«

»

Sep 15 2012

Print this Post

Newsletter – September 15, 2012

Welcome to our RetireForLessInCostaRica.com Newsletter!

Paul and Gloria

In This Issue:

  • Happy Independence Day Costa Rica!
  • Want to be our Neighbor?
  • Our 90-day Cost of Living Snapshot
  • Getting Ready for the Big Move to Costa Rica
  • Five Things You Need To Know Before You Move Abroad
  • Country seems to have made great strides in 10 years
  • Quit Your Job Right Now?
  • Featured House for Sale: Turn-Key Home in Calle Leon $90,000
  • Update to our Article “From 11.75% to 12.5% Interest on a 12-Month Certificate of Deposit!”

 

Happy Independence Day Costa Rica!

Today, September 15th, is the celebration of Independence Day in Costa Rica. We are happy to be living in this tiny country that has so much going for it, and so much to be proud of. ”Himno Nacional de Costa Rica” is the national anthem of Costa Rica. It was originally adopted in 1853, with the music composed by Manuel María Gutiérrez. Words by José María Zeledón Brenes were added in 1900. If you’d like to sing along with the video, click here for the lyrics in both Spanish and English.

 

Want to be our Neighbor?

There’s been a cancellation here at the cabinas so there is currently a vacancy at this sought-after location. The cabinas are fully furnished, are a great place to land when you are in-country, and just as great a place to live long-term (we’ve been here 3 1/2 years so far).

You can read more, and contact Cesar, the property manager, at this link: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2011/04/el-castillo-de-relajamiento-cabinas-in-beautiful-san-ramon-costa-rica/


Our 90-day Cost of Living Snapshot

Our August spending was pretty much normal in most categories except for two:

Personal Care was higher because we purchased some items from Amazon which friends “muled down” for us from the U.S. (total cost: $108.20)

Business Expenses were due to a computer crash –  very inconvenient, to say the least! It cost us $139 for three years of Carbonite, an online backup service to protect ourselves next time something like this happens (the peace of mind is worth every cent!), and $19.99 for software to restore some of our files. (Big thanks to our friend Len who told us about Carbonite.)

So, without these two aberrations, our “normal” cost of living for August would have been $1,623.33.

 

Our previous two months’ expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


Getting Ready for the Big Move to Costa Rica

When people think about moving to Costa Rica, they are often overwhelmed with all that has to be done and all of the decisions that must be made. We are often asked, “Where do you start?” and “How do you go about it?” We wrote about our experience in “Our Big Move” which you can read at these links:

Recently, our friends Paul and Gayle Sommers made their big move to Costa Rica, to the Los Angeles Sur area of San Ramon. They wrote about their experience in an email to friends and family and were gracious enough to allow us to publish it. They moved with 27 pieces of checked luggage, a dog and a cat, after selling their much-loved home and going through all of their possessions. Their experience is valuable to any of our readers who are contemplating a similar move.

by Gayle Sommers

We spent the months of June and nearly all of July getting ready to head to Costa Rica. Paul and I came to the conclusion that we were ready to sell the house on Vashon that we’d loved so much, with large firs, madronas, alders, and even a white-flowering dogwood (enormous tree) surrounding us. It took us a little more than a week to get the house ready for market, and things being what they are these days, the house had to look great: no moss on the roof, pristine siding, spic-and-span gutters, and the inside had to look great, too. We hired an all-around worker, who did a terrific job cleaning the outside of the house, so the roof looked good and the siding new. Paul spackled and painted nail holes, etc., and both of us cleaned the house within an inch of its life. (It’s okay to live in the house, but it has to look new or nearly so!)

Our excellent real estate agent had told us about staging the house, hiring a stager to do it and then renting furniture at a cost of about $200/mo. Since we sold nearly all of our furniture, it sounded great to us, but the thing is that stagers don’t want you to actually live there and use their furniture, so that was nixed. (Okay, we have some wonderful friends on Vashon, but “couch-surfing” for two months with two frisky animals? Don’t think that would fly.) So our agent scrounged around and found a dining room table and two chairs, and we borrowed a few items from friends, and bought a loveseat and chair on craigslist. Then as part of the deal, we bought coordinating napkins, placemats, and tablecloth, as well as very nice towels (all of the sort we’d never buy on our own, but, hey, it’s part of the “look” for a staged house) and we were all set. Elegant? Well, not exactly, but it was fine. We bought hanging plants and some flowers for some planters that had not seen flowers in the previous eight years, but, as Denise said, it looked welcoming. And the vase on the dining room table was never without fresh flowers…..

The house sold to great first-time buyers. I started going through our boxes in storage. We did not keep count of the number of boxes, but I made several piles: give away, return to the storage unit, or take to Costa Rica. Paul took away things to be donated almost immediately, so in the event that I had second thoughts, so sorry, but the item was gone! Frontier Airlines, which for a little extra money offers fully-refundable tickets, has no limit on baggage. I went through the Costa Rica piles several times, each time weeding more stuff out, but in the end we still wound up with 27 checked items, 23 of which we paid $50/box. In those 27 boxes were cast iron pans (which I use a lot, and which are not readily available in Costa Rica, about 20 of my favorite cookbooks, ESL materials (resources for volunteer work), books for learning Spanish, a great sewing machine, tools Paul thought would be useful, and household goods, clothing and the like.

Paul and I packed things very carefully, mindful of the fact that the boxes would be tossed around and could land with any orientation, including upside down, so the boxes were securely taped. A wonderful friend and neighbor let us borrow his full-size van, which nicely held all luggage (27 checked bags plus the one or two each that we carried on). And other great friends drove las mascotas (pets) and me to the airport, so we were all set. Our flight left around 7 pm, and we were there nearly three hours in advance.

Getting everything to Frontier turned out to be a little more challenging than we’d anticipated: no curbside check-in, so we had to drag every single item to the counter. The desk clerk was a real trouper, and very nice. Our son had suggested that we call Frontier the previous day to alert them to our 27 pieces of checked baggage, which turned out to be an award-worthy idea. The great customer service staffer I talked to looked at both of our flight segments, said that only the first leg might be problematic, and called over to Seattle to talk to cargo to make sure that all of our luggage could be accommodated. If you ever need to travel with a lot of luggage, I strongly recommend this step. The staffer in customer service when we checked in already knew about us, which helped the entire process go much more smoothly. It took less than 45 minutes and we were ready to head through security.

At the Costa Rica end, we expected things to be very difficult, as my Spanish is inadequate, and we’d have to go through both immigration and aduana (customs). But people at that end were so kind and helpful, it turned out to be very easy. One skycap who spoke a little English (about as much English as I spoke Spanish) took charge of everything after I told him, “Tenemos treinta cajas.” (We have 30 boxes, which I knew was a slight exaggeration, but close enough.) While we were waiting for the boxes, he went to get a large cart, then found a second skycap to grab another large cart. By the time all the boxes had come off, both carts were precariously piled up with cardboard boxes, duffel bags, and a suitcase or two. We then went through aduana, where everything was scanned again and then piled back onto the carts (those poor, hard-working skycaps!)

We got through it all with only one snafu: our dog, Oksana, who has always been able to wait to go to the bathroom, wound up peeing on the very shiny floor as we headed to immigration. Luckily, Paul had lots of absorbent material for the mishap, and the floor again looked immaculate when he was done. Paul had arranged for a one-day rental of a large van, and we were at our new house less than three hours after we landed.

Mike, the former owner, was just removing the last of his belongings, packing up as we rolled in, so we were able to talk to him about the house and utilities. Paul and I were both absolutely exhausted at that point, so didn’t think to write anything down. Our pets were glad to be liberated, especially Mischa the cat from his carrier. Oksana was much more tentative. Paul started hauling the boxes into the house, and I started opening them. We discovered that the TSA had inspected at least six or seven boxes. They did a good job repacking things and re-taping the boxes. Maybe this is how drug runners or terrorists get contraband through, but it seemed odd to us: why not inspect everything? Maybe something in those particular boxes set off alarm bells, though one of the boxes they inspected was a box containing framed pictures. Later we discovered four casualties among all the things that went into the boxes: one vase got chipped; the tamper part of a heavy-duty stainless steel coffee scoop got detached (imagine the force that must have taken, yet everything else in that box was fine); the glass on a picture was broken, but the picture otherwise intact; and, finally of the probably 30+ small tiles I’d shipped, one was broken (clean break, which Paul was able to repair). That seems quite remarkable, and I was very pleased that so much came through unscathed.

Paul got all the boxes into the house and I started stowing things. Between us, we had nearly all the boxes emptied and broken down within the next three days. We also had to go on several major shopping trips to stock the house — though Mike kindly left us with eggs, garlic, and a few other items, so if we were famished when we arrived, we’d have something to eat — and having a vehicle made it all possible.

Throughout all of the preparation for this move, Paul and I were both confident that we were taking the next step in our lives and that the move to Costa Rica was absolutely the right thing for us to do at this point. On the plane, however, I’d had fleeting doubts about what we were doing, and the enormity of the undertaking suddenly hit me. With all of the work we’d had to do, both in getting our Vashon house ready to go and keep it looking staged even after it sold, and in sorting through all of our belongings, I hadn’t really had a chance to think about what we were doing. It all hit me as we were driving to our new house: the dirt road seemed rougher and longer than I remembered; the house smaller; furniture much more crowded. And we were going to a country where all advice said (1) we should be able to speak passable Spanish before moving there, and (2) one should never buy a place, but only rent! So what were we doing?

The emotions passed, probably brought on by my exhaustion (Paul never had any doubts), and the road seems fine and not too long (a little more than .5 km in all, and easily walked), nor particularly rough if you just take it easy. We moved one piece of furniture from the living room to the bedroom, and both rooms benefited from the change. And we hung our artwork on the walls, made the beds, and generally made ourselves at home. Our home.

Mischa, exploring his new home

Oksana at home

 

 

Five Things You Need To Know Before You Move Abroad

By I.J. Zemelman, EA, Taxes for Expats, Apr-10-2012

Moving overseas means everything is new and different. That’s the attraction, for the most part. But sometimes, new and different just means more complicated. When it comes to overseas taxes, it’s better to learn as much as you can before you move. To avoid the most common pitfalls, here are five things you should know before you go:

1. When Living Abroad, You Will Qualify for Special Credits and Exclusions

Some people don’t realize this, but when living and working overseas, as an Expat, you are still required to file a US tax return. You will qualify for certain exclusions and credits, however, that will make this a much more enjoyable experience.

When filing a US tax return from overseas, the two forms to remember are 2555 and 1116. Under Form 2555, a large amount of your income earned on foreign soil is protected and is not taxable (up to $91,500 in 2010, $92,900 for 2011, and $95,100 for 2012) by the US Government. However, even if you earned less than this amount, you must still file US taxes. You may then file Form 2555 to claim the exclusion. You may be liable for penalties and interest if you attempt to bypass the process.

Form 1116 is also helpful as it protects you from double taxation. If you are paying taxes to the foreign country in which you are residing, and if you file Form 1116 correctly, you may not be required to pay those same taxes to the US government. To qualify for this credit, you must be a recognized resident of the foreign country, however. This requires you to remain outside of the US for 330 of every 365 days. Form 1116 involves many restrictions and tax nuances, and it is wise to have professional help in completing it.

2. Each US State Has Its Own Regulations
Many US states continue to collect state tax even after you have moved overseas. It is important to know how your state handles expat matters and then adjust your plan accordingly. Wyoming, Washington, North Dakota, Nevada, Florida and Alaska have no state taxes. If you are moving abroad from one of these states, state tax is a non-issue. However, if you are moving from California, South Carolina, New Mexico or Virginia, these states make it incredibly difficult to avoid state taxation…even after moving abroad. In these cases, the way to avoid state tax is to prove to the state government that you have no intentions of ever moving back to that state. This is often difficult to prove, and it will usually involve updating all of your records and documents with a new permanent address. The best way to avoid state taxes, no matter the state, is to cut all physical ties (bank accounts, mortgages, bills, documents) before moving overseas.

3. What and How to: Mail Forwarding
Even in an electronic world, many things still come through the mail. Because of this, mail forwarding is an important thing to handle before moving abroad. To lighten the load, first choose the “paperless” option on as many bills and statements as you possibly can. E-mail moves with you automatically, so it’s a good thing to rely on before moving. If you do not want to pay for a mail forwarding service, simply make sure you have changed your address on absolutely everything that is important…especially anything pertaining to tax forms. If your address changes before you file your return, an official address change is accomplished by printing your new address on the mailing label. The IRS will note the change. If your address changes after you file, notify the IRS using form 8822. To receive your refund check, it is essential that the IRS has your correct address on file.

4. US Filing Dates and Relevant Extensions
The tax filing deadline for US residents is mid April. Normally, the day is April 15th, but if the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline is moved to the next available business day. For expats, though, the filing deadline is always June 15th. This is to allow for any paperwork delays that might occur as a result of your country’s differing schedule. You may also file (via Form 4868) for an extension until October 15th (but you must apply for the extension by June 15th).  Note that the extended deadlines do not apply to owed taxes, however. Anything owed to the IRS will begin to accrue interest as of the official US deadline. Additionally, the deadline for Form 90-22-1 (discussed in the next section), is the last day of June with no exceptions.

5. Rules Regarding US Versus Foreign Income
It is important to understand the difference between US earned income and foreign earned income. Any income you earn through US investments, rental properties, etc. will be taxed just as if you were living in the US. Income earned on foreign soil is taxed differently. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows expats to exclude a large amount ($91,500) of income earned on foreign soil. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is filed through Form 2555.

Additionally, you must disclose all offshore bank accounts assuming you have at least $10,000 USD (or the equivalent in foreign currency), in all accounts combined, at any point during the year. You must report this amount to the US Treasury via Form 90-22-1. This is not always as straightforward as it sounds, and professional help is recommended. Failure to report may result in heavy fines (upward from $10,000) and/or prosecution.

There are many things to remember when moving abroad. Settling the financial and tax issues ahead of time will allow for a much smoother transition into expat life. Hiring a expat professional, from the get go of life as an expat, will allow you to truly relax and enjoy your new life.

 

Country seems to have made great strides in 10 years

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff, Reprinted with permission. Links and photos added by retireforlessincostarica.com.

With holes in the highways and other daily aggravations, expats here may not always fully realize the giant leaps that Costa Rican society has taken in the last decade.

This country has progressed mostly due to outside influences. But it has progressed.

The Idea of Progress is a much debated philosophical topic that dates back to the Greeks. Still, expats can see real progress if that term is defined as easier living and even security.

Little more than a decade ago, dial-up Internet service was cutting edge. The valley rail line would occasionally carry some flat cars loaded with rolls of steel bound for a factory in Tibás.

Paying utility bills meant hours in line at the bank.

Need a cell phone? Get a number and wait months for your turn.

Clearly the improved Internet service has caused many of these changes. Now free and paid movies, millions of songs, video chats and e-shopping are available with just a few clicks.

But not all progress is linked to the Internet. Some stems from government decisions or even just accidents.

The valley passenger train line is almost to Cartago, and Alajuela is next on the list. Hundreds ride each day from and to Heredia.

Three telephone companies seek the business of Costa Ricans and expats. A tourist can pick up a telephone at the airport.

Private banks have blossomed, and even the state banks are now paying some heed to those strange words servicio al cliente, “customer service.”

Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia

Air transport has improved with the growth of Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia. A decade ago the airport saw a few charter flights a day. Now there is continual regular service.

Progress is a double-edged sword. Progress in Liberia cuts into the income of Central Valley tourism operators. Just 10 years ago nearly every tourist landed in Alajuela and spent the night in or around San José before heading to the beaches.

Nearly all spent a night in the valley in order to catch an early return flight. Now a growing minority of tourists have never seen the Central Valley.

Those tourists that have now can take the Caldera highway to the Central Pacific and the paved Costanera Sur with its new bridges south to such towns as Dominical. This was not possible even just a few years ago.

In a decade even the money has changed.

Tambor II Ferry

Higher up the coast the Puente de Amistad links the central Nicoya peninsula with points east. For those who prefer the ferry to visit tourist meccas like Montezuma, there is the $5.7 million Tambor II. This craft can carry 170 vehicles and 500 passengers, so the lineup of vehicles in Puntarenas awaiting space to board is history, too.

As far as shopping, one word says it all: Walmart. The retail giant has revolutionized marketing and helps bring in thousands of products that expats had to smuggle within their suitcases 10 years ago. There are more modern shopping centers on the way.

Also on the Pacific coast there is an increase in the availability of medical services. And Banco de Costa Rica can handle renewals of residencies nationwide.

Although the fact may not be obvious, police agencies also are improving their handling of data and training. There soon will be a new police academy designed to continue the professionalization of the Fuerza Pública. The judiciary and investigators are getting more electronics to do their jobs quicker. Oral court hearings are being introduced to cut down on the traditional paperwork.

Even education is available online, both for Costa Ricans and expats. Many expats work online every day, and not just in call centers and sportsbooks. Individuals can live anywhere now if they have the right type of job. Many of these choose Costa Rica.

Even traditional jobs are more now with the emphasis on outsourcing. Costa Rica has an international reputation as a host for medical technology companies and device manufacturers.

Some who came to Costa Rica to hug trees are unhappy with the progress. Yet the modern necessities are vital selling points for the many would-be expats who will sample Costa Rica as their future home.

 

Quit Your Job Right Now?

by Paul

From time to time, as we do our research, we come across bloggers that really strike our fancy. One such blogger is James Altucher as he writes of a “world out of balance.” When I read James’ article, “10 More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!” I thought of me, my friends, and maybe millions of others who might also identify with his take on this topic. I found this article humorous, yet thought provoking, so we’ve reprinted it below.

A rolling stone gathers no moss (but has a lot of fun!)

I identified with this article because I never had a career and, generally, job-hopped through life, rarely holding a job more than 3 years. I used to envy people who had the stability of a long-term career, not any more. Now I feel rather lucky to have experienced so many occupations in so many locations. I’ve been a teacher, a diver, a meteorologist, an admissions rep, a placement director, worked with seniors, traded futures and options, been in the packaging industry, printed circuit board industry, and been a cab driver (among others!) I was probably a “jack of all trades and master of none.” Stress and pressure were anathema to me. I’m a perfect example of “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Some jobs I liked a lot, and others not so much. Consequently, I’ve lived in a lot of places: New York, Washington, DC, northern California, Texas, Mexico, and now Costa Rica, plus a stint in the military that took me to Vietnam.

Still, I feel extremely lucky to be living this incredible and interesting life. I have everything: a great wife, a beautiful place to live, and enough money to sustain us. Sometimes when I walk in the mornings with my neighbor, Robert, and I’m thinking out loud, ruing poor decisions I’ve made in life, he reminds me that, “Yes, you did those things, all those things, and God is severely punishing you today!” We look at each other, smile, laugh, and continue walking.

10 More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!

by James Altucher, Reprinted with permission.

The other day I met a guy who had worked for 38 years at GM. He wasn’t in the union and he wasn’t a high level executive. So consequently, when the rock of corporate safety in America over the past century went bankrupt he got nothing. No pension, no insurance, no savings. The unions got their money. The high level execs got their golden parachutes. the 30,000 in the middle got nothing.

“I thought it was safe,” he told me. “I thought nothing could touch me.”

The American religion wants you to believe that corporate safety is here, that its going to protect you and your white picket fence and your framed college degree. But its a lie. The government doesn’t care about you. Your bosses don’t care about you. And when the desert that rises up to claim you back into its dust, you’ll disappear and nobody will wonder about your accomplishments and the things you are most proud of.

Even when I had the best job ever, the job that was the best time in my life, I still had to consider: how am I going to escape this.

Most people need to begin their exit strategy RIGHT NOW:

So here’s the 10 reasons you need to quit your job right now. And below that I have the methods for doing it.

1)      Safety. We used to think you get a corporate job, you rise up, you get promoted, maybe you move horizontally to another division or a similar company, you get promoted again, and eventually you retire with enough savings in your IRA. That’s all gone. That myth disappeared in 2008. It really never existed but now we know it’s a myth. Corporate CEOs kept their billion dollar salaries and laid off about 20 million people and sent the jobs to China. Fine, don’t complain or blame other people. But your job is not safe.

2)      Home. Everyone thinks they need a safe job so they can save up to buy a home and also qualify for a mortgage. Mortgage lenders at the banks like people who are like them – other people locked in cubicle prison.  Well now you don’t need to worry about that. Here’s why you should never own a home in the first place. Save yourself the stress.

3)      College. Everyone thinks they need to save up to send their kids to college. Depending on how many kids you have and where you want them to go to college it could cost millions. Well now we know you don’t need to send your kid to college. So you don’t need to stress about that money anymore.

4)      Their boss. Most people don’t like their boss. Its like any relationship. Most of the time you get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. Eventually you’re unhappy. And if you don’t get out, you become miserable and scarred for life.

5)      Their coworkers. See above.

6)      Fear. We have such a high unemployment rate, people are afraid if they leave the job they are miserable at, they won’t be able to get a job. This is true if you just walk into your boss’s office and pee on his desk and get fired.  But its not true if you prepare well. More on that in a bit.

7)      The Work. Most people don’t like the work they do. They spend 4 years going to college, another few years in graduate school, and then they think they have to use that law degree, business degree, architecture degree and then guess what? They hate it. But they don’t want to admit it. They feel guilty. They are in debt. No problem. Read on.

8)      Bad things happen. All the stuff I mention in the post “10 Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job” start to happen. And it gets worse and worse. You don’t want to look back at your life and say, “man, those were the worst 45 years of my life.” That wouldn’t feel good.

9)      The economy is about to boom.  I don’t care if you believe this or not. Stop reading the newspaper so much. The newspapers are trying to scare you. Bernanke just printed up a trillion dollars and airlifted it onto the US economy. Who is going to scoop that up. You in your cubicle? Think again.

10)   Your job has clamped your creativity. You do the same thing every day. You want to be jolted, refreshed, rejuvenated.

Note: some people love their jobs. This is not for them but the 90% who don’t.

So: Henry and Aaron asked a good question: you still need to support yourself, you still need to support your family, you can’t just walk into your boss’s office and quit.

Good point. You need to prepare. Its like training for the Olympics if you feel now is the time to move on from your job. You need to be physically ready, emotionally (don’t quit your job and get divorced on the same day for instance), mentally (get your idea muscle in shape) and spiritually all ready.

The posts that will help you quit your job. To quit, at least follow the ideas in the first post:

-          How to be the Luckiest Man Alive in 4 Easy Steps

-          What to do if you were Fired Today

-          The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur

In the above link, it’s not about starting a business. It’s about finding what your frontier is, how to explore it, how to test the waters and move beyond it. I’m not saying I can do this. I’ve hit my boundary so many times and bounced off that I have six broken noses to show for it.

Some notes on this post:

Note #1: I get a lot of criticisms from anonymous people in the Yahoo message boards. Claudia begs me, “Don’t look at the message boards unless you talk to me first.” Because she knows I’m an addict. I tell her ‘ok’ but I know I’m going to look. Because that’s what addicts do.

(the first blogger)

Note #2: Sometimes people criticize the “list” format in these posts. “10 reasons” for this. “10 reasons” for that. About 20% of my posts are lists…And Charlton Heston clearly didn’t mind lists when he came down from Mt. Sinai with “The 10 Commandments”, the very first blog post. 3500 years later and still getting clicks.

I don’t mind when people critique me when they’ve lost, quit, or have been fired from as many jobs as I have. Or lost a home. Tried to raise two kids with almost nothing. Been as desperately unhappy as sometimes I’ve been. This doesn’t qualify me for anything, of course. Maybe it disqualifies me. Who cares?  A lot of people have had much worse than me. And I’ve been very blessed as well.

Sometimes  you can build back up. And sometimes you just think, “How the hell did this happen to me again”.  You can criticize me on Yahoo message boards. You can critique lists if you think you have some better way of helping people.  My goal in these posts is to help people maybe think for a split second they can reduce some stress in their lives, they don’t have to go through what I went through, they can throw themselves into experience and still come back alive, and at the end of the day, they can use some of these ideas to live a better and more fulfilling life. I’ve had that experience and I like to write about it…

Follow me on twitter

 

Featured House for Sale: Turn-Key Home in Calle Leon $90,000

Though we recommend you rent, rent, rent when you move to Costa Rica, we realize that some folks will still choose to buy, either early on or after they’ve been here for a while. Though we are not realtors, we recommend purchasing properties under $150,000 because they are both easier to buy and easier to sell.

At RetireForLessInCostaRica.com, we often run across real estate opportunities that fall within our “Retire for Less Philosophy” — in other words, properties that offer more value for less. Here is a link to one of the new properties featured on our website:

Property ID: 1667882

Located in the hills of Calle Leon, this turn key home has 3 bedrooms with 2.5 bath and is totally furnished , including electric security system with cameras. The views from this house are spectacular looking down over rolling green pastures. Offered at $90,000.00, owner is offering possible financing if needed.

Read more about this property, see more photos, and contact the realtor here.

 

 

 

Update to our Article “From 11.75% to 12.5% Interest on a 12-Month Certificate of Deposit!”

In our article, “From 11.75% to 12.5% Interest on a 12-Month Certificate of Deposit!” we shared an informative slide presentation about our credit union, Coopenae. If I could pick one reason why we are Coopenae CD investors, it would be the low default rate of less than 1/2 of 1% (.45%). Remember, as of October 1st, you must be a legal resident of Costa Rica to open an account here, which is another great reason to become a resident!

Since we originally published the article, Coopenae has sent us an updated PowerPoint presentation in English, with more current financial information. The original article now includes that updated presentation, which we are also sharing with you here:

GDE Error: Unable to load profile settings

 

Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

You can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter, so please “like” us on Facebook“follow” us on Twitter, and watch and share our videos on YouTube.

 

What’s New on the Website

Check out our newest posts on www.retireforlessincostarica.com:

That’s all for this month, but we’ll be back in touch soon!  If you enjoy our newsletter, please share it with your friends.  We hope to see you online!

Gloria & Paul Yeatman
San Ramon de Alajuela, Costa Rica

Permanent link to this article: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2012/09/newsletter-september-15-2012/

6 comments

  1. lynnandjohn

    I just received my first edition of your newsletter and found it VERY helpful, especially regarding taking your own cast iron cookware to CR, as it is not readily available there according to Paul and Gayle. That was excellent to know, as I can’t live without mine. Do you have, or can you recommend, a blog where people share their moving to CR experiences? We know that electronics are expensive there – does that also include crock pots (I’ve had mine for 40 years!), clothes irons, blenders, coffee makers and other small appliances? We also decided to take everything with us on the plane, rather than have it shipped, as we don’t know where we will be living and want everything with us. It appears that Paul and Gayle know something that we would like to know, too.

    My husband John and I plan to move to CR as soon as our house sells, which is moving like molasses in a St. Paul winter, but again, could happen any day. We mostly want to know what we should and should not bother to bring with us. We plan to live a very simple lifestyle, renting a small 2-BR house around the Arenal area and buying our food at local farmer’s markets. Your monthly budge sounds very much like our expectations, except we will not own a car. It’s very helpful and on par with what we expected.

    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for such an informative newsletter!!

    Lynn

    1. Paul & Gloria

      Hi Lynn and John,
      So glad you found our newsletter helpful! That’s one of our goals, to help would-be expats to Costa Rica make an easier transition. Here’s a link to another article we wrote on what people WISH they would have brought with them when they moved here: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2011/04/moving-to-costa-rica-what-do-you-wish-you-brought/. You are correct about appliances being more expensive here, up to twice what you would pay in the U.S., depending on the item. I brought my crock pot, blender, and George Forman grill and never regretted it. Our rental includes a coffee maker and a microwave so we didn’t bring them with us. Both are readily available here but, as mentioned previously, are more expensive. I also brought some of my good quality cookware and I am VERY glad I did, as the quality here isn’t as good.

      I don’t know of a blog that specifically shares moving experiences, but you might want to check the various discussion forums. You might also want to consider my friend Arden’s book,

        Unraveling the Mysteries of Moving to Costa Rica: Real stories from real people, what we’ve learned and how it can help you!

      which you can buy here on Amazon.

      Hope this helps! Stay in touch and let us know if we can help with anything else.
      Gloria & Paul

  2. ShannonFrench

    Hi Gloria & Paul!

    Love your newsletters! We’re definitely going to check out Carbonite and you’re, right! That is a great price for Peace of Mind. What was the $19.99 software that you purchased to restore files? Was that separate from Carbonite or an add on?

    1. Paul & Gloria

      Hi Shannon and Keith,
      We’re so glad you are enjoying our newsletters!
      And we are SO PLEASED with Carbonite! The other software was to restore all the music and podcasts on my ipod to the computer. We don’t have any of the CDs with us here and iTunes doesn’t let you restore from iPod to computer, only the other way around. The software is called CopyTrans and I was able to get everything back. Definitely worth the price in our situation.
      Gloria

  3. tampagirl

    I have had Carbonite for almost 3 years and it is worth every penny. I have had to purchase new computers and always been able to get my photos and files back without having to reload them which in itself is a huge benefit! The other thing I highly recommend is Lifelock for security. I have found it to be extremely helpful and have never had any problems with security breaches on my identity.

    Didn’t know about CopyTrans and that is something we will definitely want because we are huge music fans and would really want to lose the extensive collection we have!

    Loved the article about the move and the boxes and especially the one about what to bring if you move there. Quit my job article as well…..so appropo! The article about the CD’s….that rate sounds too good to be true. Does a Pensionado qualify as a Resident in order to get that rate?

    All good stuff. Looking forward to our visit in October!

    1. Paul & Gloria

      Hi tampagirl,
      Yes, a legal Pensionado resident can open a bank account and CD at Coopenae (and other Costa Rica financial institutions). That is actually the residency status we have. After October 1st, the person must have an actually residency cedula with DIMEX on it. You can read more here: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2012/08/documents-you-need-to-open-a-bank-account-in-costa-rica/ and
      http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2012/03/dimex-what-is-it-and-why-should-it-matter-to-me/
      See you next month!
      Gloria

Comments have been disabled.