Editorials – When it comes to living or retiring in Costa Rica, all around the Internet are people pushing how Costa Rica offers a life that everyone will love. If you look behind these people that paint a perfect picture of life in Costa Rica, most have an ulterior motive like real estate sales. The truth is about 60% of the people that come to Costa Rica leave within the first year proving it is definitely not for everyone.
There are certain groups of people that will find Costa Rica perfect for them:
The Retiree – Yes it is true that you can find happiness retiring in Costa Rica but it is based on a few little details. First of all you need to have money saved in the bank or at least $2,500 for a single person or $3,000 for a couple. There are sites around the web that say you can live on $1,500 a month but most people do not find that lifestyle in Costa Rica something they want to finish their days living. Secondly, you need to live in a community with other retirees and stay active. Also coming as a couple helps a lot, this country can get quite lonely.
The Sex Tourist – Many men come to Costa Rica after either being rejected their entire life or just deciding that they do not want to have an adult relationship with feelings and emotions anymore. They come in search of their Latina arm candy or just a multitude of one night stands costing about $100 each. You can head down to the Del Rey Hotel or see these usually over 55 year old men taking their 20 year old “girl friends” out shopping or to eat. This life makes them happy, one lay at a time. I guess this hold true for gringas too that are looking for a little latino loving. But mot gringas turn off their brains and think that the games played by men in their home country do not apply here. Guess what the games are worse and you are considered prey for latinos guys. They too are looking for their sugar mamma.
The Permanent Spring Breaker – These people fill the beach towns of Costa Rica. They bathe about 3 times a week, let their hair grow long, start drinking or smoking pot about 10 am, and stay out until about 4 am partying on coke or alcohol almost every night. Imagine Spring Break during college and just have it go on for years. These are the people with no desire for life responsibility (yet usually have 2 kids from wild nights of partying) and are happy living pay check to pay check. If they do not have money for rent, they will laugh and joke about the act they slept on the beach the night before. These people all fill the sportsbooks in San Jose.
The Telecommuter – If you are able to work from home and do not have to deal with trying to find a job in Costa Rica or hiring employees, you can have a pretty good and stress free life. Again for a person working from home you need to be bringing in about $2,500 for a single person or $3,000 for a couple the same as a retiree. Make sure you are in a location with good internet connectivity and a place where it can be fixed quickly if it goes down. I have know a few people that decided to set up shop in remote areas and either moved back home or lost their jobs due to the fact the Internet was too shoddy.
The Rich Gringo – If you have money it the bank account and do not have to work, basically be on a permanent vacation then you can really enjoy Costa Rica. Waking up in the morning taking a walk on the beach, heading out for a late lunch with drinks, taking pictures of the sunsets and not having to really become a part of the true Costa Rica world then you will be really happy here. I get told all the time by these tourists that live here permanently that this is paradise. If you can make life just a vacation and not have to work you can be happy anywhere. PS – these are the same people that do not understand why anyone would not like living here and make statements like “If you don’t like it go home.”
If you are looking to come to Costa Rica to start a new business or live a sober lifestyle or meet your soul mate, you might want to look somewhere else. Most people that make money in business down here have been here for years.
These are the gringos that came to Costa Rica 20 years ago and started their business during a time of zero competition and a huge boom in tourism and investors. With a little business knowledge they fell into a pot of money. Most of these businesses and people are now packing up and leaving Costa Rica because making money here is really hard in the present days. Most businesses fail here, but if you want a business as a hobby and you are not looking to make much money then Costa Rica might be perfect for you.
Costa Rica is not for everyone and there are people that do not fit in the categories above that find happiness here, but with the majority of people coming here packing up and leaving, you might want to rent a place here and try it out before you buy.
PS – I cannot wait to see the comments on this article from Real Estate Agents and others that fit in these categories tell me how I am wrong.