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Costa Rica Chica: RETIRING EARLY, SIMPLIFYING MY LIFE, & REALIZING THAT LESS IS BEST Kindle Edition
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As author of another popular Costa Rica book myself (Unraveling the Mysteries of Moving to Costa Rica), it was a lot of fun to read about folks whose experience was at the other end of the spectrum from ours. We were "retirees" with pensions (at least, my husband, mom, and dad had pensions) and shipped a FULL household down including a car (with not one but *two* shipping containers!) whereas Jen and Greg are considerably younger, moved with a few extra suitcase (even with our two containers we still flew down with 19 suitcases ourselves!), and are managing car-less.
Jen did a great job of bringing the reader right into their lives in Dallas, their process of deciding whether or not to move, and then their actual move. A practical look at it all, as well as "just plain fun" reading. The only thing I think a lot of readers might wish she covered in a bit more depth was the financial factors of their early retirement. Living a "simpler" life is great, but even that requires funding!
That was one of the things I had to really wrestle with when we first moved there -- we're so "trained" in the states NOT to talk about money. No one talks about their salaries or investment income, how much their house cost (or how much their rent is), what they paid for their car and so on. It's considered rude, whereas when people are looking at doing something as radical as moving to another country, the finances are a VERY big deal. When we lived there we eventually just got used to people all talking about how much everything costs. Jen did a good job of covering that "cost" aspect of their new lives, but pretty much completely left out any meaningful discussion of the "income" side of the equation.
Yes, we're used to that being "personal" but, again, for others trying to imagine how they might do such a thing, it seems that Jen could have really done a huge service by sharing more about how she and Greg managed this early retirement, how in the world at their age they'll have sufficient funds to live without working further, how taking this early retirement will impact their eventual social security (which will be substantially reduced by having cut 20 years off their work-life) and so on. (I, for instance, bit the bullet and spoke quite plainly in my book about what kinds of pensions my family had, and how that worked for our cost-of-living and I know it's hard to "expose" yourself that way, but so many people are trying to figure it out for themselves and really need the insights from others who have done it!)
That was certainly my only "complaint" about Jen's book, and as you can see didn't take away any stars. Even without that it's a great read and I wish Jen and Greg continued happiness.