We always get lots of responses and questions from readers, both newsletter subscribers and on facebook. Here are a few notes we received in our mailbag.
In response to an article written for us by Rob Evans, “What Does It Cost You NOT to Move to Costa Rica?” we received the following comments.
Philip F. wrote:
Gave up being around my family. Gave up fine dining and sporting events. Gave up BBQing or using the smoker every weekend. Now like once a month. Gave up owning multiple vehicles. Most of all, gave up riding my Harley with my brothers! What it worth it? Sometimes I wonder.
Frank F. wrote:
Lots of money. Costa Rica is very expensive. We are Canadians and lived in Panama because it was affordable. We went to Costa Rica while we were waiting for our visa for 3 days and it was the equivalent to a month in El Valle de Anton Panama.
The hardest three things for me living here, so you could say that is what I had to give up: Humane treatment of animals, especially all domesticated animals, access to live music, cultural events that I love, and lack of concern for environment, i.e. litter, erosion, loss of habitat, raw sewage, etc. With all that being said, I have no plans to move back. Lots of great things too. But the aforementioned really bother me A LOT.
Nel C. responded:
We knew exactly what it was like. We’d been coming here for 15 years before we moved here. No sacrifice… I’d just like to see more recycling here (Walmart just closed all its recycling centers) and people treating animals better than they do now. Much worse then. I’m just doing what I can by example.
Other comments were more positive and in keeping with the spirit of the article. Molly K. wrote:
Gave up a sense that life was over at 42. Gave up exhaustion. Gave up thinking I’d have to work forever just to pay for my medical coverage. Gave up thinking that it was a crazy zany bird-brain idea to move to another country. Gave up thinking that I have to live according to someone else’s rules. Gave up thinking I couldn’t afford it.
Love it Molly!
David Y. wrote:
I repeat myself here, but the “America is no place to grow old in” is a gross over generalization. You could easily make the same statement about Costa Rica for a health impaired North American. Everyone’s circumstances differ to some degree, but there are 10’s of millions of aging baby boomers doing quite well in North Americans. That a good thing for Costa Rica, because if they all went south, they would out number Tico’s 10 to 1.
Annie L. commented:
A realistic article that offers an excellent alternative! Even though this is comparing to retirement in the US, most of the concepts still applies to Canada. Even though we have universal health care in Canada (paid via income tax), there is a long waiting list for non-emergency care and referrals to specialists ( somewhat like the Caja system here). It is becoming more difficult to retire gracefully on a limited government pension! Other than the economic factor mentioned in this article, availability of fresh produce and friendly environment certainly make retirement here more attractive. We do more “living” and less “worrying” here!
And, finally, Jean Z. wrote:
We bought property in Costa Rica, under $150,000 4 years ago. We generally spend 6 months there. We have residency and can apply for permanent residency this year. We do not have a car and find the local buses are just fine and we ride free with pensionado residency. We may live there full time this year. We live on about half the cost of the US. We pay into the local health care but have not used it. A visit to the local family physician is $40. Cheaper than paying supplemental insurance. Our US Medicare supplement covers us out of the US for emergencies.We may be living there full time this next year.
In a recent posting of one of our crime articles on facebook, we received the following comments.
Denise M. wrote:
Hi neighbor… we are from Harford County Maryland. Just bought a place in Samara and for now a rental till we retire. I have no misconception about crime. Between the drugs and poverty you just have to be careful of theft. I am thankful that so far in Costa Rica you don’t hear of 4 or 5 murders a day. Turn on Maryland news and it is so sad.”
Kathy C. wrote:
The 2008 homicide rate in the US was 5.2/100,000 while Costa Rica was 8.2/100,000. That was the most current I found, but it sure “seems” higher in the US. I live in Puerto Viejo de Limon.
Brad B. replied:
It also “seems” higher in the US as the media focuses on murder, crime and bad things. The old media saying is quiet true “If it bleeds it leads” (the headlines that is).
- Read all of our In the Mailbag columns at this link.