Volcanoes sweep down through lush jungles to meet rolling waves at the coastline. No, I am not describing Hawaii. Costa Rica has a similar landscape, but this destination sets a new price and pace for American retirees. Many envision a retirement abroad. This country makes those dreams seem possible.
“Costa Rica has an excellent competitive position that allows us, even in times of crisis in its main target market, to keep a steady flow of tourists,” says Allen Flores, Costa Rica’s minister of tourism. “In a period of 20 years, tourism has grown by over 600% at an annual average rate of 10%; in other words, more than double the average growth rate of world tourism.”
Boasting one of the highest standards of living in the Central America region, Costa Rica draws in 50,000 retired U.S. citizens. These Americans aren’t just vacationing at all-inclusive resorts. They are living in cities like San Jose, Alajuela, Cartago, and Limon.
Prices in Costa Rica are pretty much the same as back home, but it depends on the services or goods. Imports like boxed cereal or fuel will cost about the same. If you can’t live without Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then you are going to have to pay more money for it, no matter what country you relocate to. To balance out that downfall, there are several tax advantages in this paradise. There are no capital gains taxes on real estate and high interest bank accounts are tax free. Property taxes on your new beach house or mountain villa are also lower than those in the U.S.
Take advantage of your U.S. federal taxes while you live elsewhere. In 2010, the U.S. and Costa Rican governments joined the Central Bank of Costa Rica and the Nature Conservancy to invest $27 million over 15 years to conserve Costa Rica’s tropical forests. Our country is investing in its rainforests and you can reap the benefits first hand.
The casual lifestyle in Costa Rica is evident in its use of 99 percent clean energy and armed forces neutrality. It is a laidback pace in this type of place. In a 2010 Gallup poll, Costa Rica was appointed one of the happiest places on Earth, due to its high marks in health, prosperity, and life satisfaction. One may even account the findings to the country’s abundance of fruit plantations and sunshine.
Minister Flores is proud of Costa Rica’s branding slogan which touts, “Costa Rica, No Artificial Ingredients.” As a possible retiree retreat, you get what you pay for—beauty, reasonable prices, and pure retirement relaxation.