San Jose is a medium city located in Costa Rica with a metropolitan area population of 335,007. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in San Jose on a budget of $1,828 per month, or $21,939 per year.
Cost of Living in San Jose, Costa Rica
As noted above, the cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is $1,828 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $843 for housing related costs, $469 for food, and $516 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.
- A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of San Jose is estimated to cost $711
- Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $68
- High-speed internet averages $65
- Typical grocery costs of $323 per month include things like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice, chicken breast, bottled water, fruits, and vegetables
- Alcohol including beer and wine for moderate home consumption costs about $85
- Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $61
- Meals out are estimated to be $280 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
- Transportation costs of $78 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
- Fitness center memberships of $130
- Cinema tickets of $28 include several outings for international releases
Note that San Jose, Costa Rica is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 96/100, which means you won’t need a car if you are living in the city center and you may even save some money by not using public transportation and taxis very often.
Amount of Money Needed to Retire in San Jose, Costa Rica
Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica are doing so to see if and when they can quit their jobs and retire. A popular and easy way to calculate your retirement number is using the 4% Rule.
The 4% Rule estimates that a person(s) could withdraw 4% of their retirement nest egg and never run out of money. Using this calculation, a couple would need an investment portfolio of $548,466 to live a moderate lifestyle in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Annual expenses of $21,939 ÷ 4% = $548,466 portfolio needed.
Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and the above calculation could change based on any other sources of passive income and social security income.
Overall, the cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is affordable coming in at $1,828 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $548,466.