Nov 23 2016

Retire for Less in Costa Rica – November 23, 2016

Welcome to our Retire For Less In Costa Rica Newsletter

Paul and Gloria

Paul and Gloria

In This Issue: 





Hurricane Otto Comes to Costa Rica

It’s ironic that just this past June, in our article, “Could a Hurricane Hit Costa Rica?” we reported that “while we have sometimes experienced the effects of hurricanes since we’ve lived in Costa Rica, so far, we haven’t received a direct hit.” This may be about to change. The northeastern part and Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is on red alert, with mandatory evacuations from coastal areas. Nicaragua is also on alert. Heavy rains, winds of up to 80 mph, flooding, and landslides are all possible. The rest of the country, including the Central Valley where we live, is on yellow alert. We hope that everyone in Otto’s path stays safe and warm.


Here are links to some of the articles written about Otto’s approach on Costa Rica:

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What’s Up with the Yeatmans

Us at Paul's University Reunion Gala in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

Us at Paul’s University Reunion Gala in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

It’s been a a few weeks since you’ve heard from us. Our last newsletter was the 28th of October, while we were still in Mexico. Our lives have been a whirlwind since then.

We came home to Costa Rica on November 3rd, then left again a few days later, this time for Las Vegas. We went to International Living’s Retire Overseas Bootcamp Conference where more than 600 people came to learn how to decide where to move overseas, and even more basically, whether or not a move overseas was right for them. We talked to lots of folks interested in Costa Rica and we did our best to give them an understanding of the country and what it’s like to live here.

While we were in Mexico, we found out that, after about a year of waiting, the apartment in downtown San Ramon we have been hoping for was becoming available. All of a sudden, I was feeling a range of emotions. I was excited about the apartment, sad aemoticonsbout leaving this wonderful house in Magallanes, feeling simultaneously apprehensive about the challenges and happy about the conveniences of living in town, and a bit overwhelmed about how busy we were and how much there was to do, not to mention the upcoming holidays. (I am the detail-oriented person in our marriage so I feel the overwhelm; Paul is the big ideas guy so he just feels sure that it will all work out.)

One of the important things to do is to help find a new renter for this house. We have loved living here. It us such a special place and we have so many wonderful memories of our time here.

ReaHouseThose of you who have been reading our newsletter for a while know that the house was sold by the original owners to a new owner (who just happens to live in Las Vegas, only 10 minutes from our conference hotel.) While we were in Vegas, we were able to spend the day with her and we promised to help find a new renter. She and her family won’t be moving into the house until July or August next year. So, the rental would be for 6-8 months, starting on or about January 1st. If you are interested in the details, read our posting, Tranquil Rental in San Ramón – $900/month with 6-8 month lease (below). This rental would be perfect for “snow-birds” who want to get away from the cold temperatures up north, or for folks who want a special place to stay while looking around for something more permanent.


One of the spectacular sunsets from the porch of this house.

We will move into the new apartment by January 1st and, for the first time since moving to Costa Rica almost 8 years ago, we have to buy furniture. When you rent or buy an unfurnished place in Costa Rica, it is typical that it does NOT include any appliances. We will have a great kitchen in our new apartment, but no appliances.

This will be our new kitchen!

This will be our new kitchen!

So, we are shopping in stores, on Craigslist , Encuentra24, and facebook groups for a buyappliancesused washer, dryer, fridge and stove (after all, we ARE “retire for less!”) plus some basic furniture to get us started. [Note: We will probably end up buying a new refrigerator and stove as the prices for quality used ones aren’t that much lower than new, plus we’ll get a warranty.] The new apartment has lots of built-ins so we don’t need bedroom furniture, only a new mattress and a bed with mattress for our guest room. We need living room furniture and a kitchen/dining table and chairs, plus some stools for our breakfast bar. I have to admit, while it’s time consuming and somewhat expensive, I’m actually excited about it. Of course, we will be letting you know the costs of everything, hoping that helps you at some point down the line.

With everything that’s been going on in our lives, plus the traveling, we’re behind in our cost of living and weather reports, but I promise they are coming, so stay tuned! Also, we will tell you in detail what it cost us to live for a month in Mexico in our next newsletter.


Tranquil Rental in San Ramón – $900/month with 6-8 month lease


Area: 11658 m2
Construction (under roof): 2000 ft

Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Years Built: 2010

Rent: $900/month, with a 6-8 month lease. Rent includes: Water service, security alarm monitoring service, gardener/caretaker, weekly housekeeping, and garbage pickup. Renter pays electricity, propane gas for hot water and cooking, phone, and internet service.


If you are looking to live in communion with nature, surrounded by wild life including monkeys, parrots, macaws and toucans, with an unobstructed view to the Gulf of Nicoya  and mountains, and with your own river and waterfall behind your property, then this is the place for you.


Sunset from the back porch, looking out to the Gulf of Nicoya

Secluded but not isolated on over 2 acres, in an area with a healthy mixture of locals and expats, a wonderful community only 5 kilometers (10 minutes) from downtown San Ramon, 45 minutes from the beach, 45 minutes to Juan Santamaria Airport and one hour from San Jose. Important note: you will need a car to live here as there is no bus service in this area.


The home was built in 2010, is completely furnished (including dishwasher and washer and dryer), has three bedrooms and two baths, hot water throughout, high ceilings, lots of windows, laundry room, pantry and a wonderful, large roofed terrace overlooking the jungle where you will want to spend all your time. Other extras include alarm, exterior shower, ceiling fans and views from every room in the house.






Paul’s favorite room; we call it the tree-house room! It has windows on 3 sides.





Our Ultimate CR Healthcare Tour

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 HCTOUR_030arranged 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.”HCTOUR_008

We’ve lived in Costa Rica for over seven 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 even had surgery here.

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 for lunch 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.

Sample Itinerary

You’ll visit:

  • At least two private hospitals in San Jose area
  • Hospital Mexico, the largest and best public hospital (they even do open heart surgeries there)HospitalMexico
  • An insurance broker for a presentation on the various supplemental health insurance options, including public, private, and international plans
  • A senior living retirement community
  • 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)
  • The office of our dentist 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!


You’ll learn:

  • 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.

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