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Emerald Forest Properties

Offering Real Estate in Costa Rica with
experience, integrity, and dependability you can count on

Baby Boomers seek a much simpler life for retirement

By Brad Butler

  As North America?s baby boomers ease into the retirement baby boomers find themselves seeking a much more laid back lifestyle. 2006 welcomed in the first group of boomers to turn sixty. As 2007 approaches the thought of making a lifestyle change is ever more prevalent.

  The first thought is, ?where can we go and not be a million miles from our children, family and friends?? Mexico is close but, with their restrictions in owning land without a Mexican partner quickly rules them out. Guatemala is not exactly the most stable of Central American countries along with both El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Here are some of Emerald Forest Properties most asked questions:

Is Costa Rica a safe place to live and keep our money?

Costa Rica is a safe haven for investors and retirees alike. One can live like a king on a fraction of what it costs to live and maintain a simple lifestyle in the States.

Can we own land without being a resident?

North American citizens can own titled land in Costa Rica with no national partner required by government laws, or first being a resident. Buying land in Costa Rica is as easy as 1?2?3?. All land titles are registered in the National Registry and your attorney can verify that the land is free and clear of any liens before you ever committing or lay out a dime.

Can we pass our tropical investment to our children?

This land may be passed to your children without a problem and they do not need to be residents to take ownership of their inherited property. I do suggest a will drafted in Costa Rica outlining your wishes beforehand. Without a will your loved ones may encounter a long wait and/or unnecessary expenses while attempting to settle your estate from home.

Can we live on $1500 a month as the books state?

I know people that live on $500.00 a month but they live simple. I personally like to eat out and travel around the country taking in all the nature and sites. Why move to such an exciting beautiful country to sit at home? Realistically, if your home is paid for, $1500 a month can give you a good lifestyle. Keep in mind you can live like Hollywood royalty on $3000 a month.

Are taxes high in Costa Rica?

My 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a 2.3 guest house sits on 2.5 acres in a very high end area of Heredia; my taxes are $234.00 a year that is just $19.50 a month! This property also includes a gardener and maid?s quarters.

What can I expect to pay for utilities?

My electric bill averages for all three houses just under $65.00 a month. That is three refrigerators, a deep freeze, three stoves, two washers, two dryers, 6 televisions, 4 dehumidifiers (which are known for pulling power) and many other appliances in use daily. Water averages under $10.00 a month for all homes and watering the lawn. I am hard pressed to spend $100.00 a month on utilities including the taxes!

Should I ship my car or buy one when I get there?

Definitely do not try and ship your car unless it is a classic or a car you have an attachment to. If you are in doubt please read, ?To ship a car or not ship a car?, on this site. This article makes no bones about the grief that one can undergo trying to get a car into the country.

What can we expect to pay for a home in Costa Rica?

Prices vary with location as does any real estate. Real estate at the beaches is on the high side as one may spend anywhere from $250,000 to several million dollars for a beach home or estate. Real estate in the Central Valley is more affordable and I can attest to it as I reside in Heredia, one of Costa Rica?s most convenient, desirable spots. Climate is everything to me and Heredia has one of the best that Costa Rica has to offer. It is not cheap housing here; your savings comes from the money you save on taxes, utilities and affordable food and dining.

Is medical expensive?

I can speak from experience. I had two heart attacks a day apart back in September 2006. I had been so busy that I had failed to register for the national insurance. I was in intensive care for 8 straight days and then in post care for another 6 days. The bill was $5800 and my associate mentioned to the accounts receivable girl that he thought that was too high. She told him if I paid cash that they would knock off $2000, so I ended up paying $3800 cash for my entire 14 day stay and medicine. I now take several medicines which are covered by the national insurance. My doctor in the States told me that if I had the same treatment there that it would have cost at least $135,000 to start. Yes, medicine is much less expensive in Costa Rica compared to most all other countries and not once did I feel threaten as all doctors were trained in the States and Cuba. Great intelligent doctors with a warm smiles and time for me I was not just a number.  See http://costaricamedicalguide.com for qualified doctors in Costa Rica.

What if we do not like the country once we have moved there?

I have always had itchy feet and I know I was born under a wandering star considering my love for travel and experiencing new and different things. I am a firm believer that the saddest words in life are, ?I wish I had.? Those words will never come from my mouth as I have lived an adventurous life often putting myself on the line to experience something new and exciting. At the very worst, you can always pack up and move back home, but I can tell you now Costa Rica will always be a special spot in your heart.

In closing I would like to say that life is indeed an adventure and not a destiny. I am often saddened that I did not make this move long before I did 7 years ago, but it usually does not take me long to remember just how thankful of the magnificent life that this rich little country of Costa Rica has brought me. Now the rest is up to you!