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    Date: February 8th, 2011 by AHC

    AMERICAN IN COSTA RICA – HOW TO MOVE TO COSTA RICA FROM THE US… MOVING TO PARADISE

    Now, why are we at ALTERNATIVE HEALTH COMMUNITY talking about relocating or moving to Costa Rica?

    Very simple! : ) Costa Rica is a very special and beautiful country that offers a number health benefits and lifestyle-change opportunities.

    For someone whose life is filled with stress and who feels overwhelmed by the everyday rat race of life, a change in pace might just be the key to regaining joy, happiness, peace and contentment.

    Now, there are many countries, and even locales within one’s own country that can offer the same benefits as lovely, idyllic Costa Rica.

    However, our post is about this particular stunning country; after all, Costa Rica is the land of “pura vida,” or “pure life.”

    There is alot to learn from this little tropical jewel in the lower heart of Central America.

    Now, there are also pitfalls and downsides to moving to Central or South American countries.

    ~~~

    What Is It Like To Be American In Costa Rica?

    There are many Americans in Costa Rica. They have left the states to find a quieter, more peaceful and natural way of living. Rather than enduring the more stressful bustle and hustle of life at home, instead choosing to settle in a country with a much more relaxed way of living.

    People are seldom in a rush in Costa Rica. Often times, they are late for appointments, as a stop for a snack or finding something else to do instead may take precedence. For some Americans who take time very seriously, this can pose a problem. After all, when you arrive on time and no one else does, it can be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable at first.

    Soon, one can find “living in the moment” and prioritizing a pleasant, easy-going and comfortable lifestyle over a more regimented and scheduled one, to be much more fulfilling.

    A wonderful benefit of being an American in Costa Rica is finding many compatriots to swap stories with and share lots of information. There’s no need to feel all alone. In fact, some parts of Costa Rica are the best of both worlds – the best of America along with the best of Costa Rica.

    ~~~

    Life for Americans

    Once we have decided that relocating to Costa Rica or another location just as sweet may be the answer, the question arises: “How Do We Move To Costa Rica?” What is the process? How difficult is it? What will we need?

    There are many places online, and we know of several websites that are particularly helpful and chock full of the best information. But we also have some excellent ideas to consider before visiting these other sites…

    Important points when moving to Costa Rica:

    1. Visit FIRST.
    VISIT Costa Rica before you decide to move there. Plan on staying at least a month, even longer. You might even consider staying a full year so that you can experience the various seasons. This will familiarize yourself with the climate changes so that you can be sure you will find them acceptable.

    2. Organize…
    Whenever considering moving, take care of home business. Be organized and your travels will be easy and comfortable.

    3. Have International Banking Accounts
    Make sure your bank has relationships in the country or location of your choice.

    4. Use Traveller’s Checks

    These can be handy in banks, exchange parlors, many restaurants, stores and hotels.

    5. Cash and Valuables
    Carry your cash and valuables in a travel pouch around your waist or underneath your clothing.

    6. Travel Light
    Try to carry as little as possible. For the cheapest airfare, some places give a discount if you only have one carry on. Make it count. You can have extras shipped down via International Courier services if you like. But the lighter you travel, the happier you’ll be.

    7. Learn the Language
    You won’t need to be completely fluent at first. But, the more familiar you are with the culture and the language, the more likely you are to find real satisfaction in your stay. You will meet nice friends and have a warm, happy interplay of associates. This will help your move, should you decide to stay.

    8. Be Knowledgeable About Customs and Regulations
    It’s easy to get the basics on what you must do to get a visa, to comply with the laws of Costa Rica. We have an excellent list of resources below.

    9. Have Someone Watching Your Homefront
    There are a number of clever ways to keep your home secure and safe when you leave it to travel abroad. See our resources below.

    10. Know Your Desination Hotel
    Have a place ready when you arrive in Costa Rica. There are a number of excellent hotels and hostelries that will offer you lovely accommodations and be welcoming when you arrive.

    11. Make Friends
    Once in Costa Rica, socialize with other people from your home country. There are many expatriats in Costa Rica who will give you sage advice and help you experience the country fully and gratifyingly. They have gone through the ropes and are often very willing to share their bounty of information.

    12. Be Humble and Friendly

    Don’t flash your cash. Have a ready smile and a pleasant attitude. If you respect others, they are much more likely to treat you well, too. Those who are pushy and rude are more likely to experience unpleasant adventures abroad.

    13. Take Care of Your Health
    The healthier you are, the happier you will be. When in a foreign country, especially such bountifully food rich country such as Costa Rica, eat wisely with moderation so that you will have plenty of energy and stamina to enjoy the sights and experience the lifestyle.

    14. Talk To Real Estate Agents
    We will have a nice list of folks that have great reputations with Americans, Europeans and Australians. If you are from other countries, we will try and have good references as well. Meanwhile, go online and do a little investigating. Check our current resources as you scroll below. Speak to a number of agents.

    Ask other property owners for their recommendations and experiences. If you find a property you like, speak with other agents to see if they have opinions about the property. Make sure you have access to good water, electricity, Internet, roads. Will the property withstand heavy rains and storms?

    15. Watch Videos
    Go on Youtube and watch videos to get a feel for Costa Rica. Does it feel right for you? Have you checked out the good and the bad, from your perspective? There’s good, bad and great in almost every country.

    2 Videos


    Author Erin Van Rheenen discusses moving to Costa Rica. She’s authored an excellent guidebook, Living Abroad in Costa Rica.


    http://TravelCostaRicaNOW.com

    16. Once You Decide…
    If you decide to move to Costa Rica, understand that you may have several options on how to become a resident, none of which are suitable for you. In that case, know that you can stay in Costa Rica indefinitely if every 3 months, you take a little vacation outside of Costa Rica (South Nicaragua or lovely Panama below) every 3 months or so. Many expats do this quite happily. Otherwise, if you make a large property purchase ($250,000) or local business investment, or if you can prove a minimum outside income of $2,500 a month, residency can be yours. Another option is to give birth to a baby in Costa Rica, or marry a native Costa Rican. They are an especially beautiful and lovely people, and you’re likely to fall in love for all the RIGHT reasons totally irregardless of residency issues.

    Of course, it’s also important to realize that many “ticos” (native born Costa Ricans) are quite poor and generally realize that Americans and Europeans are rich in comparison. Some may not hesitate to extract as much money as possible, including marrying for profit. See pitfalls and downsides for more things to consider.


    PITFALLS AND DOWNSIDES TO MOVING TO Costa Rica

    1. Be aware that tourists are generally treated very well as they are a major source of income. Once the money is no longer spent, attitudes may change.

    2. There are many mosquitoes. Carry and insect repellent at all times, especially when you have been living on a typical Western diet. Those who eat a raw food, natural diet may not have as many problems with insects.

    3. There are rainy seasons when many roads may become impassable. Be aware of this and make proper arrangements.

    4. Vehicles along with their care and upkeep are very expensive.

    5. Pick pocketing is common. Be sure not to leave any belongings unattended.

    6. In some regions, the climate can be very hot, sticky and humid. However, Costa Rica is a country of micro-climates. You can find cooler temperatures at higher elevations.

    7. Many high priced homes and properties have armed guards to protect against thieves and intruders. Be sure to choose a safe and protected environment.

    8. Always consult with attorneys when investigating work issues, marriage, property ownership, legalities, citizenship.

    9. Unregulated pesticide use may be more commonplace in Costa Rica. Try and buy fresh produce from organic or more natural sources. Ask around, look for organic and natural growers and producers.

    10. The work attitude and time management in Costa Rica are far different from that of Western countries. Appointments will be often ignored, workers may often be late or not show up at all. Schedules will often have to be rearranged or altered, accordingly. Therefore, building a home or running a business with employees may present certain challenges. Be aware, and prepare.

    11. Take care with water and food. Costa Rica is fairly tropical, and there are a number of bugs and parasites that can abound.

    12. The nicer areas are more expensive to live within. Many prices will be comparable to US, Australian or European pricing.

    Costa Rica is a beautiful country. Many ex-pats live a happy and successful life in Costa Rica. With wisdom, research, proper planning and forethought, moving to Costa Rica or any other country can be easier than might be expected. Don’t be scared, be prepared. : )


    COSTA RICA RESOURCES, LINKS, INFORMATION

    The Real Costa Rica
    This is a very popular website that offers much advice from Tim, a Costa Rican resident of many years. He has generously provided much information through the years and has a number of helpful pages that go into many details of Costa Rican lifestyle. This is the number one resource for those considering relocating to Costa Rica. This receives the highest recommendations from Michael Allen and deservedly so.
    www.TheRealCostaRica.com

    The Association of Residents for Costa Rica
    A wonderful resource of information to join. Tons of information regarding all the little details that new residents will come across such as medical, food, safety and more.
    www.arcr.net

    The Road to Retirement in Costa Rica
    This is a very popular website that offers much advice from Tim, a Costa Rican resident of many years. He has generously provided much information through the years and has a number of helpful pages that go into many details of Costa Rican lifestyle.
    Cocori.com/library/life/retireng.htm

    Travel Costa Rica Now

    Michael Allen and his partner have lived in Costa Rica for a number of years and provide lots of information on their videos and on their website. They withhold nothing and express their honest and true views. There are the positives and negatives, and Michael is completely forthright and honest. They provide services and are a great resource to research and contact. They will not tell you anything just to sell you something.
    http://TravelCostaRicaNOW.com

    Tico Times
    International Living offers tremendous value to those searching for idyllic places to retire to, or just visit long term. Every month, they send out a small but very descriptive and informative magazine to their subscribers. They have a comprehensive website with videos, interviews, forums and more. There is a subscription fee for the site, but it is very well worth it.
    TicoTimes.com

    International Living Magazine
    International Living offers tremendous value to those searching for idyllic places to retire to, or just visit long term. Every month, they send out a small but very descriptive and informative magazine to their subscribers. They have a comprehensive website with videos, interviews, forums and more. There is a subscription fee for the site, but it is very well worth it.
    InternationalLiving.com

    COSTA RICA REAL ESTATE AGENTS

    Remax, Costa Rica
    Tamarindo, Playa Hermosa (Hermosa Beach), Playa Panama (Four Seasons Papagayo) and in San Jose (the scenic Central Valley)
    www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com/

    Emerald Forest Properties
    an Jose, Escazu, Alajuela and Heredia areas of the Central Valley
    www.emeraldforestproperties.com/

    Century 21 Coastal Estates
    Playa Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, Playa Conchal, Playa Brasilito, Playa Flamingo, Playa Avellanas, Playa Negra, the Papagayo Gulf, Playa Herradura in the central Pacific, and San Jose, as well as many other “secret spots” located along the Pacific coast
    www.costarica1realestate.com/

    ~~~

    Other Articles
    http://alternativehealthcommunity.com/blog/reduce-stress-move-to-paradise-costa-rica/

    ~~~




    ~~~

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