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Poverty, sweet poverty

 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Just wrapping up taxes for 2011 (Costa Rican taxes go from October 1st to September 30th - and then you submit in December) and learned that we used roughly 7,000 USD last year on ourselves. This is about average income for Costa Ricans, obviously really low for the USA, where we are citizens.

It occurred to me that when we file, the IRS thinks we are poor, well below poverty.

Interesting, financially we are doing very well indeed, but what is considered income, well that is low. I guess we aren't much into consuming - except good, homegrown food.

And just think all the time we save not shopping!
 
Sandra Ellane
Posts: 71
Location: New Mexico high desert Zone 7a, alkaline soils. 9" average annual rainfall.
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I really like this Fred. Do you already have exsisting threads that discuss what your expenses are living in Costa Rica (and how it's different from up here)? I'd love to hear more.
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I don't think so. There really is two Costa Ricas, one is the tourist areas and Central Valley (i.e. the large city) - and then you have the countryside where only Spanish is spoken. We live on a rocky road where we generally see cattle in the road.n.

Cost of living is incredibly variable. I have seen people say you need 3,0p0 a month - but I suspect that is what people spend who are trying to recreate what they had in the USA. I know we range between 7 to 12 thousand, depending if we take any trips to the USA.

We raise most of our own meat, at least half our fruit and vegetables.

We live this way out of choice, we could afford more, but why?
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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So Fred what about safety for Americans running a farm .... I mean do the locals consider you money-bags, are you ever target for kidnap or anything?
 
Sandra Ellane
Posts: 71
Location: New Mexico high desert Zone 7a, alkaline soils. 9" average annual rainfall.
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I’ve contemplated moving down there and have watched a couple blogs from other US citizens who have moved there. (http://www.happierthanabillionaire.com/).

In another blog a while back there was this post about how Costa Ricans take frugality way beyond what mainstream US could fathom. http://www.delapuravida.com/2010/the-culture-of-conservation-in-costa-rica/. That entry was really interesting to me. I relate to this concept, having had depression-era grandparents who reused everything.

What you said makes sense- why move down there just to recreate the lifestyle you’re trying to escape.

Jami brings up a good question. Did you speak Spanish before moving there? I read about the Pura Vida attitude there, it makes it sounds like people are super laid back. It seems like as long as outsiders don’t come in and act haughty, the neighbors would be pretty cool. Of course it’s easy to sit at my keyboard and speculate. :
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Jami McBride wrote:So Fred what about safety for Americans running a farm .... I mean do the locals consider you money-bags, are you ever target for kidnap or anything?


Not a problem at all. Yeah, they do consider you money bags if you act like it, but then again, I like dickering.
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Sandra Ellane wrote:I’ve contemplated moving down there and have watched a couple blogs from other US citizens who have moved there. (http://www.happierthanabillionaire.com/).

In another blog a while back there was this post about how Costa Ricans take frugality way beyond what mainstream US could fathom. http://www.delapuravida.com/2010/the-culture-of-conservation-in-costa-rica/. That entry was really interesting to me. I relate to this concept, having had depression-era grandparents who reused everything.

What you said makes sense- why move down there just to recreate the lifestyle you’re trying to escape.

Jami brings up a good question. Did you speak Spanish before moving there? I read about the Pura Vida attitude there, it makes it sounds like people are super laid back. It seems like as long as outsiders don’t come in and act haughty, the neighbors would be pretty cool. Of course it’s easy to sit at my keyboard and speculate. :


I barely spoke Spanish before I came here, but I worked hard to learn it, plus my wife is very good at Spanish. We also partnered with a Costa Rican who was bi-lingual and his wife, and North American.

People work hard here, but hey make sure they aren't enslaved. There is a lot to learn an as long as you mingle with them, the neighbors can be very good. But, and it is a big one, stay away from the tourist areas and what I call Gringolandia. Not really Costa Rica in my opinion, and you have the rich and poor with the normal problems.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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From what you've said about your investments into the property, that poverty is darned expensive!
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Good fertile land goes for 1,000 USD per acre, if you are lucky, most likely, two.

The number I gave before was for putting trees in the ground, keep the weeds down, pruning, etc. Also, you are lucky if you can plant 60% of a property.
 
Roman Milford
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Fred Morgan wrote:It occurred to me that when we file, the IRS thinks we are poor, well below poverty.
!


It's not what you make that matters as much as what you spend.
 
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