News Feeds

4 Benefits of Retiring in Costa Rica

There comes a moment in life when it’s time to stop the daily hustle and think about enjoying your time. You know: going for walks in the morning, enjoying your hobbies, watching sunsets, cooking your favorite meals, taking naps.

Retirement is a well-deserved gift that we give ourselves after so many years of hard work. What better than a natural paradise like Costa Rica to finally sit back and relax?

In this article, we’ll tell you about 4 benefits (amongst many!) of retiring in Costa Rica.

Let’s see:

1. Great healthcare, an important reason for retiring in Costa Rica

Having good healthcare becomes a priority as years go by, and it’s at the top of people’s worries when thinking about retiring abroad. What if we told you that in Costa Rica the scenario could be even better than at home?

Costa Rica has had universal healthcare and social security since the 1940s. But not only that: Costa Rican healthcare is considered amongst the best, ranked 36th in the world by the World Health Organization, above the United States, Cuba, and New Zealand.

The universal healthcare system in Costa Rica is called CAJA (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social). All residents pay a low monthly fee (7-11%) based on their income to fund the system and in exchange, they get 100% coverage for all medical procedures, appointments, hospital visits, and prescription drugs for them and their immediate dependents, such as a spouse or children.

You can also opt for private healthcare, which usually has shorter wait times than universal healthcare. The Costa Rican government manages private healthcare plans through the Instituto de Seguro Nacional, which covers 80% of medical expenses. The average cost of these plans is between $60 and $250 per month, depending on age, gender, and underlying conditions.

If you have no insurance, healthcare is still more affordable than in the United States: a visit to the doctor costs around $70, while many diagnostic tests such as blood tests or x-rays are under $100.

Having great and accessible healthcare is definitely one of the main benefits of retiring in Costa Rica!

2. Requirements to get your Costa Rica retirement visa are easy to fulfill

How can you become a legal resident in Costa Rica being a retiree? Luckily, the Costa Rican government gives three options to obtain your resident visa, which gives you a wide range of possibilities.

The first option is enrolling in the Pensionado Program, specifically thought for people retiring in Costa Rica. You are required to have a monthly income of at least $1,000 from a pension or retirement fund, which you have to transfer to a Costa Rican bank account and exchange for local currency. After that, you can spend it as you please!

The second option is the Rentista Program. You can qualify if you have proof of a current cash balance of at least $60,000 or a monthly income of at least $2,500 for two years. Just like the first option, you need to transfer funds to a Costa Rican bank account and exchange them for local currency in order to spend them.

Last -but not least- is the Inversionista Program, which requires you to invest at least $150,000 in an approved Costa Rican business or property. This is a great option if you are looking into buying a home and retiring in Costa Rica. You get what you need to live in paradise all at once!

You should know that some fees will be charged when applying to any of these programs. Also, your temporary resident visa has to be renewed every two years at a $100 cost. After three renewals, you can apply for permanent resident status.

3. The cost of living and retiring in Costa Rica is very advantageous

Costa Rica has one of the highest quality of life levels in Latin America and the cost of living is significantly lower than in the United States or Canada. This is one of the reasons why hundreds of people decide to retire here every year.

Like anywhere else, the amount of income you need to live in Costa Rica will depend on where you live, if you rent or you don’t, if you eat out every day or you don’t, etc. But we can say that a couple of retirees could live on $800 to $1000 without paying rent, shopping at the farmer’s market, using public transportation, and cooking most of the meals at home.

If you choose to have a car, a housekeeper, consume imported goods, and try out some restaurants, then the cost can go up to $3,000. Rent, on the other hand, can range anywhere between $400 and $3,000 a month.

Let’s compare some prices to have a better idea: a gardener or a housekeeper will charge $6 an hour, instead of $20 or $30, the amount they would charge in the US. Having phone service at home will cost $26 instead of $60 to $80, and a haircut will cost $16 instead of $60.

4. Short flights between Costa Rica and North America will keep you close to home

Costa Rica is 2,000 miles away from the center of the United States, and 3,400 miles away from Canada. This means that it just takes around 5 hours to fly from North America to Costa Rica. Also, Costa Rica has two airports: one in San José de Costa Rica, the capital city, and another one in Liberia, located just an hour away from Tamarindo, and from where many American airlines fly out, which makes this location very accessible.

If you are lucky and you plan in advance, you can find deals for about $100 for a flight from JFK. This will allow you to visit home as often as you need to and, even better, it will be easy for your loved ones to visit you in your tropical paradise!

What is the best place to retire in Costa Rica?

The best place to retire in Costa Rica will depend on your preferences, of course. But if you are dreaming about a walk on the beach, nature all around, safety, and breathtaking sunsets, then Tamarindo is your best option.

Tamarindo is the largest developed beach town in Guanacaste and it’s located in the Nicoya Peninsula, one of the world’s blue zones. It has all the amenities you need to feel at home, plus a wide diversity of outdoor activities to enjoy all year round.

Tamarindo is safe, and it’s a popular destination for expats and retirees, so you’d probably be making new friends in no time. You can find several gated communities here, such as Tamarindo Park, a sustainable gated community immersed in 91 acres of natural beauty, and located next to Las Baulas National Park.

Retiring in Costa Rica is a decision that hundreds of people make every year. Its high life standard, nice weather, natural environment, slow pace, short distance to North America, cost of living, great healthcare, and the “pura vida” vibrations are just some of the reasons why Costa Rica is an ideal place to retire.

Will you be next? Learn about Tamarindo Park and start dreaming about your retirement home in Costa Rica.

Discover Tamarindo Park

Live close to nature in elegance and comfort