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Living on $1500 a Month in Costa Rica

Living in Costa Rica – So many times I get approached and asked, How much money does it cost to live in Costa Rica? There is no easy answer to that question.  It is dependent on the lifestyle you want to live.  Do you want to have a vehicle? Do you want to date? Do you want to live in a fancy apartment or condo?  These all play a role in what your cost of living will be in Costa Rica.

cost of living in costa ricaMany single people have been hit hard by the economic crisis in the U.S. and have little choice but to relocate abroad in order to salvage their retirement.

A single person can live affordably in Costa Rica. I know a couple of single men and women in the Heredia area who have mastered the art of living on less than $1500 monthly. They don’t live in luxury nor do they live like paupers. Basically, they don’t own a car and rely solely on public transportation. They don’t have a home and rent small apartments. Usually, they do part of their shopping at the weekend farmer’s markets where they can stock up on a lot of fruits and vegetables as many Costa Ricans do.

Some of these people buy their clothes at second-hand stores, which abound in Costa Rica. When they eat out they tend to eat breakfast and lunch one of the small cafes or sodas in Heredia’s Central Market. They tend to go to bargain matinees and seek other forms of inexpensive entertainment. When it comes to health care they join the Caja or public health care system which costs them $60 dollars or less for complete medical coverage. They use Internet cafés at less than a dollar an hour instead of owning a computer.

Most of these people are very happy with their simple lifestyle which would be impossible to have in the States for the same amount of money. When you take into consideration that most Costa Ricans earn far less than $1000 monthly and get by you can see that with $1500 monthly you will be able to live well. In States or Canada a person would be well-below the poverty line with that income. I have actually metretired foreigners who survive on less than $1000 per month.

Here is an example of a budget for a single person who has no more than $1500.

Rent $200 to $300
Electricity and water $20
Cable TV $25
Monthly Transportation $50
Monthly public health insurance (medicines included) $60 or less
Food $200
Entertainment $100 -$150
Misc. $200

If you are interested in a Retirement Tour Click Here to See His Tours.

Christopher Howard conducts monthly relocation/retirement tours fill in the form below to receive Chrisopher’s free book when you register for a tour and have him contact you personally. For details please see: He also has authored and published 17 editions of “The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica” and other guides about living in Costa Rica. See

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