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Advice on Moving to Costa Rica

July 19th, 2006

bulb.jpgSometimes I am not the brightest bulb in the pack.

It just occured to be that very often I answer emails from readers of The REAL Costa Rica who ask questions that might be of interest to readers of this BLOG. Many are on topics NOT covered in that web site, so starting right now I am starting a new Category “Questions” where you Blog readers can see my replies to these emails. Let me know in Comments if you like this idea! Continue reading »

How Many US Citizen Expats are Living in Costa Rica?

July 6th, 2006

pp.jpgI must have been asked this question about 4,000 times since I moved here. Odd as it may be, nobody seemed to know… until now. Finally, immigration has announced the figure. Of the 289,237 legal residents (foreigners) living in Costa Rica, only 8,400 are US Citizens. Continue reading »

Moving? What (not) to Bring to Costa Rica

June 17th, 2006

sweat.gifI get a lot of mail asking about moving here, especually about what to bring and what to leave behind. I thought this Post from the Forums

of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR) might be of interest to those heading for the wetter spots in CR. My wife and I live in San Jose, and while occasionally we get a humid day, it is nowhere near what folks experience who live in or near the rain forests or beach areas. Anyway, here is an interesting story about the moisture problems one couple experienced.

Continue reading »

Visit the new Real Costa Rica

June 10th, 2006

RCRI am not sure what on earth possessed me to do an entire re-write of The Real Costa Rica, but I did and it is now online for your viewing pleasure or displeasure. The most obvious thing you will notice is the new color scheme and menu system. There are also a lot of new pages, new pictures, about 500 new links… ugh. I still have to install the new search engine though the olde one seems to be working perfectly. Go figure!

Thanks to those who tested the site. Reading the same old pages for errors is booooring, but you really helped!

Anyway… here it is: The REAL Costa Rica

Enjoy!

Residency Scams

June 1st, 2006

scammerJust like real estate reps, anyone can hang out their shingle and say they are residency experts. Now come the scams as the number of persons coming to Costa Rica increases. Immigration officials, tired of the recurring problem, have filed complaints with the prosecutor’s offices specifying cases where expats who live in Costa Rica have been swindled.

One U.S. expatriate was jailed for a brief time when Immigration inspectors discovered that his documents were forgeries. The guy said he had paid a man he thought was a lawyer to obtain residency for him several years ago. He has filed his case and was awaiting a decision by Sala IV (the Costa Rica constitutional court) to determine if he would be allowed to remain in the country.

As I have warned many, do NOT shop for the best deal in residency. It is a silly as shopping for discount brain surgery. Use well known and well established residency experts and check out the local users groups for information before you spend a dime.

Trading Spaces!

May 24th, 2006

The Real Costa Rica has a Guestbook, and one reader just added a VERY interesting entry! She must have actually read my constant rantings, either here, in the RCR, or maybe in the ARCR Forums, as she wants to visit Costa Rica in August (considering a move permanently) and asked me if I knew anyone interested in trading homes for that period. I had two immediate thoughts: Continue reading »

The REAL Costa Rica (redux)

May 23rd, 2006

Every since I published the Real Costa Rica web site, I have received a zillion emails and comments in the Guestbook. Most are complimentary and a few are from people who have really dug into the RCR and found errors (precious few!), typos (a LOT) and have made suggestions on how to better the web site.

Continue reading »

Immigration Gets Two New Bosses

May 19th, 2006

Immigration department got two new bosses yesterday. Mario Zamora Cordero (36) is the new Director and Xinia María Sossa Siles (32) is the sub-Director. Both are lawyers.

Continue reading »

Why Costa Rica is Just Not for Everyone

May 18th, 2006

The writer of the article below, Michael Quinn, recently visited Costa Rica with his lovely bride Patrice.

I had the pleasure of corresponding with them before they arrived. He spend a couple of weeks here, and upon his return to the USA. Michael wrote the article below. It appears he may not be moving to Costa Rica real soon.

Continue reading »

Coming to Live in Costa Rica?

May 16th, 2006

Between three of my websites, The REAL Costa Rica, this Blog, and my personal Blog, I get maybe 200 emails per week. I try to answer them, though this is getting tougher every month, and soon it is gonna get real ugly.

The hands down #1 topic of these emails is people asking me for my advice on moving to Costa Rica. Popular questions are:

* Where are the North American communities?
* Where are the good places to live?
* Constant questions about buying property here…
* Where is the best place to buy? Live?
* Where to visit when coming here to decide about a permanent move
* Where can I get a job?
* Plus a TON of emails from scared baby boomers world-wide who are just now saying to their spouses, “Holy SHIT Martha (or Clyde), there ain’t no way we can live on our social security! We gotta get outta this place!”

So, in this Post I am going to cast some pearls to you folks!

Continue reading »

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