Trying to plan exploratory trip...

Hi,

Sorry for all this trouble but my dad and I have been researching and want to retire in Costa Rica (we think). Planning an exploratory trip for 4 weeks and need help planning. Travel Agents don't exist anymore so I will pay for somebody to help plan our trip. Here's what we are looking for...
Dad is 71 and has COPD. Otherwise in good health but I would like to live somewhere that he has access to great healthcare and he doesn't speak Spanish.

I'm looking to buy a small bar/restaurant or some other income producing venture and I have about $200,000. Plus some other income from USA. (my dad has $4,000/month retirement income).
Need someplace that has other expats that we can hang out with.
Looking Central Valley/East Coast/West Coast.

We have about 4 weeks to spend checking out different towns/cities/neighborhoods. Contact me or tell me how to contact you and I'll pay for someone to plan our trip. I don't know where to fly into then fly/drive/bus/train all the other places. Please help us!!!

John

Before making any major changes or decisions, I suggest you read the 'rules & regs' regarding living and working here in Costa Rica. Here is an important 'eye opener' regarding Labor Laws of the country, which can be fraught ith red tape.

Also look at some recent posts on this subject...and there are many.

Of course it can be done, but as I said in another similar thread recently, starting and opening a business here seems like a crazy idea to me. The bureaucracy of it and trying to get materials, supplies, etc etc is probably going to be maddening.

And as Kohlerias said, the labor laws are very specific, you have to pay the employees' insurance and things like that...

And not speaking Spanish? And running a business where you have to hire Ticos! Sounds crazy to me.... Sorry, but it just does

With the money and income you mention here, I'd say why not just retire here? Forget running a business. Invest your money safely in the USA and live here. Build or buy a house so you have no rent to pay... then you can live on $2000 a month... like a KING.

I would warn against saying things online or anywhere like "Contact me or tell me how to contact you and I'll pay for someone to plan our trip. "
Better to look for a professional online with good references and hire them, because otherwise some less than honorable person will smell money and say "Oh, I'll do it for you!" with no real expertise, and charge you an arm and a leg.

But honesty you don't need a trip planner. Just fly into San Jose (SJO airport) and take a taxi to San Jose or whatever town you want to rent in, rent a hotel room for a couple weeks while you look for a short term house rental then rent and see how you like it.

Even though you rent in a gringo community you'll still find it challenging to live here without speaking Spanish. There are doctors who speak English but if you need a specialist at a moment's notice, good luck.

First you need to read every forum and maybe a book or two on moving here, and decide if you really want to, and if so, where you want to try. If you want good health care nearby you'll probably want to stay near San Jose. Could be Heredia, or Escazu or places surrounding San Jose. I wouldn't go too far from San Jose if health is an issue.

Honestly if I had a major disease and spoke no Spanish, I would not move here, I'd stay in the USA.

Thank you for your replies. No major diseases. Just my dad had breathing issues. Needs good environment. I don't think my money ($200K) would buy a house and provide retirement income. My dad has $4K for live but he'll outlive me and I can't count on that. I have owned 6 businesses that have all done well. I think I can do something in Costa Rica and make it moderately profitable. I do speak some Spanish and can learn the rest very, very fast.

I was already thinking somewhere near San Jose was probably best but would like to travel for a while and see if there's a beach community that might be good as well.

Thanks again to anyone who can continue to offer advice.


John

simplyme3 :

Thank you for your replies. No major diseases. Just my dad had breathing issues. Needs good environment. I don't think my money ($200K) would buy a house and provide retirement income. My dad has $4K for live but he'll outlive me and I can't count on that. I have owned 6 businesses that have all done well. I think I can do something in Costa Rica and make it moderately profitable. I do speak some Spanish and can learn the rest very, very fast.

I was already thinking somewhere near San Jose was probably best but would like to travel for a while and see if there's a beach community that might be good as well.

Thanks again to anyone who can continue to offer advice.


John

Someone else can chime in but I think there's a hospital down by Dominical now? Most beaches do NOT have hospitals nearby, and San Jose is hours away.

San Jose is best for health issues as far as being closer to a doctor but the air there is horrible. Diesel fumes are really bad. Then, out in the country, sometimes people burn caña, weeds, etc so you get smoke filled air. Then, there's the volcanoes that erupt from time to time.
Most of these are not big problems for most of us, just something to be aware of, especially with a breathing disorder.

If you want to try to start a business, go for it! Just do tons of on-the-ground research before even thinking about spending any money on a business here! And do come and live here for some months in a rented house or apartment before thinking of moving here.

I wish you luck if you decide to go through with starting a business! Obviously some do succeed. Just know the bureaucracy is a whole other level here and workers are not as reliable etc.

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