Americans retiring to Central America,Panama?

Have you retired to Panama? Have you lived there? Are you retired to another Central American country? Wishing to establish ongoing conversation, please, as we are looking at these options.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Retiring in Panama is like retiring in a low down area of Miami. Something nice if you like a city full of pollution and crime. Panama City has its nice spots but if you want to live on your retirement money and have a comfortable life you might as well give up and just move to Miami where there are nice places and senior-citizen based places with less crime. If you want you money to last and live comfortably, i suggest you look into retiring in either Nicaragua or Honduras. Nicaragua has many benefits, it is cheap and it is statistically rated the safest country in Central America (google it for fact.) It is also very cheap and land prices (yes, even beach front) are way less than half of the price in Panama. With that in mind, luxuries will run you more money, but in total, you'll have a better house and a chunk of land for way less than what you would pay for a house in Panama. I work in a tourist related business here in Managua, Nicaragua and can tell you American retirees are taking advantage of these benefits and continue to come here. There are LARGE ex-pat communities in the city of Granada and San Juan del Sur. You will find people from all around the world attracted by the beauty of this country. People from China, the U.S. Taiwan, Canada and many European countries, mainly Germany and Italy.

  • 4 years ago

    You are making an assertion about many Vets and retired Americans. If I may allow me to give my opinion. I am a white Vet and a retired American living here in the Philippines. I do not hate people of color... I do not resent the fact we have a President of color. I do not hate Americans or the American society.. Now that being said I am not everybody I am only me. I am a conservative and a Christian with strong Beliefs in both Arenas. Many of the retired Vets are also conservative. which means the believe in small government and personal responsibility with little government as possible. The current Administration is opposed to those values. they believe in big controlling government. The US government now owns major portions of Private companies and also controls much of the day to day Activity of said companies. Because the president won on hope and change there is now little hope and the changes are not in line with conservative thought.. Therefore there appears to be so much animosity. The Argument that many Retired Americans are racist is without foundation, there are racist everywhere. Especially here where the tribal mentality of the Philippines is the result of conflicts that stretch by for centuries. That is why the word foreigner is used so freely. And we are treated to the white tax (overcharging) and other rights granted to Philippine people in America are not granted to foreigners here. If we treated Filipinos that way in American we would be in court for Racist behavior... does that make Filipinos Racists?? I am here instead of America because I love my family and we live here and reason number two is I can afford to live on my very small SS check.. I could never do that in America without government assistance which I oppose. Most of us who love and live here because we can not do otherwise. Does that mean we hate Filipinos, who treat use poorly or are much richer than we are? I say we love Filipinos and Americans for the most part. But My Friend there are Racists and Jerks on both sides if the Ocean and around the world. We all need to get some moral compass to live by in reality and not just talk. There is Absolute Wrong there is Absolute Truth..

  • 1 decade ago

    I live in Panama. Specifically near a major retiree city, Boquete. It is ok, but it is not for everyone.

    First Costa Rica is the last option. My uncle use to live there when they invited all the retirees there with good incentives Like no duty on your personal belonging, etc. Once they had a sufficient amount of Gringos in CR they decided to quit with the benefits and they started taxing like crazy. On top of that it is very dangerous. One popular thing to do is to find a family and take them hostage. The take the husband and leave the wife and kids tied. They take the husband to shopping centers and everything and they try to extract as much money from him as possible. If he does not cooperate the he does not see his family. Here is another story that happened to a personal friend. He was building a home and he had a contractor. The contractor was trying to get more money out of my friend (they try to get as much money from you as possible). My friend would not have it so he said not. They got into an argument and the contractor walked away. Well he came back and poured gas all over my friends car and lit it on fire. It blew up. The contractor said "next time it will be you!" I could give you a million stories. It has become a trap for Expats.

    Now Panama is booming. There are so many developments here. It is cheaper then Costa Rica and Mexico. It is a little more friendly, but they are stating to steal more and more from the gringos. It might be the Costa Ricans following the flow of Gringos.

    Many times Expats will come down for a week or month and fall in love, but that is the biggest mistake. If you are going to live somewhere for the rest of your life you need to rent fro a year to know the regular seasons etc.

    Moving out of the states is major. The cultures are very different. I have many Latin American friends and they tell me "we lie, cheat, and steel. It is our culture." now it really is, but not everyone does it. The cultures are very different and the language is important. You do need to speak Spanish if you are moving to Central America. People say that there are plenty of people who speak Spanish, but you will not be able to live unless you have a translator at your side.

    It is a major decision and it is not for everyone. A lot of people move back to the states after one year.

    Good luck

    Source(s): I live in Panama. I have traveled through Central America by car.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am an American retired in Mexico. there is tons of info on the web about retiring in Panama or other Central American countries...I put 2 sites below, but if you just enter " retire, Costa Rica" or similar phrase in the search bar, you will find a lot of info. then if you go to the 3rd webpage and enter "Panama" or whatever country you want in the search bar under where it says "Find a Yahoo group" you can get hooked up to talk groups pf retired people in those locations. You can submit questions and receive answers from people there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am not retired either but I am Panamanian. I now live in the US and will definetly retired back home. What I can tell you is that the areas where I have heard most americans, canadians and europeans are moving to are Bocas del Toro and also Chirqui...In other words the mountains and the beach (island mostly)... Panama has a lot of quiet and well developed areas to retired in....My choice would be Bocas del Toro...but again you need to research on land, and I believe that now they are actually building retirement communities for foreigners...

    Good Luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am no where near retirement, but I did live in Costa Rica for a month. I can definitely tell you that there are plenty of American retirement communities there! Even better, the houses are inexpensive, as well as the overall cost of living. Plus, it's paradise!

    If you're looking for a smooth transition, I would suggest Costa Rica over Panama, as CR is more "Americanized." I went there for a month to learn Spanish, but everyone kept talking to me in English - except the cab drivers!

    Overall, I think retiring down there is a GREAT idea! I know being that far from the states may be hard to swallow, but plane tickets to and from are relatively inexpensive. Plus, I'm sure everyone would LOVE to come visit!!

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

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