International Living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners who want to move to a beautiful place with low cost of living. More than 20,000 American expats live in this country! There are several good reasons to move to Costa Rica.

Why Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has great health care, beautiful beaches, mountains, rainforests, great restaurants, modern telecommunications, and – low cost of living. You will find many expat communities there, because Costa Rica has nearly 50,000 expatriates.

If you are an American (or you speak English), you won’t have any communication problems, because nearly all Costa Ricans speak English. The official language is Spanish.

Taxes in Costa Rica

According to the territoriality principle, all personal income coming from foreign sources will be tax-exempt. If the revenue is earned in Costa Rica, it will be subject to taxation.

Impuesto de Renta (Income tax) will be levied on non-employment and employment source income. If you are employed in this country, you will have to pay taxes monthly, based on your salary. The rates for the self-employed persons go from 10 to 25 percent.

Property transfer taxes are low (1.5 percent of the total value of real estate).

Sales taxes (13 %) are levied on all goods, except medicines and foods.

Health Care in Costa Rica

This country has the best health care system in Latin America. Both private and public health systems are great. They are constantly upgraded. Health care costs are lower than in the United States. Private health care is affordable, too. The largest private hospitals are Clinica Biblica (San Jose), Clinica Catolica (San Joze) and CIMA (Escazu). More than 250 clinics and nearly 30 hospitals are government-sponsored.

According to the WHO, Costa Rica is one of the countries with the longest life expectancy. Healthy foods, great climate, and slower pace of living make this country a great place to live.

Real Estate in Costa Rica

Costa Rican property laws are the same foreigners and nationals. Even if you don’t live in Costa Rica, you can still own property or land, and there are no property taxes. This makes Costa Rica one of the most attractive places for foreign investors and retirees.

Rentista and Pensionado Residency

If you want to retire in this country and you have an investment income or pension, you can apply for either of these two types of residency.

Penisonado: the applicant has to prove that he/she has a fixed and permanent income (a pension) of 1,000 USD/ month (minimum).

Rentista: the applicant has to prove that he/she has a fixed and permanent income of 2,500 USD/ month (minimum). This amount will also cover the spouse and the applicant’s children under 25.

Learn more about the  economy  and  cost of living  in Costa Rica.

Find out more about  moving to Costa Rica.

Visit  International Living  to find out more about this country.

Expat forum  is another great site to visit and meet expats who live in Costa Rica.