rss search

Retirees Bonnie and Clyde… more Costa Rican success story


No, I’m not talking about the famous outlaws Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow but a couple, Bonnie and Clyde Williams. They came to Costa Rica about a year ago from Kissemmee, Florida and settled in the town of San Ramón or “Moncho” as the locals call it. San Ramón, with a Population of 70,000, is one of the many places in Cost Rica to live given its terrific climate, friendly people, wide array of services, and proximity to everything. It is conveniently located just off the Pan-American highway heading northwest from San José, is only a 35-minute drive from the airport to town, and an additional 35 minutes to the port town of Puntarenas on the Pacific.

San Ramón boasts a shopping mall, modern movie theatre, cultural center/museum, and many supermarkets and restaurants. There is also a major hospital, many doctors’ offices, and a branch of the University of Costa Rica.

Surrounded by lush mountains and located at 4000 feet above sea level, temperatures usually range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit every day of the year. However, because the town’s elevation it can get very cool at night. The winds are also fierce in the summer months, from December to March. Air conditioning and heating are not necessary but you do have to bundle up on some of the cooler nights. During the rainy season, from June through December, one can expect sunshine in the morning and rain showers in the mid to late afternoon. The skies tend to clear toward the early evening.

Back to our story…. our couple found that their combined pensions of about $3,600 per month would never be enough to have a decent lifestyle in the United States. So, they started to investigate countries south of the border where their money would go farther. They had been to Mexico about ten times and really liked a lot of things about the country. However, the country’s escalating level of violence made them cross the country off their list of potential homes.

Nicaragua was never in the picture because of its substandard medical care and the corrupt political system ruled by Daniel Ortega, who constantly tries to emulate Venezuela’s deranged leader, Hugo Chavez.

Next, Bonnie and Clyde took a three-week trip to Costa Rica and Panamá. They liked the latter but couldn’t handle Panama City’s oppressive heat and humidity nor the isolation and boredom of living the mountain town of Boquete, a so-called retirement haven in the northwest part of the country. Most of those hyping the latter are involved with selling real estate to foreigners or have some other agenda.

Costa Rica was another story all together. Our retiree couple really liked a lot of things that Costa Rica had to offer. First, the innumerable places for living. Whether it be the beach, Central Valley or the mountains Costa Rica had a lot of prime areas from which to choose depending on one’s lifestyle. Our couple also was sold by Costa Rica’s affordable and time tested medical care. Since they had no medical insurance to cover them abroad, both the country’s public health care system called the “caja” or its private system (INS) seemed very attractive and above all affordable. Bonnie and Clyde didn’t have any major medical issues but wanted to be amply prepared against some of the illness that come with aging.

As I alluded to above our retired couple eventually chose to settle in San Ramón, Costa Rica. They are very happy with their lives here and have immersed themselves in a lot of interesting activities to stay busy and happy. They also have developed a network of friends in the short time that they have resided here. At present they are renting a small home for a few hundred of dollars monthly and may eventually purchase something when their home finally sells in the United States. Like others there they have been affected by the housing crisis in the U.S. and its dire consequences. Luckily, their home is located in an attractive area and should sell soon, thus freeing up their investment capital to buy a home here.

Christopher Howard


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.