I had my premium lowered just a little when I turned 65, officially retired, and brought them documents proving it. I was paying close to $300 in US for health insurance, and pay $52 here. Good health care, also. Health care is a MUCH better deal here than in US.
My wife and I obtained Rentista residency and applied for CAJA, in 2013, when in our early 60s. We reported our income as $2500/month and completed a form with living expense categories such as rent, utilities, food, health care, etc. We were given a very low CAJA rate (well under $100). But I've heard of others that were given much higher rates. Unfortunately it seems to depend upon your location and who you get to review your application and set the rate. There is no way to be sure in advance!
We know a young couple that applied under Investor status and were given a very high CAJA rate (over $400/month). Most of their investment money went into starting some businesses in CR, and their monthly income was not very high. They were very upset that the CAJA rate they got seemed to be based on the value of money invested rather than their actual income from the businesses.
" They were very upset that the CAJA rate they got seemed to be based on the value of money invested" and that is exactly how they, the CAJA, decide on the premium,
Of course, if under 55, the premiums are even higher. The more expensive the property, the more the 'Investor' pays. I have heard from many sources about the $400+ premiums...and some have 'bailed out' at the last moment. When the property is valued over the $200k they could then find themselves having to pay an additional, annual 'luxury tax'. Just like Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister found out. 8-)
We applied as 'Rentistas' before these 'new rules' cam into effect. I doubt they will be lowered. Canadians get the 'double whammy' with the low dollar and for some, if they have became a 'non-resident for tax purposes' and had their Canadian funds withheld.
Some new residents choose to join the ARCR group plan, if only because they know in advance what their premium will be, if only because they know in advance what their premium will be.
My wife and I attended Chris Howard's program last December (www.liveincostarica.com). The 1st 3 days was a presentation by ARCR. They brought in legal, financial, insurance, dental, logistics (and other) experts. It appears to me that, in order to get a fair shake with CAJA (and other things Costa Rican), you should probably engage professionals (these being vetted by ARCR gives them more credibility). Even though a lot of things CAN be diy, having a local take care of it for you will be worth far more than their fee. (There was one individual that was not being treated fairly by the CAJA administrator where she lived and the expert there had a solution ready for her.)
Your age will determine what you will pay. If the principal is 55 and under, you may end up pay twice what a 55+ will pay. This 'usually' applies to both Investor and Rentista applicants... tut the more expensive the property the higher your monthly premium will be.
Unfortunately, what an expert is CAJA says they can do, it really depends on the person in the CAJA office that you are dealing with.