Costa Rica Retirement: The Best Things in Life Are Free

  • by crv.staff
  • 04.04.11
  • 10:02 PM UTC

Source : The Costa Rica news

Kat Sunlove,

Those of us of retirement age can certainly remember these old song lyrics:

The moon belongs to ev’ryone
The best things in life are free
The stars belong to ev’ryone
They gleam there for you and me

The flowers in spring
The robins that sing
The sunbeams that shine
They’re yours, they’re mine

And love can come to ev’ryone
The best things in life are free

Orchid Costa RicaThose sentiments could well apply to life here in Costa Rica. The tropical moon generously fills a star-spangled sky, a riot of flowers of red, orange, yellow, pink and orchid blanket the landscape and exotic animals from iguanas to monkeys to Turquoise-browed Motmot birds pay a visit at no charge to the viewer. Truly, much of the best parts of life here are free.

But even in retirement one must pay rent and utilities, buy food, deal with transportation needs and see a doctor now and then. So in answer to still another question from my reader Douglas, let’s take a look at Costa Rica’s cost of living.

Douglas lives in Austin, Texas, and he wondered if Costa Rica’s cost of living was “comparable to the U.S.” But of course, the cost of living in North America varies from one state to another, from small town to big city, even neighborhood to neighborhood. Equally important are variables unique to the individual of what income level one enjoys and what lifestyle choices a family makes. Do you feel you need two cars and a truck or is public transportation an option? Can you just not live without going to the theater twice a month or to a movie twice a week? Is that swimming pool a luxury or a necessity? Do you cook at home or eat out a lot? We make decisions every day that impact our financial resources, many of them a result of the bombardment of marketing messages in the media. Buy this, buy that, the ads command, and often consumers comply.

Generalizations about the cost of living in the U.S. or Costa Rica are difficult to make and harder to quantify. Living in a modest Tico-style house in a small rural pueblo is much cheaper than life in a modern Santa Ana condominium. Making use of buses and taxis rather than owning a car can save $5000 per year or more, according to our auto-owning friends. Stocking up on vegetables and fruits at the weekly feria (Costa Rican farmer’s market) not only yields fresh local produce but also is cost effective. It’s all in the choices you make.

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