full of piss and vinegar
Honduras (private cities?)
Living in Costa Rica gives you the freedom to spend almost as little or much as you choose; while many things are inexpensive, North American-style luxuries can add up. Despite this fact, life in Costa Rica is generally less expensive than an equivalent lifestyle in the United States, Canada or Europe, as many expatriates will happily attest.
Rents in rural areas and select urban areas hover around $300-$600 for a well-furnished apartment or small home. At this price, renters can expect Costa Rican-style amenities, which may include line-drying laundry and bathrooms equipped with electric shower heads. A lavish three-bedroom home near San Jose complete with granite countertops, Jacuzzi bathtubs and hot water heater starts at approximately $1500 monthly, and can cost much more.
Top honors in the Cost of Living category of our Quality of Life Index don’t always go to the most idyllic places. And the search for the ideal retirement haven is about finding that perfect balance of cost of living and quality of life.
The good news is that there are places of extraordinary beauty that are safe and friendly, and where you can live like royalty for $1,200 a month…
Expats Darrell and Amy Bushnell wanted a rich culture, a perfect climate, an active retirement and a much less expensive lifestyle. They found it in the 10th cheapest country in the world, Nicaragua.
Here you can live on the ocean and watch the sunsets from your balcony. You can buy a farm and live close to the earth and off the grid. Or, like Darrell and Amy, you can enjoy the urban life in the colonial splendor of Granada.
“You can get a fantastic steak dinner in the finest restaurant here for around $13. Regular fare at typical restaurants runs about half that and a ‘local’ meal is $2 to $3. The local beers, which are good, run from $0.75 to $1.50,” says Darrell.
“We live in a large colonial home of around 3,500 square feet with three bedrooms and four bathrooms, a large garage and a swimming pool. We have a maid that works three hours a day, six days a week for $80 a month. For three years I maintained the pool myself but now I have a young man who, for $35 a month, does it three days a week. Water costs around $10 a month and yes, we drink the tap water. We had it tested and it’s as safe as water in the States.
“We have an SUV and a motorcycle. The total annual insurance costs for both vehicles is less than $100 per year.
“Medical care is very reasonable and Granada is within 40 minutes of one of the finest hospitals in Central America. A visit to a doctor is $15. Our doctor speaks English and we have his personal cell number for emergencies. Hard to imagine that happening in the U.S.”