I received an encouraging email this week from a really nice U.S. surgeon who is looking far ahead to his eventual retirement or semi-retirement and strongly considering Costa Rica as his best option. Already having purchased the Moving to Costa Rica Handbook, he was kind enough to reach out to compliment the info it contained, but also see if I had any extra or parting nuggets of advice for him.
Off the top of my head and considering his circumstances, this is what I emailed him back. Of course, everyone is different, but this is one to grow on, as they say, as you start planning your move down to Costa Rica, too!
1. Think about spending part of the year in Cost Rica and part of the year back in the States. Even though it’s paradise, for me, the rainy season can become a slog of wetness and mosquitos haha. It's also nice to get back to the U.S. and see family, friends, and do some shopping/paperwork/banking, etc. I think that balance allows me to appreciate both even more!
2. Be VERY careful when it comes to finances. I’m making a broad assumption that you’re comfortable financially, and while that will afford you many opportunities in Costa Rica, it can also potentially make you a target. Stay low-key and be careful, as there are scams and hustlers everywhere, and far too many expats move down and start shelling out huge chunks of money in real estate deals or to open businesses, only to go belly-up and lose a portion of their precious nest egg.
3. Do some charity work – either here in Costa Rica or in neighboring Nicaragua, where they REALLY need it. I find that living in Costa Rica or abroad is great, but all of the sunshine and good times won’t mean anything without a PURPOSE or MEANING to our lives, including the inherent human need to be connected and part of something bigger than ourselves.
Too many expats go abroad and just become lost or depressed because they lack those things and just start drinking every day or withdrawing. Getting involved and helping those in need is the most positive, effective way to counter that!
Those are my two cents (three cents?) since you were nice enough to reach out.
Please read through the handbook at your leisure and then contact me any time so we can chat or answer your additional questions!
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