You might call it a justification, or perhaps a deflection. And frankly, I agree. But, after living in Costa Rica for 10+ years I still did not have my residency. “How can that be?” you say. Well, you’re not alone. I got used to explaining it (ahem, read: justifying), by saying that it was what everyone did at the time. It seemed to be advantageous at that time to not get one’s residency.
I had a family, 2 kids, my wife and I, so the costs of getting residency, although considerably lower at that time, were a bit off-putting.