Apr 01 2011


Paul & Gloria

Welcome to RetireforLessinCostaRica.com!

We called our website, “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” because that’s what we’ve done. Our goal was to retire on $2,000 per month; that’s $24,000 per year. In reality, some months we spend even less. During a normal month, we spend about $1,900, and when we travel around to see this beautiful country, we might spend a few hundred dollars more.  (You can read our cost of living articles at this link.) We would like to show you how you, too, can retire in Costa Rica for much less than you may be spending in the U.S. or Canada. In addition to accurate, down to earth information — the good, the bad, and the ugly — our website offers products and services that we believe will help you, both as you consider Costa Rica for retirement, and after you move here. We also search for good values on housing, entertainment, tours, vacations and more, and pass them on to our readers. We offer many tips that can be used wherever you live in the world.

What is the Retire for Less Philosophy?

Sometimes we tell people that we live the “retire for less lifestyle,” or perhaps we notice that others are also living in a similar way. So what exactly is it?

Conserve, simplify, enjoy. These three words sum up the Retire for Less Philosophy or lifestyle. We believe one can:

  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Discard some old beliefs regarding retirement
  • Count your cash, get your Social Security, and go where it’s cheaper
  • Reinvent yourself and begin a whole new, adventurous phase of your life
  • Look at your life differently, embrace the new culture, and try not to be ethnocentric
  • Scale down, live within your means, and learn to have fun, fun, fun!
  • Conserve energy, go green, and live without air-conditioners, heaters, dehumidifiers, and cars, as much as possible
  • Live without debt, reduce expenses, and reduce expectations
  • Save money, spend less, use less, and be satisfied with less – less is more

Making these choices doesn’t have to be a bad thing, nor a sacrifice.  It’s a good, positive thing.  We believe that less can be more and we try to live it. We realize that our way is not the way for everyone.  There are as many lifestyles in the world as there are people in it.  But if our philosophy resonates with you, then we invite you along for the journey.

We invite you to interact with us!

To subscribe to our newsletter, just click the “Newsletter” link above and enter your name and email address. We also offer a “comments” feature where you can give us feedback on our articles and other posts. And you can always reach us through our Contact Us page.

The symbol of this website is the brilliant, Blue Morpho butterfly that is native to Costa Rica. There is a fable about the Blue Morpho, that if you see one, miracles can happen, dreams can come true.

The goal of this Web site is to give people who share the dream of retiring in Costa Rica a place to ask questions, learn about life here, and find helpful products and services. Whether you have already visited and fallen in love with Costa Rica, or you are just thinking about retiring in a place where your money will go further, this Web site is for you.  We hope that you will visit us often.

Permanent link to this article: https://retireforlessincostarica.com/welcome/


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  1. Hola Paul and Gloria
    We are new to your site and are very interested in what you both have to say regarding the topic of “cost of living “in CR. Could you please clarify for us, your estimate of approximately $1700-$2000 per month ? Is that first of all, and estimate price per couple ? What does that figure include or not include(Eg; Housing,utilities,gas for car,etc.) I am aware of the fact that, depending on one’s own personal habits, that figure can vary greatly. However we are just trying to get a “Ball Park” figure as to what to expect, if we were to make the move to CR (In approximately five years, give or take). Any information that you or Paul can provide us with, would be deeply appreciated.
    Bob and Barbara Baxter

    1. Hi Bob and Barbara,
      Thanks for reading our site! We give a very detailed answer to your questions in our article: Update on Our Cost of Living in Costa Rica. We wrote it in May of last year but the data is basically the same as our living situation is the same. Hope this helps. Feel free to stay in touch and ask any other questions that might come up.
      Gloria & Paul

  2. Hola Paul and Gloria
    My wife, Barbara, has a question that she would like to ask. Have either one of you had any experiences regarding dentistry,chiropractors, or accupuncturists (or any other type of holistic treatment) while in CR ? If so please let us know approximately the costs(vs what the USA would have charged, if you are aware of such information).
    Thanks again
    Bob and Barbara Baxter
    PS: The information that you have provided regarding your monthly expenses(Cost of Living) was EXTREMELY HELPFUL !!! Thanks Again

    1. Hi Bob & Barbara,
      Paul and I see a local dentist and pay about $40 per visit. The cost for fillings is also $35-45 each, depending on the material used.
      I’ve gone to a great physical therapist who charges $30 per visit. I’ve also taken yoga classes for $5.
      While we know that there are acupuncturists and other types of holistic treatments available, we haven’t used them. However, I will say that the medical doctors here often suggest natural or alternative treatments for medical conditions. There is a much greater awareness of those things here.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks Gloria, and yes it does help.

        Bob Baxter

  3. Hola Paul and Gloria
    We just thought of another question(I hope you don’t mind all these questions?). We saw on your video, that when you first moved to CR, the cabinas(where you are now staying) were renting out at $400.00 per month. Three years later(I believe) they are now up to $700.00 per month. That is quite an increase ! Are they still worth the asking price of $700.00 per month ? It seems like a hugh increase ! Can you get a lease to “lock in” to avoid these types of annual increases ? Have you and Paul been “Grand Fathered/Mothered” as far as locking in on the original renting price of $400.00 per month ? Please explain to us , how it works in CR.
    Bob and Barbara Baxter
    PS:I’m sure that you are aware that the owner is trying to sell the development(land and all seven cabinas with an asking price of $799K)

    1. Hi guys,
      Yes, we are aware that the cabinas are up for sale. The current owners are still supporting the cabinas and quality of service and facilities has continued.
      To answer your question about the monthly rental fee, in our video we were referring to a different cabina. It was actually a studio “villa” that was tiny and didn’t have a full kitchen. We moved from there after one month into the Cabinas where we currently reside which are 2 bedrooms and much better equipped. So there really was NOT a $300 rent increase. In fact, we are paying the same amount now that we were paying three years ago when we moved here. The $700 monthly rent, we think, is still reasonable because it includes so much! Here’s a link to our info on what’s included: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2011/04/el-castillo-de-relajamiento-cabinas-in-beautiful-san-ramon-costa-rica/

      Glad for a chance to clear up this misunderstanding!
      Thanks for your continued interest in our website.
      Gloria & Paul

  4. Hola Paul and Gloria
    Thanks for the clarification. What you said,now makes a lot more sense. Hope to see you guys when we finally get there (just not sure when that will be at this point).

    Pura Vida
    Bob anbd Barbara Baxter

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