Three Years Under Our Belt...

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April 2012 marks the third anniversary of our new life in Costa Rica.  Will it be forever... only time will tell.  But as of now, we would both agree that life is good and we would not have it any other way.

We moved to Costa Rica, not because of politics but solely for economic reasons.  We knew, without a doubt, that we would (in all likelihood) outlive our nest egg if we were to remain in the U.S..  And it was the cost of healthcare that was the straw breaking our financial backs.

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR AND READ...

As you delve deeper into your due diligence, you will read and hear all sorts of information about Costa Rica.  Everything you take in will be biased but bias may not a bad thing.

Bias is nothing more than "an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives."  It is an opinion!

Where bias runs amok (in my opinion) is when someone puts forth ideas with the intention of enriching their financial position based on their particular perspective.  As you have read in our previous newsletters,  Rule #1 for a successful life in Costa Rica is "DON'T ASK WHY."  The second rule to success is "TRUST BUT VERIFY."  In my relatively short time in country (three years) I have seen way too many people get screwed over because they did not follow Rule #2. 

Roger Peterson, a well know Costa Rican Attorney, told an audience at a recent International Living Conference, "If you can't see it, smell it or touch it, then it probably does not exist!"  Those are words to live by if you are planning to move here and be successful.  I'm not throwing stones, I just want to make everybody aware...

"think with your head and not with your heart."

A FEW REVELATIONS - A FEW BUSTED MYTHS

Don't get me wrong, we are not Costa Rican experts, but in our first three years living in country we can say (without reservation) that there are some misconceptions on how Costa Rica is perceived by the outside world. 

Two of the biggest issues driving gringos to seek a better life outside their borders are Costa Rica's extremely low cost of living and incredible public healthcare system.  You'll hear from many of the "so called" experts that you will live like an absolute king on just your Social Security.  How well you live will be determined by how you want to live.  Your dollars will go farther hear provided you are willing to make some concessions in the way you live.  You'll also hear (from some of these same experts) that you should have complete confidence in Costa Rica's national healthcare system.  It's time to wake up and smell the (Costa Rican) coffee!

Truth be told, Costa Rica is an emerging nation.  While it wants to play in the same sandbox as other, more advanced countries play, Costa Rica is simply not there yet.  We are suffering from the same thing other countries suffer; rising inflation, higher taxes, antiquated infrastructure, corrupt politicians and growing crime.  The rising costs at the grocery stores is just one telltale example.  And lately it seems that the solution for our growing national debt is to create new taxes.  Sound familiar? 

Don't get me wrong, I am not writing this article to bash Costa Rica but rather encourage those who are looking for a "better life" solution, outside the shores of North America, do so with their eyes wide open.  It is essential one must understand the difference between fact and propaganda.  I just read an interesting observation this morning in a Facebook post by a U.S. expat living in Atenas Costa Rica...

"Anyone else notice that the folks involved in promoting the notion of a cheaper retirement
in Costa Rica all seem to be trying to supplement their income by promoting the notion
of a cheaper retirement in Costa Rica?"

Just understand, we love our life here and we have absolutely ZERO REGRETS about making the move.  Our sole ambition is to share our life experiences with you, be they good or bad. 

 

Gracias y un gran día - Thanks and have a great day!




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