Welcome to our Retire For Less In Costa Rica Newsletter
In This Issue:
- Our April 2019 Costa Rica Cost of Living
- Our Moving to Costa Rica Timeline: All the Steps Along the Way, by Rob Evans
- Featured Property in Grecia: Fully Furnished Updated 3BR 2BR Home Near Town-$139,800
- Cooking in Costa Rica: An Expat’s Guide to Buying Groceries, Cooking, and Eating in Costa Rica
- Our Ultimate CR Healthcare Tour
We have been busy the last couple of months so I am a bit behind in getting you our monthly cost of living reports but we will catch up! April was another month of low spending for us. We stayed close to home and had no big or unusual expenses. Here’s the breakdown:
Transportation – $0.00
I think this is the first time this has ever happened! We spent zero on transportation. We had filled up our tank with gasoline at the end of the prior month and then, since we stayed close to home, we didn’t need another fill-up until the following month. We walked most places in town and when we drove, it was only locally, so no tolls or parking expenses, plus we had no car repairs.
Groceries – $372.20
Our cost for groceries in April was a bit lower than in recent months, perhaps because we ate our main meal of the day in restaurants more often than normal. Of the total spent, 84% was for food ($313.47) and 16% was for non-food items ($58.73).
Meals Out – $131.11
We ate lunch or dinner out in restaurants seven times in April — once at Savory a la Thai with friends, three times at Filipos, twice at a newly discovered restaurant, MegaMariscos, and once at El Establo for their $10 happy hour dinner special which includes a glass of wine with your choice of a limited menu. For two people, our meals out ranged from $17.44 to $26.73. All of these restaurants were in our town of San Ramón.
Healthcare – $188.68
In April, we had a few expenses in addition to our regular Caja payment and the pro-rated monthly MediSmart membership fee.
As a followup to his kidney surgery last August, Paul had a kidney function test done at the local lab. Thankfully, everything looks good. The lab test cost only $16.81 and he received the results the same afternoon.
The other expense was 28,000 colones ($46.74) for our dentist to replace one of Paul’s old fillings.
The balance of our healthcare spending for the month ($64.05) was for supplements, some of which we buy locally and the rest we had a friend bring us from the States.
Rent/Phone/Utilities – $798.91
No real surprises here. We did buy propane in April (a tank lasts us 2-3 months; we use it for cooking on our gas stove) which cost $11.69. Our expense for housecleaning was the same as normal though Flor cleaned for us only three times instead of four. The reason is that we gave her the paid day off during Semana Santa (Holy Week), as did most of the other families she works for.
Our total phone expenses include cell phone service ($23.37) for both Paul and me, as well as our Vonage VOIP line ($18.98) which allows us to keep a U.S. phone number. Our cell phone service is pre-paid which means we don’t have a regular plan. We pay as we go and only add money to our accounts when the balance runs low. Our phone expenses were a bit higher than normal in April as we bought a 64 gigabyte SD card for Paul’s Huawei phone. The cost of the SD card was $32.77.
Other Hardware/Household – $38.47
It was time to buy new sheets for the king bed in our guest room. It used to be that there wasn’t much of a selection in San Ramon, but a few years ago, a store opened just a block from our apartment that carries a big variety of sheets, towels, and comforters. Great, we thought, we’ll go there to buy what we need. Now, we know that often items like sheets aren’t of the highest quality, but we thought we found a great deal on Egyptian cotton sheets:
I remember laughing to Paul about the 1200 thread count. “Somehow I doubt that that’s accurate,” I said, “especially at this price” of $23.28. We paid for the sheets and took them home to make the bed. We were still laughing later, this time at ourselves when we realized that the “1200” had nothing to do with thread count and that our Egyptian Elegance sheets were 100% polyester made in China.
Three lessons learned:
- Always bring my reading glasses to look at the small print.
- Don’t make assumptions based on packaging or marketing. You get what you pay for.
- Even “old-timers” in the expat life can be fooled at times.
Personal Care and Clothing – $35.89
For years now, I have paid only 10,000 colones to get my hair cut and colored. My long-time stylist moved to the States with her husband a few years ago and I was lucky to find another stylist who charged the same amount and did a great job with my hair. However, in the last year, she moved to another town and I changed stylists again. The new stylist charged 12,000 colones and she was just up the block from our apartment. When I tried to go back to her in April, I found that her small shop had disappeared.
I came to the conclusion that it’s hard to make enough of a living charging only 10,000 colones for a cut and color and maybe if I paid more, the shop would be around for a while. I decided to try another salon nearby which had been in business for five years; in fact, they had just moved from the same building as our apartment to a larger location so that they could expand. Now, instead of paying 10,000 colones, I am paying 16,000 colones ($26.71) and am very pleased. I have since been back and they are still in business, so fingers crossed for the future.
Pet Supplies – $22.92
Our only expense for the month was a bag of Science Diet cat food for our two kitties, Tori and Laura.
In addition to our monthly NetFlix bill ($11.68, but about to go up to $12.99 starting in May) and Paul’s subscription to the Baltimore Sun online ($2.00), we also attended another event at Vientos Bajos in El Empalme de San Ramon. This time we were treated to lunch and a choral presentation by the Homestead Choir from Cupertino, California. They were excellent, especially their soloists. It was a great opportunity to enjoy time with friends and hear a range of choral music. We had a lovely afternoon for the price of 20,000 colones for both of us ($33.39).
Services – $8.35
We have the luxury of having our clothing ironed, as needed, for less than $1 USD per piece. In April, we had 10 of Paul’s shirts ironed by a lady in our neighborhood for a total of $8.35 (5,000 colones).
As usual, to help put things into perspective, here are our expenses for the previous two months reported. If you want more information about a particular month, just click on the graphic for that month below:
- Paul’s Money Saving Tip: Find Reasonably Priced Housing
- A Walk Around Our Neighborhood (Video)
- MediSmart: An Affordable Alternative to Private Health Insurance in Costa Rica
I hate to see people struggling with how to move to Costa Rica. It is not that hard but can be overwhelming at first, so I hope our timeline will be a helpful guide for you – either to follow our steps or to use as a template to forge your own way.
Five years before we moved, we started researching options and getting rid of anything we were not taking. I was surprised at how much work and emotional energy it took to decide what to do with all that we had accumulated in a large home over the years. The more you’ve accumulated and the more emotionally attached you are to your belongings, the longer and more difficult it will be for you to go through this process. Some people ship everything down; it’s a personal decision, but not one I recommend.
2009 to 2013 Downsizing
We spent these years getting rid of stuff and moving to smaller and smaller homes. From a 5000 sf. home, we moved to a 1600 sf. townhome, then to a 600 sf. apartment and finally to a rented room in a person’s home. Our goal was to get our lives down to ten suitcases we could take to Costa Rica.
We moved everything that fit in boxes (and that we did not need every day) to a 10’x12’ storage unit where we could sort through it to keep, sell, store, give away or discard. I highly recommend using a storage unit as a staging area since it gives you a separate location to spread out and sort. And at the end of the day, you can walk away and clear your mind.
We started by selling furniture and books in consignment stores and by hiring an eBay assistant who took our most valuable possessions (e.g., jewelry, collectibles) and advertised them, sold them, and shipped them for a 15% cut. Next, we sold things on Craigslist like bikes, tools, and china. Finally, we took the last items to Goodwill after we tried two yard sales — I don’t recommend this because they consume time and energy and are unprofitable.
I had our photo albums and VHS tapes – all our wonderful memories – digitized by ScanCafe. ScanCafe sends you a box, and for a set price they scan everything you can fit in the box. They return the items along with a DVD of all the images. One happy surprise was that I discovered several photos I had forgotten or had not seen that I could now easily share with family on Facebook. After the photos were secured, my wife stored all of our kids’ memorabilia in labeled, individual storage bins that a friend agreed to store for us.
An essential checkpoint occurred in the summer of 2012 – my wife’s buy-in. I had heard that unless the husband and wife are on the same page about moving to Costa Rica, a move may end in disaster. So, to get my wife’s approval and support, I sent her to Costa Rica for the summer. Jeni had not traveled alone to a foreign country, so it was going to be an adventure.
To prepare for the move, I bought every book about Costa Rica from Amazon, which at the time was only ten books. I particularly liked If She Can Do It, So Can I! by Lisa Valencia, a single woman who moved to Costa Rica sight-unseen to start a new life. Lisa bought and ran her own guest house, so I took a chance and contracted with her to pick up my wife at the airport, take her to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean and make her love Costa Rica. The whole experience went well and my wife came back from a summer in Costa Rica refreshed and excited about moving.
We spent the last months of 2012 getting the townhouse ready to sell but waited until after Christmas to put it on the market.
2013 Document collection and living small
The house sold quickly but I was still working, so we found a small apartment and learned to “live small.” It was rather romantic as it reminded us of our first year in married students’ housing!
For $100 I joined the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR), an organization that helps expats assimilate into Costa Rica. The last Thursday and Friday of every month, ARCR runs a seminar ($75) to introduce people to moving to Costa Rica. I scheduled us for the January 2014 seminar, booked our flights, and began planning an itinerary for starting the residency process and for a two-week tour of the Central Valley.
We also began to identify and collect our residency documents (birth and marriage certificates, police reports, pension letter). Note: these documents need to be original and no older than six months, so I learned how to get them but waited until the end of the year to actually order them. The police report was a little challenging: my local police department had no idea what I was talking about, so they suggested I try the county sheriff who actually had a department that created police reports on the spot.
Here is my wife in our storage unit sorting through our stuff with the goal of having everything fit in these four suitcases and two plastic storage containers with none weighing over 70 pounds.
At the end of 2013, I created an account with St. Brendan’s Isle (SBI) mail forwarding service in Florida. SBI is set up to serve the needs of expats, RVers, cruisers, business execs, missionaries, traveling nurses, etc., who need to manage physical mail while they travel. SBI receives my mail and sends me an email alert. I then select: (1) open and scan, (2) forward to me, (3) store it or (4) archive it. SBI also helped me apply for residency in Florida, get a Florida driver’s license and change my voter registration to Florida. I can sign on to the SBI site, check my mail and peruse the scanned content. It is amazing what you can do remotely – a check arrives in the mail in Florida, but I only see it on my computer screen; I then take a picture so I can deposit it without ever physically touching the check!
To make sure I could manage my mail remotely from the US before trying it in Costa Rica, I submitted a change of address A YEAR before we left. I then alerted anyone where to sent me mail and converted to their paperless options wherever possible.
Also at the end of 2013, I contacted Residency in Costa Rica, recommended by Paul and Gloria at Retire for Less in Costa Rica, to handle my residency application. Javier Zavaleta, the owner, is located in Los Angeles, CA. Then I collected all my documents and sent them to Javier who had them authenticated with an apostille and then forwarded them to his sister, Mayanye, in San José.
Finally, I converted our landline to Google Voice (GV). GV is a free service provided by Google to give people a virtual phone number that can be used anywhere. For $20 I switched my home phone to GV, so I could make and receive calls from my cell phone, iPad, or computer. GV uses our old landline number and rings on our devices (even on a touchtone phone using an OBI adapter). GV will receive the call, take a message, convert voice to text and send the text to my email, which is super convenient, especially for screening calls. So now my wife has a prepaid local phone number (cell phone chip, $2 a month); I have a T-Mobile cell phone account from the US which automatically switches to Movistar in Costa Rica ($50 a month), and we have GV which uses our old landline number.
Note: make sure your name is consistent on all accounts. Over the years, I’ve used several variations of my name (full name, first initials, no middle name) to sign papers. Consistency is essential in Costa Rica. Banks, immigration and government officials are sticklers for everything matching, so now is the time to start working on that consistency. Follow this link to see what I did.
2014 – Things get real
We flew to San Jose, Costa Rica in January 2014. After two days of orientation with ARCR , we visited the ARCR office and they helped us open a bank account and get a local phone and phone number. I opened the bank account at Banco Nacional (one of two national banks) with my passport, which you will hear cannot be done. I also brought a letter of introduction (per ARCR suggestion) from my credit union stating I was an excellent customer with excellent credit. An interesting aspect of Costa Rica banking is that they don’t seem to have the concept of a joint account. So, the bank made my wife a beneficiary, which allows her to use the account, but I am the primary owner. Follow this link to see more details of our banking experience.
Note: when we returned ten months later, my CR phone number and bank account had been suspended for non-use. No big deal: it was easy to reactivate them.
We then met with Mayanye of Residency in Costa Rica, who took us first to the police station to be fingerprinted for an Interpol background check and then to an attorney to sign power-of-attorney papers so they could represent us to immigration. We left and Mayanye submitted our paperwork to immigration. Note: at the police station we were asked in Spanish for our height (cm), weight (kg), hair and eye color, and where we lived in CR, so be prepared to give directions and a description (we used our hotel for our home).
We then took a two-week exploratory tour of the Central Valley to select where we wanted to live. I hired Paul Yeatman to tour us around San Ramón, San José, Heredia, and Grecia. I was initially attracted to San Ramón because my company, IBM, recruits there, which I thought was a good sign. Besides, San Ramón has some of the coolest expats in the Central Valley doing all kinds of interesting things for themselves and the community.
In San Ramón, we visited “The Cabinas” as expats call these seven cabins located outside the town where many gringos start their Costa Rica life. We checked out the property, took pictures, and told the manager we would be back at the end of 2014. It was a big relief knowing where we were going to live. We then returned to the US to finish our preparations.
Our lease on the one-bedroom apartment was up, so we moved to a furnished room in a person’s house in order to jettison more things and to be free to leave when we were ready. Being an adult living in another person’s home seemed strange at first, but the experience was good training for renting furnished homes in Costa Rica. We paid $25/day, all-inclusive, to live in a large, beautiful home. We moved our last items from a 10’x12’ to a 5’x6’ storage unit as we made progress.
At the end of October 2014, we were told our residency had been approved – 8 months after submission. Once approved, the applicant has 90 days to take Costa Rica’s offer. We made final arrangements and flew to Costa Rica in November; Paul Yeatman picked us up and took us to the Cabinas. We each brought three pieces of check-in luggage (two suitcases and one plastic trunk) plus our backpacks and carry-ons. We brought mostly clothes, bedding, towels, and kitchen gear to set up our new home. We used the trunks to bring delicate essentials (Instant Pot, a blender, and a sewing machine). Later, we used the trunks as coffee tables.
After settling in, I hired Martin Rojas, [(506) 8827 3612; firstname.lastname@example.org] who assists expats with navigating the Costa Rican system. Martin first took us to the post office to rent a PO box, and then to the San Ramón EBAIS to register with the CAJA (health services). We paid the first month’s CAJA payment at the Red Cross, which has to be done before going to immigration, and we went to BCR (the other national bank) to deposit money in special accounts required by immigration. The next day, we traveled to immigration in San José, met Mayanye and completed the paperwork and took the picture for our DIMEX (ID) card. If we had been seniors (age 65), they would have given us our cards on the spot, but instead, they asked for the nearest post office to send the finished card. Back in San Ramón, we provided the EBAIS with our final paperwork to complete the registration with the Caja.
Two weeks later, I went to the San Ramón post office and picked up our picture IDs which had a two-year expiration. We then traveled to San José and had ARCR help us get our Costa Rica driver’s licenses. All we needed was a simple doctor’s exam and our valid US licenses to get a Costa Rica license. That was it. We were official residents with a place to live, a bank account, a CR driver’s license, a phone, and a PO box.
2016 – Renew our vows
Married expats have a logistical problem when they renew their residency and Caja: their marriage certificate has to be original and authenticated with an apostille from the US that is not more than 30 days old. Someone pointed out that it would be much easier (and it is!) if we all had CR marriage certificates, so on Valentine’s Day, we joined 200 other couples and got remarried in Atenas.
Our residency renewal was due in November, but we couldn’t get an appointment until February of 2017. Having an expired DIMEX did not cause many problems except at the bank; however, all I needed was to show the paper proving I had an appointment for renewal, and all was well.
2017 – Second Temporary (renewal)
In February, we renewed our temporary residency and had to submit the same paperwork, including proof of income for life (a new pension letter or Social Security letter). For this renewal, we used Rafael Valverde of Outlier Legal Service because we were impressed with his work and he was nearby. Oh, he married us in the Costa Rica wedding ceremony mentioned above.
2018 – Time to change from Temporary to Permanent Status
By 2018 we had been legal residents for three years, which meant we could apply for a change of status from temporary to permanent. Unfortunately, instead of giving us three years on our permanent card, immigration only gave us six months. Rafael tried to get it fixed but to no avail.
2019 – Correcting a mistake
So, we returned to immigration in February to renew our permanent residency, which is now good until 2022. Some benefits of permanent residency don’t matter to me (such as being eligible to work), but I am happy not to have to track down another pension letter every time since it has always been a difficult process.
Other Articles by Rob Evans:
- Change Your Name Before Moving To Costa Rica, by Rob Evans
- My 2018 Healthcare Update, by Rob Evans
- The Best Way to Live for Less in Costa Rica (or Anywhere), by Rob Evans
- Our Costa Rica Cost of Living, by Rob Evans
- Banking in Costa Rica: Our Experience, by Rob Evans
Price: $134,800 unfurnished or $139,800 furnished
Year Built: 2010
Meters Squared Hectares: 238
Floor Size: 140 (m2)
Construction Area: 1500 (sq.ft.)
Neighborhood: Barrio Latino
Updated Home Near Town in a Grecia Gated Community for sale. Located walking distance to the farmers market and the Grecia mall this newer updated home is a great deal! It features three bedrooms and two full bathrooms as well as an outdoor shower. The kitchen and dining area are ample and the high ceilings make the house stay cool and spacious. The kitchen has lots of counter space as well as a movable island perfect for cooking and you can slide it anywhere to make it convenient.
The living area opens to the back patio where the laundry room and storage area is. The patio itself is lovely and is partially covered. There are flowers and tropical plants in the yard. It is the perfect place for BBQ’s and entertaining.
The three bedrooms are at the rear of the house. The master has its’ own bathroom as well as access to the back patio via sliding glass doors. The front patio doubles as a carport and there is yet another sitting area in the front. The church of Grecia is visible from the house.
The neighborhood is quiet and mostly ex-pats and working Costa Rican’s. It is gated and monitored 24 hours a day. Walking distance to town, as well as lots of bus and taxi services and a cheap taxi ride to town ($2) the location is perfect if you want to be near town but without the noise.
This house would make a great rental investment. It is being offered fully furnished for $139,800.00 or unfurnished for $134,800.00. Most of the furniture is custom made and solid wood so the quality is there. The appliances are in good shape and this house is move-in ready.
- Ceiling Fans
- Ceramic Floors
- City water
- Controlled-Access Community
- Furnished or Unfurnished
- Gated Community
- Hot Water
- Paved Access
- Views (Mountain)
Property ID #82162
Click here to check out our other properties under $150,000 and read about what to do before you buy.
I’m so excited to announce that my new book, Cooking in Costa Rica: An Expat’s Guide to Buying Groceries, Cooking, and Eating in Costa Rica is now available on Amazon.com! Here are a couple of my 5-star reviews:
“Outstanding. I have been looking for a book that would tell me where to buy certain items that are not available in the local Costa Rica stores and I found all of that and more. Information such as translation from English to Spanish and of course Spanish to English. This is helpful so when I am shopping I can find what I am looking for using the translation. There is a break down of measurements and substitutions that was helpful. I like the few recipes that are included, and can’t wait to try them. This is a great book with so much information to help you learn about cooking in Costa Rica. I love the layout of the book and the clear explanations, and it’s easy to locate what I am looking for without going through an entire book. Also, the resources in the back have been super helpful. Thanks so much for the book.”
“Practical as well as scholarly, this is a must-have guide for any man or woman who commands a kitchen in Costa Rica. Wonderfully readable and quickly useable for whatever and whenever you may need to know all things culinary in Costa Rica. And if that were not enough, what an amazing tour guide for English-speaking lovers of food in a Spanish-speaking culture, where the recipes you know and have always loved can come alive in new and exciting ways. I just feel smarter having read it!”
When you move to a Spanish-speaking country, it can be daunting to stock your kitchen and cook meals when you don’t know what your ingredients are called in Spanish. And even when you know the Spanish translation, it can be a challenge at times to find what you are looking for.
You can download this practical, comprehensive guide and on-going reference tool on your smartphone or iPad so you have it with you whenever you shop. The table of contents is interactive, so you can easily click through to the meat section when you are at the butcher shop (carnicería) or to the dairy section when you are standing in front of the dairy case. Here’s what you will find inside:
- A little bit about me, our life in Costa Rica, how and where we shop for groceries, what we spend, and some insights about grocery shopping in Costa Rica.
- An English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English food dictionary, broken down into the following sections:
- Meat & Poultry
- Fish & Seafood
- Grains, Nuts, Seeds, & Baking Ingredients
- Dairy & Eggs, Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
- Beans, Canned & Prepared Foods
- Herbs, Spices, & Seasonings
- An English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English food dictionary in alphabetical order.
- An English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English dictionary of things you find in the kitchen.
- A Glossary of cooking terms and helpful adjectives to use when buying and cooking food, ordering in a restaurant, and reading recipes in Spanish.
- Recipe substitutions for when you can’t find familiar ingredients here in Costa Rica.
Recipes that I have adapted to use with ingredients found in Costa Rica, plus some favorite recipes of other expat cooks in Costa Rica.
- A U.S. Measure to Metric Conversion Guide for temperature, volume, weight, and length.
- A resource section with links to expat cooking blogs, Facebook groups and pages, specialty products, and other food-related things.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for your iPad or computer at this link.
I hope you enjoy my book and find it useful!
We are proud to offer the Ultimate Healthcare Tour of Costa Rica. When asked what he liked best about our healthcare tour, one of our guests wrote, “the wide variety of places we saw, the experts that Paul arranged for us to meet and talk with, and an emphasis on all aspects of health, not just doctors and hospitals. Mental health is just as important as physical, if not more so.”
David and Donna H. recently took our healthcare tour and had this to say on one of the expat Facebook groups: Donna and I just finished the medical tour that Paul and Gloria (Retire For Less in Costa Rica) offer. It was excellent! Two days of information and tours around hospitals and clinics as well as educational and cultural centers and even information on some of the banking. The tour is designed to introduce a new arrival to the Costa Rican system of health care that includes, not just the body but the whole person. I highly recommend this tour to anyone that is new, or relatively new in-country, especially to the people that live in and around the central valley. Paul tailors the two days to the groups needs as far as their ability, including any and all physical limitations, and his own experience and contacts with the people at the various institutions make this tour extremely personable and pleasurable. It is a really great opportunity to learn more about the health care and how you can tailor it to your own needs, and learn more about what is available to enhance your experience while living in Costa Rica.”
We’ve lived in Costa Rica for more than 10 years and have used the Caja, Costa Rica’s public healthcare system extensively, as well as the private system when needed. We’ve learned the system and have been referred up the ladder to see specialists in the maze that is the Caja system. Gloria’s had out-patient surgery through the Caja and Paul was in a Caja hospital for 14 days to have his kidney removed after a cancer diagnosis.
Our blend of personal insights and on-the-ground experience combines to answer your questions about whether or not Costa Rica’s healthcare system could meet your individual needs.
But, while it is focused on healthcare, you will learn a lot more about living and retiring in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. Most of the second day of the tour takes place in the town of San Ramón where we live and use the services. And you will come to our home that day to listen to two presentations.
Our tour is designed to save you both time and money, packing a lot of information into a short period of time. Our goal is to show you the possibilities and to try to demystify Costa Rica’s healthcare system. Our tour lasts two days and 1 night and includes lodging, transportation, meals, and non-alcoholic beverages.
- At least two private hospitals in the San Jose area
- Hospital Mexico, the largest and best public hospital (they even do open heart surgeries there)
- An insurance broker for a presentation on the various supplemental health insurance options, including public, private, and international plans
- A senior living retirement community (optional)
- An in-patient drug-rehab facility (optional)
- CPI language school for a presentation about how learning Spanish increases your options for healthcare and some basic medical Spanish.
- Our local hospital here in San Ramón
- A local EBAIS (community clinic)
- A dental office in San Ramón
- A local Seguro Social office where you would sign up for the Caja (national healthcare coverage)
- A pharmacy
- A local feria (farmer’s market) where you will see the abundance of fresh food available.
- The local Cruz Roja (Red Cross) to learn about their services and programs.
- A health food store (macrobiotica), and more!
- If the Costa Rican healthcare system could meet your needs and put your mind to rest, once and for all, about this sensitive subject.
- About the public system and how it works, about the private healthcare system, and how you can use a combination of both to your advantage.
- About the EBAIS – where healthcare starts in Costa Rica.
- Approximately how much you would pay for Caja.
- About medical tourism in Costa Rica.
- About home health care in Costa Rica.
Prices: $650 for a couple, $550 for a single.
Please contact us if you are interested in booking a tour. Space is limited.
- Paul Gets a CAT Scan Through the Caja
- Integration 102 – Speaking Up at the Hospital
- Waiting to See the Doctor, by Jo Stuart
If you have been reading our website for a while, you know that we have been traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico, for the past six years during part of Costa Rica’s rainy season. Paul went to University in Mexico and the country and its culture have always been an interest of his. I have come to love it as well. Spending several months in Oaxaca each year has given us the best of both worlds — the beauty, tranquility, and kind people of Costa Rica and the culture, arts, and great food of Mexico.
Our plan is to continue to live part of the year in Costa Rica and part of the year in Oaxaca. In 2019, we will be in Costa Rica from January through June and in Oaxaca for the months of July through December. If you are interested in learning more about why we spend part of the year in Oaxaca, visit our website, Retire in Oaxaca Mexico:
and our Facebook page of the same name:
What’s New on the Website
Check out our newest posts on www.retireforlessincostarica.com:
- Our March 2019 Costa Rica Cost of Living
- Costa Rica’s Successful Reforestation Efforts in a Graphic
- In the Mailbag: Getting Mail, Buying a Car, and Retiring for Less?
- Our February 2019 Costa Rica Cost of Living
- In the Mailbag: Banking Your Social Security Payment, and Tourist Visas
- Does Costa Rica Have the Highest Electricity Rates in the World?
- Our January 2019 Costa Rica Cost of Living
- Costa Rica: One of the World’s Happiest Countries
- Healthcare Bang-for-Your-Buck
- Increasing Grocery Prices in Costa Rica: Fact or Fiction?
- What’s Up With the Yeatmans? CT Scan, Cancer, and the Caja-Part 3
- Costa Rica Caja Health Insurance Payment Scale
- Costa Rica’s Current Economic Situation
- Caja Payment Exemptions for Snowbirds, Rainbirds, and Other Part-time Residents
- What’s Up With the Yeatmans? CT Scan, Cancer, and the Caja-Part 2
- A Walk Around Our Neighborhood (Video)
- 10 Tips on How to Thrive as an Expat in Costa Rica