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Advice for a newbie? (San José)

First, I'd like like to say "Hello everyone!" I'm Rob :-) This is my first post on Internations, so I hope I'm doing it right...

I'm a 27 year old combat vet, with my heart set on moving to Costa Rica. I've traveled extensively (not just in the military), visited 20 countries, lived in three, and studied abroad twice. My first study abroad, in Protected content , was at UCR in San Jose. I spent two months studying in the city, traveling on weekends, and afterwards my best friend and I rented a car and spent another month exploring the country. We visited every province except Limon and the one in the far south. I've fallen in love with Costa Rica, and I can't stop dreaming about living there. It's actually become a nuisance- I really think I HAVE to move there.

Anyway, I have many questions, but the most important one to start with is probably this: Is it possible for me to gain residency (do you call it a "green card" still?) based on income from veterans' disability compensation? I make about $1,500 a month from it, tax free. I know it sounds like a good deal, but trust me, I'd rather be uninjured. Anyway, I've been trying to do my homework- I know "retirees" can get residency on only 1k a month, but "rentistas" (still don't fully know what that term means) require a guaranteed $2,500.

Does anyone know if my *guaranteed* income can be considered a pension? I know that in theory, it's possible for the VA to revoke my claim, but that just isn't going to happen. The military didn't officially retire me- I'm only 80% disabled.

Also, I'm trying to develop a game plan in general for how I'm going to reach my goal of becoming a Tico. I have an associates degree in business, and I'll be finished with my BA in political science before I'm ready to move, in case any of that matters. My dream, at the moment, is to one day own/operate a bar/lounge/ and maybe a connected hostel. I do not, however, know if this is even a realistic goal for me, or if I should be barking up a different tree altogether.

I know this is a lot to ask, and for all I know, the completely wrong place to be doing so, but I've been doing all the research I can on my own, and I've gotten to the point where I just need to speak to a like-minded person. My family and friends that I've spoken to about it don't take my goal seriously, so they haven't been much help.

Any advice (and encouragement) for me would be greatly appreciated!

Best Regards,

Robert Anthony

San José Forum