On one of my recent relocation retirement tours I had a couple with a major concern. They are both in the 70s and have had relatives who have had terrible experiences and poor care in nursing facilities in the United States. They told me that they even visited a 5-star nursing home and found the conditions deplorable.
According to what they saw at the facilities they visited most of the less-independent patients were drugged so that they were easier to take care of. My clients told me that nursing homes have doctors on their payroll who will write almost any type of prescription in order to keep some patients sedated. Doctors do this because they make a lot of money working for these companies.
Both Jack and Mary made it clear that they don’t want to end up like their relatives. Due to what their love ones experienced my clients decided that they wanted to live in Costa Rica where they could afford to have their own help to take care of them. They discovered that they could hire a full-time nurse or maid for a fraction of the cost of what they would spend in the States. Some retirement homes can run up to $5,000 per month in the U.S. My clients figure they can hire someone for well under $1000 per month and get more humane care than they would receive in their own country.
The only obstacle they may face is that their Medicare won’t cover them here. They will have to either get public (Caja) insurance or find a private plan. Either way they will still keep their Medicare in case they have to return to the United States for an emergency. Even if they have to pay for a private plan they will still come out ahead by saving a great deal of money.
As long-term care for less-independent senior retirees deteriorates and becomes more expensive in the U.S. more and more people will look towards less expensive alternatives like Costa Rica as a viable solution.