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A new year, a new country (San José)

I’m planning to retire to Cost Rica in the new year and am looking for ideas and advice. I want to live on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, but not in a heavily tourist area. I don’t surf, would like to be able to swim, so not an area with major rip tides. I don’t plan on owning a car. I went to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula recently, and loved it there, but I don’t want to be quite that remote. I went to La Fortuna, liked it but want to be closer to the sea and further from tourists. Same with Quepos and Manuel Antonio. I have worked for myself as a carpenter most of my life and have managed to avoid saving much for my retirement, so I am looking for an inexpensive place to be. Many of my friends are musicians so if there is a community with art and music, that would be a plus. I don’t need much, I don’t play golf, have never owned a dishwasher, I have a neck tie but haven’t seen it in years. I speak a little Spanish, but have found that a smile and respect for the person you are trying to communicate with goes a long way. I want to rent an apartment somewhere for a few months while I settle in and try to figure out where I want to be long term. I don’t need American standards of living, I will be quite happy with Tico acommodations. Any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome. Also, any information about the legal requirements to come and stay: paperwork, visas, proof of income etc, would be appreciated.

San José Forum