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Busted Flat in California – Let’s Move to Costa Rica!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014   7:41 pm |  Category:   Retirement locations   |   10 Comments  
Author:     posts:  1    Author's   bio

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One Sunday morning as I sat in the real estate office waiting for the phone to ring, I kept thinking about that casita in Atenas. With our combined social security income, we could pay the rent, buy food at the farmer’s market, and still have money left over.


Retirement in Costa RicaWe made the exploratory trip to Costa Rica in May; we pulled up stakes in California in July. We gave away most of our worldly goods, packed a few suitcases and started our new life as American Expats!


And guess what? My husband got a job after we moved. Because of us living here, a California based company hired him to cover the Central American portion of the business. Although he travels more than we would like, it provides us with a good income and luxuries we would not otherwise be able to afford.


We are happy living in Atenas. There is a strong expat community mixed in with the Tico culture. We eat healthy food purchased at the farmer’s market that was harvested just prior to being loaded on the truck. We enjoy “the best climate in the world” (this according to a study done by National Geographic some years ago), and we are less than an hour away from the city of San Jose where we can attend the theater, visit museums, and enjoy fine dining at restaurants from all over the world.


Should you move to Costa Rica? It’s not for everybody! We are expats living in Costa Rica. Could you move here and live happily on your pension and/or social security? Maybe. The answer is different for each person. It’s best to visit, spend some time traveling throughout this diversified country and decide for yourself.


Pura Vida!



Click for other information about Costa Rica.



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  1. Diane Kennedy Feb 27th 2014  9:49 pm

    GREAT !!!!!!

  2. Maggie Dunne Feb 27th 2014  10:01 pm

    I very much enjoyed reading your post Carole, it made me, “kinda wonder,” if I could live there? I have a friend from high school who moved there several years ago. She loves it. Anyway, I’m happy for you and your honey. See you next post.

  3. Carole Connolly-Shaw Feb 28th 2014  1:01 am

    Maggie. I KNOW you. YOU can do anything!! Come on down. The weather’s fine!

  4. sally bookman Feb 28th 2014  2:11 am

    Another brilliant piece of writing. You really do make it all come so alive! I want to visit Atenas one of these days. Keep writing!

  5. Carole Crawford Feb 28th 2014  2:50 am

    Thanks for a more realistic view of retirement/living in Costa Rica. It’s not for everyone and since the “days” when your parents went there,built, etc. the cost of land, building and living has escalated. The Ticos are not so gullible now.
    Artenas sounds like a reasonable retirement community for folks fleeing the high cost of living in Calif. and elsewhere .

  6. Robert Leaman Sanders Feb 28th 2014  3:58 am

    I like this piece very, very much. It is fun to read and I am now considering a visit to Costa Rica!

  7. Barb Aira Feb 28th 2014  3:44 pm

    Carole ~ Read this while having my morning coffee in FL. This wonderful Blog piece is vibrant, especially for us “visual” folks, & made me really, really homesick for Costa Rica in general, & for our beautiful Atenas in particular! There is one theme that runs throughout this piece–OPTIMISM!! When we change our lifestyle, move–especially to a different country, where we need to be able to merge with a new culture–do anything that many would consider to be “off the charts,” the one main ingredient in the onset of our NEW ADVENTURE must truly be OPTIMISM! You & DonnyK exude it! Thanks for this terrific Blog! C U next week!

  8. Caatherine N Mar 6th 2014  4:30 pm

    Hi Carol I finally put the date of my retirement in……end of March…..who knows I may see you before the Reunion in Oct…ha-ha… your blogs …..can you add a photo of the casita one of these days……

  9. Renee May 31st 2014  2:07 pm

    Hi Carol.
    Enjoy reading your blog!! DId you end up living in the casita with the pool in Atenas that you saw? If not, did you find a home in a gated community? We are moving to CR soon. I did some research on the climate. National Geographic did not make the claim that Atenas has the best climate in the world. A real estate agency coined the phrase to attract buyers. I have heard that it gets real hot in Atenas. Is that true? We want to live in an area where you don’t need A/C or heat. We’re thinking of Grecia? Do you need A/C in Atenas? Am I right or wrong that A/C is needed? Thanks for your interesting blog!

  10. Javier Mar 12th 2015  7:38 pm

    Check Lake Arenal, you love it here, the weather is so good all year around ,, no need of A/C. Long lasting Tropical Spring!!!

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