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Living In Atenas Like the Yeatmans Live in San Ramon — 11 Comments

  1. They spoke @ a conference while in Mexico,so were reimbursed for some of their expenses. Their June newsletter gives the breakdown. And, yes, rents are cheaper in San Ramon.

  2. Hi Jo Anne, thanks for commenting and adding important information to the discussion, especially about rents in San Ramon.

  3. You were pretty accurate in your assumptions about our lifestyle based on our budget. You are right, we are “living a simple, modest life”and are happy doing so. There are a few exceptions we would like to clarify.

    • We did not join the Caja through ARCR; we went into our local CCSS office in San Ramon once we had our paperwork documenting that everything needed for our pensionado request had been submitted and accepted by Migracion. Of course, the law was different then. When we filed for residency, the requirement was only $600/month guaranteed income, so the monthly Caja payments were based on this lower amount. And joining the Caja was also optional at that time. Now, I believe, that it is required and that the payments are based on 13% of your declared income for residency.

    • We have two cats and no dogs. You’re right, they cost a lot less to maintain than several dogs would cost. To keep within out budget, we probably would never have a large dog because of the associated expenses to care for it.

    • We do eat simply – lots of fruit, vegetables, home baked bread, and a minimum of processed foods. There are not a lot of frills on our grocery bills. I cook dinner most nights and we eat at home, with an occasional dinner out. And no, we don’t drink much, though I like a nice glass of cabernet sometimes.

    • We are pretty healthy, though things do crop up once in a while. I had surgery here through the Caja back in 2009 and our only out-of-pocket expenses came to about $100 for some testing that we did privately. Like many people in Costa Rica, both Ticos and Expats, we use a mix of public and private healthcare to meet our needs and have been very pleased. We also have, and recommend that others also have, a cash reserve fund, just in case something big comes up that we need to take care of privately.

    • The expenses shown for our Mexico trip only included out our-of-pocket expenses. In our July 25th newsletter , in our article “Vacation the Retire for Less Way “ we explain that the majority of our airfare, as well as hotel and meals for the first leg of our trip (5 days), were covered by another party. We break down our costs in the article. You will see that for the remaining 12 days of our time in Mexico, we stayed in less expensive hotels and took public transportation whenever possible: http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2013/06/paul%E2%80%99s-monthly-tip-to-live-for-less-in-costa-rica-vacation-the-retire-for-less-way/

    To those thinking about moving here, I want to point out that how much you are able to live on in Costa Rica is entirely up to you – where you choose to live, they type of house and utilities you buy/rent, the food you eat and how much of it is imported, the extent to which you like to eat out, drink alcohol, smoke, entertain, travel back to the U.S. or Canada, etc. etc. It’s NOT a cheap place to live, but we have made choices where we are able to live a great life – albeit to our standard of living – for less than $24,000/year. In other words, we’re living within our means, and loving every minute.

    http://retireforlessincostarica.com/2012/11/raising-your-standard-of-living/

    • Hi Gloria,
      I do appreciate you taking time to respond and elaborate on your expenses. Thank you. I am curious about your CAJA surgery: I’ve heard the stories about people having to wait years to get surgery. If that’s too personal, don’t respond. But I will make the assumption that it was of an emergency nature.

      And your wrap-up last paragraph is well put.

      Hope our paths cross someday.

  4. I know Paul and Gloria and have enjoyed some great times with them at Dona Ana in the past. Their lifestyle seems to suit them well and I applaud their ability to down-size in keeping with both their income/budget as well as the local culture. It really IS a matter of letting your expectations of life become more about “quality” and less about “quantity.”

    • Hi Kat,
      Thanks for commenting. I too applaud their ability to live on $2000 a month. And agree that quality always trumps quantity.

  5. We rented the house Paul and Gloria are in for six months while we re-built (heavy sigh) our own house nearby. The rent was $550 a month for a fully furnished, three bedroom, two bath house with a magnificent view and total privacy. Our electricity bill was consistently $26 a month, plus or minus a couple of dollars. However, we never ran the dishwasher, and used the dryer infrequently (and usually after 7:00 PM when the rates dropped). What the Yeatmans are doing is very do-able in San Ramon.

  6. Hello Michele,
    Glad to have your comments. That is a great price for the home you describe. How long ago was that? before Yeatmans? which puts it 4-5 years ago?

    But $26/month for electricity? Our tico neighbors bill runs $45 a month. (I know because we get their bill and they get ours!) Wow, shows me how much electricity has risen.

    Dishwasher? You have a dishwasher? Nice. We don’t. And like you we use the dryer only when absolutely necessary.

    • Hola again, We rented the house from July 2011 through January of 2012. The Yeatmans have been in it since this past December (2012). Perhaps the electricity was so low because the hot water in the house is propane? We used a tank about every four weeks at $16 a pop. Still, nothing compared to energy costs in most parts of the United States. Now that we’re in our own house our electric bill is much higher…about $130 a month. But we have a wildlife rehabilitation center, so I run the washer and dryer at least twice a day, and the dishwasher once a day (for sterilization purposes), plus we have two large refrigerators (one for the rehab center).

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