An unexpected retirement.

When I took early retirement at the end of 2015, a lot of uncertainty lay ahead. I had decided what I wanted to do, but was it the right thing? My family, friends and colleagues thought I was crazy, or brave, or incredibly fortunate. I don't  think I was any of those things.

In February 2016 I left the UK for an indefinite stay in Costa Rica. I'm still there,

I still have a home in the UK, I haven't emigrated, I'm here as a tourist. I guess you could say I'm  taking each day as it comes.

It sounds like a carefree, extended holiday, but the reality is somewhat different. In future blogs I'll explain how I came to be here, what everyday life entails, and the joys and challenges of being a "Gringo" in Costa Rica.

But I won't just be blogging about Costa Rica. I'll have lots of things to say on lots of different topics.

An unexpected retirement. was last modified: October 12th, 2017 by bethc1959
Published in People & Events

8 thoughts on “An unexpected retirement.

  1. roseinbloom

    Bethc59, I hope to hear what you have to say. I will say that you sound very fortunate and would like to hear why you think otherwise. I see people hardly able to walk and looking quite old working in diners and other places. I retired fairly young and consider myself extremely fortunate because I could have become old just like those people still working. I knew very little about saving for retirement, but during my lifetime. I was able to get a job with a pension plan. I had a sister that got kicked out of her company after 25 years considerably reducing her retirement benefits and she worked 18 years loner than I did. My brother was lucky and retired early with a good pension and benefits. A’s you can see, a lot of luck is involved in retirement.

  2. bethc1959 Post author

    Roseinbloom (what a lovely username) thank you for reading my blog post and taking the time to comment on it. I will try to explain why I said I didn’t consider myself to be very fortunate. When I told my colleagues what I was planning to do, some of them who perhaps didn’t know me so well, assumed I must have a lot of money and was therefore very fortunate in being wealthy enough to give up my job and travel. That isn’t the case at all. We worked for an insurance company as claims advisers in the north of England in relatively low paid jobs. My pension income, including a pension from my late husband’s employer, amounted to a little over £500 per month. I didn’t have any savings or a hidden stash of cash. I would not have been able to retire early and stay in the UK and as it turns out, the cost of living here is such that I can barely afford to stay in Costa Rica. The only reason I have been able to do this is that my best friend, who is from the US and is also in Costa Rica, has helped me financially and in many other ways too. So I guess when I said I didn’t consider myself to be very fortunate, I was thinking specifically of the people who said to me at the time “You’re so lucky, I wish I could afford to do that”. I really couldn’t afford to do it, but did it anyway. I am extremely fortunate in lots of ways and I hope you’ll continue to read my blogs and hear more of my story.

  3. roseinbloom

    Beth, I will and you are a very gracious person and now I have to say that you are fortunate to have a friend who helps you. I hope you are happy in Costa Rico as I would not like to leave my country and all my friends, family and all that I know.

  4. Tommy H

    Hi Beth, I think what you are doing is amazing i hope you catch up with all of the missed fun. I would love to pack up leave the wife and 3 grown up kids and hide out for about the next 20 years.

  5. jenna

    Hi Beth, I am in awe of you being so brave to take such a huge step.
    I truly hope it works out for you. The plus is, that you still have your home back in the UK. I will follow your blogs with great interest. My best wishes to you

  6. len1932

    I retired from the US Air Force and 22 years, so had an income Soon opened 5 business in town and bought a rental house, Bought my house, I had purchased also farm land and had a house built on it. After a few years sold all the business and rentals and moved to the farm where I still live today Sold 10 acres off the farm for $610.000 that costs me $15,000 and bought two houses for rentals. So today have no problems at age 85 A person has to take some risks to get ahead. d

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