Retiring in Costa Rica
Why make Costa Rica your retirement destination?
Revered by many as the "Switzerland of the Americas", Costa Rica is the most peaceful and politically stable of Central America's countries. Within its borders, Costa Rica can offer a visitor a lush tropical paradise, but it is the country's progressive political system and economic structure that make it a blessing for the adventurous retiree.
Costa Rica can be aptly described as a tranquil democracy. Unlike many of its neighboring countries, the nation is governed by way of a democratic system, an unwavering tradition for over 150 years. In fact, Costa Ricans are so enamored with their right to vote that election day is considered the country's most important holiday, warranting a celebratory zeal that clearly stands for much more than the election process. The country's devotion to democracy is realized through its citizens' norms and values. The amicable Ticos enjoy a free and egalitarian way of life - one that is based on a mutual respect for the authority of law, as well as one's personal liberties.
Probably the most significant illustration of this is the fact that Costa Rica is one of the only diplomatically neutral countries of the world. As a part of the doctrine that was established after the first and only revolution in the country's history, the army was disbanded and installed in its place was the Guardia Civil, a civilian police force. For this reason, visitors to Costa Rica will be pleasantly surprised to see it as an exception to most all other developing nations. It is a country that does not exist as a police state, violent crime is among the lowest in the world, and obvious signs of abject poverty do not pepper its streets. Instead, Costa Ricans are among the highest paid in Latin America and the government guarantees excellent working conditions. In addition, social programs such as subsidized health care, social security, and free education are of a higher caliber than much of the western world.
Tranquil, affluent, welcoming - Costa Rica is considered by many North Americans as the perfect home away from home. And no attribute of the country is more inviting than its accessibility to foreigners. From first-time visitors to those wishing to buy property along one of its many coastlines, Costa Rica can offer a relatively user-friendly and low hassle experience. Those that are seeking permanent residence will quickly realize that it can be done with relative ease; the government places fewer restrictions on purchasing property or starting a business than perhaps all other countries of Latin America. In fact, both can be done without being a legal resident and while holding just a tourist visa. This is truly a rarity for a country that is so desirable and attractive to the paradise-seeking retiree.