“My husband Eric cannot stop smiling,” says Lorrie Griffith. “For the past 12 years, we’ve been talking about buying a house and moving to Panama, and finally that dream has become a reality.”
When my husband Clyde and I decided to leave the U.S. and retire to Panama in 2011 we thought that would be our forever home. But after our first trip to Europe a few years later we were overcome with the desire to travel.
“I never imagined I’d be staying in the homes of people I didn’t know, taking care of their pets and valuables in exchange for free accommodation,” says Denny Rudin. “If someone had mentioned it to me five years ago, I would have thought they were crazy.”
“My job required me to travel the globe and it was then that I discovered the world is a big, interesting place,” says Toronto native Jim Pierson of his past life as an engineer. In the mid-90s, a chance encounter on a commuter flight from Chicago to Toronto brought Jim and his wife Helen together.
Lying on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Granada exudes colonial charm. The ornate yellow and white cathedral is the centerpiece of the main plaza. By day, the nearby park comes alive, with local vendors selling homegrown cashews, freshly baked breads, ice-cold treats, and clothing.
When Fred and Linda Gruenert took off their military uniforms for the last time and decided to retire, they soon realized that their California lifestyle was too pricey. Linda served over 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist, half active duty and half as a reservist.
As my husband Clyde approached the taxi, the driver looked surprised to hear a gringo speaking Spanish. After all, this was the tourist town of Banos, Ecuador, which attracts visitors from all over the world. The streets are lined with little shops that display signs in English offering tours of the quaint little village.
Since my husband Clyde and I retired to Panama four years ago, a typical day is anything but that. We awaken each day to the sound of birds singing, roosters crowing, and geckos’ chirping as our peaceful little neighborhood comes to life…wondering what the new day will bring
As I sit here sweating in the middle of January it's hard to imagine that it's cold somewhere. Our friends back in the U.S. are still working, yet I'm only 53 years old and happily retired now for two years. The past two and a half years have gone by quickly as we've settled into our new life in Panama.
When my husband first proposed the idea of retiring early outside of the U.S., I thought he was being unrealistic. Could we really afford to retire in our 50s if we found a place where we could live on less? I was skeptical...but I'm happy to report that we've been living that dream in Panama for over two years now and have never looked back. Here we could actually afford to retire, live comfortably and even travel. The little country of Panama is fast becoming a haven for retirees.