Costa Rica is the land of “pura vida,” or pure life – a country with no army, amazing natural beauty, environmentally friendly policies, and a temperate tropical climate. Farmers’ markets dot town squares; volcanoes and beaches are separated by only an hour’s picturesque drive, and life moves at a slower pace. Spend even a week here and you’ll discover why Costa Rica is one of the most desirable retirement destinations in the world.
Costa Rica is widely known for its low-cost and high quality medical care. Residents have two options: the public healthcare system alone (known as the Caja), or the public system combined with private insurance. Healthcare through the Caja is limited to Costa Rica’s ten major public hospitals and clinics, which are located in almost every community, and costs roughly 10-11.5% of your income. Many residents choose to augment their coverage by purchasing private insurance, which costs around $50-$100/month per person, depending on age, gender and other factors. Private plans allow you to choose from a large selection of excellent private clinics and hospitals.
Costa Rica is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries on the planet; cloud forests and volcanoes are only a few hours’ drive from tropical beaches and lowland rainforest. It is home to 27 national parks, which are a safe harbor for over 75% of the country’s flora and fauna, guaranteeing the survival and proliferation of Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife. As a resident, you’ll have time to explore the country’s hidden corners, where you’ll be sure to discover your own favorite places.
Most North American destinations are only a short plane ride from Costa Rica. A flight from San Jose to Miami only takes 2 hours, 20 minutes. San Jose to Chicago takes only 6 hours, 15 minutes. San Jose to Houston takes only 3 hours, 45 minutes San Jose to Los Angeles takes only5 hours, 30 minutes, while San Jose to New York takes 5 hours, 10 minutes.
Costa Rica boasts one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Public services like water and electricity are available countrywide, while you’ll find cable television, cell phone service, high-speed Internet, and home phone service in most cities and small towns. Your local farmers’ market is a great place to buy inexpensive and abundant fresh produce; while grocery stores carry many of the items you bought back home. Keep in mind that lavish upgrades and imported goods can raise your cost of living significantly. However, most residents find that their dollar goes further in Costa Rica than it did in their home countries.
The country has a stable government that has functioned peaceably without an army for more than 50 years. Costa Rica is a democratic republic where citizens elect their leaders every four years. Unlike many Central American nations, Costa Rica has a large middle class and wealth is evenly distributed. Extreme poverty is rare, and therefore crime is reduced considerably.