be the most bio-diverse place on the planet.
There is an interesting statistic that immigrants make up approximately 10% of Costa Rica's population. However, only 3% of native Costa Ricans have immigrated to other countries. This suggests that the majority of Costa Ricans are content right here. What a good advertisement that is for people considering moving to Costa Rica!