The dictionary defines happiness as a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Deep down everyone wants to be happy. With the current state of affairs in the United States people are finding it increasingly hard to be happy. The economy has sunk many people into poverty and put a damper on Baby Boomers retirement dreams.
It comes as little surprise that Costa Ricans view themselves as the most happy people in Latin America. According to a regional study by the Corporation Latinómetro, nine out of ten Costa Ricans (88%) are content with the lifestyle the country affords them. Panama at 87% and Colombia at 83% were the second and third most happy countries in the region. The study represents the opinion of over 600,000 people interviewed in 18 countries between July and August of 2011.
Marta Lagos who directed the study stated in an interview with La Nación newspaper, “Costa Rica is not only the most happy country in Latin America, but all of the world”. She went on to say that the happiness of of the Costa Rican people has nothing to do with the world economic crisis or governments. Happiness is independent of these factors. However, despite the high of satisfaction of the Costa Rica people, they show little confidence in the country’s judicial system and legislature. Only 34% approve of the country’s justice system and only 28% like the country’s congress.
So how does all of this relate to retirees? If you are thinking of retiring or relocating here, some of the Costa Rican happiness and pura vida lifestyle might just rub off on you. Costa Rica is not for everyone and about 40% foreigners who move here return home because they can’t adapt to the culture and get frustrated. However, those who truly fall in love with the country and try to adapt never want to leave. Perhaps some of the disgruntled people in the U.S. Can find the joy of living again by relocating here and savoring all this country has to offer.