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Live in Costa Rica
Relocating may be just the ticket for self-renewal

By the Retire NOW in Costa Rica staff

Many First Worlders come to Costa Rica and other Latin countries to escape problems.
worries The usual advice is that humans bring their problem with them, and  change of place solves nothing.

That may not be completely true.

A new psychological study says that moving might be a good way to change behaviors. The research came from observations of 800 persons, half of whom moved.

Habits, of course, are closely linked with decisions and state of mind.

The research appeared as an academic paper in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

“Changing your habits is very difficult,” said Bas Verplanken, professor of social psychology at the University of Bath, “including finding the right moment to make a change.” He was quoted by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

According to his research, people who had recently relocated reported more change eight weeks later on a

composite of 25 environment-relevant behaviors compared to participants who had not recently relocated.

That is good news, but there are other reasons relocation to a new environment can be beneficial. That does not include crooks in flight. The old adage used to be that Costa Rica was the home of the wanted and unwanted. Even today, crooked television characters say they are moving to Costa Rica to avoid prosecution.

Computerized immigration files and the International Police Agency are two obstacles to avoiding prosecution. Just 30 years ago, crooks could hide in many locations in the world. Today all but the most undesirable places are firmly connected with international police agencies.

In addition, Costa Rica now is a big draw for retirees and families who seek a more international lifestyle in safe community.

Those who move here often report an improvement in health. There hardly is any day when swimming, running, jogging or just walking is not possible. Healthful foods are the norm, and farmers markets are everywhere.

Many expats report weight loss.

Oldsters find that being is  different environment keeps the brain cells firing. There also is large body of academic literature on how learning another language and bilingualism delays the onset of dementia and other ills of the aged.

And there is a lot to be said of the peace and psychological benefits in just watching a tropical sunset.
-- Jan. 17, 2017


License exchange locations expanded for expats

Special to Retire NOW in Costa Rica

Foreign driver’s licenses can now be exchanged for Costa Rican ones at the various regional offices of the transportation ministry.

Until now, expats could only get their foreign driver’s license validated at the office in La Uruca. Now this service also is being provided at Heredia, Cartago, Nicoya, Liberia, Río Claro, Puntarenas, San Carlos, Alajuela, San Ramón, Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles and Limón. The service is available every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m, said the agency involved.

The agency, the Dirección General de Educación Vial, said it decided to implement this after long waits and unnecessary delays at La Uruca was compared to little foot traffic at the regional offices. It made sense, officials said to expand the services provided to all the regional headquarters.

Legal foreigners whose countries have a reciprocity agreement with Costa Rica can simply present their own country or state’s license and obtain one here without any tests. The Costa Rica license will be issued for the same privileges as the foreign license, such as being valid to drive a motorcycle as well as an automobile.

Costa Rica has a reciprocal agreement with the United States and Canada.


-- Jan. 17, 2017
 
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