Many people who receive
Social Security benefits have elected to have
their monthly checks automatically deposited
into a Costa Rican bank. As soon as you
have made the decision to return home, change
your auto deposit back to your US bank account.
Some people have reported this process to be
fast and easy while others have reported
everything in Costa Rica, processes here are
consistently inconsistent. Leave
adequate time so as to complete this
process while you are still in country.
Your Bank Account
Drain your bank account
before leaving. Once you leave CR, don't
think you can simply have your Costa Rican funds
wire transferred to you. Use your debit
card to withdraw funds.
If you have large sums on
deposit, seek the guidance of a competent
financial professional, preferably one who is
not currently under indictment.
Closing Your Bank
Remember how difficult it
was to "open" your CR Bank account? Well
they don't make it any easier if you want to
My friend Lenny went to
close out his account a few months back.
After standing on three different lines and
being told to talk to three different people,
Lenny finally got smart. Over the course
of four days, he withdrew all his cash via ATM
and simply walked away leaving 1000 colones in
the account. The bank will eventually
close the account due to inactivity but what
does he care; he's long gone.
And that is
how we plan to end our relationship with Banco Nacional.
Paying Your Bills
Pay all your bills before
leaving but be careful that you are NOT paying
any bills for future services. That may
include cable TV and cell phone bills.
As for your electric bill,
most electric meters are read on last day of
every month and the bills are generated on or
about the 12th.
of the month.
What we have elected
to do is to ask a friend to make that
payment for us. Since our bills normally
run $250-300 each month, we will give our friend
$250. He will cover the balance (if there
is any). We then deposit any shortage into
his U.S. bank account.
When you first moved to
Costa Rica, you probably came here bring
everything that was near and dear to your heart.
In retrospect, a lot of
what you brought you never used. Am I
right? Now you want to return home and
all you can think about is
"OMG... I have to ship all this shit back!"
The answer is NO YOU DON'T... think first!
I have personal friends who
came to CR several years ago. They brought TWO 40'
containers filled to the brim including an aged
Chrysler mini-van. After many years in
country they decided to return to the States but this
time filling only ONE 40' container. Keep
in mind, that is still 2560 cubic feet of
When we moved here, we
brought (a half full) 20' container or about 640
cubic feet of absolute necessities. I am
now estimating that we will return with less
than 200 cubic feet, and of that, about
25% belongs to friends who have moved or are moving
back to the States.
Skinny Can be Quite Profitable...
When we decided to finally
pull the plug, it was our plan to leave
behind all furniture and possessions that would
not be of benefit to us in our new home. Step one was to
identify everything not making the trip.
We looked at
everything we owned and asked
Our rationale was
The next step was
to execute the plan.
I created a website listing
all the stuff we planned on selling including brand new recliner chairs down to a cheap
Styrofoam cooler. I even sold off my massive DVD
collection (that I rarely watched) that
contained over 300 disks. I decided to rip
them (digitize and transfer) all the
titles to a to a large capacity, 3 terabyte hard
drive thereby allowing me to watch (if I want)
any or all of the titles whenever I want.
And the best part, we made
enough money to pay 100% of our repatriation