03 Mar Why Do Experts Rank Costa Rica as the #1 Retirement Destination for 2018?
For years now, Costa Rica has been one of the most popular tourist destinations for North Americans. In 2015, more than 2.6 million international tourists visited Costa Rica. Most of those tourists were baby boomers from North America who were searching for the best retirement opportunities. They were looking for natural beauty, some of the best beaches in the world, and a world-class healthcare system that costs less than half of what medical procedures cost in the U.S.
The country offers a nearly perfect climate. It’s never too hot and never too cold in the tropical paradise. It’s no wonder that visitors don’t want to leave. They’ve dreamed of retiring to a place with beautiful scenery, better weather, and far lower cost of living than in the U.S. Coast Rica truly delivers for retirees.
The modern, first-world country offers all the comforts of home. And the cost savings of living in Costa Rica allow retirees to enjoy a much better life. For example, lower healthcare costs can lead to savings of $10,000 or more per year for retirees. They realize further savings on property taxes.
In the U.S., a retiree with a home valued at $600,000 can expect to pay more than $6,000 per year in property taxes. In contrast, a retiree would pay less than $100 per year in Costa Rica, and a newly constructed home in paradise would cost far less $600,000. Costa Rica may not be lowest-cost retirement destination, but it’s far more affordable for retirees than America.
And with its natural beauty, many would argue that it’s a much more pleasant place to spend the golden years.
Most expats report that they live happily and without sacrifices in Costa Rica for about $3,000 per month. With that budget, they can pay for comforts that include high-speed Internet, cable television, utilities, daily house cleaning, gardeners, food, entertainment, transportation, and so on. Indeed, most retirees report that they reduce their total living costs by more than 65% when the move to Costa Rica. Further, the quality of life goes up!
Thanks to Costa Rica’s government healthcare program, the costs for healthcare are negligible. Even elective procedures cost about a third of what they would cost in the U.S. A facelift, for instance, averages less than $3,000 in Costa Rica. Compare that with an average cost of $9,000 for a facelift in Orange County, California—which may be the plastic surgery capital of the world. In Costa Rica, a total hip replacement at a modern, private, state-of-the-art hospital costs about $10,000. In the U.S., average costs for a hip replacement average about $40,000!
When retirees become legal residents of Costa Rica, they participate in Caja, the universal healthcare system. They pay less than $100 per month for full-healthcare coverage. The system is affiliated with ten major public hospitals in the country, and many small clinics that operate in nearly every community.
Private insurance is available, too. Those plans cover dental work, optometry, and cosmetic surgery in the case of an accident. Prescription drugs, medical exams, sick visits and hospitalizations are covered at 70% of the cost. The insurance covers 100% of the cost for surgeons and anesthesiologists. Most doctors received their training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S., and they all speak English.
If you’re thinking about retiring oversees, Costa Rica should be at the top of your list. Many experts rank it as the world’s top retirement haven. You owe it to yourself to learn more about the Pura Vida in Costa Rica.