More and more, Latin America is dominating the expat retirement market, and this year is no exception. According to International Living’s 2015 Retirement Index, four out of five of the top retirement locations are in Central and South America.
Costa Rica, a well-known expat and retiree location, has once again made this elite list, coming in at number 5. International Living nominated Ecuador as the number one spot, with Panama, Mexico, and Malaysia in second, third, and fourth place.
Among other praise, the report had this to say about the land of ‘Pura Vida’:
Costa Rica has a lot going for it…it’s a nature-lover’s dream, with green-carpeted mountains, oh-wow volcanoes, and that blue, blue ocean.
It’s got top-quality, affordable health care and is known as one of Latin America’s most peaceful nations (it has enjoyed over 60 years of uninterrupted democratic rule). Costa Rica has a wide variety of inexpensive housing, along with a wealth of every imaginable activity to keep you busy and happy.
Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches, on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls…mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing people to Costa Rica.
But it’s not just the landscape and lifestyle that draws people to spend their Golden Years in Costa Rica. The government is very accommodating with its pensionado programs, making it fairly easy to gain citizenship and take advantage of the healthcare system and year-around warm weather.
As it currently stands, pension-based residency (pensionado) is a reality for applicants who can demonstrate a permanent fixed income of at least $1,000 per month from a verified retirement fund (Article 81 of Law 8764).