Costa Rica

While tourism and retirement have put it on the map for quite a while, Costa Rica remains an idyllic paradise.

Location: Central America

Currency:  Costa Rican colón (1 USD = approx 580 Costa Rican colónes)

Time Zone: GMT -6 (Your 6 pm BJT classes start at 4 am in Costa Rica.)

Population: 5 Million

​Internet Speed: Costa Rica offers some of the best internet coverage in Latin America- not surprising considering this has been a hot spot for American retirees for decades now. However, the speeds leave a lot to be desired. In Speed Test’s Global Rankings, Costa Rica comes in at 97th with speeds of 24 down and 6 up for fixed broadband. However, broadband infrastructure is being rapidly improved as of 2019. This should lead to improved access and speed.

Visa: If you are American, you can travel to Costa Rica without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Costa Rica has become a hot spot for retirees from abroad. The retirement visa requires pension income of only $1,000 USD per month to qualify. Those who are not retired can apply for a residence permit for rentiers (or rentista visa). It requires the applicant to have a guaranteed income of at least $2,500 USD per month for at least two years. For more information, check out the consulate’s website.

​Healthcare: Costa Rica is commonly rated as one of the top retirement spots and one reason is the easy access to outstanding care. I remember hearing of the excellent surgeons in San Jose when I was there 25 years ago. Like many countries in Central America, Costa Rica offers public healthcare to its citizens and residents. Expats can also choose affordable private coverage to supplement the national coverage. Check out World Nomads travel insurance

Cost of Living: Costa Rica is an outstanding retirement destination. However, it is not as cheap as it once was. International Living estimates that a single person will need between $1,400-1,700 per month to live in CR. Numbeo places rents in the city center somewhere around $500 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The information provided in this article is provided purely as a matter of convenience and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney before making the decision to relocate.