Retiring Abroad In 2021? Costa Rica Is Pura Vida


Want to get away? With apologies to the ad team at Southwest Airlines, no one has the market on the desire to leave your friendly confines and start a new adventure someplace else. That is especially true for anyone who is retiring and wants to look at international landing spots.

Who knows, 2021 could be the year. is here to help.

Its recently released 2021 Annual Global Retirement Index serves as an excellent primer for anyone considering retirement abroad.

“You need information, and you need lots of it,” the website says in its “World’s Best Place to Retire in 2021” post. “But more than that, you need guidance on how to interpret that information. That’s what we’re here for, and that’s why we’ve compiled: to help you with the exciting business of choosing where in the world will best suit your needs.”

The process is extensive and not bound by any scientific outputs. International Living uses “people out there pounding the pavement in attractive overseas communities we know you should consider. They’re reporting back to us with insights, and information about what’s really going on. They’re not beholden to relocation service providers or real estate agents or tourism boards or economic development organizations. They work for you.”

We’ll go straight to the highlights and start with its top pick — Costa Rica — followed by Panama and Mexico.

The Costa Rican sales pitch is easy and breezy. A tropical climate; lower cost of living; locals who are friendly; affordable medical care; excellent real estate options; and its scenic beauty.

Pura Vida, as the locals say.

“One of the things you hear often from expats is how warm and welcoming the ticos (Costa Ricans) are,” said Kathleen Evans, International Living’s Costa Rica correspondent. “They are wonderful people, eager to share the magic of their culture, food, and traditions with foreigners.

“You will also find engaging international communities of expats who will help you through the process of acclimation. The vast majority of new arrivals say it is very easy to make friends and fit in here.

“A couple can live comfortably, but not necessarily extravagantly, here for around $2,000 a month. This includes renting a two-bedroom home with North American amenities, air conditioning, plus groceries, entertainment, transportation, and healthcare. If your monthly budget is closer to $2,500 to $3,000, you will find a relaxed lifestyle with every comfort you require.”

The Top 10 list is as follows:

1. Costa Rica

2. Panama

3. Mexico

4. Colombia

5. Portugal

6. Ecuador

7. Malaysia

8. France

9. Malta

10. Vietnam

So, start dreaming, start planning and remember, it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. 

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