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Posts posted by Epicatt2

  1. Hi Kim,

    I chose to maintain a checking account in the US (where my SSA pension was deposited) when I went to CR.  I eventually opened an account at Banco Nacional (BN) and after six months I was allowed to deposit personal checks from my US bank (credit union, actually) in my BN account.  In the beginning there was a 3-week float before the funds were released to me so I just deposited it far enough ahead of time that the money would become availabe to me at the time I needed to use it.

    After about three months I went in to the Plataforma in BN and spoke to a customer service person at that desk about shortening the float time.  He went into the back and after about 20 minutes came back out and told me that my checks would now clear in ten days.  After that my checks were clearing in 5 to 7 days.

    I was told that I could deposit up to US $900 per month via my personal check with no charges or fees assessed.  Over that cumulative $900 amount per month there would have been a deposit fee of around US$40.  I never deposited more than US$700 per month and could retrieve my monies using my International BN Servibanca Debitcard which BN issued to me per my request at the time I set up my account.  (BTW - You will absolutely wantto specify that you want an International, not Domestic Servibank Debitcard if you decide to go the BN/personal check route.  That's because the domestic card can only be used for things purchased inside Costa Rica.)

    As far as needing an apostilled SSA statement of earnings, you can get one in spanish by making an appointment (by email) with the US Embassy in Pavas.  The SS Desk will issue you a letter on official SS letterhead, in spanish.  That will be suitable for La Migra, especially if you were to go to the primary office in La Uruca.  I pointed out (very nicely of course) to La Migra that the letter was issued by the US Govt on the official US letterhead which made it as official as humanly possible so that it did not need to be apostilled and they finally accepted the letter as true and official without me having to arrange for an apostille.  BTW, you can have the SS letter apostilled at the Embassy but they charge US$50 to do that.

    OK – HTH

    Paul  M.

  2. Hey! This is a really nice book, Eleanor.  Not sure why you waited so long to publish it.

    I started reading it last night and am enjoying it a lot.

    Back in the mid-70s I visited Cedar Key with a Tampa friend who was an avid birder to go birding with her and saw the village before the gentrification you mention had begun.  From my experience on that long ago visit it is plain to me why you liked it so much.  It was truly a quaint comfy place back then.

    Paul M.

  3. SW, this is all so weird...

    That link worked for me twice yesterday but today it isn't working and Wikipedia says 'no such page'.  Feh!

    So I visited Wikipedia just now and did a search there for 'Vehicle Identification Number' and ''lo, the same page that I got when the link was working yesterday came up.

    So I copied the URL in the address field and here it is:


    That should work for you.

    Finger X-ed!

    Paul M.


  4. 2 hours ago, David C. Murray said:

    I've been told by a couple of reliable sources that cars imported to Costa Rica from Asia weigh 200 to 300 pounds less than their brandmate U.S. models. Since they look the same inside and out, one wonders what's missing. Friends bought a new Kia sedan here in Costa Rica in 2012. It looked exactly like the U.S. version, but while the U.S. model had six or seven air bags, the Costa Rican one had two. For me, that's a strong argument in favor of bringing a vehicle from the States.

    Great example, David.  And for Martha, who is considering importing an SUV from the US:

    It has long been known that certain automobile brands/models from the US are different from those same brands/models marketed in LatinAmerica.  These latter are built for the the LAmer market and are different than those for the US.

    This is not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but whoever is considering importing a car from the US to CR should at least take into consideration the possibility that the local versions of the parts may not be compatable with the US model and whether the US parts can be readily/easily gotten  in timely fashion.  Obtaining those parts can take a considerable amount of time to arrive and there have been reported instances where the wrong part was sent and then re-ordering the part is necessary.

    Meanwhile that US model car may be undrivable for an extended period of time while awaiting the needed part or parts.

    OK — HTH

    Paul M.


  5. On 8/25/2018 at 3:35 PM, MarthaU said:

      I want to by a good used SUV no older than 2015, low milage, great condition, no accidents, . . .

    Hi Martha,

    There's a expat gringo who has an auto service & repair buisness who also does vehicle sales and re-sales, mostly from other US gringos.  

    His business is Auto Shop Santa Ana and his name is Allen Dickinson.  He might have just what you need as his inventory is always changing.

    Here is the contact info for you:

    Allen, 8502-6305 (English)
    Joaquin, 8815-7668 (Spanish)
    Email = < allendickinson70 @ yahoo.com >

    I have no financial or other interest in this business but have met Allen and he is afriendly, honest fellow.

    OK — HTH

    Paul M.


  6. Hi Laura,

    Long time, no see!   Welcome back to the Forums....

     So... I did a quick Google search and found this online article about ServiEntrega in La Nación from around 2013:

     Servientrega anuncia su llegada a Costa Rica  [ https://www.nacion.com/economia/servientrega-anuncia-su-llegada-a-costa-rica/E5EIEBXNHBGV7KZFITZJGQVS24/story/ ]

    . . . but no confirmation of where exactly in CR or when ServiEntrega might have been going to open up shop.

    Also at the same time noticed this:

     Las franquicias Servientrega y Redservi ingresarán en Costa Rica   [ http://www.100franquicias.cr/Noticias/2016-06-21-Las-franquicias-Servientrega-y-Redservi-ingresaran-en-Costa-Rica.htm ]

     I didn't search further, but per these two articles ServiEntrega is likely operating somewhere in CR.

     A bit more Googling may turn up where they are located.

    Or.... Perhaps one of our other Forums Members may know whether ServiEntrega is currently operating in CR.

    OK    HTH

     Paul M.


  7. TeAmo,

    Eleanor's suggestions above are on-target for how to scope out possible rentals.  She is right about 'Word of Mouth' being 'KING'.  It really is.

    One thng she didn't cover is the fact that if you visit the local supermarkets or corner pulperias, or even the little offices where people go to pay their utility bills, etc., you will often find a little bulletin board in there where locals have tacked up notices for their house or apartment that's for rent, along with a telphone number.  That can be a very good source of info for locating a place to rent.

    OK — HTH

    Paul M.


  8. As for me, my take on the 'bars thingy' is that I never have found them to constitute any sort of 'jail' since I have the keys to enter and leave my dwelling whenever I choose.  And like Eleanor, I find that I've gotten to the point where I do not notice them.  Plus it is great to be able to leave my doors and windows open to enjoy the nice breezes that CR offers, and yet still feel secure.

    ¡Unos pocos más de mis graniticos de arena!

    Paul M.


  9. 3 hours ago, jamesofomaha said:

    heard that with car insurance if you wreck your car it's not cut and dried/easy like back home. They try not to pay and take a long time to pay when they do so. And with no car rental policy in effect (providing a rental while you wait for money to get another one), what do you do for 2-3 months while you wait for the car to be replaced?

    Fortunately, James, there are ample taxis, plus many inexpensive buses & routes with frequent service to most everywhere in the country –unless you happen to be way out in the boonies where the bus frequency may often be much reduced.

    OK — HTH

    Paul M.


  10. Thanks Savannahjo, for those kind words about the Forums.


    Happy New Year to you, too, and to all of our Forums Members, as we march forward into 2017.


    The Forums would not be the useful place that it is if it weren't for our members.


    Collectively they are a font of information, knowledge and wisdom, as well as being a storehouse for many amazing experiences about Costa Rica.




    Paul M.


  11. Though it is about to change one must really become familiar with rental law in Costa Rica. It is different than in the US and in CR the tenant has certain strong rights, partially hamstringing the landlord.


    While the rental laws are inscribed in CR's Constitution, they seem likely to be going to undergo some revisions soon as was recently reported in the news, although it is not known yet exactly how or how much the rental laws will be revised.


    Still I believe that it is most important that the OP learn everything s/he can about rental law in CR before taking the plunge of renting out a newly purchased property.




    Paul M.


  12. Wow, I'm sorry that your preferred candidate/party lost, but after 8 miserable years it seems that the U.S. citizenry pulled on those reins and said "whoa there Nellie, that's enough of that!"


    We'll see what the next four years brings. He may not be my ideal, but the alternative was even less so.


    No, no need to beat any dead horses Colin, true.


    But I was not complaining about the election result per se, rather it was mostly about the public's lack of involvement in running their own government -pretty much other than when it's election time.

    Mr. T. -may not have been my choice either- though he could turn out to be a happy surprise –or a surprise at least. He's got some l'arnin' to do first though about governing, that seems clear.

    And as Eleanor said he's scary in many ways. But we will have to wait to see what actually evolves or whether he is held in check by the system.

    We shalll see . . .



  13. Eleanor,


    I can't blame you for saying that's delusional. But you'll please notice that I used the words 'ideal wish' by which I think you can grasp that I am not holding my breath!


    The US Public abdicated its role in governing the country by electing others in to do it for them and then allowing various of those elected to pursue their own agendas and not those of the Nation.


    The Public nowadays has stuff like sitcoms and social media to solace them as a way to occupy their time.


    And so it goes.



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