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Will U.S. election outcome drive people to Costa Rica?

September 26, 2016

Every four years, during election season in the United States, people start talking about moving to Costa Rica. As the results of the polls build up hope for some and fear for others, all the emails I am receiving point to an interesting future for the Costa Rica real estate industry.

It is fun to watch from the sideline, since I’m Dutch and living in Costa Rica. It’s easy to watch a game if you’re not involved, but in one way, I actually am. Why? Because I am a real estate broker in Costa Rica and after past U.S. elections hundreds and sometimes thousands of U.S. citizens have moved to Costa Rica.

The 2016 election is probably the most controversial I’ve ever observed. The controversy puts Costa Rica in the picture often because so many have heard of Costa Rica and suspect that it would be a great country to move to.

Ivo Banner American-European

On Aug. 27, Roger Stone, a prominent Donald Trump supporter, told the Financial Times: “If Hillary wins, we’re done as a nation. We’ll be overrun by hordes of young Muslims, like Germany and France, raping, killing, violating, desecrating. … I’ll probably be forced to move to Costa Rica.” Stone must have done his homework on checking out Costa Rica as his future home.

Of course, Costa Rica is not the only place you could move to. Recently a real estate agent on Cape Breton, Canada, said the island where he lives is a good option to move to if Trump wins the election. Quite a few other destinations in other parts of the world have said the same. A real estate broker from Viera, Florida, who lived in Costa Rica in the early ’90s, plans to move back to Costa Rica if Trump wins the elections, because his wife is Colombian and he would like his kids to grow up in a different society.

Costa Rica is a near perfect place to move to. Being a real estate broker, of course my opinion is biased, but so many organizations have Costa Rica on their list of best places in the world. AARP has Costa on its list of “Best Places to Retire Abroad.” Costa Rica also scored #1 on the Happy Planet index, and many organizations like International Living promote Costa Rica as a place to enjoy a great lifestyle abroad.

Costa Rica is a unique country in Latin America that has many advantages for foreign relocation, retirement and investment. Costa Rica has advanced beyond third-world country status and has become a prime location for positive development.

But for what reasons could you move to Costa Rica?

• Costa Rica is a real democracy with many political parties.

• Costa Rica has no army and redirects what would be military funding into education.

• Many people here are bilingual.

• A relatively cheap health-care system compared to many other countries.

• Costa Rica offers the quality lifestyle you have been used to all your life, or better.

• Very agreeable climate, and many microclimates to choose from.

• A very stable economy.

• Many great options to acquire formal residency, including by buying a house.

No matter who wins the U.S. elections, there will be many who don’t want to live with their new president’s administration and will be thinking about moving away. Here in Costa Rica, the doors are open.

Ivo Henfling founded the American-European Real Estate Group in 1999 — the first functioning MLS in Costa Rica with affiliate agents from coast to coast. You can read other articles like this on his blog. Contact Ivo at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515 or at ivo@american-european.net.

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