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Costa Rica vs. Mexico Cost of Living Comparison, Accurate?

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I debated whether to post this and figured, why not?


Any opinions on accuracy or other enlightenments? I know the comparison is too broad geographically but still...


Try opening both links in 2 browser windows side by side:






I've been doing way too much online research. I think my eyeballs are about to bleed.



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I would point out that, regardless the differences in costs of living, if you move to Mexico with its recent history, more than your eyeballs may bleed.


Costa Rica is the only country south of the Rio Grande that has a significant history of stable democracy and social and political stability and tranquility. Things may cost less in Mexico or elsewhere as long as current conditions prevail, but unlike Costa Rica (since 1948, at least) no other Latin American country can provide you the security you'll experience here.


To be sure, Costa Rica is rife with problems. It shares that characteristic with everywhere else in the world. But political, social and economic stability are critical factors in anyone's happiness. The cost of living is not the only determinant of your comfort in retirement.

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When we moved from Sachi to Gracia we changed Cable Company and now receive CBS & ABC out of South Florida. After watching the nightly murder-robbery-high speed police chase-traffic accidents-weather- and national political news, we couldn't be happier we chose Costa Rica for retirement.

Cost of Living is important, but not the only consideration.

Edited by ronofboston
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Hi FredS. Do not know the specific city you mention, but I an certainly check it out next time I am in the neighborhood! You seems o be searching, I hope you decide on CR!!

San Pancho is on the Pacific Coast north of Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. My concern is being able to afford CR and saving enough to fly back home at least once a year.


And interestingly enough, I just found out that starting Nov. 13 of this year Mexico raised the guaranteed monthly income for a pensionado to $2000 from $1200! I don't understand that when their native median personal income is only about $450/month.

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FredS - My sister-in-law has had a home in Punta Mita, I guess in the general area you mentioned, for about 5 years. They sold their first house earlier this year & are in the process of building their second home. We have a family vacation there once a year. I have to say that every single time I go, I cannot help but compare to the beach area where we live in Costa Rica & that HANDS DOWN Costa Rica is more beautiful. Sayulita is quaint, a little funky, very touristy, & reminds me of Jaco. There are great restaurants, lots of things to do, & prices are not cheap (just like in Jaco). The Mexican people are very friendly, just like Ticos, but I can drive anywhere in Costa Rica without fear & must admit that I am nervous when we are on the road in Mexico. Since we fly back & forth to FL, Costa Rica is such an easy travel day. I can catch direct flights on Jet Blue for $375 round trip & the flight is 3 hours. Flying to Puerto Vallarta is not quick, requires at least 1 layover, & is so expensive - our last flight there, the airfare was over $7000 for the 6 of us! We could go as often as we want since we have a place to stay for free, but the darn airfare is so expensive that we'll never go more than once a year for the family meet-up.



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We recently met a woman who moved here from Mexico because of the increase in violent crimes there, and the area where she used to live was considered a fairly quiet, low crime area not too long ago.

She does find CR to be more expensive, and she said she might check out Panama or even Ecuador to see if she likes either one better, but so far she is liking Costa Rica very much.


I do not have specifics on the costs she was talking about, but next time I see her I will ask.

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This is great, thanks for the link! If cut-rate cost of living is what you want then come to my hometown in Indiana. Of course, there's no beach or scenery or culture, but it's cheap!

I've never lived in either Costa Rica or Mexico but I would urge you not to get too excited by the hype on Mexico's crime rate. The homicide rate is, I believe, at 17 per 100K while Costa Rica is a little over 10 per 100K. Keep in mind Mexico is an enormous country in comparison with Costa Rica and there are that many more sensational headlines simply because there are that many more people. And while Mexico is cheaper, I don't know that you get value for that price (like my Indiana example above).

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