Foreward

Why live in Costa Rica?

Recently I led a group of prospective residents on a trip around Costa
Rica. After a week of traveling and attending a series of informative seminars,
most of my clients decided they would like to live here for at least part of the
year. Some of them even wanted to invest in real estate. It comes as little
surprise that they felt this way. Costa Rica has more Americans per capita
than any other country outside the United States.

Why do so many people want to live here?

The most obvious reason is the climate. People are tired of freezing
winters, scorching summers and the high utility bills that go with them. In
Costa Rica they can enjoy one of the best year-round climates in the world
(72 degrees average in the Central Valley.) We have only two seasons here,
dry and rainy, both with an abundance of sunshine. We rarely need air
conditioning and never need heat. Costa Rica has more winter sunshine
than Hawaii or Florida and fewer people.

Costa Rica is called “the Switzerland of the Americas” by many due to its neutral political status and magestic mountains. From the huge, curling waves of the Pacific coast, to the sight of spectacular volcanoes and verdant rain forests, Costa Rica’s natural beauty has something for everyone. This unique little country offers a real paradise
for the nature lover, fishing  enthusiast and water sports fanatic as well as the retiree.

Many come here for the lifestyle. Costa Rica fits the bill for anyone sick of the hustle and bustle, seeking a more laid-back way of life. One of the tour participants
remarked, “Costa Rica reminds me of the U.S. about 40 years ago when
everything was unspoiled, unhurried and less crowded.” A famous travel writer
summed up the country in a recent article by stating, “This whole country is
kind of a post-hippie paradise, the most laid-back place I’ve ever seen”

Costa Rica will also appeal to people of all ages seeking to move to a
new and exotic land outside the States and Canada, as well as the energetic
entrepreneur, the burned-out baby boomer, those sick of long rush-hour
commutes and anyone seeking an alternative way of life.

Costa Rica is a place for people seeking economic opportunities and for
those who believe and are willing to seek something better in this world and
their lives. A country that offers health care for the poorest of its people,
while providing free education for every child. A place where where there
is abundant health, peace, prosperity and a country populated by the
“happiest people in the world.” As one resident says, “I now live in a freer
country now than I ever have. I can remodel my house and not need as
many permits, keep chickens in my backyard and have the freedom to live
with low taxes, be an entrepreneur and create a business in a culture where
there is less competition than in my homeland. You don’t have to be rich
to have a maid, a gardener or employees.”

You can even live longer by moving to Costa Rica. Recently, NBC Prime
Time World News had a special about a group of centenarians who live in an
area located in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. In fact, the country boasts
over 900 centenarians. Costa Ricans who reach the age of eighty have the
longest longevity rate in the world beyond that age. This is mostly due to
the lifestyle here. Many a foreigner who has moved here claims that “they
have added years to their lives and life to their years.” Perhaps the country
will do the same for you?

This beautiful country is so appealing because it has the warmth and flavor
of Mexico, without anti-Americanism or fear of government expropriations;
the physical beauty of Guatemala without a large military presence; and the
sophistication of Brazil without the abject poverty and with far less crime.

One travel brochure summed up the whole Costa Rica experience by
stating, “Costa Rica, so small yet so big.”

Is there a downside to living in Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica does have a few warts. The bureaucracy is slow moving and people get frustrated. There is crime but nothing like what is found insome cities in the U.S. or Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and other placesin the region. Traffic is bad in San José and some of the other urban areas of the Central Valley. However, as a whole the many positives far outweigh the few negatives.

But isn’t it expensive?

Although much has been written about the high cost of living here, what
you spend depends on your lifestyle. If you must have a luxurious home,
drive a late model car and buy imported goods, you will spend as much or
more than you would in North America. But if you live more like the locals
and are careful with your money, you will spend considerably less.

Many Americans living below the poverty line in the United States can
live in moderate luxury on a modest retirement or investment income in
Costa Rica.

The favorable exchange rate and low rate of inflation let you stretch your
dollars here. The cost of food, utilities and entertainment are all substantially
lower than in the United States.

Costa Rica’s affordable medical care is among the best anywhere. The
quality of health care is comparable to North America but the prices are one
half or less.  Considered by many to be the healthiest country south of Canada,
Costa Rica has a longer life-expectancy than the United States (76.3 for men,
79.8 for women), and is rumored to be the third longest in the world.
In most areas housing costs are less than what you would be accustomed
to paying in the United States. A few years ago I purchased a new three-
bedroom 2000-foot home in San Francisco de Heredia, about five miles
from downtown San José, for $85,000. It has a cathedral ceiling, sits on a
270-square-meter lot and is very comfortable for three people and a dog. I
have a 15-year mortgage and pay $600 monthly including insurance, with
a nine percent loan from a Costa Rican state bank.

Besides our home, I have two cars and a maid. Household help makes
life easier. (You can hire a full-time maid for as little as $200 per month
or a couple of dollars per hour.) My son goes to one of the best private
universities in the country. I eat out a few times a week and enjoy various
types of entertainment. We spend a week at the beach during Easter and
go to the United States every Christmas. Our monthly expenses are about
$3,000.

Costa Rica’s inexpensive medical care, affordable housing, excellent
transportation and communication networks, and abundance of activities
with which to stay busy and happy, all contribute to the country’s appeal
and place it at the top of the list of retirement and expatriate havens.

According to a survey of potential foreign retirement areas in the Robb
Report, due to the high quality of life Costa Rica surpasses all countries,
including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, Australia, the Caribbean
Islands and Greece.

What sets Costa Rica apart from its neighbors?

Nicaragua, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala have lower living costs,
but you get what you pay for. The quality of life and lack of infrastructure in
those countries leave a lot to be desired. Safety is a concern, especially where
paramilitary police have power or where police are corrupt, as in Mexico.
Costa Rica is politically stable and is unique in having no army. Although
theft occurs, violent crime is minimal.

So to the person who is wondering about retiring to Costa Rica because
it is more expensive than the other countries in the region, I would say
research more than just economics because other components are more
important.

What about panama and Nicaragua?

Here is a foreigner’s take on Panama,” Panama City has very little
access to the ocean, for a city right on the water. Most hotels own right to
the water’s edge. Panama City’s harbor reeks of pollution at low tide. The
causeway that passes by the ocean is usually noisy and choked with traffic.
The weather is uncomfortably hot and humid (those who live on Costa Rica’s
coast will find this untrue, but those who prefer the moderate climate of the
Central Valley will relate). As a result, you live constantly inside, with closed
windows and air conditioning.”

“According to the most recent polls forty-seven percent of all
Panamanians view crime as the most pressing problem. The number of
homicides has increased the last couple of years: 444 in 2007, 593 in 2008
and at the rate things are going the latter number will be topped. Forty-
two percent of the murders have to do with drugs and fighting among local
gangs.”

“Poverty is another issue in Panama. The country has one of the worst
distributions of wealth in Latin American which helps explain why nearly 30
percent of the population is living in poverty.”

“Up in the mountain above David (the northern part of Panama,
including Boquete), the climate is like the Costa Rica’s Central Valley. Nice.

No crime. Friendly people who have not yet learned that an foreigner’s
pockets are a good way to accelerate one’s retirement plan. But there’s
not much to do there. It reminds me of what I hear Costa Rica was like
20 years ago.”

“Those who love Panama refer to the more efficient government, the
good roads and road signs that make one think he is in a real country, and
not a pueblo. They mention the cheaper prices (which are lower if you buy
goods produced in Panama, but otherwise are fairly comparable to prices in
Costa Rica). Yes, there is a police presence, but supposedly they are there
to protect the foreign tourist, and not to favor the nationals, as happens
reportedly in Costa Rica. They mention the government’s tax breaks for
foreigners (but neglect to mention that these are an endangered species,
since the government has twice tried to remove them, and eventually will
succeed).”

“What I did not like about Panama: Cops of various kinds are
everywhere, constantly stopping people randomly to check your credentials
etc. We had a scary run-in with an immigration cop who threatened us
and extracted a bribe from us (Long story but we basically just made an
innocent mistake and the guy took advantage of that to mess with us.) The
nature (parks, forests) there is more “tucked away” in parks as opposed to
being visible everywhere like in Costa Rica People didn’t seem as friendly
as in Costa Rica.”

“Rather than live in Panama City, I’d go for Miami at today’s lower real
estate prices, better access to beaches and better sales at stores.”

Here is another report about Panama: “I have decided to leave Panama
City. One of the reasons is that my wife is afraid to leave the house because of
the rapidly rising crime rates, especially the murders and killings that saturate
the television stations every night. It has been said that the largest number
of assassinations never make it to the news room because the government is
covering up in order to protect the image of Panama as a retirement paradise.
Another is the incredible deterioration in the quality of life in the capital city
in the last five years. I have neighbors who are extremely inconsiderate of
their co-owners and insist on making life difficult for others in their pursuit
of self satisfaction.

“ It gets tiring after a while to have to be fighting the service providers
such as the banks, cable companies, phone companies to keep them from
abusing their customers with incompetent service. It is almost as if it were
a national obligation to stick it to the other guy lest you be considered.
Everyday you are fighting tooth and nail to exercise one upmanship on all
with whom you come in contact throughout the day to day dealings that
are required. This is especially true when you see the maniacs driving on the
roadways of the capital.”

“The country beginning with the government from the highest to lowest
level is totally corrupt. The business sector probably less so. That isn’t to
say that there are no honest people, there are but they have no power to
make changes. It isn’t hard to imagine that if improvements are not made
in reducing corruption, the consequences of political upheaval will make
living here more unbearable. Most anglos do not follow the news because
they are incompetent in Spanish and are not aware of what is going on. I,
fortunately, am fluent in the language, read it and therefore do notice the
ongoing cover ups.”

On the other hand, here is what resident says about Costa Rica. “Costa
Rica has one of the most pacifist cultures in the world. Think of it: it has been
almost 60 years since Costa Rica outlawed the army. This is the reason that
I always return to Costa Rica its lack of an army. When I first arrived here
in 1978, they used to boast that they had more teachers than policemen. I
don’t know if that is still true but they still put more emphasis on education
and health than any other Central American country, not to mention the
States and many European countries.

As for Nicaragua, is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere
after Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled to Costa Rica
to seek employment opportunities that don’t exists in their own country
where the average income is under $100 per month. Unfortunately, Mother
Nature has raised havoc with the country in the form of a devastating
earthquake which leveled Managua in the 1970s and Hurricane Mitch in the
1980s. Combine this with a who string of unscrupulous leaders like Ortega
and Alemán who have stolen millions form the impoverished country and
constant political squabbles and you have country immersed in a quagmire
from which it may never emerge.

Home ownership is also in question in Nicaragua since the Sandinistas
of the 1980s confiscated many properties. To this day this problem has not
been resolved.

Crime has been on the upswing in Nicaragua, according to the U.S.
State Department. The State Department also warned that U.S. citizens
“are increasingly targeted shortly after arriving in the country by criminals
posing as Nicaraguan police officers who pull their vehicles — including
those operated by reputable hotels — over for inspection. In each case, the
incidents happened after dark and involved gun-wielding assailants who
robbed passengers of all valuables and drove them to remote locations where
they were left to fend for themselves.

A place to invest

Costa Rica is a place for people seeking economic opportunities for
those who believe in and are willing to seek something better in this world
and in their lives. Costa Rica has a myriad of business opportunities awaiting
creative, hard-working individuals. You can run a global business from here
by using Internet access, fax machines and cell phones. It is also relatively easy
to start a small business on a shoestring. Tax incentives and a government
that encourages investments and affords investors the same rights as citizens
contribute to a propitious business climate. Many countries either do not
permit non-citizens to own property or they place restrictions on foreign-
owned real estate, but this is not the case in Costa Rica. Anyone may buy real
estate with all the legal rights of citizens. Actually, an investment in Costa
Rica today is much better than an investment in California real estate was
30 years ago.

What gets people excited about Costa Rica is that it offers some of
the best real estate on the planet at affordable prices. Prices will eventually
go up as the rest of the world catches on. There’s only so much beautiful
beachfront and prime real estate left in the world. When you consider that
almost every bit of coastline in the United States is becoming overcrowded
and overpriced, Costa Rica seems like a bargain.

Passive investors will find CDs, second mortgages or other investments
that offer a high interest rate in colones annually. These returns are good when
you consider that a million dollars invested in the United States at a standard
two to four percent annual rate will generate only$25,000 to $40,000 a year
if you are lucky in today’s economy.

A burgeoning global economy and the Internet communications
revolution have created unlimited possibilities for doing business in Central
and South America. Furthermore, trade pacts between Costa Rica, the
United States, Mexico and South America are becoming a reality. These
free-trade treaties promise to link all of the nations in the hemisphere in to
one trading block.

Costa Rica’s current prosperity is being fueled by the immigration of
affluent baby boomers from around the world seeking their own piece of
paradise and the same engine that has fueled the growth in California for
the last 30 years, technology. When Intel decided it needed more capacity,
they looked all over the western hemisphere and chose Costa Rica for the
very same reasons you will.

Word is getting out about Costa Rica. And that’s why now is such a
good time to invest.

The adventure of starting over

Some move here to start over and seek adventure in an exotic land. They
are tired of dead-end jobs or the rat race and want new challenges, a chance
to pursue their dreams and achieve greater personal growth. As a foreigner,
you have the challenge of immersing yourself in a new culture and, if you
choose, the rewards of learning a foreign language.

Newcomers can make friends easily because foreigners gravitate towards
one another. One transplant from Florida told us he had lived in Florida
for 20 years and hardly ever had contact with his neighbors. He claims not
to be the most sociable person in the world, nevertheless he has made more
than a hundred friends in Costa Rica. He proudly says, “Everywhere I go I
bump into people I know.”

As strange as it may seem moving to Costa Rica has helped thousands
of Americans improve their lives. Unplugging from their past and moving
to a foreign country can make you feel rejuvenated and change your whole
outlook on life. By living better with less as you can do in Costa Rica, people
find their lives do change for the better. Scores of people adopt a simpler and
less complicated Latin lifestyle. You just get a sense by looking at many of
the ex-pats here that they have experienced personal growth by immersing
themselves in all that Costa Rica has to offer. You would probably have to
live here for a while to understand this, but the signs of renewed energy and
vitality can be seen on most everyone’s face who makes the move.

Why do some people choose to live overseas?

Most citizens of the United States and Canada feel comfortable living
where they have always resided. Some are lucky enough to have invested in
property and have good retirement programs, affordable health insurance,
stocks, bonds or IRAs to ensure a good quality of life during their retirement
years.

Others may not be so fortunate. They realize that they may have not
planned well and may be a little short on money to maintain their present
lifestyle. A simple solution is to try to lower their standard of living and be
more frugal in their own country to compensate for poor financial planning
and/or bad investments. They can downsize to a smaller home, move to a
more affordable but less suitable area, give up their yearly vacations, fire the
gardener and cut back on other areas of their life to just scrape by. But what
if they could move to another country with the same amount of income and
improve their lifestyle dramatically instead of reducing it?

Ernst & Young reported last year that three out of five (60%) middle
class retirees would outlive their financial assets if they didn’t cut back on
spending significantly. Please stop and think about this for a minute. Can
you imagine a life in retirement where every day you worry that you will live
longer than your money lasts? What would you do? How would you allocate
your precious resources? Would you cut back on, food or medicine? Both
perhaps? The thoughts of a life like this are just plain frightening.

The math gets ugly when it comes to gaining back a loss. (Note: a
50% drop requires a 100% gain to break even) The S & P has decreased
considerably and continues to be volatile. It’s going to take a lot of earnings
to justify a big rally.

The other major source of funding that people have planned on for
retirement is the equity built up in their homes. Many retirees expected to
sell their appreciated home asset and use those funds for a new acquisition in
a warmer climate and then bank the rest for additional income in the golden
years. We all know what has happened to the value of most homes in North
America. Retirees planning to free up cash for a retirement purchase will
likely find the numbers lacking

The bottom line is that we don’t have to leave our future in the hands of
the uncertain and volatile real estate and stock markets. There are concrete
things that we can do to take control and assure a higher quality of life in
retirement (or anytime) for less cost.

Living in the right country outside the United States can make all the
difference in the world between just subsisting and maintaining the lifestyle
to which you are accustomed. Costa Rica offers a viable alternative.

The idea of living overseas is not new. The huge number of Americans
due to retire is staggering. Currently almost 40 percent of the population
of the United States is over 50. By 2020, half the U.S. population will be
over 50. Most Americans ages 41 to 59 say they will move when they retire.

Adjusting and keeping busy

Adjustment to a new way of life can take many months. However, an
open mind, a positive attitude and a willingness to seek out new experiences
can make the transition relatively painless.

Costa Rica has come a long way in the last decade. Satellite and DirecTV
(called Sky here), private mail service and the Internet make it easier to stay
in touch with family and friends in the United States and keep up with what
is going on all over the world. If you don’t own a computer, you can go to
an Internet café.

Costa Rica’s modern technology has made life easy for foreign residents.
In most areas of the country you can get cash at a local ATM, manage your
investments online and read almost any major newspaper in the world the
day it comes out.

A friend of mine, a 20-year resident of Costa Rica, said, “ My days are so
filled with exciting activities and interesting experiences that each day seems
like a whole lifetime. I really feel that I have discovered the fountain of youth.”

Single men are attracted to the country because it has the reputation of
having the most beautiful, flirtatious and accessible women in Latin America. It
comes as no surprise that Costa Rican women are highly sought as companions
by foreign men of all ages. Single men will have no problem finding love,
romance and a second chance in life with a devoted Costa Rican woman.

You will never be bored here unless you choose to be. Costa Rica has
something for everyone. In The Tico Times, the weekly English-language
newspaper, you can find hundreds of interesting activities: movies in English,
support groups, computer and bridge clubs — you name it, Costa Rica has it.

Living in Costa Rica can open the door to a new and exciting life. Who
knows? You may never want to return home.

One expatriate’s experience

Michael Pierpont, the founder of Sunburst Coffee, fell in love with Costa
Rica a few years ago and knew right away that this was where he wanted to
live. You, too, may find that you want to spend more than just a few weeks
every year in this delightful country.

“People ask me all the time why I chose Costa Rica,” says Michael. “I
like this country for several reasons. First, it is a spectacularly beautiful place.
Along the Pacific coast you will find rocky outcrops and pounding surf. The
beaches look just like those in California, which is where I am from. But you
can buy here for one-tenth the cost of California. Inland you’ll find a lush
jungle Lake Arenal, the Irazú Volcano and coffee plantations and the most
beautiful rain forests in the world. In the northwest you will find white-sand
beaches, many that are declared turtle reserves, one of the numerous areas
in this country that is set aside for wildlife research and preservation.

“Second, and important to me, is the cost of living. I can live well in
this country on as little as $2,500 per month. You can rent a comfortable
house in San José, where I chose to settle, for $700 per month. You can
employ a full-time maid for $185 monthly. You will spend $300 per month
on groceries, $65 per month on electricity. You can see a movie for $4 and
have a nice dinner with drinks for $25.

“ Third, I was smitten by the people. Costa Ricans are good-natured
and kind, trusting and friendly and extremely beautiful. I knew I’d be happy
living and making friends here.”

“A few more notes on why I came to Costa Rica: the weather is
great, the Spanish colonial history and architecture is delightful, the small
expatriate community is welcoming and an extremely interesting bunch.
Everyone’s got a story. And best of all the taxes are low and easy to deal
with. ”

Another view of the country

One resident remarked, “There are many reasons why people come to
Costa Rica, but here are the reasons I personally hear most frequently:

1. The sweetest people in the world. The ticos welcome foreigners and, are
affectionate, and sunny.
2. One of the world’s best climates. Even in the rainy season, it beats almost
anywhere else.
3. Still affordable prices: you can build a simple but pleasant home here
for $65 per square foot.
4. A government that allows you to retire here with a modest pension.
5. Almost any part of Costa Rica is cheaper than most parts of the United
States and Europe. Exceptions might be Florida, Texas and other
southern states.
6. Medical care is excellent and inexpensive.
7. The people here are generally handsome and well-groomed. Many ladies
I emphasize lady, please are pretty, slender and appealing. We do not
encourage, however, exploitation, although it sometimes happens.
8. There are micro-climates for all tastes. I personally like the higher
elevations and mountainous areas where it is cooler and fresher. Others
crave beaches, which are hotter and more humid. There are literally
dozens of climates, and you can pick an area that is comfortable for you.
9. This is both a rustic, primitive country, and an upcoming economy with
many amenities, Internet, movies and shopping malls – you can have the
best of all worlds.
10. Although there is considerable petty pilfering here, it is also a gun-free
country for the most part, and people feel safer here than in equivalent
areas in the United States and abroad. The worst thing that might happen
to you is that someone takes your T.V. because they think they need it
more than you do.“

Actually, Costa Rica is a lot like the United states

Thirtyish expatriate Jacqueline Passy stated in her blog:

I’ve lived in San José for six months and I’ve found I can get almost anything here that
I could get in the United States. I live in a house with all the same services I
had in the United States: electricity, hot water to all my sinks and showers,
flush toilets, cable television with US programming, high-speed Internet
service, etc. The main difference is that I don’t have or need air conditioning
or heating and we are able to leave our windows open year-round.

I go shopping at supermarkets, pharmacies, malls, and other stores that
are very similar to the ones in the United States. They close earlier, but
stock almost all the same stuff.

Más x Menos and AutoMercado are very similar to U.S. supermarkets,
except some of the foods are different and the cash registers and sales displays
are actually more advanced than the ones I’ve seen in the US. I can also
buy liquor in the grocery store which is a nice change from my home state
of Washington.

The pharmacies here are well stocked and you can buy many more drugs
without a prescription than you can in North America; just tell the pharmacist
what is wrong with you, and he or she will hook you up.

Hipermás is bigger than any Wal-Mart I’ve ever been in. PriceSmart is
very similar to Costco or Sam’s Club. There are Office Depots here.

The malls here are very much like the malls in the United States,
except the VIP theaters in Terra Mall in Cartago are far superior to any
movie theater I’ve been to in the United States.

Cars and gas are more expensive than in the United States but are
becoming more common as rising middle-class incomes allow people
other than the rich to buy them. There are new car dealerships, used car
dealerships, private party sales, etc. just like in the United States.

I have yet to find a service that I used in the United States that isn’t
available here. Not only are services widely available, they are much cheaper
than in the United States. A general rule of thumb is services are cheaper
and physical things (especially imports) are more expensive.

I said I have been able to find “almost” everything here. Here are the
few things that I have not been able to find (yet):

-Christmas cookie cutters.
-Bubble tea.

-Foundation and powder in my skin tone (very pale).

-The selection of English-language books is not very big.  -
Occasionally the brand of shampoo I use is sold out in all the stores at
the same time.
-
The Sci-Fi Channel is not available on cable here, but all I wanted to
watch was Battlestar Galactica and I discovered that I could buy and
download the episodes from iTunes.
Other than the above I have had no problem obtaining the goods and
services necessary to lead an “American lifestyle”, for significantly less money
than it would cost me to live a similar lifestyle in the US.

Yes, there are some significant differences between the United States and
Costa Rica, but these have to do with culture, language, politics, economics
and climate — not with the availability of material things. So the people
who tell you that you can’t live the same sort of lifestyle here as you can in
the United States are either a) lying (and who knows what their motives
are), b) living way out in the country, or c) very poor.

Why the author chose Costa Rica:

About 35 years ago I spent a year as an exchange student in Puebla,
Mexico. It proved to be the best experience I ever had and the turning point
of my life. I truly became enamored with the Latin culture and decided I
really wanted to live in a Spanish-speaking country.

I was barely 20 years old and still had to finish my last year of undergraduate
work at UCLA. Nevertheless,I did not give up on my dream.  After graduating,
I obtained a teaching credential so I would have three months of vacation
each year to explore Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

My journey began with Guatemala. Every country I visited in Central and
South America had something to offer. But as a whole Costa Rica was by far
the leader of the pack. Brazil had Rio and its vibrant culture. Argentina had
cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Mendoza, the Pampas, Patagonia and Bariloche.
Chile had its Switzerland-like lake region in the south and Santiago in the
center of the country set against the backdrop of the Andes. Peru had Lake
Titicaca, pre-colonial Cuzco and Machu Picchu with its rich Incan culture.
Ecuador had the Galapagos Islands and colonial Quito. But none of these
countries, including beautiful Mexico to the north, came close to Costa Rica
as a whole. So, after extensive research and travel I decided the country
where I really wanted to live was Costa Rica.

I began to return to Costa Rica every chance I had. My first trip was for two weeks. My next visit was for a month. Each time I found a way toprotract my stay. I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area but found myselfspending most of my time thinking about Costa Rica. I really felt more at home there than in the United States. Consequently, I decided to follow my heart and move to Costa Rica to pursue my dream. I did not want to wait
until I was 65 years old and retired to make the move.

All of my friends and relatives said I was crazy to give up a secure teaching
position and move abroad. They just couldn’t understand why I would leave
the comforts of the good old USA to move to a third world country. Some
even asked me if there was a revolution going on in Costa Rica. Obviously
they were confusing Costa Rica with Nicaragua and El Salvador of the 1980s.

Needless to say, I made my move twenty-nine years ago and have never
looked back. I love the country, the culture and the people. My adopted
country has been very good to me and I have found success and happinesshere.

¡Pura vida!

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