(NOTE: I occasionally include information from other sources when I deem it beneficial for future expats. Below is an excerpt from an article by Rico from QCosta Rica. Aging is not fun, but it does have some advantages here.)
RICO’s DIGEST – This year, 2021, I became a “Ciudadano de Oro”, a status that in Costa Rica is regarded with respect, and a term that I prefer over “Adulto Mayor (senior citizen)”.
In Costa Rica, this status (Ciudadano de Oro) is bestowed on a citizen when he or she reaches 65 years of age. It gives preferential service in public institutions and many, but not all, commercial establishments.
This privilege began in the late 1990s when Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), which gave the right to those who already have gray hair (though not a prerequisite) to participate in a job exchange, participate in recreation and health activities, and obtain discounts or free tickets to public shows.
In the past, I can remember several of my friends having a gold plastic card, a credential, though a purely formal matter, that the holders, the beneficiaries, would only have to present to take advantage of the benefits.
Today, the cédula, Costa Rica’s national ID, is all you need. I haven’t seen or know of anyone who actually has a gold card or they have, use it.
One of the benefits of being a “Ciudadano de Oro” in Costa Rica is that you get to ride the bus and the Puntarenas ferry for free. I am sure if you live here you have seen it; a passenger boarding a bus presenting only their cédula, and the bus driver takes note of the ID, either writing out the number on a form or holding it up to the camera for the main office to take note.
Being a “Cuidadano de Oro” in Costa Rica does has its advantages. ¡Pura vida!
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