Costa Rica Expat Feed
Sign In or Sign Up to post a new topic
Kohl replied to the thread Plan on moving to CR at age 19 on the Costa Rica forum on April 17, 2014:
CR2015 initially posted:
My Brother, my Girlfriend, and I plan on saving money and moving to Costa Rica next May. We are graduating soon and my brother and I plan on working a factory job because the pay is higher than most jobs people get right after high school. My girlfriend is a crew leader at a fast food restaurant. We split the current bills. The goal is to save up enough money within a year between the three of us to rent a home in costa rica and pay for our basic necessities while still living moderately comfortable. When in costa rica I plan on focusing my attention on an online business, while my brother focuses on music and my girlfriend on photography. I've heard that the easiest approach is the perpetual tourism approach where you leave the country every 90 days and then return. I've been doing research for months now and without direct help its hard to get a true feel of what we're getting into. I'd be extremely grateful anyone would like to help point me in the right direction with some advice. Thank you!
Kohl replied 2 hours ago with:
Sorry, I misread your post and realize you intend to work in factories prior to coming here.
Kohl replied 2 hours ago with:
Unfortunately, only having enthusiasm, will not make it easy to live here. It is no longer 'cheap' to live here and I highly doubt that factory jobs will not be offered to you as 'tourists' and the wages are very, very low. While it is legal to work on an online business, this does not mean living here legally as you are aware, and if you cannot earn enough to support your friends may have a problem if they cannot get a job. 'Photographers' are in the thousands since the invention of the digital camera, so they don't make much, unless they come across something really special. I I am one of them. Please check out the legal requirements Come for a visit and but suggest you wait a few years when you have enough funds to last you a while. Good luck!
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
familytbc replied to the thread Telephone service on the Costa Rica forum:
OregonDi initially posted:
I will be retiring/moving to CR this summer. Am concerned about being able to stay in touch with loved ones by phone without spending a fortune. My current carrier, T Mobile, has a plan for free unlimited texting and 20 cent a minute phone calls from/to CR.The charge is $63 a month. Does this sound feasible, or should I go for an unlocked phone and a sim card when I get there. Any suggestions appreciated as the whole phone thing has me baffled. Thank you.
familytbc replied 3 hours ago with:
First of all, congrats! I retired after New Years and now live in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica. Never have I paid a dime for phone calls. Most of us use Skype (the free service), Vonage, or Magic Jack, the latter two being free, downloadable apps. It allows you to make calls as long as you are under wifi and I basically hit the button on my cell phone that turns off cellular service; this assures you will never be charged for these calls. In addition, I have purchased a throwaway phone and just add minutes when needed. My landlord has provided a house phone where family members can call in the event of emergencies only, or I can call locally if need be. This seems to be working well. If you choose to continue using cellular service from the states, T-Mobile has a pretty good plan for that purpose where you can make international calls in many identified country for about $50/month. Hope this helps.
shermanwc replied on April 16, 2014 with:
Generally you must get an unlock code from the original service provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc in the USA). Follow the unlock procedure they give you.
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
VikingExpat replied to the thread The inside track on the Costa Rica forum on April 17, 2014:
skynyrd1977 initially posted:
Hello, I would like to thank the people who answered me yesterday about my moving to Costa Rica. Today's question is how can i get a feel for the inside line when it comes to finding a rental home ( or apartment) I plan on coming to C.R. in December for 2-3 weeks and then look daily for a place. Is there a way to meet locals for this info??/ect..ect.
VikingExpat replied 9 hours ago with:
Very well written Steve. Personally I can't understand how tacos can afford these new SUVs and houses in condos, unless they pay for all cash. The interest rates are ridiculously high for me as of Scandinavian origin and used to 2.5-3.5% interest rates when buying property and having the bank financing it. In Costa Rica the only logical choice for me and my wife was to buy a house cash and exchange the rest of the savings to colones and then head up to one of the cooperatives, like COOPENAE, and lock this money in a 12 month CDP which pays 11% interest. Working here for a slave salary and being forced to pay high interests rates to the bank was not an option. Instead we saw the opportunity to take advantage of the high interest rates, but of course you'll need the savings and must be ok with exchanging foreign currency to colones... Cars are expensive, but real estate is not expensive IMHO, and definitely not overpriced when compared to other places where I have had properties (Chile, Sweden).
PacificLots replied on April 16, 2014 with:
Those who live in Costa Rica always say it's gotten SO expensive. They are obviously not living in the US and have forgotten what our largest expenses are. It is not dining out, paying for gas, going to a national park or even going to Tabacon. In the US it is TAXES, INSURANCE AND HEALTHCARE. take away the cost of taxes, insurance and healthcare and the US is cheap, like Costa Rica is... Here in Florida, I am paying $6300 for property tax, sure I am a baby boomer and sure I have a nice house but $6300 per year. It's also near the water so my insurance cost for this house is over $7,000, for flood, hurricane and home owners. We in the US have to pay for Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and the host of other natural disasters we encounter each year. Check Costa Rica and the last "natural disaster" it had. Check out property insurance from INS. Now throw in the cost of Obamacare or whatever health care option you have in the US, I have a policy with my wife, with a $10,000 deductible EACH per year and we pay $1875 per quarter, non smoker, 57 years old and she's 47, both in excellent shape, not overweight, no preexisting conditions. I won't even go into the cost of things like my water and sewer bill, my internet, cell phone and electric. So now you can understand how in the SUPPOSEDLY SUPER EXPENSIVE COUNTRY OF COSTA RICA, where the average per capita income is just over $11,000 per year, you see Ticos and Ticas with new SUV's, iphones and at the beach each weekend since they are not spending their money on stuff they don't want to pay for... Keep in mind that sure I do sell property in Costa Rica therefore I am surely biased but also keep in mind that I work with International Living and host or sponsor nearly every event so I visit lots of other countries and can compare better than 99% of you speaking out on this board. I visited 15 countries last year. Go to Cancun and tell me it's cheap, I was in Panama City last week for the International Living event that I sponsored, called Live and Invest in Panama. The hotels and taxis are the same price as in Costa Rica but if you own a rental in Panama, try $2000 in property tax for your $150,000 rental, compared to about $400 in Costa Rica. You people are misinformed if you think Costa Rica is expensive or you have been out of the US too long. My big expenses in the US are not eating out, if I ate out every day it would cost me about $15,000 per year. Well I can save that much just in taxes, insurance and healthcare. Had a root canal lately in the US or a crown perhaps? Try $1600 for both, versus under $500 in Costa Rica. How about a colonoscopy, try $3000 in the US versus $400 in Costa Rica. Rented a full size SUV lately in the US, $50 to $60 per day, happens to be the vehicle of choice in Costa Rica's rental market, did the tourists want that SUV for the experience and exploration and thrill, you bet they did and the cost was ab out the same as in the US. I can go to the Hotel Costa Verde in Manual Antonio, get a great room for about $100, in the most visited town in all of Costa Rica. Now try to head to the most visited town in the US, maybe New York City, LA, or Maimi and tell me you can get a comparable hotel for $100. Have you been to the grocery store lately in the US, checked what fruits and vegetables cost (what we should be eating anyway) versus in Costa Rica at the farmers market? Or are you trying to live like an American in Costa Rica and going to Walmart and Mas o Menos and then complaining that fruits and vegetables are expensive. Been to a national park in the US lately? I was just at Yellowstone, $25 for the car and $16 per person. Get a clue about the cost of living before you tell people it is expensive... Check out rents in Costa Rica, a 2 bedroom home ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. Now look in some major markets in the US, like Boston, Miami, Chicago or LA. Your money will go much further in Costa Rica than it will in the US. Sure if you buy a house in the southern Pacific region where I am selling, you will pay $200k or more but the HOUSE IS AN ASSET, NOT AN EXPENSE. Did anyone notice that Travel and Leisure Magazine's November issue said that the Bahia Ballena coast, right where our developments are located, is one of the top two destinations in the world to visit in 2014. Tell me it's expensive? Check on Expedia for hotels, click right on the links to the left for homes for rent, you supposed experts in Costa Rica missed the boat on this one if you insist on telling people it is expensive.. You have been in Costa Rica too long to remember what expensive is. Did you also mention that the colon just lost nearly 10% against the dollar (or should I say that the dollar has about 10% more buying power in the last 4 to 5 months? Seen the interest rates in the bank in the US lately? I could go on and on, anyone wants to contact me directly or come on one of our property tours and see for themselves, here's my contact info... Steve Linder Pacific Lots of Costa Rica 305-295-0137 direct 877-481-0300 US only toll free Read our blog: Photos of our Developments
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
Kohl replied to the thread Proof of ONWARD PASSAGE ?? on the Costa Rica forum on April 16, 2014:
charlottelady initially posted:
Coming to CR overland fr Panama - then to other destinations. Does anyone know EXACTLY what is or isn't required?? Conjecture will only lead to aggravation and 'impura vida'. Thanks!
Kohl replied on April 16, 2014 with:
You are required to show a ticket out of Panama and Costa Rica, and this may be a return ticket to your home country, especially when returning to the Panama border. Plus, you may be asked to show sufficient funds which may vary between $300-500. 'Exactly ' isn't a word used lightly here as it can and does vary from one official to the next ... so be prepared to be aggravated.
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
SharaiK posted "Do You Prefer English or Spanish?" on the Costa Rica forum on April 15, 2014:
If you are currently living in Costa Rica and you are asked this question when you go to a restaurant, bar, or supermarket, it is very likely that you will have great difficulty learning Spanish. Living in another country (especially Costa Rica) is amazing. But if you live in an area like San Jose or an expat community where everyone that you come into contact with can speak English, it is going to be nearly impossible to learn Spanish. If you are looking to get out of that English bubble and really learn some Spanish, consider a getaway to Liberia - the beach and many incredible Guanacastecan attractions are nearby, but the city is not overrun with tourists or English speakers. In Liberia you can be part of the Spanish Immersion Program at Instituto Estelar Bilingue. With intensive Spanish classes, fun cultural activities, bilingual events, the option of a homestay, and a surrounding town that isn't constantly asking "Do you prefer English or Spanish?", you can learn Spanish fast and improve your future life here in Costa Rica. Get out, learn Spanish, better your experience.
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
fjankilevich replied to the thread Lease question - colones or US $$ on the Costa Rica forum:
dustymar initially posted:
We just received a new lease from our landlord. Six months ago when we signed our lease it specified the rent in colones with US dollars in parentheses. When the exchange rate was 500:1, this made sense, but now it doesn't. Our landlord has asked for this month's rent in dollars, which comes out to a lot more than if we paid him in colones. What are we legally obligated to do? Thanks! Have to sign a new lease and I want to be clear on our responsibilities.
fjankilevich replied on April 15, 2014 with:
If the contract has the amount in colones and the amount in USD in parenthesis, then the valid value is the one in colones. Technically, he should only charge you the value in colones because the contract is in colones and he should only charge you the value in colones because the contract is in colones, unless it is specified in the contract that you will pay in US dollars. From what you describe, the clause sounds ambiguous and the contract should be rendered ineffective by a Costa-Rican Court of Law. However, legal fees are going to be much more expensive and it would take a very long time to go to court or to pay for a lawyer. It seems the most practical thing to do is to give the required ninety day notice by law that you are cancelling the contract and use the ninety days grace period to find a new place.
PuraVida replied on April 14, 2014 with:
Does the lease have the amount in colones written out or just with the numerical figure? Residential lease contracts are valid for 3 years. If your lease states payment in colones, it can be subject to a 1% -15% increase per year, but this should be written in the contract. If the agreement is for payment in dollars, there is no annual increase. IMO, if you have been paying in colones and have receipts, continue paying in colones.
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
PuraVida replied to the thread favorite places on the Costa Rica forum on April 15, 2014:
eljefe initially posted:
Okay locals, I'm coming to visit and I'd love to hear what your favorite places might be. What's your favorite beach for surfing? Or where's the best dive spots? What's the most awesome forest parks? And how much time should I plan to spend at your favorite park? fwiw, I've heard of a river that is kind of like a natural slide or might offer some relatively fun/easy rafting? Is this true? We could probably only do a day trip so I don't know if that's a good idea with the time restriction... We'll be there for a couple weeks in the beginning of May. Thanks for you suggestions!
PuraVida replied on April 15, 2014 with:
Manuel Antonio to can pass through Puriscal, one of the most typical towns in Costa Rica. Here is the official tourism site:
Kohl replied on April 05, 2014 with:
I was rethinking your question regarding the 'slide' and thought it may be a place that opened last year, called Rio Perdido, just outside of Bagaces, Guanacaste. It's not that far from where we live, but we haven't been there yet, but hear the tubing is fun, as well as other activities. The resort itself looks beautiful. Tripadvisor has posted many recommendations:
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
Expat ArticlesArticle Summary: Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathered information submitted by expats about Tamarindo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas, Escazu, Grecia and others popular towns. (Continue)
PuraVida replied most recently with:
Puriscal, one of the most typical towns in Costa Rica. Perfect climate, new CAJA hospital, nice views! About 1 hour to San Jose and an hour to the Pacific Coast beaches. Even though there are over 200 expats living in the Puriscal area, housing prices are still very reasonable. While Atenas has the annual chili cookoff, Puriscal is famous for its' "chicharonnes," deep fried pork. Our newsletter is:
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
jgeuss replied to the thread Jehovah's Witnesses in Costa Rica- English Congregations on the Costa Rica forum on April 14, 2014:
jgeuss initially posted:
My wife and I are Jehovah's Witnesses in our early '50s with many decades of theocratic experience and are responding to the call in January 15, 2014 Watchtower to move where the need is greater in a warm climate, due to health reasons. I have a rare skin disease (not communicable) that requires I have a beard. From experience, I know that some cultures view men with beards with suspicion. Is there an English Congregation with a need for qualified brothers in Costa Rica (or Central America)? If so, would they welcome my wife and I?
jgeuss replied on April 16, 2014 with:
Yes, thank you. We heard there is an English need in Limón and Cauhita.
wearier replied on April 14, 2014 with:
There is a JW church in Cahuita, Limon (where I live) with services in spanish & english but they are many more throughout the country. It is a healthy climate for skin conditions indeed.
Sign In or Sign Up to reply
scstokes1 replied to the thread Used Car Purchase in Costa Rica on the Costa Rica forum on April 14, 2014:
familytbc initially posted:
Does any recommend a good mechanic in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica? I am in need of someone to check a vehicle out before signing on the dotted line and to maintain it after purchase. Thanks!
scstokes1 replied on April 14, 2014 with:
Hi, I'm not sure what you refer to as the "central highlands"? 70% of the population live in the "central valley" including San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, etc... I had reasonable luck with a " chain" , I went to the location in Alajuela and they did a good and very affordable job of replacing the bushings in the steering of my Pathfinder. Something, by the way U.S. dealerships say can't be done? Buena suerte! Sean
PuraVida replied on April 14, 2014 with:
I know a great mechanic in Heredia and another in Santa Ana. What town do you live in?
Sign In or Sign Up to reply

Join Expat Exchange (FREE)

Become a member of Expat Exchange today to meet other expats in your area or get advice before moving overseas. Membership is FREE and takes 1 minute!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to The Foreign Exchange, our weekly newsletter, read by over 70,000 expats worldwide: