are we? Why did we move? Why Panama? How did we decide?
are a couple who has moved from Sarasota, Florida, USA and retired in
David, Chiriqui Province, Panama. I'm
Kris, retired RN. I'm married to Joel, retired musician and
construction guy, the guy who could remodel and fix pretty much
anything in a house.
did this happen?
has been a process. There were a number of factors that made us
interested in leaving the US, and a number of other factors that drew
us to Panama.
did we leave the US?
was increasingly tight. Neither of us had much retirement
savings. If we worked until we were 70 we could make it but it would be
hard, and we would definitely have to downgrade our living conditions
when we stopped working. But, working until 70 was not attractive, and
what would happen if one or both of us became unable to work? It was
also likely that expenses would rise more quickly than income.
was time for a change. We had been in Florida 15 years and were ready
for a new adventure. The children were grown and doing well on their
own, and there was nothing holding us to any particular
multitude of secondary factors - the political climate in the US, the
increasingly broken health care system, hurricanes and other natural
dangers, attitudes towards senior citizens, probable issues
with the food supply (chemicals, GMO's), and an economy that was
recovering painfully slowly, to name a few.
Why did we
move to Panama?
would we require in our new country?
had a checklist:
enough to the US for visits back
government, decent economy, and crime under control
infrastructure, reliable internet
seemed to fit all of our requirements so we decided to visit. We
started with a 5 day visit to Panama City (Jan 2011), 2 travel days and
three full days in the city. I looked out the window of the plane and
saw those beautiful, lush, green mountains and immediately loved it! We
rented a car and drove around the city and nearby areas. We liked the
warm climate. We felt comfortable. We liked the people. We were amazed
at the number of upscale buildings and construction cranes. This felt
like a prosperous, happening, upbeat place! But, it’s a city with the
traffic, the high energy, the constant activity, and higher cost of
living. At our age, we weren’t sure if this city lifestyle
was right for us. We were definitely heading in the right direction
decided to look at the next largest city - David. It’s in the western,
agricultural part of the country. We came in June 2011 for 5 days
thinking we would see it at its worst in the hot, muggy, rainy season.
We knew very quickly that we had found our place. The city is big
enough to provide everything we need. It’s a easy drive to the
mountains and beaches, and the area is really beautiful. The traffic is
quite tolerable. The people are warm and friendly. We felt very
comfortable. Even “the dreaded rainy season” wasn’t a problem.
It felt a lot like Florida in the rainy summer, only not as hot.
We made plans to move in 2014 (after I was old enough for
social security). We went back to Florida for three more years of the
hamster wheel of work and bills.
we started talking more. Do we really have to wait until 2014? Could we
make it on the resources we have until I’m eligible for social
security? As you know (since I am now blogging from Panama) we decided
that we could make it, and we are making it. It is working out better
than I had even dared hope it would!
rest of our story is unfolding in the
“Follow” and share this experience with us!
you are thinking about making such a move, ask yourself who you are,
and what you want and why. What is important to you? What do you need
to be happy? What do you like to do? What is on your “must have” list?
What can you not tolerate?
is a lot of information on the internet. There are many helpful people
who will be happy to share experiences and advice. Come and visit, and
then visit again. Rent a place and try it out. Living here is a
different experience from being a tourist. But, if you can be flexible
and accept the differences you can have a very happy life here.
This website and blog are only our experiences. Your story?
That is up to you!