Costa Rica has become a popular destination for retirees seeking a tropical paradise with a lower cost of living. Understanding the Requirements to Retire in Costa Rica is essential for a smooth transition. From legal documentation to financial prerequisites, these requirements ensure that retirees can enjoy the country’s beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and warm climate without any hassle. T

But before you start packing your bags, there are some essential requirements to keep in mind. In this guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know to retire in Costa Rica, from residency permits to healthcare costs and more.

Key Takeaways

  • To retire in Costa Rica, you’ll need to fulfill specific residency requirements.
  • Costa Rica offers a range of retirement benefits, including tax exemptions and access to quality healthcare.
  • Retirement costs in Costa Rica can vary depending on your lifestyle, but it can be more affordable than in the United States.
  • To obtain a retirement visa in Costa Rica, you’ll need to meet specific eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation.

Retirement Options in Costa Rica

Retiring in Costa Rica offers a range of options to suit different wants and needs. Whether you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city living or prefer the peace and quiet of a rural retreat, Costa Rica has something for you.

One of the benefits of retiring in Costa Rica is the ease of obtaining residency. There are several visa options available, including the popular retirement visa, which is available to anyone over the age of 18 with a stable retirement income.

Visa Type Requirements
Retirement Visa Proof of stable retirement income of at least $2,500 per month
Rentista Visa Proof of stable income of at least $2,500 per month for two years or $60,000 in a bank account
Inversionista Visa Proof of investment in a Costa Rican business or property of at least $200,000


Once you have obtained residency, you can enjoy all the benefits of retirement in Costa Rica, including world-class healthcare, a low cost of living, and a warm climate year-round. You can choose to live in a beach town, mountain village, or city, and take advantage of the many activities and sights the country has to offer, from hiking in national parks to relaxing on pristine beaches.

At CRIE, we can help you navigate the various retirement options in Costa Rica and find the one that works best for you. Contact us today to get started on your retirement journey.

retirement in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Retirement Costs

Retiring in Costa Rica can be a great way to enjoy a high quality of life in a beautiful setting. However, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the costs associated with life in Costa Rica to plan your retirement budget effectively.

When it comes to living expenses, the cost of basic necessities like groceries and utilities is generally lower than in the United States. For example, a gallon of milk in Costa Rica costs around $2.80, while the same item in the US typically costs around $3.70. Similarly, a basic utility package for an 85m2 apartment in San Jose costs around $109 per month, compared to around $166 in New York City.

Expense Cost (USD/month)
Groceries for 2 people $400 – $500
Utilities for 85m2 apartment $109
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) $40 – $67
Mobile Phone (1 month prepaid) $12 – $15
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant $25 – $40


It’s important to note that the cost of medical care in Costa Rica is generally lower than in the US as well. The country has a public healthcare system that provides affordable medical services to citizens and residents, and private healthcare facilities are also available. However, it’s still essential to factor healthcare costs into your retirement budget.

Property prices in Costa Rica can vary widely depending on the location and type of property. For example, a 1-bedroom apartment in San Jose typically costs around $800 per month, while a 3-bedroom house can cost $1,500 or more per month. If you plan to purchase property, it’s important to work with a qualified real estate agent who can help you navigate the local market.

Overall, the cost of living in Costa Rica can be significantly lower than in the US, making it an attractive destination for retirees. However, it’s important to carefully consider all the costs associated with a move to Costa Rica to ensure that you can enjoy your retirement years comfortably.

requirements to retire in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Retirement Benefits

Retiring in Costa Rica comes with a range of benefits and incentives that make it an attractive destination for retirees. One of the most significant benefits is access to high-quality healthcare. The country has a universal healthcare system that is available to all residents, including expats. This means retirees can rest easy, knowing they have access to quality medical care at an affordable cost.

Another advantage of retiring in Costa Rica is the tax exemptions available to retirees. Those who qualify for the retirement visa can enjoy tax-free income earned outside of the country. Additionally, retirees can import their household goods and personal belongings into the country tax-free.

In addition to these financial benefits, Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Retirees can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and birdwatching to surfing and fishing. The country also has a thriving expat community, making it easy to connect with like-minded individuals and form new friendships.

At CRIE, we can provide personalized assistance to help you take advantage of these benefits and make your retirement in Costa Rica as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Costa Rica Retirement Benefits

Retirement Visa Requirements

If you’re considering retiring in Costa Rica, you’ll need to obtain a retirement visa to stay in the country for an extended period. Here’s what you need to know:

To qualify for a Costa Rica retirement visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Provide proof of health insurance coverage in Costa Rica or a foreign medical policy that covers you in Costa Rica
  • Pass a criminal record check from your home country and Costa Rica
  • Submit a birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable)

The processing time for a Costa Rica retirement visa can take several months, so it’s important to plan accordingly. You’ll also need to renew your visa annually, and you can apply for permanent residency after three years of holding a retirement visa.

“Retiring in Costa Rica is an excellent choice for those seeking a relaxed, affordable, and beautiful retirement destination. With our comprehensive guide and personalized assistance, we can help you navigate the retirement visa requirements and make your transition to Costa Rica as smooth as possible.”

Costa Rica Retirement Age

Costa Rica’s retirement age is 65 years old, but it is not a requirement for foreign retirees to meet this age criteria to retire in the country. However, retirees who are at least 55 years old can take advantage of the retiree residency program, which offers several benefits and incentives.

Retiring abroad can provide a new and exciting chapter in life, but it also has its challenges. Leaving behind familiar surroundings, friends, and family can be difficult and emotionally taxing. However, Costa Rica’s warm and welcoming culture can make the transition smoother, and expatriate communities can help retirees connect with others who share their experiences.

At CRIE, we understand that retiring abroad can be a daunting task, but our team is here to assist and provide personalized support. Whether it’s finding the perfect retirement community, navigating the residency visa process, or simply answering your questions, we are here to help.


Retiring in Costa Rica can be a dream come true for many, with its warm weather, beautiful scenery, and welcoming culture. However, it’s essential to be prepared and informed to make the most of your retirement experience.

At CRIE, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide to the essential requirements to retire in Costa Rica, retirement options available, retirement costs, retirement benefits, retirement visa requirements, and the retirement age. We hope that this guide has been helpful in guiding you toward making your retirement in Costa Rica as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

However, we understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and you may have additional questions or concerns. That’s why we’re here to help! If you would like personalized assistance based on your specific needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re dedicated to helping you make the most of your retirement in Costa Rica.

-Article by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to retire in Costa Rica?

To retire in Costa Rica, you must meet certain criteria, including having a monthly income of at least $1,000 from a stable source, such as a pension or investment. You will also need to provide proof of health insurance coverage and undergo a background check.

What are the retirement options in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers various retirement options, including the popular pensionado residency program and the rentista residency program. These programs provide retirees with different pathways to obtain legal residency in the country.

How much does retirement in Costa Rica cost?

The cost of retirement in Costa Rica varies depending on individual lifestyles and preferences. Generally, living expenses, healthcare costs, and property prices are lower compared to many other countries, making Costa Rica an affordable retirement destination.

What are the retirement benefits in Costa Rica?

Retiring in Costa Rica comes with several benefits, including access to high-quality healthcare, tax exemptions on certain foreign income, and a welcoming and inclusive community of expatriates. Costa Rica also offers a peaceful and beautiful natural environment for retirees to enjoy.

What are the requirements for a retirement visa in Costa Rica?

To obtain a retirement visa in Costa Rica, you must meet certain requirements, such as being 55 years or older, providing a stable monthly income, and submitting the necessary documents, including a criminal background check and proof of health insurance coverage.

What is the retirement age in Costa Rica?

There is no specific retirement age in Costa Rica. However, many people choose to retire in their 50s or 60s. Retiring abroad in Costa Rica offers the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and take advantage of the country’s natural beauty.



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