“Rent before you buy.” I’ve been interviewing expats in Panama since I began writing for International Living in 2006, and this may well be the phrase I hear (and repeat) the most. It’s good advice when moving to a new community…whether it’s across the country or across the world.
A nickname like the Valley of Flowers and Eternal Spring is pretty hard to live up to. But the area around the small town of Boquete, high in the green mountains of the Chiriquí province in western Panama, certainly does. This bustling town of around 20,000 sits at an elevation of just below 4,000 feet.
I’m walking along the Panama Bay, under a clear sky the color of cornflowers. The tide is high, and the waves of the deep Pacific are breaking close to the shore. A warm, strong breeze swooshes through the palms…their rattling leaves are the sound of summer.
With an impressive skyline that glistens in the midday sun, Panama's capital looks modern and sophisticated. It's not uncommon for me to hear visitors comparing it to other cosmopolitan destinations like London or New York. Of course, with a population of just under 2 million, Panama City is much smaller.
Healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to rise. According to PwC’s Health Research Institute, medical costs look set to grow by 6.5% this year alone. Out-of-pocket medical expenses are one of the main reasons U.S. citizens go into debt, according to the Association of Healthcare Journalists.
Boquete, a small highland town in the Chirquí Province of Panama, has everything a retired expat could want. Those who live here enjoy a low cost of living, a year-round spring-like climate, and breathtaking 360 degree views of coffee planted hills and greenery.
Are you looking to retire overseas and enjoy a quality of life much better than you currently have? Maybe even retire much earlier than you were expecting to? If so, you should consider retiring to Panama.
“Winning the lottery without paying for the ticket.” That’s how S.D. Williams, 55, and his wife Bobi, 53, feel about their decision to retire to Panama in 2011.
The original plan was to try out retirement abroad—a short test drive. But after just a few months on Panama’s Pacific coast, Rex, 77, and Colleen Swanson, 68, were ready to stay for at least two years.
Panama is a diverse country with differing climates and geography. In Chiriquí, many expats seem to settle in David, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro. These three locations are uniquely different from each other in climate, location, and the size of their expat communities.