25 reasons not to retire in Costa Rica


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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There is nothing wrong with you retiring in any country of your choice after years of work but I’ll give you 25 reasons not to retire in Costa Rica.

This world of ours is changing, and it’s changing very fast than we know it. Most especially, for those over the age of retirement — 50 above.

It is also unfortunate that we are all familiar with the cost of living a comfortable life in our place of residence.

Hence, the uncertainty surrounding the health care, maintenance, social security, and the overall stability, there’s need for change of environment sometimes.

Without any doubt, the sky is the limit on crazy. There is adventure — real one — lurking inside such person that is willing get up and retire in Costa Rica.

For what is worth, I’ll give you tons of convincing reasons not to retire in Costa Rica no matter the circumstances.

Of course, I’m mindful of the fact that the idea of changing your environment and inserting yourself into another culture is exciting; but also scary.

Raising up to the new sounds and murmur of the Costa Rican surrounding you will definitely get you out of the house early.

Top reasons not to retire in Costa Rica

There are copious of reasons why you shouldn’t relocate to Costa Rica if you care to avoid the failure of returning home.

These reasons without further delay are as follows:

1. Language barrier

In so many ways, life in Costa Rica as a retiree is not that simple and easy. There is this language barrier.

You’ll agree that not speaking the local or general language is often at the helm of all problems for the expats new arrivals.

If you know you don’t speak or understand Spanish, it’s better you retire elsewhere other than Costa Rica.

2. There are no special attraction centers

Other than the fact that the longest humpback whale-watching season in the world is situated in Costa Rica, there’s no special thing again.

If you decide to retire in Costa Rica, be warned that here’s nothing to see there. Nothing.

On less you derive pleasure in boredom and doing one thing again and again, then go to Costa Rica.

3. The food is terrible.

Apologies to the Ticos, but the food in Costa Rica are terribly bad. At least, to the expats and foreign retiree taste.

There are no fresh fish, the tropical fruits are not encouraging, no just-picked vegetables, nothing nothing.

Unless if you are fast learner and wouldn’t mind to blend in with their foods, this alone is enough reason not to retire in Costa Rica.

4. Have no tolerance of other cultures.

I have not been to Costa Rica actually, but findings and research say a lot about the Ticos.

The Costa Rican have little or no tolerance of other cultures. They always see their ways of life better and superior.

But if you don’t give a damn about your culture, Costa Rica should not be your last destination.

5. Have no sense of adventure

May be because Costa Rica is a third world country, everything there seems local and jejune.

There is no sense of adventure, no fun filled or entertaining circus to ward off the daily or weekly stress.

6. Everything is so mundane

I’m sure you wouldn’t wants to tick the “swim in volcanic hot springs” or “hike an active volcano” off your retirement to-do list.

If I’m correct, then Costa Rica is not an ideal place to retire after years of works and services.

7. The beaches are always crowded

In Costa Rica, there are not manybeaches in most of the towns and provinces.

And the little available are always crowded and totally unattractive. You hardly find a spot to even lay out a towel.

8. Too touristy

Probably because of the humpback whale-watching session that usually unfold in Costa Rica, the country is too tourist.

Yes, despite the fact that there are no much tourist attraction centers in the country, it’s too tourist.

9. It is over-priced

Everything in Costa Rica is costly, most especially to the expats in the country. Things are usually over-priced than what they really worth.

So unless you have much fund and retirement plan to sustain you for the rest of your life, please avoid Costa Rica.

10. Too over-run with expats

Although this is not much of a problem, but don’t be surprised if you see expats over-seeing the affairs of most business there.

11. Bad road conditions

Although some aspects of the Ticos living are definitely first-world, the roads particularly are not among them.

Dips, potholes, and cracks mark most of the roads that cars can be damaged riding and driving over them.

Hence, this disadvantage is one of the reasons not to retire in Costa Rica. You can’t afford to be spending on your car every blessed day.

12. Strict immigration regulations

Save if you retired with a pension, or have a substantial investment or plan on opening a business in Costa Rica, obtaining residency may be difficult.

The easiest route to get residency permit in Costa Rica is through the rentista or pensionado programs, and it’s only available for retirees with the monthly pension of over $600 per month.

13. Higher crime rate

The rate at which Ticos and expats are so careful and vigilant about their properties, one will began to wonder if Costa Rica is safe.

A little bird once told me that when he firstly arrived in Costa Rica, he couldn’t help but notice that there are bars on practically every window.

In fact, it looked like some houses were intentionally built inside the walls of their own penitentiary.

It isn’t funny, the crime rate in Costa Rica is beyond be careful.

14. The “Pura Vida” Lifestyle

The word “Pura Vida” means Pure life. Costa Rican are very friendly, relaxed, and never in a hurry.

This goes for almost businesses as well. For something that should take you half an hour, because of their Pursue Vida lifestyles, will take 2 hours.

15. Costly import Fees

Findings show that Costa Rica is a small country with 19,700 square miles. This country has overall population of only 5 million people compared to New York City, over 8 million.

That being said, there are not much manufacturing company in Costa Rica. Most of their products come from China.

As such, importing items into Costa Rica from any part of the world is damn too expensive.

16. Internet

Like the Americans or national of any first world countries, they are spoiled to fast internet as well as a society with an expensive state-of-the-art technology.

This is not the case in Costa Rica. Majority of the Costa Ricans don’t even have a computer because there’s no need for one.

17. Gringo Pricing

In Costa Rica, the word gringo is usually use on the foreigners or expats who are not Ticos and Costa Rican.

So if you decided to leave your home as a gringo or relocate to another country, it’s difficult to sell your property without under-priced.

After all, the real estate brokerage in Costa Rica is not that regulated, so there is some what of discriminatory treatment in the industry to the gringos.

18. Very expensive

To be honest, living in Costa Rica is not that cheap as people think. In Central America, Costa Rica remains the most expensive country.

19. Terrible traffic

The roads in Costa Rica are bad, and the traffic issue is nothing to write home about.

So considering how small Costa Rica is, traffic is one of the first things new comer notice when they landed.

Reasons why you shouldn't retire in Costa Rica

20. Too much bureaucracy

Almost everything in this country requires administrative processes and this process requires a personal appearance.

Do you really think you can cope with all these?

21. Poor tech acceptance

Listen to me attentively, as a tech person, please don’t move or retire in Costa Rica.

22. Stray dog brouhaha

The country is a home to undernourished and stray street dogs. Never allow yourself or few of you to be backed into a corner.

23. Slow attention at the public hospitals

Even if it’s an emergency issue or situation, there can be a very long wait to receive medical attention in Costa Rica.

Though this is not always the case, but going through hell before getting treatment at public hospitals is a disadvantage to Costa Rica.

24. The weather is trivia

Perhaps, this is not a bad thing for everybody, but if you don’t like rain that much, avoid Costa Rica in October.

As a person with aspiration of retiring in Costa Rica, you are probably dreaming of mountains, the sunshine, beaches, and relaxation.

The month of October be a little problem in some cities where most of these things are lagging behind a little.

25. It is not home

It is very wrong to choose Costa Rica and not your birthright country as your desired place of retirement.

Costa is not home and as such, the biggest out of all the reasons not to retire in Costa Rica mentioned so far.


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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