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Posted by on Sep 8, 2013 in Books, Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Retirement | 22 comments

Re-Viewing and Reviewing – Happier than a Billionaire

HappierIn early 2011 I was trying to figure out my next move, career-wise. For various reasons I wanted out of the job I was in (sounds like a good topic for a blog-post).  While considering buying a business, traveling the US in an RV, taking up sailing (that is actually pretty funny if you know me) or taking time off and hiking the Appalachian Trail I came across the book Happier than a Billionaire and because the subtitle was Living the Zero Hour Work Week – I was putting in 50 to 60 hour weeks at the time – and because the price was right, $2.99 I bought and read it. Read is the wrong word, I devoured it. The adventures of Nadine and Rob made me laugh and by the end of the book I was thinking, “if they can do it, so can we”.  A little while after reading the book I wrote the following review on Amazon, where I purchased the book for Kindle.


“Not A How To But a Why Do

Warning…if you read this book you will want to move to Costa Rica but won’t know how to do it.

Do not purchase this book thinking you are buying a road map on how to retire to Costa Rica. Doing so would be like using Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods to plan your through hike of the Appalachian Trail. Instead of telling you the best way of retiring to CR the author takes you through her and her husbands humorous journey from frustrated business owners to frustrated gringos. Despite all the transitional pain of learning to live in a new culture, the author finds that the beauty, pace and freedom of living in CR gives her the happiness she was looking for.

This book will make you laugh and at the very least, make you want to visit CR but most likely it will make you want to ditch your job and move there. If it is not clear…I highly recommend Happier than a Billionaire.

– G Seymour”

Happier Again

Shortly, after this review was written, Jen and I decided to make an exploratory trip to Costa Rica to see if was a “fit” for us and vise-versa. So, in January of 2012 we did just that and found Costa Rica was a fit and we started to research and plan. It took a year and a half to sell our stuff and wrap up our work and to move.

We arrived at our new home of Grecia in June 2013 and after living here for several weeks I re-read Happier Than a Billionaire. I found the book just as funny as before but the stories seemed to be more real. Stories where I was sure the author used artistic license now seem to be more plausible to me. While reading I got that feeling of excitement again that I felt on my first reading – the excitement of adventure of doing something that many talk about doing but few do. I felt the excitement of being here, in Costa Rica and of starting a different kind of life, one unimaginable until several years ago.

The book is equally suited to travelers, action takers and dreamers. But if you have the itch and willingness to make a change this book may just be the straw you need to break the camels back. It was very much that for us.

Disclaiming the Disclaimer

Just a quick note of my non-association with the Happier book or its authors; as we say in Texas, I don’t have a dog in that hunt. I get nothing, but the satisfaction of recommending a book that I enjoyed, from writing this post.

Your Help

GregReaders, I am really enjoying writing. It is something I have never really done for pleasure and while I am re-learning where all the commas and apostrophes go, I am truly enjoying taking an idea and seeing where my mind takes it.

For this post 2 things happened that gave me the idea to write it. Ann, a Face Book friend, the other day made a comment to me on FB and mentioned Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods and that made me remember the review I had written. Then, a few days later another FB friend, Jana, sent me an email and said she was looking at buying Happier and saw that my comment was featured on Amazon. Synchronicity.

With all that said – if you have an idea or a question or just a comment please share it with me and it might turn into a post. Those who have sent their requests via the request hot line, please be patient. I will write…I am just so busy living that sometimes it takes a bit of time to get to.

You thought I was going to ask for money, Right?



Hasta Pronto,


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Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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  1. Good job finding your happy place! Live it up amigos!

    • Hey PAT! Good to hear from you. We are in our happy place for sure. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks.

  2. Keep sharing Greg! Much appreciated. My hubby and I can’t wait for our “exploratory” visit.

    • Thanks for reading. Let me know if I can help in your research. Good luck.

  3. Yep, I am right there with you Greg. Read so many “how to” books about Costa Rica, and then read “Billionaire”. It had the same affect on us. Laughed out loud and did lots of re reading, we arrived here May 2012. Her humor is infectious. We settled here on the Caribbean coast (not beach ). I read with much interest all the rave reviews about Grecia. How would one find it? I did not explore that area before buying here. I knew I did not want Arenal or the South Pacific, or Guanacaste for that matter. But, the articles I read about Grecia have me intrigued. What can you tell me, and how would I find it? We have to come to San Jose via the Zurqui mountain Highway.

    • We are liking Grecia very much. Mainly we like the climate and the towns size – big enough to have just about everything you need and small enough where every time you go out you run into someone you know. I will work on a “Grecia” post and hopefully answer you questions as well as give some insight to others who may be interested.

  4. just ordered it and waiting for its arrival………can’t wait

  5. I, too, was enchanted by Nadine’s stories of her and Rob’s adventures relocating to Costa Rica. My wife and I are planning a trip and likely move there sometime in the near future (don’t know exactly how it will happen, only know that it will). Have been considering Central America for a while now and looked into life in Panama, Ecuador and Costa Rica. After reading Happier will certainly be giving CR and closer look.

    Love the review. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

    • Thanks for reading and good luck in your quest. Let me know if I can help with any questions that come up.

  6. just wanted you to know I read the ‘happy’ book too and LOVED it…I came across your blog through the we love costa site and just saw this post! I’m glad you are loving your new life. My husband and I are planning for the same thing! Will be coming down from MI at the end of January for two weeks to scout out the osa mountain area! Can’t wait
    take care

    • That is great; I wish you luck in up coming trip. Thanks for reading and commenting. If I can help in anyway, let me know.

  7. Hello Gregorio,

    I am sorry that I didn’t find your blog sooner. My story is similar to yours, except that I am not retired.I found The Joy of Not Working in 2007 when my mother was dying of cancer. I decided to come to Costa Rica after I finished grad school and was able to sell my stuff and leave my cat with the place. Now, I am about to leave Costa Rica,after a little over four years of living here. I came here as an English teacher and freelance journalist and found that I could not afford to work here for a living, even with a savings account. 🙂
    I am also not married (I am divorced, with married kids), so that means I have no partner to share expenses with. I expected that I would be able to survive by working in Costa Rica but was disappointed to discover–through countless endeavors, long patience and hope–that this was not the case.
    However, I have loved living here and would love to return again. I am a bit worried, though, that Costa Rica will change for the worst by the time I am able to return. Here in the Caribbean, the government has plans to dispossess the residents and develop the lovely beaches.

    My next adventure is teaching in China because the opportunity fell into my lap. You can be sure I will be blogging about that, too.
    My blog about Costa Rica is Vita Constancia.
    I suppose I’ll have to change the name to something a little more Asian.

    Enjoy the pura vida!

    • Hi Connie,

      I am glad you commented. We are very much enjoying the pura vida. I imagine change is inevitable here as well as anywhere else hopefully it will be a very slow process. Thanks for sharing the link to your CR blog. I would be interested to read of your adventures in China.

      Best of Luck,

  8. I all so loved Happier Than a Billionaire. I noticed the dates on the blog are older.
    Are you actively still writing the Blog?

    • Hi Beth,

      I have taken a bit of a break to work on some projects (that will be incorporated into the blog) and haven’t published many new posts. So yes, I am actively working on the the blog, but in the background. Expect a couple of posts this month then much more frequency in September.


      • Gregorito (does that mean “little Greg” in Spanish?) – where can we find Jen’s blog? Thanks!

        • I am not sure… I think Gregorio is a straight translation not a diminutive – then again, I really don’t know. Jen’s blog is

          • Excellent – thanks! Note that I added “t” to between the “i” and the “o” in your name. That’s why I was asking. Will check out Jen’s blog as well. Really enjoy yours.

          • Sorry, just now seeing this… And, you are exactly right – I was ASSUMING you typed Gregorio. As Gregorito – yes, I imagine that to be the diminutive. Hmmm – might have to start using that!

  9. Happier Than a Billionaire was my first book to read about Costa Rica. I too laughed all the way through. I shared it with my husband, mother and daughter. We’re all now on our way to CR for a two week vacation in April. Today I received your book Living in and Visiting Costa Rica. I’m looking forward to reading it too! We’re checking out Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua for our future retirement in five years. For now it’s a few trips and reading blogs like yours and your wife’s for information. Keep blogging! Your honest commentary on life in Costa Rica is refreshing compared to a lot of others I’ve read. Pura Vida! 🙂

    • Happier Than a Billionaire was the first book about moving to Costa Rica that we read as well. The humor of the story made us think “if they can do it, we can too.” Thanks so much for buying my book. I hope you enjoy it.

      Best of luck in your travels,


  1. Becoming An Expat: Costa Rica - A Review | CostaRicaCurious - […] with my review of Happier Than a Billionaire, I receive nothing for reviewing this book and giving it my…

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