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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!I am NOT going to edit these emails, I will just quote them without name and provide my reply below.

June 27:

Question i know you are very busy,but i have one question.i am a 45 yr. old male.would i be able to live comfortably if i had $300,000.using this money to purchase a home and for daily expenses.i am a simple man who is tired of the rat race.i am not materialistic,but i do enjoy the creature comforts of modern living.i have read in your website about rents and home prices,but i guess i am looking for an opinion from someone with the knowledge you posess.i know this is a vague description of myself and my needs,but do you think this is feasible? i would aquire this money through liquidating my assets.selling my home and monies i have in the bank,investments,etc.

REPLY  $300,000 is MORE than sufficient to live here. If you are intelligent and take your time, you can buy a nice home here for a fraction of that.

BUT –Why buy anything? You should be able to earn at least 10% on that 300K and you can live here very easily on the 30K per year interest.

Here is my suggestion:

RENT here and travel the country until you have seen everything. You will be MUCH happier, still have your $$$ and will be much less likely to buy something stupid, overpriced or end up in an area where you won’t want to live.

Also, 40% of those who move here RETURN HOME within one year. If you are sadly one of those, you at least return home looking pretty smart as you still have your nest egg.

7 Responses to “Advice on Moving to Costa Rica”

  1. nolocontendere on August 5, 2006 1:10 am

    Hi, just found your blog while gathering information for a trip in a few months, and possibly to make the move.
    If you would, can you tell me your honest opinion on how much monthly income it would take for a retired couple to live simply but comfortably?
    And if you would, tell me how the internet access is in Costa Rica? Expensive? Spotty? Is there cable and wireless?

  2. Tim on August 5, 2006 5:50 am


    Thanks for your comment.

    Obviously you found my blog and probably already found the main site, but if not, I think your questions are covered here:


    As for the Internet, try here:


    I’ll be updated that cost of living page in ugust, so check back when you have time.


  3. Brian on August 5, 2006 8:37 pm

    Where can you earn 10% interest? Please inform me because we have thought about liquidating as well, but I’ve only seen interest rates around 5.5%. What are some alternative investment options available besides CD’s.

  4. clark mccrary on August 13, 2006 12:19 pm

    hey man,
    i am very interested in moving to costa rica.
    i am in college and want to take a year off to do something fun.
    i need help getting info on everything, i am a little out of my league and don’t know really where to start.
    thanks for the help.
    clark mccrary

  5. Tim on August 14, 2006 12:29 pm

    Well start with http://www.therealcostarica.com/ and read the sections on residency and travel.

    You can only stay in Costa Rica for 90 days on a touist visa, then you must leave the country for 72 hours. Doing this for a year should be no problem. After that, it could be a serious problem.

    You cannot work while you are here. Not legal. Bring lotsa $$$.

    Also take a look at http://forums.arcr.net and http://www.arcr.net

    Both great sources of info.

  6. Richard Noel on November 5, 2006 10:34 pm

    Off to a bad start -screen blank said wrong e-mail, etc. We would like to learn more about rentals or 2nd homes – what would rent be on an A/c house about 2500 sq ft/ pool or other water views? re 2nd home. Retired now consultant – you noted “can’t work in C.R.” What if I have a multi year fixed income contract that does not involve taking any job from a citizen? I’d like to get some maps, etc or be put in touch with an introductory “guide” Dick Noel

  7. Tim on November 7, 2006 7:50 am

    For rentals, contact a realtor in the area in which you wish to live.

    Working: If your contract is with a foreign (non Costa Rica) company, no problem BUT you still must have residency to live here. You CANNOT just live here undocumented whether you are working or not. Suggest you read the residency info again.

    You can get maps when you are here.

    As for a guide, I would need clarification on this.