New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourselves here - 2018

Thanks for the tip. I was aware of the issue. I was wondering if there are companies that do sponsored visas or something of that sort.

Hi all,
I currently live in the Bay Area in California, but sometime in the next few years I plan to move to Costa Rica to live near my daughter and son-in-law, who have a farm about an hour from San Ysidro del General.  One thing I'm wondering about is how people deal with the ban on importing prescription drugs from the US.   I'd be very interested to hear about anyone's experience with that.
Peggy

Hi:

Thank you for your welcome email!  I was wondering if you have a link that could be accessed to introduce ourselves (brand newbies).

Thx,
Linda

Hi Linda;
Right here is just the right spot for that!!!
Welcome to the group.
Terry

peggyk, since there is no alternative, you will just have to accept that you can't send/receive meds through the mail. You will  either have to purchase them in a pharmacy here,  if they are available or return to the USA to get your Rx filled.

Ho my name is leah and my family and I are staring to look into moving down south I'm new to this and not sure where to start with legalities and such can anyone help me out. This has been our dream for awhile now and want to make it a reality any help is good help

Suggest you read the info on this website, when considering  moving to Costa Rica.

Regarding working here

And the approx, cost involved

Unfortunately, many people make the decision to make this move, when they haven't previously visited Costa Rica.

With the Canadian dollar being what is is, it will make it sooo much more expensive for you to live here. Please read the info on becoming a' non-resident of Canada for tax purposes'

It is said that between 50-60% of those making this move, return 'home' within 2-3 years.

LLOVESDEX :

Ho my name is leah and my family and I are staring to look into moving down south I'm new to this and not sure where to start with legalities and such can anyone help me out. This has been our dream for awhile now and want to make it a reality any help is good help

Hola LLovesDex,

Welcome to Expat.com!

You can gain a lot of information by reading through recent and older posts in the Forum section.  It will give you a better perspective on whether or not Costa Rica fits your needs.  As mentioned already, you definitely would want to spend as much time as possible here exploring the country before deciding on a move.  It's important to look around and not come down just as a vacation.  Vacationing and "seeing" what it would be like to live here are two different worlds.

Feel free to ask any questions that you don't find answers to in previous post.  We're here to help.

Best of luck on you future adventure!  ☀️🌴

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Hi!!  My name is Sally, and I am a 62 year old, disabled and disgruntled American, looking forward to moving to either Costa Rica or Panama within the next 4 to 6 months....I have been researching areas for the last 6 months and would love to live on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica!!  All the towns look quaint and relaxed.  I am on SSDI, and receive a check the third Wednesday of every month.  Living on a limited income in the USA is almost impossible.....there has to be a better place!!!  So I started looking and Costa Rica keeps coming back to my mind!  I have thousands of questions!!!!  Thanks for letting me join your forum!!!  I look forward to conversing with you all!!!  :)

Sally, if your disability includes problems with mobility, Costa Rica is not for you. Sidewalks are terrible, with poles in them, uncovered holes and a very uneven surface in most areas of the country. While the public bus system is reasonably good and cheap climbing up the steep steps can be daunting.

It could take a year or more for your Pensionado residency to be completed and in the mean time, you would not be covered by the healthcare system so you would be required to purchase your Rx's, 'over the counter.' Meds cannot be mailed here. Not all your present Rx'S may be available or supplied by CAJA the healthcare system, and generic meds are often substituted

While the minimum amount required for residency is $1000 per month, this is not to enough to live on, in my opinion.

Info on cost involved for your Residency application

Thanks for the info!!

I  added the wrong link yesterday. :rolleyes:

A previous post  in the Spanish language periodical, and electronically translated.

https://www.nacion.com/el-pais/salud/co … 6RE/story/

SallyReid :

Hi!!  My name is Sally, and I am a 62 year old, disabled and disgruntled American, looking forward to moving to either Costa Rica or Panama within the next 4 to 6 months....I have been researching areas for the last 6 months and would love to live on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica!!  All the towns look quaint and relaxed.  I am on SSDI, and receive a check the third Wednesday of every month.  Living on a limited income in the USA is almost impossible.....there has to be a better place!!!  So I started looking and Costa Rica keeps coming back to my mind!  I have thousands of questions!!!!  Thanks for letting me join your forum!!!  I look forward to conversing with you all!!!  :)

Hola Sally,

Welcome to Expat.com!

I have experienced a lot of what you are saying and would be happy to help and explain a few things to you.  I am going to send  you a private post.

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Hello, everyone.

I’m Connie. I’m now in Puerto Viejo, CR, one of many planned journeys with possible move. I’m on a spiritual quest to find someone long lost, another American. The US embassy has been of no help.

Hi

I am from India and living in Costa Rica for last three years.
My husband and I are software professionals.
We will be moving to United States in few months. So selling some of kids stuff.

Thanks,
Meenu

re Residency costs. Wherever you go, whatever residency attorney or firm you use, my advice is to ask for a discount from stated prices.
Fact is they do very little for the money and at least some of them are willing to accept less. Tell them you are looking for a better price... and see if they offer you one.

We are Deb and Russ.....we have a 2 yr plan to live in Costa Rica....we need state of the art WIFI to continue our work.....we are NOT interested in having a life at the standard we left in Las Vegas,,,we want to be able to  connect to the those who live there....we are both working on learning Latin American Spanish.....I want a place we can love nature....Lake Arenal meets our needs...we garden...we have to have a pool and a casita

Know that Costa Rica isn't not known for reliable, high speed internet. I doubt that you will find 'state of the ark' WiFi in the Arenal area,

Around the San Jose area will probably be your best bet.

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste.  Fly into Liberia and Playa Hermosa is only 20 minutes away.  Its very chill here but just over the hill is Playa del Cocos where there is plenty of expat action.

DebP :

We are Deb and Russ.....we have a 2 yr plan to live in Costa Rica....we need state of the art WIFI to continue our work.....we are NOT interested in having a life at the standard we left in Las Vegas,,,we want to be able to  connect to the those who live there....we are both working on learning Latin American Spanish.....I want a place we can love nature....Lake Arenal meets our needs...we garden...we have to have a pool and a casita

Obviously I haven't been all over Costa Rica but super reliable internet may not be available at all, or at least if it is, it's rare.
Like for example here in San Ramon, in town, I hear there are very fast connections available. But reliable? Let me put it this way:
When I go into pay bills at a store that is on a network designed for that, often I get the response, "Sorry, I can't do it right now. The system is down."
I don't know anyone, anywhere in the country, who has completely 100% reliable internet like I had in the USofA with ATT UVerse.

As Kohlerias said, your best bet will be in or around San Jose.
However, as I said, you MAY find it somewhere else, but you'll want to talk to neighbors and make sure before believing someone who wants to rent or sell you a house and says, "yes, our internet is state of the art here!"

I know people in the states who are getting 70+ MBPS speeds. You will not find that here. You may find around 15mbps if you're lucky. I know people who are lucky to get 1/2MBPS... (that's one half, not 12)...

Now, that said, where I am here in San Ramon, it is 90% reliable. But there are times when it's raining or foggy or cloudy when it doesn't work reliably. But I do use the internet daily, on my laptop, and I seldom have a problem.

We can watch Netflix but occasionally Netflix won't work (like 5% of the time, or less). So that gives you some idea what I mean when I say "unreliable". But I do know other people in other locations where they have a lot more problems than we do here. Costa Rica is "behind" in internet technology and hardware.

Joanbozman :

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste.  Fly into Liberia and Playa Hermosa is only 20 minutes away.  Its very chill here but just over the hill is Playa del Cocos where there is plenty of expat action.

Are you saying Playa Hermosa has "state of the art" internet?
Or are you just saying it's a good place to live near the beach?

My husband Russ and I are exploring relocating to Arenal…..we are not looking to live in a cheaper place...but a more peaceful place...….with lots of outside activities...and the privilege of meeting the hationals…..and learning from them as well...

Hello folks..First post..Currently live in Calgary and would like to move to a warmer climate. Have been subscribing to International Living (IL) and it's interesting how they present CR compared to you folks down there (ie significantly cheaper/low crime etc). You folks have certainly opened my eyes more than the magazine. Our budget would be about $3500 per month. Initially thinking about waterfront view where we can get out and do snorkelling paddleboarding/kayaking and we do enjoy some night life but not being immersed in it. IL recommended the southern areas of CR as the up and coming but perhaps you guys have a different opinion. We are hoping to get down to CR in Feb/March for a good month and explore. Also considering Panama/Belize again based on international living magazine..Wonder what the folks on the Panama/Belize thoughts are compared to the magazine..Anyhow great to be able to hear from you guys and look forward to immersing myself in the posts as our winter arrived in Calgary yesterday with 34cm of snow.

Cheers
Al and Mary Anne

Make sure to read what it means to become a 'non resident of Canada for tax purposes' and how it will affect your budget, and of course the low Canadian $$$$

Good info on this website regarding Residency in Costa Rica

Suggest you rent first for an extended period until you are sure your intended area is right 'for you'.

yycwrangler
We checked out Belize in 2009 (as well as Mexico for four years prior).  Made the big move from Blackfalds AB in 2014.  No regrets!
Best of luck on your search.

We also checked out, Belize, Mexico and Panama.

Hi everyone,

New to the forum and currently live just outside of Saskatoon,SK.  My wife and I just sold our business and we are locked into working until june of 2019.  We have decided that working for someone else is not quite as fun as we had hoped lol.  We are younger 48 and 40 and our daughter is 11.  We are financially stable thanks to the sale of our business.  Of course the cheaper we can live the more money we will have for our long retirement.  Ideally i thought perhaps i could run a small tourist business in CR perhaps even just tours.  We have been doing a lot of research into CR and have found a lot of great info especially on this site.  We go from being very excited to very nervous.  I have read a few articles on budgets and it seems all over the place.  From what i have read CR is not as cheap as it used to be, however cost of living can be much cheaper than Canada if your willing to let go of the junk in life.  We currently have a 3.5 acre yard and house.  My thoughts were to rent in CR for 6 months (great advice from this form) then sell our home and replace it with a home of similar value or less in CR.  After reading today about the difficulty selling homes in CR and that most only last 2-3 years again i'm nervous lol.  We have never been to CR but have vacationed lots in Mexico as well as Caribbean countries.  We plan on making our first trip next month to check it out.  The attraction of  CR is ease of residence ($200,000 investment), stable gov, high quality of life, great people.  We have no Spanish speaking abilities but we are motivated to assimilate into the culture, and i agree if you want the full experience you need to speak the language.  We are trying to narrow down locations first and it seems the Valley or Gold coast might meet our needs. We have no desire to live in a city.  I dreamed of the ocean front home, but again after reading i think hillside our mountains would be better.  This decision is based upon the cooler temperature and no need for A/C.  Downside is perhaps more bugs.  We have looked into school with international accreditation and it seems that will cost up to $1000 USD per month, which i thought was a little high.  Overall our budget could be as high as 5K USD/month, of course lower is better.  I would like to keep the cost of a house under $300K but i do have a little flexibility. 

I would appreciate any and all thoughts/ suggestions on locations, schools, etc. We are trying to plan an itinerary for a trip next month.   Thank you for having an awesome place for discussions.

I suggest that before making any decisions, you read up on the info at CRA regarding becoming a 'non-resident of Canada for tax purposes.'
Know that the mandatory healthcare system CAJA monthly payments are divided into two groups, under55/over 55, so be prepared for your premiums to be high. Note that many expats purchase private health insurance due to to long wait time for appointments.

Please visit extensively before committing to purchasing property.

Good luck!

Thank you for the information.  Now we have refined our search for english speaking schools.  Looks like central valley or gold coast.

rjxox :

Hi everyone,

New to the forum and currently live just outside of Saskatoon,SK.  My wife and I just sold our business and we are locked into working until june of 2019.  We have decided that working for someone else is not quite as fun as we had hoped lol.  We are younger 48 and 40 and our daughter is 11.  We are financially stable thanks to the sale of our business.  Of course the cheaper we can live the more money we will have for our long retirement.  Ideally i thought perhaps i could run a small tourist business in CR perhaps even just tours.  We have been doing a lot of research into CR and have found a lot of great info especially on this site.  We go from being very excited to very nervous.  I have read a few articles on budgets and it seems all over the place.  From what i have read CR is not as cheap as it used to be, however cost of living can be much cheaper than Canada if your willing to let go of the junk in life.  We currently have a 3.5 acre yard and house.  My thoughts were to rent in CR for 6 months (great advice from this form) then sell our home and replace it with a home of similar value or less in CR.  After reading today about the difficulty selling homes in CR and that most only last 2-3 years again i'm nervous lol.  We have never been to CR but have vacationed lots in Mexico as well as Caribbean countries.  We plan on making our first trip next month to check it out.  The attraction of  CR is ease of residence ($200,000 investment), stable gov, high quality of life, great people.  We have no Spanish speaking abilities but we are motivated to assimilate into the culture, and i agree if you want the full experience you need to speak the language.  We are trying to narrow down locations first and it seems the Valley or Gold coast might meet our needs. We have no desire to live in a city.  I dreamed of the ocean front home, but again after reading i think hillside our mountains would be better.  This decision is based upon the cooler temperature and no need for A/C.  Downside is perhaps more bugs.  We have looked into school with international accreditation and it seems that will cost up to $1000 USD per month, which i thought was a little high.  Overall our budget could be as high as 5K USD/month, of course lower is better.  I would like to keep the cost of a house under $300K but i do have a little flexibility. 

I would appreciate any and all thoughts/ suggestions on locations, schools, etc. We are trying to plan an itinerary for a trip next month.   Thank you for having an awesome place for discussions.

Well first of all, if you can't live on $5k a month here, even with a $1k/mo. school bill, there's something seriously wrong.

Also you should be able to get a very nice 2-3 br house in the mountains for under $200k.

As others have said, do not even think about buying land or house until living here for months at a time. Big difference between living here, dealing with banks, stores, government etc - vs vacationing here.

Living at the ocean is great but you gotta live ON the ocean imho, not "near the ocean". Big difference.

Living in the mountains is cooler, more tranquilo, less humidity (though of course there is still humidity anywhere here).

WIth your budget I would plan to research first and rent down here for 6 months or a year before buying. You should be able to rent a 2-3 br house for anywhere between $500 and $900 a month. That will give you a chance to see what it's like to live here before buying. It's different and some don't like living here after awhile. The key is you have to learn to accept a lot of stuff that may drive you nuts if you're a Type A personality. It is a "developing" country which means for one thing that things aren't always reliable, things don't always work, and it's much different than living in the USA.

Also check to see if there is a decent internet connection.

DO NOT BUY UNTIL LIVING HERE FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE  FIRST.

Thank you for the great advice.   Seems like living by the beach is expensive for a/c.  Do you suggest on the beach for the wind?

rjxox :

Thank you for the great advice.   Seems like living by the beach is expensive for a/c.  Do you suggest on the beach for the wind?

A big key to successful a.c. at the beach is to make sure your house is well insulated and tight. And my advice is anywhere you live in Costa Rica, do the same. Making it tight (i.e. no holes for hot air, bugs etc to get in) with plenty of good insulation will keep your a.c. bill down.

I suggest that the mountains are by and large better (certainly cheaper) than the beach for various reasons.
I say that IF you are going to live at the beach, live ON the beach because that is what is great about living at the beach: going in the ocean very easily and quickly any time of day or night.
If you live 1/2 km or more from  the beach, even though it seems close, you are less likely to go as often, thus living near the beach will not be as enjoyable.
I've lived at the beach and near the beach so I know this from my own experience. Of course YMMV.

One downside to the beach is mold. Unless you run central air and dehumidifiers all day you will have mold. The beach means mold. Living in the mountains you might also need a dehumidifiers but less so (of course this can vary depending on exactly where you live in the mountains. If it's near a lot of forest or in an area with heavy fog you will have some mold. If it's in a fresher area away from a lot of foliage and not in a heavy fog zone you may not.

When looking for property in the mountains use an altimeter to record what altitude each property is at. Under 2000 feet it will be hotter than at 3000 feet. At 4500 feet it can get quite cool after  the sun goes down. Some like colder weather and some do not. And vice versa with hotter weather. So you can more or less choose your level of heat by choosing the altitude. (Again other factors will play in to it such as how much shade, how much wind, how much fog, etc in your particular area. )

Costa Rica has micro-climates so literally it can be raining on your property often and less on a property just down  the road! Same with wind and fog...  So you gotta talk to neighbors.

Don't take anyone's word for it, get a consensus. One person will say "Oh, it's never hot here" and another person will say "Man, it's super hot here!" And Ticos often won't know the numbers (i.e.; 21 degrees centigrade) like a gringo might know 72 degrees F. for example) so they are just talking how it feels to THEM. And since they may have grown up in a super hot climate, for example, their saying it Never gets hot is not relevant to what you may consider hot.

All this is why one must rent first!

Again thank you.  Is the mold different than the scary North american mold?  If I only take one bit of info to heart it is the fact that we must rent first.

We have friends who just arrived and they are on their second rental.  They have mold driven respiratory problems.  Can be quite serious.  We run two dehumidifiers about four hours each day (varies by season).  Have not had a window open in three months.  Do what you need / want for yourselves.

At this time. many areas of the country are still experiencing a lot of rain and humidity, some with extensive flooding. October is usually the wettest month of the year, and at some business literally 'close down' as it is too wet.

I was speaking with  a Canadian friend yesterday, who was saying while they usually have sunny mornings at least, not so this year. She was telling me that a friend of hers, was having to keep 2 dehumidifiers running 24/7 mainly to protect her precious and expensive sewing machine... I should mention my rental house doesn't have dehumidifiers but does have a 'dry room.'

You will also be surprised how many people in the higher altitude areas have fireplaces, and not just for decorative purposes. :sick 

I would also advise you, when posting on forums, not to mention 'how much available funds you have  per month...' or to 'potential neighbors.'   Please be cautious.

I never realized mold was such an issue.  Reading the prior posts people were asking budgets to better help.  In my effort to provide enough information i perhaps gave too much.  Thank you

Have you notices no one is replying to any of the posts

rjxox :

Again thank you.  Is the mold different than the scary North american mold?  If I only take one bit of info to heart it is the fact that we must rent first.

Good idea.   I would also advise you to not sell anything in Canada and forget about getting residency for at least 5 years..  Either rent it or store it.  The odds are high you won't stay more than a few years.  Everybody thinks they will stay forever before they move here.  I did.   Now I can't wait to leave.   

I'm not insulting Costa Rica, I'm just saying it isn't for me.  Some people love it and that's great.   Many more realize that living here has 1% in common with vacationing here.  I think it's unrealistic to go to a country where you can't speak or barely speak the language, don't understand the culture, always look like and get treated like a tourist, and think that it will be paradise.    Good luck!

Take the mountain house (you already have it!) ditch the other and the job make a go of it, live in your means find something to do, maybe of service..if you have some decent retirement income and egg to go on..and each other...give it a serious effort before bailing w only a parachute..most of us have to for lack of choice..or by choice..but it takes commitment and serious effort and you have to be sure..as everyone will tell you..youre not in Kansas anymore dorthy
Visit first..stay for awhile..

sunflowerbee :

Have you notices no one is replying to any of the posts

Which posts are not being replied to?

It should be made clear that this thread is just for introducing oneself to the community here, but if you have specific questions those should be posted as a new post (or recent post on the same subject) in the main forum.

Honestly I never use these "introduce yourself" threads in forums, because yeah, they're often not responded to.  IMHO it's better to just introduce yourself in a new thread with your first question.

New topic