Some expat retirees in Costa Rica are giving mortgages to others in order to supplement their retirement incomes. Generating a nice extra sum is possible if ones finds the right debtor because interest rates are high in Costa Rica. Finding the borrower is easier than it was in the past because there are numerous services providing credit information on individuals and companies here. Mortgages are easier to collect now, too, if the deal goes amiss than they were a few years ago.
Expats living in Costa Rica would love to watch U.S. movies, shows, and sports on their home televisions. Hotels and bed & breakfast owners would like to offer the same to their guests. Travelers would like to access their favorites from home while visiting the country.
People engaged in business all over the world use Facebook and other social media services to reach customers. Facebook statistics are impressive indeed. Many are not aware that older people use Facebook, too. It is not just for the young. The numbers among retired people are growing rapidly as they start to use all the new gadgets on the market. It is just dang convenient to lookup what friends are doing using an iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, or whatever. Facebook works on just about anything. Expats in Costa Rica are strong users.
What does watching a movie in Costa Rica restricted to viewing in the United States and accessing the Internet securely at a WiFi hotspot like McDonald’s have in common? Give up?
The answer is a VPN. A virtual private network, commonly known as a VPN for short, is easy to set up to watch movies geo-restricted to the United States on Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, iTunes and the list goes on. It is also the best way to connect to the Web when in a public place to get a secure Internet connection. It’s secure enough to check bank balances and even make online transfers.
Government institutions in Costa Rica are usually impossible to reach on the telephone. Sometimes the phone just rings and rings. Other times one gets a phone tree that states “dial ‘this’ for ‘that.'” If “that” answers, usually it knows nothing about the “this” one was calling about.
Many expats need assistance in English because they do not speak Spanish. Many times it’s almost impossible to find someone who speaks English well enough to help them with a question or a problem on the phone.
Expats running businesses or tracking investments while struggling with new Costa Rican taxes and accounting rules may find some freedom in the cloud. The cloud represents powerful computing resources delivered to customers as a service. By using hardware and software via a connection to the Internet, users can tap applications once only available to the few with money to buy them.
A good example is accounting software for business and investment. In the recent past, good software was expensive to buy and maintain. Most accounting software companies have moved to a yearly fee to get upgrades. The cost of yearly maintenance plans is usually a percentage of the purchase price of new software. If one does not keep the software up-to-date, it is quickly outdated. [Read more…]
This is the time to have a trusted surveyor second check to see if there are overlaying maps on any property owned in Costa Rica. If there are contradicting maps, the uncertainty could soon cause big trouble.
Around three years ago, the Registro Nacional and its Catastro or plat map department started a plan to crosscheck properties. Before this time, there was little or no checking done. Now Registro workers are using sophisticated equipment, including NASA photographs to check map overlays.
Here is a true story that happened recently.