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Nursing Homes & Retirement Communities

This is by far and without a doubt going to be the biggest wave of the future as more and more baby boomers are reaching a decent retirement age and looking for a place in the world where they can get more bang for their buck and have affordable health care and medications.

Currently in Costa Rica the concept of retirement homes or assisted living are fairly foreign concepts. This is due to the strong family bond Costa Rican’s share. When someone in the family reaches an age where they are no longer able to care for themselves, normally a family member steps in, invites them to live with them, and cares for them until they eventually pass away. Therefore, Costa Ricans have never had the need for these types of communities.

However, now with the huge influx in foreigners coming to Costa Rica to live and retire there will be a high demand. These populations that are coming in the thousands are accustomed to this type of system, and will especially be in need of it since many are coming alone and leaving their families and friends in their home country.

As more and more of the 70 million US Baby Boomer’s are reaching the ages of retirement, it has become clear that something must be done to capture this market and make them understand why Costa Rica can be the ideal place to retire.

The emenece of this retirement population has become so apparent that "The President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias is expected to sign an Executive Decree which will make the attraction of foreign retirees to Costa Rica a National Priority. Why is he doing this? Because studies have shown that retirement communities bring more than "two to three times" the revenue generated by tourism or just the real estate sector. This could help the suffering Costa Rican economy which had some setbacks in the last year because of the global crisis and the decrease in development and tourism because of it.

Experts in the Costa Rican government are estimating that the development of Healthy Cities could generate $ 340 million annually in foreign exchange.  In addition, attention to a population of 10,000 retirees would produce 40,000 jobs (La Prensa Feb 18th 2010).

If the Costa Rican government puts this decree into practice it will offer tax incentives and facilitate easier permitting for developers looking to create these mega health cities. The decree is also rumored to offer special migratory status and also tax exemption for personal goods brought in by retirees. Of course, nothing is set in stone until the decree is signed by the President and published in La Gaceta.

Of course Costa Rica is in direct competition to Panama who already has five retirement communities ready and over 40 more in the permitting process for the next couple of years (La Prensa Feb 18th 2010).



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