Staying safe in Costa Rica as an expat retiree

Published:  7 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA
How safe is Costa Rica for retired expats?

Costa Rica has a reputation as an expat retiree favourite due to its affordable cost of living and beautiful weather, but is it as safe for elderly retirees as it used to be? The Central American country is still a go-to destination for expats from all over the world but, as unrest increases across the Americas as a whole, is the threat of crime and violence on the increase to an extent which will cause Western retirees to look elsewhere for a permanent home?

According to the USA’s State Department advisory level, Costa Rica is still rated at the lowest level 1, indicating it’s safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s crime-free as violent crime is seen to have increased in 2017 and is still on the up this year. However, the average retiree is very unlikely indeed to be a homicide victim, but far more likely to encounter petty crime such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching or cash, credit card and cellphone theft, all of which are common in the home country as well as overseas.

There’s a lot new arrivals can do to ensure they’re not a target for opportunistic local criminals, most of which they’d done as normal back at home. Carrying a copy of your passport whilst leaving the genuine article in a home safe along with jewellery and cash is one obvious preventative measure, with staying vigilant when using an ATM and when returning home at night equally obvious. In today’s world, everyone is a potential victim of crime, however careful they’re being, with awareness of surroundings the best protection. Once that’s sorted, Costa Rica is as safe as the majority of other world countriesfor expats and visitors alike.
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