Panama is top retirement choice for Boomers

Retiree offers some advice

Panama is top retirement choice for Baby Boomers, according to a recent PBS television series and articles in leading retirement magazines.

They have put the focus clearly on Panama as one of the Boomers' first choices for retirement.

The Panamanian Chamber of Commerce recently asked foreigners to join them in an effort to find out what might be the future needs of retirees, and what were the reasons people chose Panama. It seems, increasingly, the reasons for choosing Panama were political stability, security, a more affordable living environment, and Panama's range and choices of climate.

Looking for advice

One question that arose: where do newly arrived retirees go for advice?

Readers of this site already know one answer: log onto Forgive us for tooting our horn but, after only a year, has become a leading source of advice for retirees and now (Nov. 2005), according to #1 measurement tool Alexa, has a greater number of visitors than 99.63% of all other sites on the Internet.

But the truth is that Panama is well served by many English language websites that offer a variety of services from tourism to real estate. Panama is definitely 'foreigner friendly'.

Moving can be stressful

Moving to a new country can be as stressful as going through a divorce. I know. I have moved several times, but thankfully needed only one spousal relocation. The problem with moving is that you need a friendly hand, not only to guide you though the mechanics of relocation, but more importantly to help you to avoid the life-shortening stress.

Here is a bit of free advice from someone who learned the hard way. Sell everything that your sentimental heart will allow and then, when you reach your new home, buy new. Definitely don’t try to import your old and trusted vehicle. I have seen and heard so many horror stories from people who tried to do this.

Start fresh

A second piece of free advice for anyone relocating: start your life in Panama anew – and leave behind as much of your baggage as possible, emotional and physical.

Buying a home, registering a vehicle, applying for residency, are all things that either do need or may need a lawyer. The best way to find a good lawyer is through recommendation. If a lawyer has worked well for someone else, chances are he or she will work well for you. Use the same philosophy with all other professionals and artisans.

There seems to a universal desire amongst Baby Boomers to return to 'the way things were.' Practically every American I meet believes his or her country has gone to the dogs. I thought this might be an anti-Bush thing, but just today my brother phoned from Britain – and even he echoes the same sentiments.

The way things were

Panama may not be totally immune from the scourge of global terrorism or climatic disasters – but it does seem to do better than most. The world is changing and there is nothing we can do about this. Panama may well be one of the last bastions of 'the way things were'.

Most Panamanians I have met are supremely grateful that the United States intervened in their country, and they continue to be happy that the U.S. is providing room and board for Mr. Noriega. He was an barrassing blip in what could have been a long and uneventful political history.

To my fellow Boomers thinking of coming to Panama – go ahead, give it a try. My Boomer wife and I have enjoyed every minute. Panama is top retirement choice for us, that's for sure. The only regret we have is that we didn’t do it sooner. – David Dell.

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