We were teased, we were tempted, layer after layer peeled away until everything was revealed, exposed for all to see.
All that remained was the naked truth. We saw the warts, the blemishes, the imperfections. We learned where the flaws are and where the fat is…
But most importantly, we got the skinny.
This was a virtual strip show, of course. And while there was nothing slow about it, this was definitely a class act.
Today…day two of the 2012 Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference…we went straight for the flesh.
Let’s call it “Expats Exposed” Day…
The master of self-deprecation (I call him the George Burns of Panama), octogenarian expat Al Fine told one off-color joke after another and kept the audience roaring with laughter. He said “The International Living people are very heroic about letting me speak…because they never know what I’m going to say.”
Al always has the audience on the edge of their seats…for his jokes (usually at his expense or at the expense of his Panamanian wife, Carmen) and because he tells it like it is. No holds barred.
Today he took us on a virtual tour of Panama City—his typical day. Paying his housekeeper, going to the bank, out to lunch, paying bills, to the movies….
Al and Carmen own a three-bedroom, three-bath condo on the 14th floor with a bay and city view. This area is now the “Beverly Hills of Panama City,” Al said, with Punta Pacifica Hospital, shopping malls with Ferragamo and all the top “hoity-toity” brands you could want.
“A Discount on Everything in Panama”
Electricity in Panama is expensive, Al confessed. So, wisely, he said, “we bought all electrical appliances…stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer, computers… every appliance known to man. We have air conditioning and ceiling fans in every room. So here’s my electrical bill for last month… “
He sighed as he pulled the bill from his pocket. “After my jubilado discount (I get a discount on everything—thank you, God!) my electric bill last month cost me $53.48.”
This jubilado discount Al mentioned is part of Panama’s world-class retirement benefits program I told you about yesterday…it provides discounts on everything from utility bills and restaurant meals to movie tickets and cultural events…even big ticket items like your utility bills and health care costs.
I’m Suzan Haskins, IL’s Latin America editor, reporting to you on day two, of the 2012 International Living Fast-Track Panama Conference, taking place in Panama City.
Today we heard from expats like Al about what it’s really like to live in Panama. Listen in to Al’s hilarious sermon on life in Panama and see what I mean. He really does tell it like it is. But he loves life in Panama. He also thinks a lot more people…who are still straddling the fence in the U.S. or Canada…will be joining him soon.
“The last one of you to leave the U.S.,” he said, “please turn off the lights.”
Another expat who spoke today about some of the challenges of living in Panama was Jon Nickel. As he tells it, he and his wife Gretchen remodeled not just an apartment in Panama, but their lives as well.
“We came for the adventure and we got it, “ Jon says.
If you’ve ever considered remodeling a home or apartment in a foreign country, you’ll want to hear Jon’s take on what to do and what not to do…like living in your penthouse apartment while the renovation is taking place…without walls or windows. Nothing between them and the deep blue sea 24 floors below.
“We still have the number of the Help Remodeling Line committed to memory,” he said. There just happens to be such a thing in Panama. It’s the number for the nearby wine shop. “And yes, they do deliver.”
But Jon wasn’t the only expat baring all today… one particularly lovely expat lady showed off her stuff, too.
“How many people looked at you with raised eyebrows when you said you were thinking of checking out this little-known country called Panama?” asked Rosalind Baitel, who is originally from New Orleans but has lived in Panama for 25 years. (She married and raised a family here and knows just about everything there is to know about expat life and opportunities in Panama.)
“Well…” she continued, “Wherever you’re from and however you got here, one thing you know for sure is that the boring people are back home!”
She got that right. There’s nothing boring about this crowd. More than 350 of your fellow International Living readers have gathered here in Panama City for this conference.
I’ve lost count of how many International Living conferences I’ve attended over the years here in Panama. Seriously, no-one does it better…no-one has more experience or expertise, no-one has a smarter or more diverse panel of speakers than International Living has gathered here in Panama this week.
Something for Everyone…
If there is something you need to know about living, doing business, or investing in Panama, you’ll get it all here.
And the truth is, in Panama, there’s something for everyone.
As Rosalind explained, Panama is a hub…the center of the wheel where everything comes together. Whatever you want or need…whatever you want to do, you’ll find it in Panama.
Dance, music, community theater, art, volunteering, sports, fishing, kayaking…farming, gardening, dog breeders clubs…there are so many things to do. “Bring your skills and share them,” Rosalind said. “You can teach English, sewing, cooking, computers… Anything you want to do here, you can do—just raise your hand and you’ll be welcomed.”
But Rosalind’s exposé didn’t come without caution. “There will be curve balls,” she said. “Expect the unexpected. Things happen…your kids may follow you, you may have health issues…you’ll need to make adjustments. But be prepared to make lasting friends. You’ll find a support system here that you’ll have for the rest of your lives. And you’ll have great stories to tell!”
By the way, Rosalind has volunteered to be a member of your support group. So has Al Fine and Jon Nickel and Ingrid Senne and dozens of other people. More about that in a moment…
Don’t know about you, but many of my fellow Baby Boomers here in the audience at the Fast-Track Panama Conference are looking for a place where their dollars will go further these days.
“We thought we were on the right path to retirement,” more than one couple told me. But they’ve suffered some economic heartache in recent years. “Our nest egg cracked. And our saving account is a lot lower than we thought it would be.”
But they still have their sense of adventure. And that’s why they’re here. And maybe that’s why you’ve read this far?
If you’re at all interested in learning more about Panama…in finding out if it’s the place for you…then you need to listen in to the recordings we’re making of this conference.
We know there are very good reasons you couldn’t be here in person. But that doesn’t mean you can’t quickly get up to speed with the rest of us and get on track….the Fast Track…to making your dreams of a better, fresher, more carefree life in Panama come true.
The Next Best Thing to Being Here
You can have all the most important information and benefits from this event …
All of the things we’re learning here…
Here are just a few more of today’s titillating topics and issues:
Teased… Jessica Ramesch is a full-time researcher and reporter, dedicated to all things Panama. Today she took us on a virtual tour of some of Panama’s most popular expat destinations. From seaside to mountaintop, she explained the where, what and how of places you may already know about—but many places I’m sure you’ve never heard of…she explained the pros, cons, ins and outs…including how much it will cost you to live in these Panama hot spots.
Tempted… Expat Ingrid Senne shared the challenges and rewards of opening a business in Panama. On a shoestring budget she started her beachside business…which can be done anywhere, she said—as long as you maintain focus on three key elements.
Exposed… No matter where in the world you live, if you’re a U.S. citizen, you have to file your annual tax return with the man—Uncle Sam, that is. However…you may not have to pay him. International tax expert Nick Hodges explained a few ways to reduce your tax burden when living overseas. But, he cautioned, “It’s easier than you think to make a mistake. Don’t neglect the disclosures…” Listen and learn from Nick Hodges… And definitely add him to your personal rolodex of experts who can help streamline your move overseas. (“By the way,” said Nick, “If you have screwed up in the past, don’t voluntarily participate in an amnesty program. Instead call on a tax specialist for help.” Nick is your guy.)
And Revealed: How to show off your “junk”and make money: If you know what eBay is (maybe you’ve used it to move your junk from your garage into someone else’s garage, says Winton Churchill)…if you know how to use e-mail and maybe you’ve bought or sold something on the Internet…then Winton can show you how to make money on the Internet. And so he did…show us how to use our junk…our innate skills and talents to make money on the Internet. It’s easy and anyone can do it. Really. If you’re a plumber or a mechanic, a librarian, a security guard, or even if you have a hobby…like knitting…you can use that knowledge to make money from Panama or anywhere else in the world you might want to live.
Plus, there were countless pointers and tips shared… International real estate expert Margaret Summerfield explained how to avoid the most common mistakes overseas property buyers make. Follow her 10 tips and you can be fairly certain of success when it comes to buying property in Panama or any other foreign country.
Panama legal eagle Rainelda Mata-Kelly was back on stage today with even more valuable wisdom and advice about living and doing business in Panama. Robert Kroesen offered an eco-friendly way to qualify for your Panama residency visa and potentially make a bundle of money at the same time.
And there was an in-depth discussion of health care and health insurance with not one, but four experts on the topic of health care.
By the way, everyone who spoke at the conference today (and yesterday)…and everyone still on the agenda for tomorrow…has agreed to become one of your direct resources and guidance counselors should you decide to move to Panama.
How? We’re putting together a complete package of nearly everything that’s happening at this event. We’re making audio recordings of all 38 of the presentations.
We’re also making copies of the handouts, PowerPoint and visual presentations. And you get the complete dossier—including contact details for every speaker—that we give to each attendee when they showed up here in Panama City for the Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference.
We call it our 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package. And we guarantee it will help you fast track your plans of moving to…or investing in… Panama.
Reserve the 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package NOW at the Lowest Price Available
The full price to attend this sold-out event was $1,095—but you can secure yourself a copy of the 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package for only $199… a mere fraction of what attendees paid to join us here in Panama City.
And to sweeten the deal, we’re throwing in a $100 voucher toward the next Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference. Use it to attend next year’s live program (or any future event or seminar you may be interested in).
But, this is a limited time offer only.
Once the 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package is available for download and the initial orders have been placed, we’ll increase the price to $349.
The discounted price includes:
- Audio recordings of all our Panama experts’ presentations
- Copies of all hand-outs and slideshows
- Plus a special bonus report, titled: Rescue Your Retirement in Panama: a Step-By-Step Guide to Living Better and Lowering Your Costs. (This report is only available to conference attendees and to you…when you order the Fast-Track Panama Package.)
- And a $100 voucher toward any of our future conferences anywhere, any time. There is no expiration date on this voucher!
Reserve your copy today by completing our secure online form and save $150 on the 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package.
But remember, we’ll only offer this low price until we have the recordings ready to deliver to you. At that point… we’ll charge the full price of $349.
Point is: there won’t be a more affordable time to reserve your copy. This special conference discount is only available until we’re ready to deliver the recordings to you.
After that, we’ll charge the regular price.
I’ll send the information about how to obtain your 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package as soon as we’re finished making copies of the recordings, the handouts, the PowerPoint presentations, etc.
If This Information… These Revealing Secrets… Don’t Work, You Pay Nothing
This is your best chance to fulfill your dreams in Panama, whether it’s to:
- Enjoy a comfortable, secure (and utterly relaxing) retirement
- Own a second home in exciting Panama City, on the beach, or in Panama’s glorious mountainous countryside
- Start that business you’ve been dreaming about, or
- Successfully invest in one of the world’s most attractive retirement havens…
As I mentioned earlier, we guarantee that the information in our 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package will help you make your Panama dreams come true…whatever they are. If you don’t agree, we’ll return every penny you paid.
So if you serious about tapping into the opportunities still available in the hidden, affordable Panama, I urge you to reserve your 2012 Fast-Track Panama Package now.