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Senior Retirement Costa Rica

senior couple costa rica beach

Forget Florida! Flock to Costa Rica to Shine in Your Golden Years…

Today’s seniors are enjoying a long life after retirement. If you are a senior contemplating how best to spend your post-retirement years, a life in Costa Rica could truly be one of your best options.

While it is known for its nightlife and its exciting, adventurous vibe, Costa Rica isn’t only for the young. This is a great place for elderly retirees for many reasons, including the following:

Warm Climate

Costa Rica offers warm, pleasant weather year round. In many parts of the country temperatures hover in the high 70s to mid-80s with little change from season to season – a far cry from the long, harsh winters many American and Canadian seniors face each year.  Older retirees will never have to worry about slipping on icy steps or driveways or enduring unexpected Arctic blasts in March.  They can enjoy golfing, swimming, boating, and hosting barbecues any time of year.

Great Health Care

Costa Rica has an excellent health care system – one whose treatment of seniors ranked 11th out of 91 countries in a study by HelpAge International. By contrast, the United States ranked 24th in the same study. Not only does Costa Rica offer highly-trained physicians and up-to-date hospitals, health care is affordable for everyone, retirees and the elderly included.

Safety

Costa Rica is one of the safest, if not the safest country in Central America. Of course, it is wise to exercise common sense and keep your money and belongings secure, but poverty and crime are very low, and anyone can feel secure traveling to almost any part of the country.

Cost of Living

Even a modest pension by American standards can ensure retirees a high quality of life in Costa Rica. While cars, electronics and imported items can be costly, day-to-day expenses like restaurants, groceries and utilities are very affordable. Hiring a cook, maid, gardener or nurse will cost a mere fraction of what it would in the United States or Canada, so you can be assured of obtaining any help you might need. In addition, home prices are low – a luxury home near the beach costs far less in Costa Rica than a similar home in North America or Europe.

Treatment of Seniors

Costa Rica scored high in the HelpAge International study’s enabling environment category, which measures how well seniors are able to integrate into society. Costa Ricans refer to older people as “golden citizens.” As a culture, they respect and care greatly for older people, and offer many perks for seniors in the form of discounts, special amenities and treatment and care.

 

 

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Retirement in Costa Rica

10 top Reasons to Retire in Costa Rica

senior couple sunset eachCosta Rica is an increasingly popular place to retire, and for good reason. This tropical paradise has a lot to offer retirees. If you are thinking of spending your golden years in this beautiful country, here are 10 things you should know:

Home prices are reasonable

The cost of a luxury home in Costa Rica is considerably lower than a comparable home in many other places in the world. Even a luxury home with access to the beach will cost only a fraction of what a similar home on the coast of France, Spain, or the United States.

Cost of living is low

While the cost of some things — such as furniture, electronics and imported foods — may be somewhat high, the cost of electricity, local groceries, entertainment, dining out and housing are significantly lower than they are in the United States.

Standard of living is high

Costa Rica enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Central and South America. Because costs for so many things are significantly lower than they are in the United States, retirees can have a higher quality lifestyle on a smaller amount of money. In addition, there is a large population of expats in Costa Rica, and there are

Costa Ricans respect seniors

In the Costa Rican culture, elders are honored and respected, and seniors can generally expect to be treated very well, and receive discounts and other perks form businesses.

You may be eligible for a special residency status

While Costa Rica is generous and welcoming toward foreigners, you will not be able to stay in the country indefinitely without applying for a special residency status. You can either apply for a “pensionado” or a “rentista” visa. These visas both come with income verification regulations, and both require that you live in the country for at least four months a year.

There is a lot to see and do

Whether you’re seeking a retirement full of excitement and new adventures, or a peaceful post-work existence where you can relax and be at ease, there are hundreds of options available to you in Costa Rica. From shopping, to scuba diving, to bird watching in the rainforest and lounging on the beach, there is something for everyone to do and see here.

The weather is great year-round

With an average of 12 hours of sunshine a day and warm, balmy temperatures year round, Costa Rica is the land of endless summer, and opportunities for outdoor living, boating, fishing, golfing and exploring abound, all year long.

The people are warm and friendly

The people of Costa Rica are polite, deferential, and sometimes a bit formal, but they are also warm, welcoming and very friendly, and they truly know how to have a good time. You will likely make new friends everywhere you go.

You will have access to many creature comforts

You can expect to have the same access to cell phone and internet services as you do in the United States. There are also many residences available with American layouts and American-style appliances.

You can enjoy rural, urban, or beach living

There are many choices when it comes to where you want to live in Costa Rica. You can enjoy life near the beach, in the tropics, near the city, or in a tranquil rural setting.

 

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Costa Rica Culture

Living in Costa Rica and NOT Lost in Translation

multicolored teamworkLife is different in Costa Rica, and if you plan to live here, you are bound to experience some culture shock. Here are some things to keep in mind about Costa Rican customs and etiquette that will make the transition easier.

Expect a warm welcome

Costa Ricans are a truly warm and friendly people, and you can expect help and hospitality everywhere you go. If you find yourself invited to someone’s home – which you almost certainly will – bring wine or flowers for the host, expect a fuss to be made over you, and try to at least sample whatever you are offered — whether or not you are hungry – to show appreciation for the invite.

Close friends may greet each other with a kiss

Whether it is an air kiss or a light smooch on each cheek, it’s common for people to greet those they know well with a kiss. This applies to women greeting women and men and women greeting each other — men who know each other well typically simply shake hands and touch each other lightly on the shoulder.

Costa Ricans are family oriented

Family is the most important thing to Costa Ricans. Inquiring about the health and well-being of people’s family members will put you in good standing.

The country runs on Costa Rican time.

As in many Latin countries, time in Costa Rica is a more fluid concept than it is in the United States. It is common to show up to social gatherings and other functions late – sometimes by half an hour or more.

It’s also common for people to be vague about when they will show up, or when they will accomplish a task. Things just move more slowly in Costa Rica — lateness typically isn’t considered rude, and people are used to “tomorrow” meaning “at some unspecified point in the future.” This can be hard for punctual Americans to get used to, but it would serve you well to have patience, accept their concept of time and plan around it.

People are very courteous

Costa Ricans are taught from a young age to be polite and courteous, and they rarely raise their voices in anger in public. It’s important to be friendly and remember your manners, as this is expected behavior, and never, ever put your feet on the furniture.

Costa Ricans can, at times, be so polite that they will not directly say what they mean. They may also say “maybe” or “thank you” to avoid telling you “no” directly.

Costa Rica has a “macho” culture

While the country has come a long way in terms of gender equality, women still have well-defined roles, and are expected to be traditionally feminine. Women can still sometimes expect whistles and cat calls as they walk down the street, however, serious harassment is rare. While it’s acceptable for women to dine in restaurants alone, it is better to visit bars and clubs with friends or an escort.

People are more formal

While they may have a more laid-back, open and friendly lifestyle than Americans, Costa Ricans tend to be less casual than Americans. In the city men typically wear dress pants and leather dress shoes and women dress nicely and wear full makeup – even to run simple errands. If you want to avoid standing out, it is a good idea to dress up a little when you are headed into town.

 

 

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Moving to Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be an Awesome Move

Moving abroadCosta Rica is a tropical paradise, and moving there to work or retire is a dream come true for many.

As far as the nuts and bolts of relocation go, moving to another country is in a category all by itself. While it’s exciting to start a new life somewhere completely new, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. There’s also a lot to get used to in your new environment. If you’re considering making the big move, or if you’re already in the process, here are some things to consider, and some helpful tips to make the process smoother.

Secure employment.

If you’re in a position where you don’t have to do this right away, fantastic. However at some point, unless you’re retired or you’re moving due to a job transfer, you’re going to have to figure out your employment situation. You can’t legally work in many places in Costa Rica until you become a permanent resident, which takes two years. But you can start your own business, and doing so is very easy.

Learn Spanish.

While many people in Costa Rica speak English and there is a large population of ex-pats, Spanish is still far and away the predominate language. Learning Spanish will help you navigate much more smoothly through your day-to-day life.  You don’t have to be completely fluent right out of the gate. However, learning enough to find ingredients in a grocery store, make transactions in stores, find a restroom, ask for directions, and get help if you get lost, injured or sick will be very helpful as you start out your new life.

Do your homework.  

Research the country and the culture. Learn about the currency and the exchange rate. Find out everything you can about the area you are moving to, including what types of shopping, entertainment, and amenities will be available to you.  Learn about local customs, and about any lifestyle changes you can expect. One way to do some research is to speak to someone who’s already made the move. Another is to hire a relocation service, which facilitates the moving process, and may even have cultural classes to help ease your transition.

Sell your stuff.

You make want to take small items or sentimental items with you to Costa Rica. However, it’s best to sell your furniture and other items and buy everything new once you get there. If you do decide to ship your furniture, be aware that there will be pricey shipping fees and the import tax on used goods ranges from 40 percent to 90 percent of their value.

Become a legal resident.

Securing your status as a legal resident is fairly easy, and will allow you to live in the country legally for anywhere from one to five years. There are income, employment, and other requirements to becoming a legal resident. Do your homework to ensure you’ll be in compliance with any regulations.

 

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Property Management Los Sueños Costa Rica

Vacation Property Management in Los Sueños is Easy With HRG

Owning a vacation property in Los Sueños means owning your own piece of paradise.  It can also mean getting in on a profitable investment opportunity that offers minimal stress and a high ROI, thanks to the Hardy Real Estate Group, or HRG.

The charms of the Los Sueños Resort are almost endless. Set in Herradura Bay on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, the resort features a beautiful subtropical locale close to beaches, rainforests, and national parks. The weather is balmy and warm year round, and visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, swimming, water sports, and rainforest tours, as well as shopping, fine dining, and vibrant night life. Guests and owners of condos and villas at Los Sueños enjoy upscale, 5-star accommodations, with the feel of a private residence.

HRG makes it easy to invest in a Los Sueños condo or villa as a cash flow property.  Their second-to-none property management services allow property owners take a lot of the legwork and worry out of property maintenance, utilities, and emergency services.

For a small added investment HRG will handle just about any property need you have. Full-time concierge and customer service ensures that your tenants will have the complete 5-star experience. All of their needs will be met, 24/7, which means they’ll enjoy their stay and will look forward to coming back.

A full-time on-premises property manager gives you a personal contact – someone who can be your eyes and ears when you’re away, act on your behalf, and ensure that everything is running as it should.

HGA will take to stress out of keeping your bills up to date as well. They can handle your utilities, your HOA fees and your property insurance payments, allowing you to focus on other things.

To ensure that properties are up to snuff, HGA performs weekly inspections. They check for stains, mildew and leaks, secure all doors and windows, and make sure that all appliances are running smoothly. They also check all emergency systems and fire alarms. Maintenance and repair costs are taken from a deposit fronted by the property owner, making the process simple and streamlined.

HGA does more than just maintain Los Sueños properties – they market them as well, meaning higher interest, higher visibility, and fewer vacancies.

In short, HGA gives your guests the best in service, take the burden of day-to-day maintenance off your shoulders, and help keep occupancy high, giving you the best possible return on your investment, with little effort on your part.

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Medical Care Costa Rica

Costa Rica Offers Socialized, as well as Privatized Medical Care, and has Been Shown to Lead to Longevity in the Lives of its Citizens

medical-care-costa-ricaIf you have been thinking of moving to Costa Rica, and have wondered what its healthcare system is like, you need not wonder anymore. The World Health Organization has frequently placed Costa Rica at the top of its rankings when it comes to countries that have long life expectancies for their residents. The United Nations also listed Costa Rica’s public health system highly, naming it one of top twenty public health systems in the world; Costa Rica is number one in Latin America.

 

There are many considerations people think long and hard about when looking to move including:

  1. Where will I move to and how will I find that place?
  2. What is the medical care like there?
  3. What is the education system like?
  4. Are there jobs available?

In this article, I will focus on the first two considerations for living in Costa Rica. If you are looking to move anywhere along the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, you need look no further than HRG real estate to help you find an ideal home or piece of property to build on. HRG Properties is your one stop shop for Costa Rica real estate.

There are several reasons that it been ranked highly by the United Nations and the World Health Organization:

  • Costs tend to be much less than they are in the United States for prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays.
  • The government has put health programs in place that are both preventative and healing in nature. Vaccination, informational classes and literature provide a preventative take on healthcare. The slower pace of life in Costa Rica as well as the healthy locally grown and preservative free foods, along with the warm tropical climate contribute greatly to boosting the immune systems of the Costa Rican population. The medical services provided for those who need them include pharmacy, clinical services, surgery and radiation therapy.
  • Current private medical insurance plans cost a minimal $60-$130 per month for an individual and cover 80% of prescription drug, sick visits and hospitalization and certain medical exams. Surgeon’s costs and anesthetists costs are fully covered by these plans.
  • The Costa Rican public health insurance system, called the Caja, covers most if not all of your healthcare costs, that is, if you are a citizen or legal resident of Costa Rica. You will have free access to ten major public hospitals, four of which are located in San Jose’ (great tip if you are looking for a place with lots of medical care nearby – mention this to your HRG real estate agent).
  • Almost every community has a local government funded clinic known as an EBAIS (said, ay-vy-ice). These small clinics provide non-emergent and everyday medical care. There will always be one of these clinics nearby, regardless of where you live in Costa Rica.

In summary, Costa Rica’s public healthcare system is known worldwide for its quality and the longevity of its citizens. Many of the doctors there speak English, which is an added benefit when you are looking to move there from the US.

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Living and Working in Costa Rica

Living and Working in Costa Rica Allows for the Best of both Worlds: Luxurious Paradise Meets Business Central in just 80 Minutes!

Who can ask for a better place for living and working than Costa Rica? Costa Rica isn’t a large country and the 80 minute commute from your villa or condo in Los Sueños Resort and Marina to your office in San Jose is a beautiful drive. Hardy Real Estate Group makes it easy to find the perfect home in luxurious Los Sueños that will make the commute to San Jose, for business or work in the Central Valley, totally worth your time.

San Jose offers a lot of techy jobs including analyst, engineering, and information technology positions as well as consulting, design, sales and administrative positions. Some of the top companies located in San Jose, Costa Rica are IBM, Proctor and Gamble, Emerson, and Deloitte.

HRG real estate is available to help you find the home of your dreams in gorgeous Los Sueños Resort. They offer homes for sale for those who want the privacy of their own tropical kingdom with luxurious amenities with a viable work commute.

For example, all this and more is rolled into one sweet package at Vista Tres Bahias 19. This property sits atop a hill offering gorgeous panoramic views of Los Sueños Resort and Marina and the Pacific Ocean. From the columned terrace with intricate tile flooring there is a view reminiscent of the Mediterranean with the added bonus of mountains lining the bay in the distance. Spanish architecture rules in this region of Costa Rica. The gorgeous adobe houses turn from pink in the morning sun to peach in the evening. The traditional Spanish tile roofing completes the artistic beauty of the exterior of Vista Tres Bahias 19.

The intricate tiling is repeated inside this 6,000 square foot, three bedroom, three and a half bath home. Many of the rooms have a whimsical paddle ceiling fans that lend that small airy touch to a house that already possesses an open air theme. The great room is lined with windows overlooking the ocean with one end opening onto another tiled terrace on the second story affording a beautiful view of two mountain ridges across the bay that separate for a view of the open sea. The kitchen sports Costa Rican hardwood cupboards and the master bedroom features a double sink.

The tiled floors keep this home cool although it is located in a tropical jungle. Views of this amazing jungle are seen from the back yard. If you often grow weary of your city job environment and love listening to unique nature sounds you have come to the right place. Vista Tres Bahias 19 is adjacent to that wonderful jungle rainforest and while living here you will hear the lively sounds of nesting Macaws and howler monkeys.

There are many perks to owning a house within the Los Sueños resort. One such perk is the championship golf course access. You will become an avid golfer after moving here if you are not one already. This 18 hole course was designed by Ted Robinson and was landscaped specifically to include banana trees and monkeys among an abundance of other local wildlife. TaylorMade rental equipment and professional coaching is available if you are a “green” golfer.

If you decide that sailing or fishing is more your style than golf, you also have access to internationally renowned fishing waters. Anglers from around the world sport fish here because of the abundance of variety and large size of the fish in the Costa Rican waters. Living here in Los Sueños at Vista Tres Bahias 19 will be a tropical dream come true.

This home sells for a bargain deal of $990,000. You could spend that much on a piece of raw land here in Los Sueños, but this home is still available. Take advantage of it now and live in tropical paradise while still able to commute to your job.