“Kathleen, I am considering continuing my subscription to your Overseas Retirement Letter, but I have a couple of concerns. Please answer these.
“First, how much to continue?
“Second, Kathleen, you continue to be negative about Costa Rica, a top expat count. I’m told this is because CR will not kick in dollars for a positive review. That worries me a lot. If you can’t report truthfully, what good is the newsletter? Others tell a far different story, which my five visits to Costa Rica seem to confirm. What’s the truth here?”
–Joe H., United States
This question comes up often, so I’ll address it directly:
For the record, nobody is paying me for my endorsement. I write what I write based on personal experience—mine and that of my correspondents and contributors.
If I wanted to sell my endorsement, I could find buyers. I am approached regularly by organizations and government groups from different countries (including, in fact, Costa Rica) wondering how we can “work together”. I politely explain that we can’t.
I report what I believe. I act on what I believe. I can’t promise that I’m always right, but I do have almost 30 years of experience at this.
That said, you should remember that my opinion is my opinion. I don’t think Costa Rica qualifies as a top retirement or investment haven choice for a number of reasons, but that is not to say that Costa Rica is not for anyone. I make this point often. Maybe Costa Rica is the ideal spot for you…and that’s great. Maybe you’d hate Panama…or Belize…or Argentina…or France (all places where I enjoy spending time and money). That’s fine, too. No place is right for everyone. This is all about personal priorities, agendas, and perspectives.
I hope this helps to clarify our editorial agenda and approach. Both are, in fact and, again, for the record, independent. Our only responsibility is to our readers. This is both because we like it that way and also because we’re pragmatists. If we put anybody else’s agenda ahead of the reader’s, our credibility would, rightly, fall into question…and it would be only a matter of time before the entire business would begin to unravel.
I take my responsibility to our readers seriously and consider it our top priority, yes, but I also take my responsibility to my business seriously. I don’t want to fail on either account. And the second, I recognize, is wholly owing to the first.
If you’re interested in renewing your Overseas Retirement Letter subscription, the current price is US$36 a year. I do hope you’ll continue as a reader.