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From Sixty and Me

May 22, 2016

I recently wrote this article for Sixtyandme.com

Retiring in Costa Rica was a game changer for us, but, we wanted to retire close to the ocean and California was out of our budget.

We lived in California all our lives and raised our two sons there. All of our family is still there. Chuck was getting close to retirement when we took our first visit to Costa Rica on a surf trip, with my sister and her husband. We all loved it!

So, we looked for a property… and found it. Together, we said, “Let’s get our stuff together, retire and sell or rent our homes.” We were on a 2-year plan to make this all work.

Almost exactly 2-years later, we made the move. Chuck always said that he was beat up from the feet up, after being in construction for 36 years. So, it was time to go.

The Move

My sister had her house built first and we lived with them, while Chuck built our home. That was almost 9 years ago.

Building a home in a foreign country required a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But, without knowing much Spanish, Chuck marched on and built our home.

We have learned so much about ourselves and the local people that live here in this beautiful country. This has been – and continues to be – a great experience.

I still walk down to the beach in the mornings and say to myself, “Wow I am so lucky!” Our oldest son always says, “You made your luck.” I like that even better!

The Life

We Brought Everything and the Kitchen Sink

We sent a container with our belongings to our new home and, yes, the kitchen sink was included. In the same container were Chucks tools, our beds and a dining room table. This last item is now outside in my “Rancho,” as it’s called here.

It’s a big patio. We do most of our living outside. My kitchen is outside. It’s too hot to cook indoors. This is where I do all my cooking for my blog.

Yes, I blog about our life here in the jungle and the food I cook. It’s not easy for some of us in our 60s. Like you, I am learning new things all the time.

You have to find something to keep you busy. Chuck repairs surfboards and I bake. Our lives are full and we have a great social life here.

The Catch

You had to know that there was going to be a catch to living in paradise. Right?

Our youngest son, who, by the way, got married here on the beach, just had to go and have a baby. Ethan is now 16-months old. So, now, we are feeling the pull of family and are planning on visiting more often.

As life is forever changing, we too will make changes. It’s hard to be long distance grandparents.

Have any of you experienced this pull? Should we move back to be able to spend more time with our grandson. Or should we live this “life in paradise” for a few more years? Please join the conversation.

Deby Hogue knows a little about cooking and baking. On her blog Cooking in the Jungle, she is sharing her sweet life in the jungle of Costa Rica. Born and raised in California, Deby and her husband of 42 years built their “rancho” and retired to enjoy the ocean, nice food, beautiful people in their community and their family.

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