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Old 05-30-2019, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
2,095 posts, read 1,088,585 times
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We returned from our trip to Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago, so I will relay what I experienced first hand.

The purpose of our trip (myself and two women) was to find out if we could retire in Costa Rica, happily. The short answer to this is ABSOLUTELY.

During our trip, we visited Grecia, Atenas, Quepos, Jaco and Tamarindo. At NONE of these places did we feel uncomfortable, with one exception. During our stay in Jaco, we visited a place called the Taco Joint. After the meal, we decided to walk along the beach to get back to our place instead of the street. To do so brought us down a very dark part of the street before we reached the beach. There was a small place where we saw two guys, who looked a little rough and stared at us for awhile before we left their sight. Nothing came of it. I'm sure we surprised them.

No pickpockets; no petty theft; no instances in which we ever felt less than secure. We did have an older gentleman with obvious mental issues follow one of the ladies around for a couple of minutes, but I was able to step in and ask him not to continue.

We also broke just about every convention we were told we shouldn't. Drank the water everywhere except Tamarindo. Ate at mainly sodas (mom and pop restaurants), which were incredible. Ate all of the wonderful fresh fruit we could get our hands on. Walked through a forest at Manuel Antonio. We were warned about scorpions, snakes, big spiders and many bugs. At all the AirBnbs we stayed, we did encounter ants quite a bit, but the other bugs...not so much. Monkeys throwing mangos on our roof at Quepos? Yup. Problem.

The people were nice and went out of their way to be welcoming. We don't know passable Spanish, but they were patient with us and helped us navigate through Google translate. On more than one occasion, we were approached for conversation, as they would try out their English. Just a fantastic exploratory trip.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,900 posts, read 9,508,394 times
Reputation: 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by reds37win View Post
We returned from our trip to Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago, so I will relay what I experienced first hand.The purpose of our trip (myself and two women) was to find out if we could retire in Costa Rica, happily. The short answer to this is ABSOLUTELY.
I don't think a decision should be made on living someplace from something as short as a two-week visit. You should spend more time to learn the innards of the culture. Every place in the world has stuff hidden under the hood that affects daily life, the ability to buy property, jobs, to make life easy or difficult in various things, and lastly in terms of safety as the title of this thread mentions. None of these things will be apparent from a short visit unless you spend a lot of time talking to ("polling", really) local people. Just my two cents.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
2,095 posts, read 1,088,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I don't think a decision should be made on living someplace from something as short as a two-week visit. You should spend more time to learn the innards of the culture. Every place in the world has stuff hidden under the hood that affects daily life, the ability to buy property, jobs, to make life easy or difficult in various things, and lastly in terms of safety as the title of this thread mentions. None of these things will be apparent from a short visit unless you spend a lot of time talking to ("polling", really) local people. Just my two cents.
This isn't a "Hey, the vacation was great! Let's live here!" situation. I've been researching for the better part of five years and this is just the first scouting trip. There were a couple surprises, such as how steep some of the mountain roads can get, but most of the trip was about what we were hoping for and expected.

We enjoyed the culture. Our main goal was to find out if we could live there, in a similar manner to the people there now. We aren't trying to take our American way of life there; we are happy to integrate into the culture. Nothing we encountered has changed our outlook.

Having said that, we aren't moving tomorrow. I'm young enough at 52 that we don't have to decide today. Our plan is to be ready to move in two years, but will likely do so in five, if subsequent visits go well. In the meantime, we need to improve our near non-existent Spanish and downsize/get ready to sell the house if the right opportunity comes along.

Additionally, I doubt we ever buy property, no matter where we end up. Part of our plan is to consider living in several different areas. We may find one that suits all our needs, but it could end up changing over time. Renting would give us more flexibility.

As far as jobs go, I am drawing a pension and am working towards an internet-based job that provides the rest. I'm considering getting a certification in teaching English as a second language, which sounds like an attractive option, as well.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:15 PM
 
2,567 posts, read 1,341,607 times
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Originally Posted by cebuan View Post


I've heard that Nicaragua may be the safest in CA. .

It's on the brink of civil war. Another failed socialist craphole.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
981 posts, read 1,971,836 times
Reputation: 1033
Quote:
Originally Posted by reds37win View Post
This isn't a "Hey, the vacation was great! Let's live here!" situation. I've been researching for the better part of five years and this is just the first scouting trip. There were a couple surprises, such as how steep some of the mountain roads can get, but most of the trip was about what we were hoping for and expected.

We enjoyed the culture. Our main goal was to find out if we could live there, in a similar manner to the people there now. We aren't trying to take our American way of life there; we are happy to integrate into the culture. Nothing we encountered has changed our outlook.

Having said that, we aren't moving tomorrow. I'm young enough at 52 that we don't have to decide today. Our plan is to be ready to move in two years, but will likely do so in five, if subsequent visits go well. In the meantime, we need to improve our near non-existent Spanish and downsize/get ready to sell the house if the right opportunity comes along.

Additionally, I doubt we ever buy property, no matter where we end up. Part of our plan is to consider living in several different areas. We may find one that suits all our needs, but it could end up changing over time. Renting would give us more flexibility.

As far as jobs go, I am drawing a pension and am working towards an internet-based job that provides the rest. I'm considering getting a certification in teaching English as a second language, which sounds like an attractive option, as well.
Still though, take all that advice in. Go again, and again if you have to. See other places and compare. Talk to as many people as possible and read their intentions with the advice they offer you.

I´ve lived in Puerto Rico and I am wrapping up almost 7 eventful years in Colombia. The little trips I took to both places before I moved didn´t prepare me for how it really was. If you think you´re the flexible, adaptable type, well I say best of luck and wish you well. You absolutely could love retiring in this part of the world.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,900 posts, read 9,508,394 times
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Visiting is one thing. Living life there is another thing.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,954 posts, read 36,218,676 times
Reputation: 9493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma777 View Post
There are a lot of retirees heading to Mexico--they aren't worried. A friend just went to a destination wedding in Mexico City. Tech companies are moving there, as well.
I was just in Mexico City about two weeks ago. I LOVED the city. I stayed in Zona Rosa and walked around Roma and Condensa and other areas, and it felt very safe and comfortable in all of those areas. I could easily see myself living in Mexico City.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,954 posts, read 36,218,676 times
Reputation: 9493
Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
Costa Rica is a wonderful place. Forget GDP and size, I honestly think Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica are by and large the most developed countries in Latin America. If I had a good job and owned property in those places, I wouldn´t even think about moving back to the States.
Costa Rica felt like the 51st American state. There are so many American chains and fast-food restaurants, it was unexpected.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,900 posts, read 9,508,394 times
Reputation: 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I was just in Mexico City about two weeks ago. I LOVED the city. I stayed in Zona Rosa and walked around Roma and Condensa and other areas, and it felt very safe and comfortable in all of those areas. I could easily see myself living in Mexico City.
So two weeks in a tourist area and you know how life is for the average inhabitant?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:08 AM
 
Location: North America
5,947 posts, read 4,678,024 times
Reputation: 1930
I bet all those people who bought property in the Dominican Republic after a "magical" vacation are regretting their hasty decisions now.
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