If you plan on heading south for retirement, consider looking south of the border. Some of the best retirement real estate deals out there can be found in Costa Rica, Central America's most peaceful nation, located five borders south of the United States. Many retirees are choosing Costa Rica for its natural splendor, warm year-round climate, and affordable cost of living. Buying a home in Costa Rica is also a solid investment, as more retirees enter the market, and demand for homes continues to rise.

As a resident of Costa Rica you'll feel like you're on vacation year round, but without the normally high prices. The cost of living is much lower here than in popular US retirement destinations like Florida and Arizona, and even lower than most other Central American countries, particularly near Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose. For seven dollars a day you can take the bus all over San Jose, eat three restaurant meals, and take in a variety of cultural attractions.

Homes in Costa Rica are also very affordable, with luxury condos and homes typically starting in the $ 200K range. For that price range, you'll find homes with a wide variety of amenities, such as pools, spacious patios, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and granite and stainless steel kitchens. You'll also save on utilities in Costa Rica, which typically cost 30 per cent less than in the US

The retirement home market in Costa Rica has helped produce a variety of attractive 55+ communities, similar to those in the US These communities offer a wide range of beautiful villa-style homes, carefully landscaped parks and greenspaces, and amenities like fitness centers, clubhouses , and gathering halls. Costa Rica retirement communities are also planned with health and wellness in mind – residents have access to assisted living services with trained, professional staff.

Becoming a resident of Costa Rica is usually easy, and can be done after to you move there. To qualify for the "pensionado" (retired) status you must earn a minimum of $ 600 per month over five years, while a "rentista" card requires an income of $ 1000 per month over five years.

Most of your research before moving to Costa Rica should focus on finding qualified real estate brokers and agents to work with. A good real estate professional can put you in touch with the best deals quickly, and take uncertainty out of leaving the country.

Source by Nick Viale