Posted on Aug 22 , 2010 in Info to Go

Costa Rica – A Great Place to Live

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Costa Rica – A Great Place to Live

Costa Rica a Great Place to Live

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, IPA: [re’pußlika ðe ‘kosta ‘rika]), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south-southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica was the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish its army.

The cost of living, high taxes and government regulations in North America and Europe are causing a lot of people of all ages to search for an affordable place to Live. See for yourself what The Best of Costa Rica Properties has to offer you and what they can do for you.

Costa Rica offers good life style, infrastructure, climate, and all the amenities you have now. Many people are enjoying the capital gain in their real estate and are moving money to Real Estate in Costa Rica; buying retirement homes, second homes and condos. There is a boom in beach property purchases that will continue for the next five years. The best real estate opportunities for investment are now.

The country has an up-to-date medical system with hospitals, clinics and complete medical services. Costa Rica has been considered by numerous international medical authorities as having one of the best low-cost medical care systems in the world, when considering preventative and curative medicine. Cosmetic surgery is affordable and Costa Rica’s plastic surgeons are among the world’s best.

There are also many tax advantages to living in Costa Rica. Investors pay no capital gains taxes on real estate, business taxes are minimal. Property taxes are about a tenth of the taxes in the U.S.

If you choose to go into business, the government offers incentives. You may also form a tax sheltered corporation and write off most of your business expenses. Foreigners are not required to pay taxes on external income. You can obtain high speed broad band Internet connections in the central valley.

Politics

Costa Rica is a democratic republic with more than 115 years of democracy and a strong constitution. It is seen as one of the most stable countries in Latin America. Costa Rica has avoided the violence that has plagued Central America; it is seen as an example of political stability in the region, and is referred to as the “Switzerland of the Americas”. Executive responsibilities are vested in a president, who is the country’s center of power. There also are two vice presidents and a cabinet designated by the president. The president, vice presidents, and 57 Legislative Assembly deputies are elected for 4-year terms. A constitutional amendment approved in 1969 limited presidents and deputies to one term, although a deputy may run again for an Assembly seat after sitting out a term. An amendment to the constitution to allow second presidential terms was proposed and also the constitutionality of the prohibition against a second presidential term has been challenged in the courts. In April 2003 the prohibition was officially recognized, in a highly polemic resolution, as anti-constitutional, allowing Óscar Arias (Nobel Peace Prize, 1987) to run for President a second time in the 2006 elections and winning them on a very tight elections. Arias is a promoter of free trade and supports the free trade agreement with the United States which is the source of a great controversy that might develop in protests around the country in the upcoming months. The last polls show how the support for CAFTA has decreased in the last months despite a millonaire campaign in its favor. Costa Rica uses a form of proportional representation to elect its national legislative body.

Economy

Historically, Costa Rica’s economy has been based on agriculture, including the production of coffee, bananas, pineapples, and ornamentals, but in recent times ecotourism, electronics, pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing and software development have become the prime industries. Costa Rica’s location in the Central American isthmus provides easy access to American markets as it has the same time zone as the central part of the United States and direct ocean access to Europe and Asia.

The economy has been expanding for Costa Rica in part because the Government had implemented a seven year plan of expansion in the high tech industry. The central government offers tax exemptions for those who are willing to invest in the country. High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location. Several global high tech corporations have already started developing in the area exporting goods including chip manufacturer Intel and pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline and consumer products company Procter & Gamble. Trade with South East Asia and Russia has boomed during 2004 and 2005, and the country is expected to obtain full Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) membership by 2007 (the country became an observer in 2004).

For the fiscal year 2005 the country showed a government deficit of 2.1%, internal revenue increased an 18%, exports increased a 12.8% and the number of visiting tourists increased a 19%, reaching 1.5 million people. Revised economic figures released by the Central Bank indicate that economic growth stood at 5 %, nevertheless the country faced high inflation (14%) and a trade deficit of 5.2%. For 2006 the economy is expected to grow a 6.8%

The unit of currency is the colón (CRC), which trades around 500 to the U.S. dollar; currently about 600 to the euro. For 2007 a new currency exchange system will allow the value of the CRC colón to float between two bands as done previously by Chile. The idea is that by doing so the Central Bank will be able to better tackle inflation and discourage the use of US dollars.

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