Home Living in Costa Rica What should my monthly income be in order to live comfortably ?

What should my monthly income be in order to live comfortably ?

by Super User

 What should my monthly income be in order to live comfortably ?


It’s difficult to answer this question since there are so many variables to that equation such as your lifestyle (type of car you drive, where you choose to live, do you eat out a lot, etc.).  But this is a very frequently asked question about Costa Rica so we’ve developed a few basic scenarios to give you a rough estimate on how much you need to live in Costa Rica.  Do your research by asking those who have gone before you; there are several forums online with expats already living in Costa Rica who might be very helpful.

Cost of Living in Costa Rica


We assume a couple over age 55 with no minor children residing in a three bedroom two bath Condominium which they purchased for $250,000.  The couple have paid for their home and car in full and they have no mortgage or car payments. 


Condominium Fee:        $200.00

Electricity:                     $75.00

Water:                           $25.00

Groceries:                     $350.00

Cable TV:                       $30.00

Internet:                          $40.00

Cell Phone:                     $20.00

Land Line Phone:            $12.00

Maid Service:                $200.00

Car Insurance:                $30.00 (Third Party Liability Only)

Property Taxes:              $52.00 (Will depend on Fiscal Valuation)

Car Circulation Fee:         $41 (Depends on the year and make of car)

Gasoline:                        $300.00 (Adjust accordingly)

Health Insurance with INS: $350  (for a couple)

TOTAL:  $1,725

This amount does not include dining out and entertainment so adjust accordingly.  If you were to rent the condominiumin the western suburbs of San José instead of purchasing it iyou can expect rental payments in the $1,200 to $1,500 range.  

To live comfortably in the Central Valley area of Costa Rica would require around US$2,500 – $3,000 –  I have interviewed couples who live on $2,300 but they are limited on the amount of entertainment and dining out that they can do.


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