I love following Irina and Jim Just’s blog, called “Just Costa Rica, living la pura vida” because they both always have interesting things to say in their blog. In all my years selling Costa Rica real estate, I hardly ever saw a couple retire in Costa Rica one day and feel totally comfortable with their new home country the next day. Few expats are able to “mingle” so easily in their new environment as Irina and Jim and I’d like you to learn from them.
With Irina Just’s permission, I am publishing her last blog about the Blooms in Costa Rica, another way Irina found to meet new people and to enjoy her retirement in Costa Rica. FYI, Blooms is not an old ladies club, they’re just a bunch of women enjoying themselves. Thanks Irina for allowing me to use your blog to show newcomers another way of mingling and enjoy living in Costa Rica.
The object of recounting specifics of our family communication is not to bore you with details that don’t relate to your planned move to Costa Rica. My purpose is show that there are possible surprises and unknowns harbored by all parties involved in your move. The success of your move to Costa Rica will be measured by how well you have openly addressed all of the inner details and emotions involved. It’s incumbent upon you, your partner and other individuals that are part of your decision to come clean and their discuss concerns and desires.
Upon our return from our due diligence trip to Costa Rica, my wife and I agreed to remain silent for a few days about any decisions or inclinations we may have formed independently of the other during or after our working vacation. I recommend a “phase 1 cooling off period” allowing time for the euphoria of your dream vacation to wear off before you discuss what could easily be the biggest decision of a lifetime.
by Ivo Henfling
Jay Brodell, editor of AM Costa Rica, published an article last April titled “What do expats want? Well, here are suggestions”. Jay is a great journalist and probably one of the best informed gringos living in Costa Rica, never afraid of publishing anything that might not be received well by either the expat community in Costa Rica or the Costarican government. The suggestions are some great ones though I'm not sure the Costarican government will listen to the suggestions.
Since our company sells and rents Costa Rica real estate, I am of course all for the idea of having thousands of foreigners move to Costa Rica, but that's beside the point here. Jays’ article proposes some ideas of what needs to be done for the expat community in Costa Rica to improve their conditions as foreign residents of Costa Rica.
First, the Costarican government doesn’t seem to be interested at all in promoting foreign retirement in Costa Rica like they do with business investment tourism or medical tourism.
by guest blogger TicoNuevo
Here’s something to think about: a significant number of all of the expats attempting to settle in Costa Rica return home within one year. I have some ideas about why this happens, and how to avoid becoming a statistic. I’ll discuss the most prominent reasons for failure here.
A big reason influencing an early departure, I think, is a lack of preparation before potential expats arrive. Changing your country of residence requires an enormous, well-coordinated effort—lots of pre-planning. Unless you have changed countries of residence before, you have no concept of the volume and benefit of pre-planning your move.
by Ivo Henfling
In the beginning of the 80’s, I heard this great story that helped me understand the mindset of the Costaricans and adjust better to the culture and the way of life in Costa Rica. I was curious if I could find the original writer of this story on Google. I found a certain Mark Albion who claims to have written the story that he calls “The businessman and the fisherman” in 1999. His story is a North American version to the tropical version that I heard in the 80’s.
I also found a reference to a short story written by Heinrich Böll in 1963 with the title “Anecdote concerning the Lowering of Productivity”. Heinrich Böll, I’m sure, has never been on a beach in Costa Rica but he understood the tropics as well as George Orwell knew in 1949 how the world would look like after 1984. I’d like to share this great story with you and give you another reason to move to Costa Rica soon.
by Ivo Henfling
Costa Rica retirement vacation properties and bird watching go together well, the reason so many have decided to retire or buy a vacation home in Costa Rica. When you retire to a country like Costa Rica, you must love nature and in particular birds. If you don’t, why even bother moving to Costa Rica. The best part is that no matter if you buy your Costa Rica retirement or vacation property in a town like Atenas, you get the birding for free. Just make sure you bring a camera that can take high resolution photos just like our client Peter Boyer did and you’re up for a good time and a better lifestyle than you had ever imagened.
Thanks Peter, for finding such a great hobby and sharing it with us. Your photos say so much more about the beauty of Costa Rica than any text that I can write. Just like you and your wife Edie took the decision of buying your retirement home just outside Atenas, many others can now get a much better feel what it must be like to crawl through the grass of your neighborhood to take these awesome photos.
Many found another reason to retire in Atenas and in other locations in Costa Rica after my post a couple of weeks ago with pictures takes by our expat and I’ve received a lot of emails from readers asking for more quality photos of birdlife and views in Paradise.
In February this year I already posted a blog with photos from Peter Boyer taken in Desmonte – Atenas, where he moved recently with his wife Edie. After receiving Peter’s photos, I asked Cyndi Mayer in Santa Ana to help identify some of the birds, so thank you Cyndi!
Not only is the climate in Atenas perfect, Atenas offers you a laid back lifestyle and at the same time availability of all you need as well as having th eposibility of making friends fast!
Nothing in life is perfect and moving to Costa Rica won’t make it perfect either unless you work really hard at it. Doing your due diligence and reading about mistakes others have made will make you less a possible victim to the same mistakes. Not only are my own blogs full of information, real stories and up to date information, I’d like to share these real interesting blogs from people who write them to be shared.
My Blogs are not only meant to advertise Costa Rica real estate but also to try to inform you about hundreds of topics that will interest you if you are one of those doing your diligence to see if Costa Rica is the right country for you or not. Promoting the blogs below is part of that task.
By Guest Blogger TicoNuevo
In my introduction, you know that we have decided to make Costa Rica our permanent retirement residence. So, I’d like to give you a look back at how we arrived at this rather momentous and difficult decision and later on how we implemented the move. Our criteria and circumstances are specific to us. You may see some parallels with your situation or you may not, but the process we used to arrive at our decision should work for anyone in any circumstance.
In the late summer of 2011, it was time for us to get serious about determining when and where we were going to retire and how we were going to pay for our golden years when we finally decided to pull the plug on our work-a-day life. First, we had many long discussions about what was most important to us. I think, every couple, or individual for that matter, needs to take a serious look at what retirement looks like to them and what they value most.
by Ivo Henfling
Peter and Edie Boyer moved into their new home in Vista Mar Estates in Desmonte in October 2012 and are enjoying the marvelous wonders of living in Atenas. Desmonte is located between Atenas and Orotina and the Boyers bought their home through Isabelle Jones, our Atenas agent.
Last week, I wrote a blog on the American-European Real estate website about why Atenas real estate is so attractive for Costa Rica retirement, where I wrote “The low density allows for big part of the nature to be intact, which allows for lots of birdlife, monkeys and other wildlife to be enjoyed from the terrace of your home”.
by Ivo Henfling
President of Costa Rica, doña Laura Chinchilla, proposes a new bill to control capital that flows in and out of the country. The Colon is the most depreciating amongst 19 Latin American and Caribbean economies tracked by Bloomberg.
Doña Laura Chinchilla announced measures to slow capital inflows that she called “weapons of mass destruction” against the nation’s economy.
Is this bill an effort of keeping retirees and foreign investors out of Costa Rica? Will it hurt Costa Rica real estate owners? The Costarican government has created the Luxury Home tax as well as the Corporation Tax, both overrated in the press, but that is another story. Many of my readers have asked me for a comment on this proposed bill, so here we go.
by Ivo Henfling
I received this email from Paul, a future expat, today:
“I just returned from a 4 day trip to San Jose and participated in a Expat seminar put on by International Living magazine at the San Jose Marriott. I walked to 7:00 mass one morning through a neighborhood where EVERY HOUSE had heavy iron gates across the driveway, razor wire and or electrical security fence and some even had uniformed guards.
What on earth are the Ticos afraid of? I live in the DETROIT area sometimes called the MURDER City instead of the Motor City and I assure the only razor wire you see is at the county jail. What gives? “
by Ivo Henfling
Over 200 future retirees attended the 2012 International Living Fast Track Conference from the 12th – 14th of November in the San Jose Marriott Hotel.
Many of those 200 have come by our table at least 4 times. My feet are still hurting, imagine my mouth! It was a lot of fun and both Rudy and I realize how enjoyable specializing in the Costa Rica retirement market is.
A future Canadian expat joined me in the bathroom while washing my hands, telling me how he loves my blogs, especially the one about Obama. And he isn’t even buying property in the Central Valley, the area we specialize in, but at Lake Arenal.
by Judy in Atenas
Two sisters - Judy and Roxi - are creating a whole new life in Costa Rica post-retirement from the United States. They were in touch with our Atenas real estate agent before they moved to Costa Rica and gave Isabelle Jones a raving testimonial. Hear about Judy and Roxi's adventures, travels and experiences via their blog. They are living their dream!
"You've Got To Have a Dream, If You Want To Have a Dream Come True"
by Ivo Henfling
I am not a political person but I want you to vote for Obama. Some might smile at this comment and some might hate me for it. That’s why I generally stay away from politics, religion and issues that should not be mixed in business in my blogs.
The reason for me writing this is really because Shell Johanson, our agent in Cariari, sent me the cartoon below. I have always thought it was just me that saw this happen, but it seems to be a general feeling. Those clients that have been with me in the past couple of months, as well as many North American voters that I meet every day will agree that I have been promoting Obama like crazy.
Don’t worry, I have not gone crazy (yet), this has a reason.
By Ivo Henfling
Before you retire to a new country, you need to find out which country to retire to or buy a 2nd home first. Once you have decided Costa Rica will be your retirement destination, in 3 weeks you can tour the country and find out where to concentrate the search or scratch it off your list.
Doing your online due diligence is only the start. I know some people who bought a house in Escazu years ago and still only do the trip airport – Escazu and vice versa. Please don’t be one of those; you don’t know what you are missing. The real fun starts when you come to Costa Rica rent a car for a couple of weeks and hit the roads. Leave you GPS at home and just get lost. When you hit ocean, you know you will have to make a turn.
by Isabelle Jones in Atenas
Roca Verde gated community in Atenas is a fine luxury gated community. Homes in Roca Verde start as low as $250,000 and luxury homes start at $500K and go all the way up to almost $1M, depending on the views, the size of the home and the quality of the finishes. This beautiful gated community offers the best views in town and was developed in 2004 by master developer Jean Luc Sauvé and his partner Normand Bastien.
Roca Verde is located only two miles out of Atenas, where you have all the amenities and services you will be looking for when you move to Costa Rica. Located on an Atenas mountain range of 2,200 to 2,500 feet elevation, this community offers 75 home sites with lots varying from ¼ acre to 1 ¾ acres, in 3 phases. The community is not a condominium and there are no CC & R's but is legally a subdivision.
by guest blogger Jeff Lichtenstein
Most would read the title and think it's a weird story for a Costa Rica real estate blog. We all know that when the real estate market went bust in 2006, Florida was one of the most suffering states. Since both Florida and Costa Rica are both a strong retirement market and we are so close to each other, we always keep an eye out on what is going on with the Florida real estate market. When the Florida real estate market picks up, it shouldn't take much for our retirement market to pick up again too.
Many who have been planning to retire and had Costa Rica on their list too look at end up in Florida because they were giving property almost away in Florida while the Costa Rica real estate market maintained stable property prices, though we still have lots of retirees who move to Costa Rica for the weather and nature. No matter if you own Costa Rica real estate or you want to purchase, Jeff Lichtenstein, a well known realtor in Palm Beach County - Florida has an interesting story to tell.
By Ivo Henfling
Do not lose any sleepless nights over the new Costa Rica corporation tax, GoDutch Realty has the solution for you. Now, if you own a Costa Rica corporation or Sociedad Anonima or S.A. you are supposed to pay tax on this corporation. The new corporation tax in Costa Rica is something that many property owners do not know how to handle. Especially those who not live in Costa Rica don’t know how to pay these taxes. GoDutch Realty is of course the first Costa Rica real estate company offering a solution to this. There has been talk about this corporate tax for a year and now it has happened. For the exact details on the what, the how and how much, you can read our last blog about it and for even more details go to our blog on the American European Real estate Group’s website.
The fact is that many people own a corporation in Costa Rica which in turn owns a property or several properties or a car. Others had their attorney constitute a new corporation to start a business in Costa Rica or planned to buy a Costa Rica property but never got to it for some reason and left the company without use. Now is the time to act.