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Costa Rica one of Top 10 Retirement Destinations for 2014
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Costa Rica one of Top 10 Retirement Destinations for 2014

Featuring economical, first-rate health care, low property taxes and a diversity of temperate climates to choose from, it’s easy to see why Costa Rica once again tops the list for retirement destinations abroad. The accolades come courtesy of International Living’s 2014 Global Retirement Index – a yearly guide that rates countries based on important factors including quality of life, modernity of infrastructure and the type of health care system available to expats.

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Annual retirement index rates best oversees destinations

Choosing the ultimate spot to spend your golden years abroad entails much more than tropical weather and low costs of living. Baby boomers must consider issues like how easy it is to obtain permanent residency and access to quality medical services. In these two areas, Costa Rica excels, boasting one of Central America’s premier public health care systems where $50 to $100 a month grants you access to dozens of hospitals and more than 200 clinics. Free check-ups, physician visits, diagnostic exams, surgeries and prescriptions are included in this nominal monthly fee. And, if you draw a monthly Social Security check, you can secure residency through Costa Rica’s pensionado application process. 

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Most attractive retirement havens across the globe

The Global Retirement Index for 2014 highlighted other contenders for overseas retirement hotspots. Among the top ten were: Panama, Ecuador, Spain, Thailand, Columbia, Mexico and Malaysia. While most of these countries also offer inexpensive, nationalized health care and lush environs from which to choose, Costa Rica’s proximity to the States gives it quite an edge for those who want to stay close to friends and loved ones back home. Miami is less than three hours by plane, while Los Angeles is just over six hours.

Costa Rica living offers built-in support system and expat community

Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of retiring in Costa Rica is the built-in support network of like-minded American and European expats. As a new resident looking to connect with your community, a variety of social and sporting clubs offer myriad of Costa Rica tour options — whether you enjoy golf, sport fishing, birding, weekend runs, or a game of tennis. Many retirees decide to purchase their homes in gated communities, where they are surrounded by mix of other expats and Costa Ricans.

City glamour, beachfront chic or laid-back mountain home

Time and time again, contented expats attribute their retirement success in Costa Rica to finding that “perfect” home base. And with no shortage of city, beach, rainforest, and mountain options to choose from, there’s quite literally a little something for everyone in Costa Rica.   Known for its breezy, temperate climate – that really surpasses the upper 80’s – the Central Valley has the highest concentration of retirees scattered throughout the towns of Heredia, Grecia, Atenas, Escazu and San Ramon. The highly developed coastal towns of Tamarindo and Jaco come in second place, thanks to their modern conveniences, city resources and abundance of luxurious beach and ocean front housing.

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