What is the Cost of Living in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for United States citizens to retire to. After all, what’s not to love about this beautiful place? There are pristine, clear beaches; great, sunny weather; and rumor has it that the cost of living is a lot more affordable than you might expect. If you are considering Costa Rica as a place to live, you’re probably wondering how much of what you’ve heard about the “cheap” cost of living is true. This article will serve to answer your questions and to provide you with a realistic idea of what you can expect to pay when you choose to live in Costa Rica.

When you think of the cost of living, the thing that probably comes to mind first is paying your rent and your other necessities. Fortunately, rent can be extremely cheap in Costa Rica. Of course, some people pay thousands of dollars a month for fancy, ritzy condos, but if you’re willing to settle for an apartment that isn’t on the trendiest side of town, you can get away with paying in the low hundreds for rent. Also, the average water bill is only around $20 monthly; the average power bill is $25; and the average internet bill is $15. Do keep in mind that with just the most basic of amenities, you might not be “living rich,” but you can survive very well on very little in the beautiful Costa Rica.
If you’re planning on buying or repairing a car, however, you’ll want to do that in the States. Automotive costs can get a little pricy here, since parts are hard to find and very expensive. In fact, many of the Costa Rica locals don’t drive at all, so finding a mechanic can be a challenge as well. Your best bet is to leave the car at home or to get all of its needs taken care of before you make the big move.

Finally, we’ve saved the best for last. Costa Rica is one of the cheapest places in the world to buy your groceries. The average grocery bill here is about 2/3 less than it would be in the United States. However, be sure you don’t go overboard. Luxury items will still cost you an arm and a leg, but you can get the basics for next to nothing. Foods that have been imported from Latin America and other free trade countries will also run much cheaper here. It can take a while to figure out how to shop smart here, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll be saving more than you ever imagined possible.
Just remember, you can’t really put a price on happiness. In the end, it isn’t the cost of living in Costa Rica that matters; it’s whether or not you are happy in these beautiful surroundings. If you are, then the low cost of living will simply be the icing on the cake to a wonderful experience

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