Retirees Wanted to Test-drive Life Overseas For a Month—All Expenses Paid

We at International Living are sending one lucky winner (along with a friend or spouse) to Coronado, Panama for a full month in 2014—free.

The prize includes round-trip flights from the U.S. or Canada to Panama City, furnished accommodation in the beach-resort town of Coronado, plus a living-expense stipend of $1,500.

Panama recently took the top spot as the best country in the world to retire in International Living’s 2014 Global Retirement Index. Coronado is a beach-resort town, located on the Pacific, an hour from the country’s capital, Panama City.

Coronado is a popular expat town—one of the more developed beach towns along the Pacific coast. It has good medical care, well-stocked groceries, restaurants, and so on, so it caters to most First World needs. Expats can still enjoy many of the conveniences of life back home—plus enjoy the gorgeous beach—and do it for much less than what a comparable lifestyle would cost up north.

The Coronado area and its beaches are collectively known as the Arco Seco or “dry arch.” The name came about because the region, which arcs over the Pacific, gets less rain than other areas of the country. Locals have a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” That’s because when it does rain, it’s usually only an hour or so until the sun comes back out.

It’s striking just how much the community has developed there over the past five years. It’s getting more international and every new transplant brings ideas for fun activities or new businesses to serve residents’ needs. There are opportunities for community service and social outings, and activities ranging from tennis to Mahjong to golf (the golf club here features a championship course designed by Tom Fazio). There’s even an Olympic-sized pool and an equestrian club.

Coronado has always been a popular beach destination, but the San Fernando Clinic has really sealed the deal. The 24-hour clinic opened its doors in October of 2008, and is equipped to offer a wide range of services. It boasts modern medical equipment so patients can get X-rays, CAT scans, ultra sounds, lab tests, and even cosmetic surgery (all of which used to require a trip to Panama City). A full-time dentist and ophthalmologist also work out of the clinic, which has English-speaking doctors on staff.

While in Coronado for a month, the winner is asked to enjoy life, explore beaches, restaurants, and markets…take walks…attend festivals and other events…really sample life on the ground.

Although no writing experience is necessary, the winner will be asked to share impressions and experiences with readers of International Living’s magazine, website and e-letters.

The competition is an opportunity to shine a light on the real-world experiences of somebody who is considering the benefits of a good-value retirement abroad.

Now in its third year, the competition has already given one couple the opportunity to spend a month in Cuenca, Ecuador and sent another couple to Granada, Nicaragua. Both couples beat out hundreds of entrants to win the prize and reported back on their positive experiences.

Those wishing to enter the “Win Your Dream Retirement Overseas” Competition 2014, can do so by posting a video to YouTube (no more than three minutes in length) explaining why they would like to retire overseas—and why they would like to try a one-month test-drive in Panama.

Find out more about the competition and how to enter here.

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