By Ivo Henfling
How can you compare The United States to Costa Rica and other countries if you are planning to move overseas or retiring to a different country? I thought it well worth it to write a blog about it because of the results you get on this website as a comparison between living in the US and living in Costa Rica and the reasons for these differences, which is where your own due dilligence comes in. I get questions all the time like” how much income do I need to live on if I move to Costa Rica? Well, it depends on your lifestyle. The website I am talking about shows you how relative the data you will find on the internet are. As a source, they used the CIA World Factbook. When you do your due diligence, make sure you compare apples and oranges or talk to a responsible real estate agent.
If Costa Rica were your home instead of The United States you would……. (My comments are in Italic.)
The per capita consumption of electricity in Costa Rica is 1,786kWh while in The United States it is 12,484kWh. Costa Rica still has a lot of poor people who probably don’t have any electricity at all, or very little. They go to sleep early and wake up early, so they use a lot less electricity than you and I use. We pay an average of $180/month electricity for my household.
Costa Rica consumes 0.4185 gallons of oil per day per capita while The United States consumes 2.6400. Many US citizens use much bigger cars than we use in Costa Rica and a lot of Tico’s don’t have a car. In the US, every family member has its own car. There is a lot to see in Costa Rica and if you plan to live here, you should take advantage of it and get to know every little corner of the country like I used to do. Of course this will not help keeping the gas bill down but will make your life in Costa Rica an adventure. The cost of super unleaded gasoline is $5.00 a gallon.
The GDP per capita in Costa Rica is $10,900 while in The United States it is $46,400. I couldn’t live on $10,900 but I know people who do, they eat rice and beans and live in a shack. It depends all on the lifestyle you are used to.
The number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in Costa Rica is 9.72 while in The United States it is 6.14. You’re probably past that worry already anyway, but I am not so sure the CIA is right about this figure. I'll leave it to you to investigate.
Per capita public and private health expenditures combined in Costa Rica are $779 USD while The United States spends $6,719 USD. See last week’s blog about medical insurance. This is definitely the kind of data that should make you happy if you're ready to make the move.
Costa Rica has an unemployment rate of 6.40% while The United States has 9.30%. Without a working permit, you won’t be able to work anyway. But you can start your own business while being registered as a retiree.
The annual number of births per 1,000 people in Costa Rica is 16.65 while in The United States it is 13.83. Yes, we have lots of babies here, must be the volcanic soil that makes us so fertile.
The GINI index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income. In Costa Rica it is 48.00 while in The United States it is 45.00. The Costarican middle class is disappearing again, but I’m not sure how they measure the foreign crowd who lives in Costa Rica as a tourist.
The life expectancy at birth in Costa Rica is 77.54 while in The United States it is 78.24. Now we might have a problem, we need all of you to help out here by not passign away too son.
The number of adults living with HIV/AIDS in Costa Rica is 0.40% while in The United States it is 0.60%. I'm sure this will really make you decide to move to Costa Rica.
I’m sure you are all as surprised as I am about the outcome of such an interesting questionnaire. If you are planning to move to ANY country in the world, I hope you do not use the data delivered by the CIA to take a decision. Before you buy a property in Costa Rica, you should do your own due diligence, check if anything you read on the internet is up to date information and understand that each person has his/her own opinion and lifestyle.
By Ivo Henfling, your Costa Rica real estate agent who wants to make sure that you understand the pros and the cons of moving to another country. When you are ready to buy or rent a home in Costa Rica, give me a call.