Costa Rica....Orrrrrrr......(warning...long)

I will post this in a couple of places to get a variety of responses. 

I am 46...buisiness owner in Oklahoma...I am by no means rich...but we do OK. I am also a partially disabled USMC vet. Wife and I moved to Oklahoma about 6.5 years ago. We wanted the warmer weather (compared to Omaha).

Now we realized 2 things...1...not warmer enough. 2...We discovered clear water beaches. See...I have been to beaches in California...beaches in North Carolina...Beaches in Texas...East coast of Florida...They were all 'nice' then I found the emerald coast in Florida. The clear water...I swam with a sea turtle, watched dolphins play...nice, soft sand to walk on...and I realized...I NEED to be on the beach. Not 2 miles from the beach. Not across the street from the beach...I need to sit on a porch or balcony and drink coffee and see and hear waves. Now, I am planning the next stage of my life...living on a beach, and not working 80-90 hours a week.

Currently, we live out in the boonies...30 minutes from a walmart..20 minutes to a gas station...an hour from a real hospital. We are on 40 acres, we have horses, goats my wife milks, a garden and too many dogs and cats. The problem is my wife now has IC...a chronic and painful bladder condition...and here on the ranch...she pushes herself and needs to slow down and quit working so hard...so again...all things point to back to the beach.

So now it is figuring out WHERE to live. We will not go outside the America's...Asia/Europe is out. I have looked at CR, Panama, Ecuador, Honduras (islands), Belize (Islands) more seriously than any other places. Ecuadors political instability takes it out. Honduras and Belize scare me a little....but the quality of medical care is what really counts those out for me. My wife doesnt need to be by a Hospital...she doesnt need 20/7 care or anything. She has a few prescriptions and 3 times a year she needs a relatively minor procedure that we currently drive over an hour to get done at a surgical center in Tulsa by a urologist.

Seems like that leaves me with CR and Panama? Any other suggestions?

We are looking for an easier life...so no big property with a bunch of animals...we are thinking of an apartment or a condo on a beach where we are close to sailing, snorkeling and creatures. We are really not social people very much...I am in sales, and make friends easy, my wife is much harder to get to know people...we are not partiers...we are generally keep to ourselves people...but a lot of that has to do with shitty people. hahaha. We wont be total loaners...but we are content to just hang out with each other also.

I am just looking for thoughts...am I on the right track. Is Panama for any reason better for our situation? Can you think of other places I should look into? Did I eliminate something I should not have based on false info? Any thoughts on anything I wrote? I wrote a lot...because I figure the more you know, the better answers I will get.

Thank you.

warning...longer
Forget our Costa  rican  neighbors some scarier than others like Guatamala Honduras Belize danger danger ,,,and
Panama is a close second.. it  i hate too hot and a fair share of drugs and crime..
i moved from California to Costa Rica 32 years ago and never looked back..but i lived all over CR, and chose what i feel is THE  BEST as far as location and especially climate..As for our beaches..ahem ...only so so except for touristy Guanacaste... some are black sand and the stifling heat ugh
start saving now to pay hundreds on A/C besides i think our beaches pale in comparison to many you mentioned..and forget the dangerous Caribbean side...most drugs and crime are hushed up for the sake of tourism
i LOVE where i live .in the hills of Heredia
..COUNTRYFIED ON 3 ACRES  with bus stop at my electric gate     yet close to things needed like RESTAURANTS HUGE MODERN HOSPITALS (not the tiny ill equipped village clinics "realtors " say are good " you can always go sweat weekend at the not so pretty beaches . grungy in . my opinion..
If you live  here in the boonies beaches  ( way too hot ) dancing on that hot black sand or panama way too hot also...  or the beach and your wife may not be happy..well you can have your beaches that gets old and boring after a month...i will stay here in the hills of
Heredia.. after 32 years you cannot pry me out of it.. MALLS If you like that and cinemas ...so lack nothing ...even have a delicious fresh gourmet meal DELIVERED from one of our many local  cafes for a mere $6..whats not to love..good luck to you..
stay away from what you think you will like ..or you may get it..  cheers
$6...10 minutes from HEREDIA..in the beautiful Hills with BREATHTAKING VIEWS of Volcanoes and city lights..with lush greenery and perfect for me , Spring like weather (never too hot nor humidF YR ROUND average 75..and cools at night so sleep like babies
( no we don't mean we cry and wake up every hour waiting for a diaper change )
..but then after living one year on gorgeous beaches yes on top of the clearest water ever in Barbados...BORING..how much snorkeling and singeing your skin to cancer can you take..so i decided f those gorgeous beaches did not thrill me i was not a beach person BORING

Fist thing: living on any beach in CR is more expensive than living elsewhere in the country. Second, although there are many very nice and secluded beach towns, medical assistance is difficult, most time the doctors in those towns will refer you to doctors or attention in bigger towns. Having said that, if I where to recommend beach towns, I would recommend from the northwestern pacific towns, from Tamarindo to Playa Panama. Now, Tamarindo, Playa Conchal, Playa Grande and Brasilito are about 90 minutes drive to Liberia where you can find good medical attention. Playa del Coco, Ocotal, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panama are 35 minutes from Liberia, and 20 from an international airport, none of those towns offer much rentals  on the beach, but across the street at the most. All beaches in CR are public, even if your house is on the beach, people can camp right there. If you want a farm, I do not think there's much offer on the beach, and if there are, very expensive. I  lived in the Tamarindo, Playa del Coco and Playa Hermosa area for over 9 years, I prefer Playa del Coco if I were to go back to live there. There are some other small and nice little beach towns like Junquiyal, Nosara, Carrillo, Samara, but far from medical attention. My advise, come visit and look around. About Panama, do not know anything about it.

I really don't know Panama well but when I went there for 3 days I didn't like what I saw and I found guards with machine guns all over the place and being stopped on a regular basis because they are checking for drug smugglers put me off. However it may totally depend on WHERE you live in Panama, maybe there are places where that's less notable.

As to Costa Rica, if I were someone with a health problem who needed regular medical treatment I would not move anywhere outside the Central Valley.

My experience is that the national health insurance (CAJA / EBAIS) is a pain in the ass to use and the doctors are not always the best once you get away from San Jose, and even there, it's hit and miss. Of course not all doctors are good in the USA either...

But as was mentioned above, the other problem is if you live on the beach you are going to be far from a hospital or major health services. You'll be going to a small local clinic where the facilities will not likely be state of the art nor the doctors the best in their field. IMHO.

If you are a person like myself who almost never goes to the doctor then living in Costa Rica is much more do-able. (Although still I prefer using private doctors at a higher cost than to deal with the government run clinics (EBAIS).) They are very inconvenient so unless you like waiting in lines for doctors and prescriptions, it's not a lot of fun. And the further out from San Jose you are, the less good the clinics are going to be, in my experience.

Real estate is relatively low price in Florida and I would recommend looking at Florida or another southern state that borders the ocean, especially as someone with a health problem.

Just my 2 cents, and I am selling real estate here! But I say the truth and the truth is if I had a health problem that required frequent visits to a doctor or clinic or hospital, I would not buy from me and move here!

I agree that the beaches in Florida are hard to beat....and finding a property 'right on the beach' in CR will probably be difficult and costly....but still not 'private.'

Being under 55, the mandatory healthcare system for a legal resident, will be at least double that of a person over 55., and I would expect that you would also want to get private insurance. However, most companies will not cover pre-existing conditions.

I would say that you would/could be required to attend one of the private facilities around San Jose which could mean a 3 hour drive, one way, if you choose one of the more popular beach areas.

Good luck in finding that perfect beach... :cool:

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