There is no doubt that many Americans considering Costa Rica as a retirement destination inquire thinking that Costa Rica has a much lower cost of living than the U.S., but is that the case? All of it is based on perspective....
But I do get a lot of comments from people who are a bit shell shocked on prices in Costa Rica. As someone who has lived here for over 5 years I’ll be the first to say it, Costa Rica is not cheap. There are many goods and products here that are actually more expensive than the U.S. So why do people refer to Costa Rica as being a place where the cost of living is so much more inexpensive? Well let’s look at taxes to start. Property taxes
Property taxes are .25% of the the purchase price, which means your direct beachfront condo is going to run $700-1200 per year. Tell someone who owns direct beachfront in California or Florida what they pay?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone cook and clean for you everyday? In Costa Rica that could be had for $300-400 a month. How about a full-time nanny? About the same, $300-400. Hour massages for $30. Landscaping for $5 an hour. Or how about your own personal gym trainer, in Costa Rica it will run $5-10 an hour! My monthly cell phone bill runs $20-30 a month!
Tricky one here. Go and buy fresh fruits, vegetables and you’ll pay a lot less, BUT if you stick to the typical American diet with U.S. processed foods and brands, then you will pay more.
I’m in my early 30s and I pay $80 a month for full medical coverage. A standard medical consultation with no insurance runs about $60-80. Dental work is usually over half the cost of what you’ll pay in the U.S.
Bottom line, it all comes back to perspective and really your living habits. For some people, living in Costa Rica doesn’t make sense and thats okay, but there is no doubt that for the wealthy, life in Costa Rica offers a big savings.
Here is a great article by the tico times that talked more about the cost of living in Costa Rica
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