Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update:  Heating and Air Conditioning Bill-  $0/month

Costa Rica has a number of different micro-climates.  You can live at the beach and have 90 degree weather or climb to higher altitudes to enjoy a cooler climate.  Where I live I get to enjoy 75 degrees all year round.

All my windows and doors are open allowing the fresh mountain air to sweep through. It’s a freeing feeling knowing the temperature in the house is the same as outside.

75 degrees does something wonderful to your brain.  I think every one of my great childhood memories is wrapped around a 75 degree day: my first leap off the high dive, fire flies and fireworks, climbing trees, and bicycles with banana seats.  A 75 degree day makes me remember when Mickey Goldstein was dared to eat Jimmy Zuchowitz’s booger.  A feat so heroic, Mickey was quickly elected to represent the 8 to 11 year old demographic at our playground.  I think Mickey is now a councilman for the city.

Childhood does not fly by fast to the young.  Those Saturdays were long and thoroughly exhausting.  It’s adulthood that goes quickly, leaving only a small trail of dust in its wake.

75 degrees has a way of making you remember the good times.  And why not remember them as often as possible?

About Nadine Hays Pisani

Nadine is the author of the best-selling series, Happier Than A Billionaire. Join her as she navigates living as an expat in the sometimes confusing, always beautiful, country of Costa Rica.
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  1. Pingback: 5 Differences Between Expat vs Tourist Living

  2. Interesting.

    I never thought much about this before, but I have really noticed this since I moved to Thailand.

    Because whenever you go to a hotel, the A/C is set at 24 or 25 degrees Celsius, which is 75-77 Fahrenheit. Usually 25C/77F.

    Also, I noticed that the perfect temp. for me is 24C/75F.

    I can pretty much guess when a room is at exactly 75F, because it’s when I feel most comfortable…so it was great to come across your blog.

    Thailand is certainly not 75F, so maybe it’s time to move to Costa Rica!


    • When we lived in the mountainous town of Grecia, the weather was incredible. Probably the best I’ve ever experienced. It was usually cool, and when it did go up in the 80s, the temp would come back down at night. Just awesome!

  3. Butch says:

    Hi, I have a problem with moving and leaving my horse behind. He is my best friend.ho can I bring him down and where is the best place to live and ride?

    • I believe they have to be quarantined first. There are horses and stables everywhere in Costa Rica. You’ll see people riding horses to work everyday. I suppose it would depend on where you want to live since there are varying temperatures in Costa Rica.

  4. Pingback: Secrets of Costa Rica Weather

  5. Jerry says:

    My wife and I are Americans and want to visit Costa Rica, but don’t really know where to go. I like the 75 degree temps. Where are you located? We only plan on staying a week.

    • Nadine says:

      My first book was about living in Grecia. Heavens, the best weather in the world. We lived up on a mountain ridge and I have some of the best memories there. If you want to live in a place with moderate temps, I would recommend there, without a shadow of a doubt!

  6. John says:

    Hi, i just discovered your site and have started to hint strongly to my wife that Costa Rica and not florida is where we need to go, we still have at least 4 years until the youngest is gone, but her big concern is finances, my retirement income is 4500.00 monthly, but shes not eligible to retire for another 10+ years, my question is as a registered nurse would she be able to work there if she wanted, thank you

    • Nadine says:

      I’m not sure, but I would imagine she would have to be certified here. That would include taking a test that would be in Spanish. Once here I would talk with some of the doctors and see. There is always a need for professionals here, although the pay would be substantially less.

  7. Judith says:

    I would love to have a job lined up before moving to Costa Rica. I cannot find job opportunities online in Costa Rica. I am an interior designer of high-end residential homes, commercial and corporate interiors, hospitals and medical offices. An interior designer does space planning and interior architecture. I renovate buildings. I select appropriate building materials and art for my clients. I focus on creating healthy environments. I am also a fitness instructor. Any suggestions on finding employment, please? Thank you for writing a blog for us who are in search of a better political environment and a happier, healthier lifestyle.

    • Nadine says:

      Employment is difficult here. Most people I know make their living off the internet. Some have businesses but were here a few years before starting them. I would suggest you come here with a little saved, take your time, and see if you can start up something. These things you usually have to do once you start meeting people on the ground here.

  8. Karen M says:

    I will be retiring in 3 years and would like to know about the security in Costa Rica? Is it safe for Sneior females? Are hand guns allowed? Also are there many Americans and do they seem to live in the same areas? I am looking for a climate no less than 65 and no more than 95. I have horrible athritis and also can u explain about banking, direct deposit, etc. I was in the military for several years and Navy credit unions were avail and now it will NOT be like that. I appreciate all info that u can offer and also u may write me at my e-mail addy. Thank you and keep loving Costa Rica!!

    • admin says:

      Hi Karen, Grecia was were I wrote the first book, sounds like the perfect place for you. I believe it is safe here, but just like anywhere else, you have to take care of yourself. Hand guns are only allowed for residents, so until you get your permanent residency, you cannot own one.

      As for banks, you can’t open an account without being a resident. It never used to be like that, but the laws have been changing.

    • Trisha says:

      I can only share what I know…I was there, traveling alone as a 32-year-old female in 2004, and it was a fantastic experience. It’s said that Costa Rica abolished their military and put that money toward education, so the only army they might have would be army ants! I remember walking home from a discoteca at 2:30 in the morning in the country near Monteverde, with my engagement/wedding rings on, money in my pocket, alone…doing everything that I shouldn’t have done. (Shh! Don’t tell my mom!) Anyway, it was the most peaceful evening, with the stars in the sky, etc. In another instance, I was in a van that ended up with a soft tire in a small pueblo, and someone who was riding in on horseback helped the driver! No country is perfect, and there will be issues such as the effects of unemployment, but from a friendly and beauty standpoint, I totally recommend this country.

  9. Ashley says:

    Do you have any new updates about the requirements of becoming a citizen in Costa Rica? My boyfriend (who is half Mexixan) and I have often discussed moving to either Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic. Both a beautiful affordable countries with friendly people. I’d rather not wait until I’m at a retirement age to move, but I’m sure it will be another 10 years at least for the both of us to acquire a large enough amount of money to even consider the move. What is the rate of people having jobs down there? How much money do you need in your bank account to move there? I’m looking to become either a veterinary assistant/tech or dental assistant, but am not sure which would benefit me more in the long run if I decide to move to a different country.

    • admin says:

      I’m actually writing the Escape Manual: the How to of Costa Rica. Residency is a hard topic considering it changes every year. There is not way to judge what it will be like in 10 years. For now, check out http://www.residencyincostarica.com/ . I think a lot of your questions can be answered at that website.

  10. Carl says:

    Would like to how things since this post and what city are you near that gets 75 degree weather

    • admin says:

      The area that had the best weather was up in the mountains in Grecia. Just fabulous…the rainy season got rough in October, but other than that, it was truly spectacular.

  11. Thomas Jackson says:

    It all sounds wonderful but what about health care? Unfortunately, as we get closer to retirement age most of us begin to develop health issues. Being in the most beautiful and comfortable place on the planet might not be so great without Medicare or quality affordable treatment options.

    • admin says:

      It’s one of the reasons we chose Costa Rica. It is ranked higher than the US for health care and it is affordable. Now that we are residents, we each pay roughly $50/month into the system. Just last year my husband had hernia surgery. It cost us nothing, not even a copay or deductible. When I quoted the surgery in the US, it started at $17,000.

      It’s nice to know that we have coverage and will not get buried under tremendous bills like we did in the states when he had a hospital visit. It was a nightmare, and even with insurance, cost us plenty.

      • brenda h says:

        we are selling our land in texas, both retired, looking for a great fun relaxing place with not a lot of neighbors and city stress to live. do u still live there and if so how is it. thx. brenda h

        • admin says:

          I’m still in Costa Rica and loving every minute. It’s easy to find a place to live where you have a good amount of distance from your neighbors. Or you can live in a condominium development. There are a lot of choices. I think you can find something that will fit nicely into your plan.

  12. Todd Carnes says:

    <q cite="Childhood does not fly by fast to the young. Those Saturdays were long and thoroughly exhausting. It’s adulthood that goes quickly, leaving only a small trail of dust in its wake."

    What a beautiful way with words you have. :)

    • admin says:

      Thanks you. It’s a strange thing, how quick it goes by. Why can’t we enjoy these years with the energy and inquisitiveness of a child?

  13. Kevin says:

    Just discovered your blog and wanted to tell you….My wife and I are jealous ! WE so want to try something like you are doing in 15 years or so, when our kid is off on his own ! Can you tell me more about the “investment” category…Are all 3 of the categories above required…or 3 different ways to qualify ? Thanks in advance for any info…and all the Best !

    • admin says:

      Thank you! Welcome to my blog…my life in so many words.

      You will need to fit into only one of the three categories.

      An Inversionista is an individual who makes an investment in Costa Rica of at least US$200,000. The investment can be made in any type of business, or under current Migracion guidelines, in real estate such as a primary home.

      In order to apply, the applicant must prove that the amount already invested (not the current value) equals or exceeds $200,000. If using real estate as the basis for the investment, the property must be registered with the Costa Rican Real Property Tax Assessor with a value of at least $200,000.

      So, you need to have a home and not just a piece of land.

      Another example is if you bought a teak farm, it takes a while for them to mature, so even though it might not be a business right away, it is an investment.

      Many people have got away with being a perpetual tourist and leave the country for 72 hours every 90 days. They are currently setting up some parameters for this. I have heard that if you want to stay past the 90 days and not leave the country, you will have to pay $100 for every month past your visa. This actually is cheaper than leaving the country. This is a very new thing so I will update more when I know the particulars.

      Overall, this has been the best decision I’ve ever made. It is beautiful here and the people are amazing. They love to practice their English with you as you practice their Spanish with them. When we break down on the side of the road, a dozen people stop to help. Some people have said it reminds them of the 1950’s.

      There are so many Americans here living on less than $1000 a month. And living really good! It’s amazing how many adventures are still left in your life once you start thinking out of the box.

      Pura Vida!!

  14. Sophie says:

    Hey! i saw your post on Huffington Post. my husband and i are looking to escape the mess America is becoming. Costa Rica sounds nice! i’m wondering if you could provide us with info on what is basicly needed by the Costa Rican government by way of finances to allow disgruntled Americans to move there. i mean, what’s the minimal amount of money you need in your bank account? what kind of income does one have to have coming in? stuff like that. we’d sure appreciate any basic info you could provide (and i bet others would too). continuing happiness wished on you!

    • admin says:

      Hi Sophie, thank you for visiting my site. There are three categories of income to get residency in Costa Rica:

      Pensionado – Income:
      The new monthly pension income requirement is US$1,000. One pension allows both husband and wife to apply for residency

      Rentista – Income:
      The new Rentista monthly income requirement is US$2,500. The exact same amount of US$2,500 applies to all applicants, whether or not the applicant is single, or married, or married with children.

      Inversionista – Investment Amount
      The investment made must have a registered or verifiable value of at least US$200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand dollars).

      I believe that Investment Amount does NOT include a piece of property like it does in Panama.

      Many people also are perpetual tourists. Every 90 days they leave the country for 72 hours and come back and get their visa renewed. Many were able to do this for years, but they are starting to crack down on this. But it does give you the option to live here for a year and then decide if you want to pursue residency.

      I hope you do consider coming here. It was the best decision of my life. The reason I named my blog happier than a billionaire is because so many people would ask me if I was happy here. If somehow I might have made a mistake and wanted to come back to the states. I just started telling people I was happier than a billionaire, because this is how I truly feel. I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful country with such friendly people. It really has been an amazing adventure. I would recommend it to anyone considering it.

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