Retiring in Costa Rica was my choice because I was sick and tired of big city life and Costa Rica gave me an opportunity to live out in the country or "campo". Here we have birds, monkeys, exotic insects, beautiful sunsets and all that goes with living the "country life" instead of horns honking and helicopters hovering!
Living here, too, is an "adventure" - more than I ever imagined it would be. The weather, for one thing, is full of surprises. The rain can come in incredible volumes, the thunder can be incredibly loud, and the lightning can be incredibly dramatic and beautiful to watch. This is truly weather. And every day here there is a surprise of some sort: a strange insect or exotic bird in a nearby tree, a lizard in the side yard, or a strange toad coming by the porch for a visit!
When I lived in the big city in the USA all I did was sit all the time. Almost literally. Days would go by where I went nowhere other than to commute to work, sitting in traffic for an hour, then on to my job where I would continue to sit at my computer all day. Then I would sit in the car on the way home, and then sit the rest of the day at my computer and tv!
I was gaining weight and feeling very unhealthy. My cholesterol was high and my belly was fat and getting fatter by the month! (I had always been thin until the last few years.) I told my wife that one of the advantages to retiring in Costa Rica would be that we would live a much healthier lifestyle: more walking, more doing, more moving our bodies!
Here, I sit no more than a few hours a day most days, and when I'm not sitting I am often working: sweeping, cleaning, fixing, planting, walking, digging, lifting, pulling, pushing... all the things the experts tell you to do.
And my cholesterol and my waist size have both gone way down without even trying!
I wake up to the sounds of toucans, and I sit in my hammock for awhile each day and enjoy the sounds of various birds over coffee after breakfast.
In the evening I sit and enjoy a glass of wine or a beer while watching some of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen! Sometimes there are thunderstorms to watch out over the ocean without a drop of water anywhere near here, and the lightning gives us a "light show" that is better than the 4th of July fireworks! These are just some of the things that make Costa Rica retirement so attractive to so many retirees!
Oh, there are negative things too... Anywhere you live in the world, there will be negatives. There is no utopia, no paradise anywhere! Humans have a way of making life complicated, creating problems; that's just how life is. Governments. Bureaucracy. Banks, insurance, corporations...
But when I take my afternoon walk now, I thank goodness for retiring in Costa Rica at age 62 instead of waiting for "more money"!
Sure I could have worked 3 more years and accumulated more money and that would have enabled us to live a little less "on the edge", financially. And you may want to do that...
But me, I am so glad I didn't wait and that for almost a whole year now I have been waking up to the dream-become-reality of retiring in Costa Rica!
As we get older we begin to realize our time is running out and we value different things, appreciate different things. We may begin to examine "What is really valuable?" in our lives...
When I lived in the big city in the U.S., I had a neighbor who had a bad heart attack. He was probably 60-something when I saw him one day walking with the help of his wife down the stairs from his house. I said hello and commented that "It's a beautiful day today!"
He stopped and looked up at me, and smiled, and not without some effort said, "Yes, it is!"
It struck me at that moment that he perhaps had realized that he may not have a whole lot of these beautiful days left to enjoy, and he was truly appreciating this one, as much as he could, under the circumstances.
My neighbor took his last breath about a month after that.
I made up my mind right then that retiring in Costa Rica was something I had to do as soon as I could and not delay any longer than I had to!
No matter how old you are, you never know how much time you have left. That's a fact. So however old you are, or wherever you live or want to live, please spend your time wisely and don't waste any of the precious time you have left!
For me, that means retiring in Costa Rica and appreciating every sunset, every toucan sighting, every thunder and lightning show! And every morning that I wake up healthy to face another beautiful day!
For me, retiring in Costa Rica is one of the best decisions I ever made!