¿Qué haría usted?... What Would You Do?

by Fran Browne


When Andy and a I made the decision (two and a half years ago) to move to Costa Rica, we did so as a matter of financial survival.  After loosing our jobs and a huge chunk of our 401K retirement, we came to several gut wrenching realizations.  First, reentering the job market and maintaining our current lifestyle was not going to happen.  Secondly, stretching what remained of our nest egg was crucial to insure our long term security.  Lowering our cost of living without lowering our quality of life was our strategy and Costa Rica appeared to be the solution. 

But you knew that already!

We live a life that is very dependent on each other.  We rely on each other, sometimes unknowingly, for our day to day survival.  I'll admit, I acclimated to our new life slower than Andy.  Through a process of natural selection, we divvied up our day to day responsibilities into "Andy" things, "Fran" things and of course "Frandy" things.

It was several months into our new life in Costa Rica before I got the courage to brave our craggy roads and drive a car but now I don't have a second thought about jumping behind the wheel of our little Bego to run an errand.  Because my Spanish skills are not as strong as Andy's, I rely more heavily on him to "verbally" get things done.  But on the other hand, I am "mother" of all organizers.  I am the one that recognizes what needs to be accomplished and then manages everything until it is complete.  If that were left up to Andy, he would wind up doing seven things at once with none of them on the path to completion.  I truly think he suffers from AADD, Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and if you ask him, he'll be the first to agree.

But regardless, we rely on each other to keep things together.  Sure there are disagreements and the occasional shouting match, followed by a few hours of silence, but in the end we know, working together as a team is the only way we are going to survive our retirement life in Costa Rica.

Getting Down To The Nitty Gritty...

So that brings me to the reason why I am writing this article... ¿Qué haría usted? - What Would You Do if your significant other was no longer by your side? 

Would you remain in Costa Rica?

There is no correct answer to that question, just a very introspective answer many of us can't or won't address until "the worst" happens.  Andy and I have had this conversation several times, usually over a glass of wine while watching a fabulous sunset.  My response has always been solid and consistent... "Ummm, I don't know!."  Andy on the other hand said "Hell Yeah I'm staying."  However, recently I had an epiphany (while sippin and watchin) one late afternoon.  Without any prompting I blurted out "If something were to happen to you, returning to the States wouldn't make my life any easier or better.  Where could I live and afford to have the life I have right now?  So as of now... I think I would stay here."

I'm not sure what changed my mind, but I now have come to the realization that my life is here, whether Andy is around or not.  So it only seems logical to assume that since our reasons for moving here have not changed, the passing of one's partner should not alter that original decision.

Whether you currently live here or are contemplating relocation, this is a discussion you and your partner need to have.  It's easy to declare your independence and strength and shout "Hell Yeah I'm staying", but you really don't know what your answer will be until it happens or at least you have an honest discussion about it.

And Now your thought's...

We ask this question of many of our friends and people we meet here.  It may be a bit forward of us but hey... that's who we are.  We're curious as to how other people think and would like to hear back from you.

If you are a couple (married or not, gay or straight) who already moved to Costa Rica, please take a minute or two and answer a couple of questions.  We will compile the results and publish them in the next newsletter.


Do you live in Costa Rica FULL TIME, PART TIME?


What type of residency do you have?  

Do You Own Property or Rent?


If you live here full time, how long?


How long have you been a couple?


If one of you should pass, would the surviving partner STAY in Costa Rica or RETURN HOME?


Please support your previous answer.


  Your Name


  Your Email Address


  Your Home Location (City State Country)


If you have any further comments, please feel free to EMAIL or call me on
SKYPE (abrowne1950) or on MagicJack (704-469-6356)


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