Costa Rica was placed in the first place as a destination for retirees in 2021, according to the annual ranking of the International Living.com publication, surpassing countries like Panama, Mexico, Colombia and Portugal.
According to the 2021 Global Retirement Index, which has existed since 1979, Costa Rica advanced, as it was in third place in last year’s ranking, behind Portugal and Panama.
This rating is based on the feedback of retirees living in each of the countries evaluated. It measures 10 variables, among which are the availability of housing, the easiness of obtaining resident visas, benefits in general, entertainment, the country’s development, climate and health system.
The measurements also include the country’s government, opportunities and cost of living in each of the nations.
For this year’s ranking, based on the average of the 10 indicators, Costa Rica obtained a score of 85.2, placing it in first place. It is followed in the ranking by Panama, with 84.4, and Mexico, with 83.5.
Colombia, Portugal, Ecuador and Malaysi also finished high in the ranking.
To justify Costa Rica’s ranking, the publication emphasized that the country offers a simple lifestyle, in a society where it is considered it to be important, and a cost of living that allows expats to maintain it.
Expatriates living in Costa Rica report, “It is easy to feel healthier, happier and less stressed here. As expats Tom and Diane Brown, originally from Washington State, expressed it from their new home in Costa Rica’s Central Valley: “We live very comfortably with our two Social Security checks and my pension. Here we can easily live on $3,000 a month, including a gardener and a maid. We also save $500 each month for travel,” the publication says.
The report continues to say: “Costa Rica attracts millions of visitors and foreign residents year-round with its tropical climate; lower cost of living; friendly locals; affordable health care; vast real estate options; and, of course, its natural beauty.”
In announcing this year’s results, the publication also features statements from Kathleen Evans, International Living’s Costa Rican correspondent. “One of the things you often hear from expatriates,” she says, “is how warm and welcoming the Ticos (Costa Ricans) are. They are wonderful people, eager to share the magic of their culture, food and traditions with foreigners.
Evans considers that a couple can live comfortably, but not necessarily extravagantly, here for about $2,000 a month. This includes renting a two-bedroom house with American amenities, air conditioning, plus food, entertainment, transportation and medical care.
In the index breakdown, however, Costa Rica is behind most of the top 20 countries in cost of living. The rating in this category is 84, compared to 87 from Mexico, 89 from Colombia, 93 from Ecuador or 91 from Malaysia.
The high rating of the other factors had a bearing on the fact that in the global index, Costa Rica ended up in first place.
(translated from Spanish by Christopher Howard)