Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Expat Experiences: Costa Rica - Deb Klipper

Who are you?

Deb Klipper
Deb Klipper

I am Deb Klipper and I have been joyfully married to my best friend Rob for 28 years. I am 58, he is 62. I left a job as a Special Educator in San Antonio Texas and he retired from a job as a biomedical researcher. We have two grown daughters and two granddaughters all living in the USA. Here in Costa Rica, we have a wonderful adopted yellow Lab named “Dude” and an adopted Calico cat named “Sarita”.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

We vacationed in Costa Rica for 3 weeks during the summer of 2002. With a rental SUV, we traveled over 2000kms. As we sat in our hotel room the night before our departure we were both in tears. We did not want to leave this place where we felt the level of peace and connectivity that we did. The seed was planted.

Once back in Texas, we began researching all things Costa Rica, how to obtain residency, how to begin the retirement process for my husband, how much pension he would receive and determine If we could afford to do this, get our home ready to sell and prepare all family and friends of our intention to move to Costa Rica.

All our married life Rob said “When we retire I want to live in a tropical country.” He was born and raised in Panama as a result of his father working as an electrician on the Canal. Rob had fairly good Spanish speaking skills, we both loved the idea of a warm year round climate and Costa Rica possessed the values most aligned to ours.

That being a non-militaristic Democratic government, no civil unrest, socialized medical system, and a cost of living that a retirement income could more readily afford. Additionally, we were both very weary of the “fear and paranoia” that the post 911 terrorism events created in the states. We were unhappy with the involvement of the US in the “war without end” and all the tax dollars supporting it. Costa Rica would become our asylum from the negative climate in the USA.

With house sold, following three garage sales, boxes packed and labeled, shipper and customs broker arranged, residency paperwork translated, stamped and ready for the Migracion officials, we boarded our plane for Costa Rica, having no idea where we would live upon landing. Our leap of faith had begun...


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