Prospective Expat Considers Early Retirement In Costa Rica

Steve Linder lives and works in Key West, Florida, and plans to retire to the Southern Zone of Costa Rica where the weather is beautiful and the cost …

Steve Linder lives and works in Key West, Florida, and plans to retire to the Southern Zone of Costa Rica where the weather is beautiful and the cost of living means his dollar will last longer. Now, he’s thinking it may make more financial sense to retire early rather than continue to pay the exorbitant property taxes, insurance, medical fees and living expenses of Key West. Calculating current costs, Steve discovered he can save just over $25,000 a year if he moves now rather than wait for retirement. While he still hasn’t decided whether he should stay or go, he knows that once he gets there he will enjoy everything there is to offer: delicious food, affordable health care, beautiful outdoor living and a chance to retire in comfort. For more on this continue reading the following article from Pathfinder.

"The money I’m paying in annual property tax and insurance on my Florida home…plus my medical insurance fees…would cover my living expenses for a whole year in Costa Rica". Steve Linder

It’s a bold claim and one that grabs the attention of his listeners every time.

Steve Linder’s a charismatic guy. Steve plans to spend his retirement years in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone. He’s spent years exploring Latin America – and chose the Southern Zone as his retirement spot. It’s beautiful, unspoiled and tranquil. But right now Steve’s still busy working, and he’s living in the U.S.

And he can’t help but calculate how much he’d save if he moved to Costa Rica in the morning.

It starts with property taxes. Steve lives in Key West, Florida. Steve pays almost $7,000 a year in property taxes in Florida.

In Costa Rica, on the home he plans to build, Steve would pay around $875 a year. That’s a savings of more than $6,000 a year on his Florida property taxes.

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Next up is house insurance. Steve lives in Key West, so he needs three separate policies. His hurricane insurance this year: $7300. His flood insurance: $2300. Add in an additional $950 for a general liability and homeowner’s insurance, and Steve’s house insurance totals $10,550.

In Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, there’s no hurricane risk. Steve’s house insurance here would average only $400 a year.

Steve’s last big chunk of savings comes from medical insurance. He pays $900 a month in Florida (including cover for his wife Kristina). That’s $10,800 a year.

In Costa Rica, as a resident, Steve would join the public healthcare system. He’d pay as little as $37 a month through the local residents’ association for that. Many expats also carry private medical insurance to get a better level of service. Steve would too. Private cover would cost him around $1200 a year. His private and public insurance combined come to $1644. That saves him just over $9000 a year on his Florida bills.

Just for property tax, house insurance and medical insurance, Steve’s annual bills in Florida run to $28,350. The same bills in Costa Rica would run around $2919.

That’s a massive savings of $25,431.

Steve figures he could easily live a comfortable lifestyle on that kind of money in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone. And it’s a place that he loves spending time in. The Southern Zone is an outdoor playground, with two-thirds of the land in national parks. You can swim, surf, sea kayak, sail, and sport fish year round. You can trek through truly wild rainforests…take a dip in a tumbling waterfall…or zip your way through the canopy line.

There’s a good selection of restaurants, a coffee shop, a pizzeria and a delicatessen. The little rustic restaurants serve organic food, French food, and even Indonesian food, at prices that won’t break the bank.

And there’s one other bonus that draws Steve to the Southern Zone. He says that he feels much healthier when he’s there. That’s partly down to the outdoor lifestyle. But it’s also down to the food.

Fast food in this neck of the woods isn’t a greasy burger. Instead it’s ceviche (fresh seafood marinated in lime juice), smokehouse chicken or juicy mango. The meat’s free range, the seafood freshly-caught, and the produce locally-grown.

Steve’s got some years left before he’ll retire to the Southern Zone. He can’t wait. And the thought of how much money he’ll save makes paying his Florida bills a little less painful in the meantime.

This article was republished with permission from Pathfinder.


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