Although I do not track or keep a detailed record of my
past guests, I am aware of several hundred folks who have moved here and
the less than 10% who have decided that Costa Rica is not for them.
EDITORS NOTE: While the
statistics are not well documented, it is strongly accepted
that 50% or more of those moving to Costa Rica, return home
within the first 18-24 months. It is the consensus of
many that the majority of those who did return home, did not
do adequate research and due diligence when planning their
George Lundquist bases his
low number of returnees, not on the total number of people
returning but only on those that have taken his tour.
It is quite logical to assume that through unbiased
education, many potential expats made the decision NOT to
move to here, thereby lowering the overall return rate.
Now, after over 9 years of evolution of my tour, I believe there is
quite a distinction between the folks who decide to take my tour and
those who decide they can find out all they need to know on their own.
Many who decide to not take my tour are active on the many Bulletin
Boards about living here in Costa Rica. I am amazed at how quickly they
become experts and can offer free advice and/or seek free advice from
folks with unclear qualifications and motivations. The failure rate of
these folks is unknown.
I like to believe the folks who elect to take my tour are astute enough
to realize that there may be huge differences in culture, quality of
living, costs of living, and very importantly, medical services,
availability, quality, and cost between their homeland and Costa Rica.
They even realize it is ridiculous to generalize all of Costa Rica as
being homogenous in all of these factors.
These many factors are the basic considerations and focus of nearly all
who consider moving here. They were mine as well.
I now believe and emphasize all during the tour that although all of the
typical factors are very relevant and need to be objectively
contemplated that the most important personal question is: what are you
going to do with your time?
Most of us spent most of our time in the pre
retirement years frantically trying to keep up with the perceived
requirements of child rearing, career development, etc. Working to pay
the mortgage, car payments, food, insurance, taxes and on and on. We
hoped our retirement future would be adequately financed and health care
would not be a large concern. Many of us had this hope crushed and
looked for an alternative place to retire. Then, we move to Costa Rica.
Beautiful weather, great food, clean air, excellent beer and ice cream
(if we chose our location well). Then what? Some of us find a whole new
life of exciting things to do to fulfill undreamed dreams. These folks
become contributors to the culture and improvement of Costa Rica. The
others become more cynical and miss the comfort of the familiarity of
the past. They are unwilling or unable to take it up a notch. Usually,
they make up some reason to blame Costa Rica for their discontent and
leave or just stay here and write critical letters about various pet
Many of us continue to say WOW as we fulfill more undreamed dreams.
*George Lundquist conducts
the Central Valley, educating potential expats about what life in
Costa Rica may be like for them.