Retires can create their own Social Security cost-of-living adjustment to stretch their income by moving to Costa Rica

One one the main reason people choose to retire in Costa Rica is to make their retirement income go farther.

Over the last 30 years I have helped thousands of people relocate with my monthly tours and guidebooks. Most of my clients who end up moving here do so because they want to downsize in order to get “more bang for their buck.” They also want to take advantage of the country’s year-round spring-like weather and affordable medical care. Expats also find Costa Rica appealing since it has no military and terrorism is not an issue. Yes, we do have some crime, but no society in the world is crime-free. At least we do not have the horrible random shootings like those that occur in the USA almost weekly.

Recently, the Social Security administration announced that it will not be increasing benefits in 2016. So the annual cost of living adjustment or COLA will be null and end up affecting some 60 million retirees. The government maintains that low gas prices—which dropped almost 30% in the last year—have helped keep inflation low, negating the cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.

Unfortunately, one of a retiree’s main expenses—not accounted for in government calculations—is health care. And, for some retirees, those costs will increase. While the majority of Medicare recipients will continue to pay the same monthly US$104.90 base amount for Medicare Part B as they did this year, some beneficiaries’ rates could increase as much as 52% starting in January 2015. As I mentioned in the second paragraph, health care costs are much lower in Costa Rica, so retirees can negate the raise in medicare premiums and create their own cost of living adjustment by relocating here.


It really doesn’t matter how much you are receiving from Social Security. Depending on your lifestyle, you will be able to reduce your cost of living at least 30 percent by moving here and without sacrificing lifestyle. The latter is perhaps the main reason people come here. The fact that there is a thriving expat community, a slew of activities to stay busy and that the country is user friendly for Americans, also add to its appeal as a retirement haven.

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