Living La Pura Vida in Costa Rica
Straddling Central America's land bridge between the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica is a small, stable, and beautiful country that has been drawing second homeowners and retirees for years. According to the U.S. Department of State, over 20,000 U.S. citizens currently live in Costa Rica – and for good reason.
This little country of just over 4 million people boasts a strikingly high level of development. Its literacy rate of 94% is among the highest in the world, as the nation constitutionally abolished its army in 1949 and pledged to create "an army of teachers." It consistently ranks highest among Latin American countries in indexes for human development and environmental protection, and its stable government is one of the world's older existing democracies. As one might expect, then, expatriates have often said that they feel safe and well taken care of in Costa Rica. They can usually count on many of the same amenities and conveniences they had at home.
One such amenity is healthcare. Costa Rica's medical system is excellent and inexpensive. In fact, for U.S. residents, it's a prime destination for "medical tourism," or visits specifically for the purposes of medical or surgical care. This means that Costa Rica is especially appealing to retirees, who know that in Costa Rica, they are unlikely to be hit with a crippling bill as a result of surgery or hospitalization.
Culturally, Costa Rica also has much to offer: performing arts, galleries, and English-language newspapers all appeal to residents and visitors.