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Need advise. Retire in Costa Rica or Philippines??


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My co worker has been living in Costa Rica for the last 7 years.  He loves it! He works in the US half the year and lives in CR the other half.  I've been talking about the Philippines and he is considering a switch.  I will bring him with me to the PH on my next trip for him to check out.  I've explained that the cost of living in the PH is lower than CR and no need to learn a new language.  He is single and does well with the CR ladies and I've told him that Filipina ladies are very sweet and caring too.  I'd like to know if any one on the forum has experience with both Countries and could add any insight.  For example:  Cr has socialized healthcare but Ph healthcare is cheep and good in the larger cities.  Cr is closer to the US but flights are about the same cost.  etc.  Thanks

 

 

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 I looked at Costa Rica in 2011/2012.

 Am in southern Philippines now. Cheaper, ladies are more approachable. Warmer. San Jose is so cold in the winter , I froze as the rooms and my tent did not have heater . And the beaches are so bloody hot . 55 in San Jose in February and 104 at Tamarindo.  I spent  a year in my Jeep from colorado to Panama and back. Lived in playa Del Carmen for a year before that. Too flat, too cold to use an unheated pool in the winter. 

  Wandering around the gulch has its allure but I found nicas more, amable, than ticas. Spent a Halloween at the sportsman’s in 2011. Good times. Wouldn’t trade it for what I got now. 

 I do return to the usa for work for 6 months  a year, but not in row. , but I ride in the pointy end if I have enough miles. Long trip, but I watch the tele, which I don’t have at either place.

I am touring the Philippines this month. The worst ? I learned Spanish which does no good here and I can detect no learnable patterns in the speech of Visayas and the shitty internet where I live. But this hotel and every hotel on the trip has been great. We were in Cagayan de Oro lyesterday, 30 people in the seven  seas water park. $15 a head to enter. Awesome. 

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 Costa Rica??  Really?  It got smashed again with an earthquake.  I heard the infrastructure is devoted, including the ability to get clean water.  

Similarly, you better think twice about living in the typhoon zones here in the Philippines as well (i.e., Samar, Leyte)

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Oops, scratch that, got mixed up with Puerto Rico...  scratch that brain dead reply

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19 hours ago, Chopper1050 said:

I learned Spanish which does no good here

Move to Cavite City. Cavitanios speak it very well. I'm weak conversationally in Spanish but get it when it's spoken to me. :wave: 

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On 1/9/2020 at 11:44 PM, boyee said:

My co worker has been living in Costa Rica for the last 7 years.  He loves it! He works in the US half the year and lives in CR the other half.  I've been talking about the Philippines and he is considering a switch.  I will bring him with me to the PH on my next trip for him to check out.  I've explained that the cost of living in the PH is lower than CR and no need to learn a new language.  He is single and does well with the CR ladies and I've told him that Filipina ladies are very sweet and caring too.  I'd like to know if any one on the forum has experience with both Countries and could add any insight.  For example:  Cr has socialized healthcare but Ph healthcare is cheep and good in the larger cities.  Cr is closer to the US but flights are about the same cost.  etc.  Thanks

 

 

If he loves it there, he will probably prefer it.... but it will be good for him to do a comparison and  contrast. Most of us long term expats are here because of our women I'd venture to say... because you don't see many foreign ex-pat couples living or retiring here without a Pinoy connection of some sort. Not so for CR.

You are correct re the higher  cost of living there. If you compare  costs on Numbeo, you will see that even outside the  capitals of MNL and San Jose,  in secondary cities and Prov. capitals. your rents and food are double or more, but there are areas of lower  costs in certain places.... where I myself would not want to live.

I spent some time there around the year 2000 in 3 places off and away from the popular tourist sites. Wiki states  10% or so English language capability but since tourism is a major economic income source, you can get by.  US and Canadian tourists dominate. My college Spanish plugged most of the simpler gaps but i seldom had to use it. But it is much easier linguistically in the PI.

With only 5 million citizens, CR seems very uncrowded compared to the PI. That's a plus in my book. 

The Spanish colonialism era left similar hallmarks, like public plazas, churches, govt. structures etc., and lots of similar tropical crops. But I did like seeing the many coffee fincas in the CR highlands and rows of pineapples. Mostly rice lands a sugarcane here. Sugar there also, with street venders who have small cane crushers and sell you a fresh cup made on demand. 

After reviewing 1/2 doz,  3 yr. old Youtube vids of the towns I was familiar with in CR, not a lot of abnormal change has taken place there compared with what I have witnessed here in the PI places I have come to know over  the last 17 years. I'm guessing that N.A. tourism and S.E.Asian tourism have had very different economic peaks and ebbs that have had impacted the two countries very differently, not forgetting the effects of the remittances from OFWs and the numerically large Pinoy diaspora.

The temps and climate in the high Central Valley is much easier on old guys then the coastal lowlands by a long shot. I spent my time in CR,  quickly escaping from San Jose, living in San Isidro de General (pop. 45K... considered about the 8th largest), and little San Vito,  pop. 15K,  near the boundary with Panama (but no direct rod connection).  From Isidro I could drop down to Dominical on the Pacific coast. TIny hippie backpacker surfing village way off the beaten path.  From the vids I just watched... not too much change compared to whats happened here in the PI over the same time frame. The road from San Vito down to the Pacific coast was a lengthy series of ridge running switchbacks that ended at a junction town on Hwy 2,  I think the Pan-A:m Hwy that skirts the coast into Panama. Insufferably hot and humid, plastic litter was the main ground cover from what I  could see. I wanted to leave as soon as I got there. So I had a cold beer and caught the next bus heading back up the mountains to San Vito. The temp/humidty change extremes were many, many, many times worse than I ever experienced between San Fernando La Union and Baguio.

At my little resto in San Vito when I would order a basic plate meal.... not sure if it was locally called a casita or familia or some such endearing diminuative, they would serve your drink with a re-washed plastic straw. Maybe ahead of their time  since they were definitely into re-cycling   They did have superior pizza there at another place, since the town was founded by Italian immigrant pioneers after WW II.  I think Tica food is more varied than Pinay prepared meals, but when I am hungry I love them equally. Truth be told, my Pinay spent some time as the head cook at a local cantina and prides herself on experimenting with new dishes... so i'm spoiled and not a good comparative judge in this realm.

I made the same mistake there that I initially made here, assuming that small retail businesses had a cash drawer that could break a larger note. Same scenario as here. 20 km out of town was a renowned botanical garden that had, like several dozen different palm tree  species and a host of other bizarre plants. Only 3 or 4 people visiting at the time I was there. I stopped at a roadside handicraft co-op on the way back, and in that little shop I saw more clever items shaped from tropical flora than you will find in all the tourist souveneir shops in Boracay, Puerto Galera and Palawan put together.  In downtown San Jose their craft shop was also superior in variety to what is found in the elite craft shop in Mabini next to the City-State Tower Hotel..... close to Robinson's. They do crafting very well in CR.

They still have long lines outside of banks at the end of the month in the CR from what I saw in the vids. Same as I remember from 20 years ago.  3 or 4 times longer than here in the days following Typhoon Ursula on the 25th. The eye passed over our city. When the N. wind completed its blow, we stepped outside to survey the round 1 damage. One of the neighbors waved and cheerily said, "Merry Christmas". We merrily returned the same and then headed back to the safety of our concrete c.r. since the counter punch was beginning to blow in from the S.  and we needed to hunker down and pray a bit.  I don't know if you can find that kind of spirit in Costa Rica.

 

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I've been to Costa Rica but it was a long time ago...  Friends that moved there 20 years ago say it's not there same anymore...

I'm presently in Davao...  We rarely see the storms others do...  But, yes, we've had a few earthquakes lately...  Still, major damage from these had been light until the big one hit late last year...  But even then, damage was still much lower than the areas that experience the typhoons...  As to crime..?  Very very low here...  

Honestly?  I find the Davao area my preference for anywhere in the world I've been...  At last count?  That's 134 countries...  Yeah, retired Air Force...   😂

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