Concerned about being able to retire in the United States on a fixed income? Stop worrying because many Americans have discovered a tropical paradise where you can live comfortably for less than a thousand dollars a month. Discover how Costa Rica can provide the retiree with a high quality of life for a little bit of money.
Apply for a United States passport at the local Post Office. United States passports are valid for 10 years.
Call the Costa Rican Embassy by dialing (202) 328-6628 in the United States to check on immigration requirements.
Learn to speak Spanish. Community centers offer free Spanish classes or sign up for an online course. The best way to learn a foreign language is by practicing everyday, so do not expect to master the language while still in the United States.
Contact expatriates already living in Costa Rica to get tips and advice on what to expect. Visit the WeLoveCostaRica website to join the online community of retired Americans and Canadians living in Costa Rica.
Plan a trip to Costa Rica. Do not jump into retiring to a foreign country without first visiting. Spend as much time possible visiting to get the real feeling of day to day living. Make multiple trips if necessary. American tourists do not need to apply for a tourist visa prior to traveling. Americans can stay legally up to 90 days.
Check with your financial institution about using an ATM/debit card abroad. Ask if there are any additional fees for making purchases with an ATM/debit card or making withdrawals in a foreign country. Some financial institutions charge an international access fee. This can get pricey, so make sure to locate a bank that does not charge international handling fees.
Set up direct deposits for current retirement funds. Remember that you cannot fly back to the United States to sign and deposit checks every month.
Sign up with a mail forwarding service. USAbox.com offers a United States address and allows you to keep track of incoming mail via the Internet. You have the option to receive your mail once a month or once every six months.
Locate a home in Costa Rica after researching your options. Decide to buy or rent based on your previous visits and current finances.
Make the move and enjoy your retirement years in paradise.