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HomeLifestyleExpat & Retirement Living30 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Costa Rica

30 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Costa Rica

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to observe firsthand thousands of foreigners who have relocated to Costa Rica. Many fulfill their of dream of living in paradise by adapting to the country’s culture and taking advantage of all it has to offer. I have heard people say, “I love Costa Rica so much, you could never drag me back to my home country.”

Success stories abound here.  For many who move here, it is a chance to start over, develop new hobbies and interests, make friends, find adventure, live in a different culture or study a foreign language.

However, things do not always out for some who relocate. According to the Association of Resident of Costa Rica (ARCR) and my sources in the moving business, about 40% of those who come here end up returning home for a variety reasons: 

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • cannot adjust to the culture
  • illness
  • a divorce or break up and missing their children,  grandchildren, other relatives or life back home, etc.

That said, there other reasons why some shouldn’t relocate to Costa Rica in the first place to avoid failure and have to return home.

  1. Don’t like warm weather or rain.
  2. Expect everything to be like the U.S.
  3. Think the locals should change and do everything like we do.
  4. Expect to find all of the products from the U.S.
  5. Insensitive to the local culture.
  6. You are a smartass, self-righteous and know-it-all “Ugly American.”
  7. You are going to refuse to speak any Spanish and think Costa Ricans should speak English.
  8. You think it is easy to go into business and expect to get rich overnight.
  9. You are a male who is into exploiting Latina women and think younger women here will be attracted to you because your good looks and not your money.
  10. Have a serious drug or alcohol problem.
  11. Expect all of your problems to go away just because you move abroad.
  12. Think you are more intelligent than the locals and can beat the system.
  13. Think you can become an expert overnight as some expats do.
  14. Think you are the savior of Costa Ricans and will “civilize” them. You should leave the Second Coming of Christopher Columbus Syndrome at home.
  15. You want to scam or rip off other expats.
  16. Feel that just because you are a U.S. American you should be entitled to something.
  17. Have no tolerance of other cultures.
  18. Have no sense of adventure.
  19. Have no interest in experiencing the country’s culture and people.
  20. Don’t realize that you are a guest in the country.
  21. You and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye about relocating to another country but do anyway … a recipe for disaster.
  22. Have no sense of humor.
  23. Have no goals.
  24. Refuse to affiliate with organizations like clubs, church groups or volunteer.
  25. Suffer from the “hammock” or couch potato syndrome with nothing to do.
  26. You are a negative person who likes to complain about everything and everyone.
  27. Have never traveled or lived abroad.
  28. Really don’t have enough money to live abroad and think that you can do it.
  29. You are the type of person who gives U.S. Americans a bad name.
  30. You are a fugitive the lam. Eventually you could be caught and deported.

Christopher Howard has been conducting relocation/retirement tours and writing retirement guidebooks for more than 30 years.

For information about life in Costa Rica, relocation tours or to have your questions answered, visit his website or contact Christopher Howard at: or call Toll Free 877-884-2502 and in Costa Rica 011-506-8849-0081

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