Living and Working Part-time in Costa Rica…and Loving It


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

By Rita Lucas, International Living

I first came to Costa Rica 11 years ago for my 25th wedding anniversary…and I fell in love with everything I experienced here.

I would leave the resort I was staying at, and wander the beaches to small villages to find great coffee and wonderful food. I loved the rural, simple, slower pace of life. And I loved the safety of being able to tour around and feel as safe as I do in Canada. Other things that suited me were the temperate climate, the friendly, helpful people, and the great “café con leche” (coffee with hot steamed milk).

When we got back to Canada, and into the cold dark days of winter…I decided “enough!” and purchased a lot near the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica near the village of Ojochal. I built a house as a B&B in the mountains up from the village.

I now spend at least six months a year in the wonderful rural area of Ojochal, leaving behind the cold winters of Alberta. Instead of the high pace of life and the high costs of winter…I wake up to the sounds of monkey, toucans and parrots in the trees and step outside to see blue morpho butterflies soaring through my rancho.

Getting around is easy on my quad—I use it most days to run errands, or to attend a Spanish or yoga class.

After spending a lot of time in Costa Rica over the past 10 years, I have found that you need to have a large amount of patience—things move slower than in North America. It is part of the charm…but can also cause us North Americans to get stressed when trying to get things done! I’ve learned how to stand in long lines and enjoy the people-watching that this can offer…and I’ve learned that proxima semana (next week) can mean anytime from a couple of days to a month, and be okay with that.

If I was living in Canada 12 months of the year I would have to work a lot more than I do now…I find that it is 1/3 of the cost to live in Costa Rica, allowing me to have more free time, to be semi- retired and have a flexible life.

I never forget that I’m living a dream that I used to only ever experience on vacation. It truly is the good life.

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