|February 16, 2019||No Comments|
Reactions to moving abroad by Donaldo
Some of the reactions we get from our friends and families when we tell them that we are moving to Costa Rica range from “WHAT”! Which is quickly followed up by “Are you crazy”? “What is wrong with you”? And across the pond, “Have you gone round the bend” or “Are you daft”?
All of these are questions are valid and well meaning. One of my favorites was asked of my Lady and me, “What do your kids think”? Our kids have known that we are crazy for many a year. After all, they are also considered a bit crazy by their friend as ‘they think for themelves’ which is often not in step with the crowd. Critical thinking seems to be lacking a lot in todays various social groups.
So, when we told our children that we were moving to Costa Rica they smiled and got excited about it. They wanted to know more and then wanted to visit someday, just to keep an eye on us … ya know.
But there are very good reasons for moving to Costa Rica, such as a lower cost of living, beautiful country and it being fairly clean compared to a lot of places we have been. Also, excellent weather and Wonderful People! I can not say enough about the people, but lets take a look at each of these items including the Quality of Life.
A lot of us down here are retired which means that we will be unemployed for about 30 years living on a fixed income and that brings up cost of living. For the USA types it is possible for some of you to live here on your Social ‘In-Security’. We know couples that have a budget of $2,000 USD per month. That includes everything, including eating out. Try living in the USA on $2,000 a month and eating out when ever you want! Nope! Ain’t gonna happen.
The country its self is simply gorgeous. From the beaches to the mountains it is beautiful, beautiful and more beautiful. You can be overwhelmed by the beauty of this country and will have to work at not wanting to buy the first place you see and live there. But, over the mountain or around the curve in the road can be an even more inspiring place or view than the one you just fell in love with. Some people have jumped on a beautiful place and bought it only to tell me that the next day they saw an even more wonderful place. Now what? Visit, look, drool and rent is my advice. From the jungles to the beaches and up into the mountains, look at all of it.
Aaahhh … the weather. My house has neither heat nor AC but it has lots of ventilation. I can use a small space heater to take off the morning chill or evening chill when the breeze kicks up. But, I don’t have one. If it is cool on the porch for morning coffee, I put on a long sleeved shirt. Have some coffee and then take the shirt off. Same thing in the evening when the sun goes down. I might put on the long sleeved shirt again or, maybe not. If the weather is to cool for you then move 500 meters down the mountain where it is warmer. Too hot then move 500 meters up the mountain. Pretty simple isn’t it? Love the beach? There are hundreds and hundreds of spots here, so I am sure you can find the perfect one! Mountains also have a very nice climate and you can fine tune the heat/cool effect by moving around.
But, what about the people? Are they friendly? Yes. Are they kind? Yes. Are they helpful? Yes. I could go on and on but you are getting the idea by now.
One day while driving down the mountain, my left front tire started making one horrible racket and then as we crossed the bridge it came off, except for 1 lug nut! Taking a bit of care and going very, very slowly, I made it off of the bridge and was lucky enough to have an area to pull over and check out the wheel. Yup, this was a problem as I didn’t have a pocket full of lug nuts. Fresh out of them. We called the mechanic and told him the problem and then waited for the repair crew. While waiting, person after person stopped and asked if they could help us. One gentleman stopped, with his daughter on the back of his motorcycle (returning from picking her up at school), and asked in perfect English if he could help. We explained the situation, then chatted for a bit and off he went up the mountain. Lots of mountains over here and the roads are getting much better.
This should give you an idea of how the people are and you see it all over the place. Do you want to live with a lot of Grumpy People or a lot of Happy Helpful People? That should not be a difficult decision.
Lets put all of this together if we can and think about the “Quality of Life”.What will your quality of life be where you are at on a fixed income? How is the weather? How are the people? What makes up your quality of life?
If you have lots of loot then your quality of life for material things shouldn’t be a problem. But, on a smaller income and still wanting to live well, with a beach trip or a few days touring or dinning out? Then this just might be the spot.
Even with more than sufficient funds how are your local people? Friendly? Helpful? And this issue is a biggie as you age: Will people stop and help you if you are broken down alongside the road? Here they will!
Costa Rica just feels good inside. Pay attention to how it feels to you. For me it is peaceful and calming. Lack of stress? When you travel around I would suggest that you do pay attention to how the local area feels. Most of the places feel good, but as with all countries there are some places that just don’t feel right to you. Move on and find the feel good place.
Are there any negatives? Of course there are and I am sure that your friends and family will bring up anything negative that they can simply because they care for you. Smile, think, and maybe say, “We will check it out”. Does your current area have any negatives? If you say “no” then I am going to throw out the BS flag.
Oh, medical care which becomes more important as we age … Costa Rica has several World Class Hospitals. Dental is First Class everywhere. As with all things you must investigate to meet your personal needs. Can you get poor care? Of course you can, that is why you investigate. You can get poor care any where in the world and sometimes no care at all.
We have Socialized Medicine here for which the residents pay a fee. As with socialized medicine around the world the simple things are handled by a local clinic at no cost. Major items that need specialized testing or surgery might take years for the availability to open up. One of my friends just took advantage of a cancelation to move an EKG up a year. But, once again there can be a work around and that is to visit a private Doctors or a doctor that works for the governmental system and also has a private practice. Another friend just did this and received needed surgery by being moved up in the line as the surgery was labeled as an emergency. All went well!
This is all part of learning the ropes and it varies from country to country. Nothing to be concerned about, I think.
Where does all of this leave us? Do your research and then do some more research. Take a trip here to nose around and feel things out. Talk to the local expats as all of us have had many different experiences. Things tend to change as time moves along so be flexible. Make a list of what you need and also your partner. Compare the lists and go for it.
I could go on, but this should give you an idea of what to think about. Then schedule a visit to enjoy Costa Rica. Maybe a look see and vacation combined? Hhhmm?
Then, if you make the move and your loved ones say “WHAT!” you can reply with “I have researched, visited, talked with the expats and am going to give it a go” with confidence. You might even tell them of the benefits and watch their faces? I have and it makes me feel good. Knowledge of your subject is very important or at least I think so.