Save the Rain Forest and Make Money Doing It
Looking for something a bit more exotic when you retire? Do tropical rain forests, cheap living and great organic coffee fit into your long range plan? If you are looking to live well and select sustainable investments as part of your portfolio, Costa Rica might be just the place for you.
For those of you who have yet to travel there, let me assure you of the following: As a country, Costa Rica rocks. If extreme nature environments are your thing, you will seriously enjoy it there. Volcanoes, cloud forests, beaches, remote waterfalls, sea turtles, hot springs . . . I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. Bonus? The cost of living is relatively cheap. Extra bonus? The government has tons of beneficial programs for investors and retirees. One of them is the Ministry of Environment and Energy's Program of Environmental Service Payments, otherwise known as PSA.
What does this mean for you? You can help sustain the rainforest, have a great place to live and GET PAID to do it. Wanna know more? Here are the highlights:
- The PSA contracts run for five years.
- The pay rate is sixty-four dollars per hectare, per year.
- Changes in land usage, such as to agriculture or timber are not allowed. However, you are allowed to build a home and certain low impact eco-tourism projects are permitted as well. (Tree bar, anyone?)
- Extra perks? Participation in this program exempts the owner from local property taxes and national taxes on corporate assets, since most people make these purchases through a corporation.
- Point of information? Payments through this program are annual, so you'll want to make sure you have other monthly sources of passive income.
The key to making this profitable? Getting a great price up front. The cheaper tracts of rain forest are often the ones without road access. When we flew down to check this out a few years ago, putting in road access was a simple way to double or more the value of your land. And of course, there's the standard land appreciation of a conservative five percent. I asked my contact at Tucan Realty, who specializes in this sort of thing, for a simple breakdown. Here it is: Three hundred hectares purchased at a thousand dollars per hectare and put into the PSA program will produce an annual income of $19,200.00, or an ROI of 6.4%. Add in the other tax and land appreciation elements and you're cooking with gas.
In a nutshell, investors looking for a personal nature retreat, wanting to do their ecological part, and hoping for a bit of passive income at the same time should find this program worthy of review. A special thanks to Tucan Realty for supplying data and resource documents for this article.