Apr 19 2018

In the MailBag – Tours, Body Donation, Persons with Disabilities, and Cost of Living

We always get lots of responses and questions from readers, both newsletter subscribers and on Facebook.

“Hi Gloria and Paul,

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated having one of your personalized tours around San Ramon and area.

It was so interesting to meet all of those expat contacts of yours, many of whom have lived there for a number of years and others who were just settling in. It was inspiring to see the many and varied ways in which they are organizing their lives and finding ways to be productively involved in their communities.

Since I was mainly interested I rental options (as opposed to buying), I’m glad I got an idea of some of what is available out there.

The “walk about” in San Ramon was kind of fun because I got to watch Paul “in action” so to speak. It was cool to see how he has connected with so many people in the community and was bumping into someone he knew about every half block or so!

Even though health stuff was not my main area of interest I did find I learned a lot of useful information from you two about that and about banking in Costa Rica as well.

It was also good to find out about cultural events and even to attend an Oboe Concert while in San Ramon.

A tour like yours was very helpful even in cases like mine where I speak Spanish fluently and have had experience living  in Latin America, because you are showing so  many of the specifics of living in Costa Rica.

Thanks for a fun,  informative time!”

Patricia H.

Thanks Patricia! We enjoyed spending time with you and showing you “our” Costa Rica.

“Hi Paul and Gloria,

We had our appointment yesterday at UCIMED after your most informative article sparked us to make the move toward anatomical gifting. The process was very efficient and quick. In a recent edition of your newsletter, PJ had a question about making an appointment to do this. Sr. Carvajal is fluent enough in English to make the appointment with you and conduct the meeting, but he felt more comfortable using an interpreter at our appointment because of the legal issues involved. He wanted to make sure we completely understood the process from beginning to end. I initially emailed him using Google translate but got no response, so I opted to brave it by phone. I succeeded reaching him with my basic Spanish and then spoke with him directly in English. They are very happy to receive these requests and we left with our donation cards in hand and feeling another item is crossed off the list of necessities for end of life arrangements. Thanks so much for all the information you give us transplants!”

Arlene Grabowski

Thanks for writing, Arlene. For those interested in learning about UCIMED’s body donation plan, check out our article, “End of Life Issues – Body Donation in Costa Rica, by Judy Kerr.” 

“I would love to know the good and bad of being a disabled person with Cedula residents pension. Any and all information!!”

Lisa F.

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for getting in touch. I think it would depend on the disability. We had a tour guest who had had polio as a child and had a hard time getting around on broken sidewalks and hilly areas. He decided against CR pretty quickly. Another issue to consider is whether or not any required medications or therapies are available here. On the positive side, the Caja does not deny coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

You may want to consider taking our healthcare tour if your have specific issues you would like addressed. All of the info is on our site at this link: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/our-ultimate-healthcare-tour-of-costa-rica/

Hope this helps.


“I don’t understand how you can spout how costa rica is inexpensive.

Unless your living like a peasant, food is high, goods (clothing equipment) are high. Meds are high.

Costa Rica is one of the most expensive Latin American countries!!!!”

Hope B.

Hi Hope,

Thanks for getting in touch.

We have never said that Costa Rica is inexpensive. Never once. And we have said many times that Costa Rica is probably the most expensive country in Central America. What we do say is that we are able to live a lot less expensively than we could in the States. We tend to not buy many imported products, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and are conservative using electricity. We live in an area where we don’t need heat or air conditioning. We live a good life, and for much less than we did back in Baltimore.

Hope this helps clarify our position.


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