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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

More Things To Know About Some Services

Business aside, the retiree who has arrived in Costa Rica should know a few other available things and services as money, tips, taxes, electricity, credit cards, taxis and mail.


In Costa Rica the unit of currency is the colon which fluctuates in value in relation to the dollar. Coins come in denominations of ¢5, ¢10, ¢20, ¢25, ¢50, ¢l00, and ¢500.The old ¢1 and ¢2, as also the tiny brass ¢1, have disappeared mainly because collectors and artisans hoarded them for making necklaces and bracelets. Several thousand coins of ¢500 were made but destined principally for collectors. This coin was easy to confuse with the ¢l00 coin because of its near similar size, so later a new and larger ¢500 was introduced. Bills currently in use come in denominations of ¢l000, ¢2000, ¢5000 and ¢l0,000. As devaluation continues to rise, it is not at all impossible that within a few years a ¢20,000 bill may make its appearance. The l00¢ bill disappeared in the late 1990s.

The ¢5000 bill is referred to as a toucan, and is of a blue and brightly colour. At business establishments cashiers usually inspect it to see if it is counterfeit and does not have the watermark in the shape of the famous bird. The ¢l0,000 bill is also carefully scrutinized. It is a light blue and has the picture of Ema Gamboa (famous educator) on one side and a puma on the other. During the past two decades the colon has been devaluated from 9 to 12%per year with mini devaluations of a few centimes (cents) occurring on a daily basis. The government policy was designed to offer greater stability by making small daily devaluations, which are not felt too much, rather than a big one at one time. From" time to time the subject has come up of converting the economy from one based on colons to one where all transactions are made in dollars. But officials want to see first how the change in Ecuador and El Salvador turns out before going ahead and changing colons to an entirely dollar economy.

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.